Remember when you were in school? No, not the sorority party memories. Go back further. I'm talking the days of learning how to get along on the playground. Sharing your lunch treat with the cute boy and being sure to have a Valentine for each and every kid in your classroom. We were taught to turn the other cheek if someone was picking on us. Or if a confrontation was imminent, we should "use our words" in defense. Taking a swing at the school bully was the last resort. As grown adults, I know most of us try to live by these well-taught guidelines. However, sometimes it's not so easy and desperate times call for desperate measures.
The desperate measures I'm referring to relates to this year's theme. Change, by design: Thriving in the new brand reality. Yesterday, my colleague Aaron Keller, shared an introduction to Capsule's FUSE blogging that will take place leading up the April event. As he shared here, we were all shocked and amazed to learn "consumers would not care if 73% of all brands disappeared." Desperate times, indeed, for those of us responsible for growing the currency of brands.
The statistic is surprising to us, I guess, because we work so hard to help brands flourish in the modern world. We research, design, experiment...research, design, experiment...you get the picture. In our opinion, it's through this experimentation that brands have the best opportunity to succeed. Maybe we can even call this our 1-2 punch?
The experimentation we speak of is best implemented through experiences. So while Mom may have preached, "use your words", we know brands must do more than talk. Creating engaging experiences is the best way for brands to take a stand and fight for the love and affection of people (not consumers).
One last note, you know how lots of brand consultants say, "A brand is not what YOU say it is, it's what your customers say it is"? Well, I call bullshit on that statement. If you want your brand to mean something specific to people, you have total control over designing that experience.
Our advice? Stop using your words. Time to throw off the gloves, get in the ring and design your most impactful moments. If you want to be in the 27% of brands that people hold dear, adapting means designing experiences.
We plan to dig deeper into this troubling statistic over the weeks leading up to the conference. Is your brand one that can be cast away? If you don't know, well, shit just got real. Better get your ticket to FUSE.