Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Brand, behave!

This children’s book was published in 1946.

Tim Brunelle, one of our collaborators on our “Manners for the Modern Brand” panel at SXSW, brought it in as a piece of illuminating evidence.

Read this quote from the book with your brand and customers in mind:

The two biggest questions to ask ourselves in life, at any age, are: “Are most of the people I know glad that I am here” and “Am I glad that I am here, myself?”

What a great way for brands to think of themselves today.

More crucial is the title of the book itself, specifically the last word “…Why.”

Some of the comments we’ve had so far on the idea (and thank you all) have tended towards the feeling that manners are a nicety, that broad adoption would be utopia, either in the idyllic sense (hurrah, this is the way the world should be) or the unattainable (worthy but unenforceable, it’ll never happen).

If the ultimate answer to “Why?” isn’t “Because your brand will make more money” then we ought to give in. The premise is not that “it’s possible”, or “wouldn’t it be great”, but that every brand now lives in a small town, where everyone knows your name. Good behavior will be rewarded, poor behavior will get you ignored at the dance. There is no escape, no seclusion.

Here is a longer list of the questions we will be aiming to answer in Austin:

Are brands members of society?
What rules of society apply to brands? And what new ones need to be created?
Does a common set of rules negate brand differentiation?
What are the consequences for ignoring or breaking the rules?
And what are the rewards for brands that “behave”?

What would you like to know about “Manners for the Modern Brand”?

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