Wednesday, August 20, 2008

That hunted feeling

Image by fusiasa

Who else squirms when they hear the word ‘consumer’?

There’s something about it that conjures up an image of a human being as a tube, one that pays for the privilege of processing any goods and services we shovel into its entrance.

There are other terms we use on a regular basis that are just as revealing of the attitude we have towards our customers. Words like “target” and “roadblock”.

Then there’s “guerilla marketing”, as if our customers are now insurgents, to be fought in hand-to-brand combat. If Howard Gossage railed against outdoor advertising, what would he have to say about urinal cake ads, selling, selling, selling even when we thought we had a private moment to ourselves?

All of which brings me to Alan Wolk’s excellent jujitsu move, otherwise known as ‘Your Brand Is Not My Friend’.

Social networks were invented to bring friends together. But many brands have been quick to pursue us into what should be – was hoped to be – a safe haven, without even recognizing that a threshold has been crossed, or that the rules are different here.

Alan has put together an excellent panel for SXSW ‘09 to debate the challenges brands face in a social media world. I highly recommend you vote for his idea. It’s an important one.

To register, go here. To vote for “Your Brand Is Not My Friend”, go here.

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