On the Spot [or Not]
April 23, 2010
[I've removed the embed as it autoplays - you can see the film here]
So I was giving a talk at the Swedish Creative Awards [The Golden Eggs] a couple of weeks back - which was awesome - and afterwards I had to do this panel discussion thing where a smart and lovely client called Shaun, who runs marketing for McDonalds in the Nordics, grilled me and the other speaker, a nice dude called Martin who runs a digital agency in the Nordics, about some of the stuff we were talking about.
It was fun.
We spoke about how we measure stuff, and how brands should be a template of corporate behavior not an image you manufacture, and that doing GOOD THINGS is generally quite nice.
About how branding seems to create price elasticity of demand, which means people pay more for the same thing, and also tend to buy it more frequently, for reasons we don't completely understand, but are definitely non-rational and a bit like magic.
Possibly. [Or at least predictably irrational].
I think this is worth remembering.
Even in the age of utility and transparency and complexity and other awesome things I wholeheartedly believe in, because these things are what make up brand - totality of your actions in the world, not what you choose to communicate.
Philosophically, there are two ways to understand the relationship between 'personality' and 'behavior'.
Either actions are identity reflective - in that everything you do is an expression of some irreducible, unchanging essence that is you - or they are constitutive, in that who you are, that essence, is a function of those actions.
I believe in processes not fixity: the river of Heraclitus, not the atoms of Democritus.
I think we are constantly evolving, changing, growing, and therefore I believe in actions as the things that make us who we are.
I believe brand actions are identity constitutive NOT identity reflective, which means that you ARE WHAT YOU DO, and what you do changes who you are, not that your actions are a reflection of your brand.
And this totality creates in aggregate a socially constructed reality that has some interesting effects on purchase behavior and share price.
People still pay more for branded good that operate at functional parity to generics and
[despite the endless protestations of a newly frugal consumer whose purchasing behavior has forever changed due to the recession,
which, in my opinion, is nonsense because recessions are blips that do not change basic human nature, and brands clearly operate at some non-rational level, otherwise they wouldn't work at all]
I believe they always will.