Friday, August 15, 2008

Manners for the Modern Brand™

There is only one rule that approaches advertising etiquette, and it goes something like “you appear uninvited in the living rooms of your customers – don’t be a boor.”

We all know how well observed that one is.

But brands are social now. They no longer sit behind a glass wall, talking loudly about themselves. They move through the world just like the rest of us. We gossip about them, spread warnings about the brands to avoid, we introduce brands to our friends, we choose the brands we are seen with. The rude or thoughtless or plain dull brand today can easily find itself with a very public shunning.

It stands to reason then that brands need to sign on to the same social contract we humans have all been living by for eons.

How helpful it would be to have a common set of guidelines for successfully navigating this complex world.

I’m calling it Manners For The Modern Brand, sort of an Emily Post-style primer for brands and the people who guide them. Here is the bare scraping of the surface. I’d love suggestions from readers.

Apologize – quickly, and graciously. Even if it wasn’t really your fault.
Avoid disturbing others with unnecessary noise.
Help those in need.
Behave in a manner suitable to the occasion.
Do not pry.
Do not interrupt.
Thank your customers for their loyalty.

It goes on and on.

In fact, in partnership with our friends at Hello Viking, we have put together a panel submission for SXSW 2009 on the subject. If you like the idea, please vote for us. We’ll put a permanent link up in the right column. Meanwhile, register to vote here, and vote here.

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