Can Brands Be Here Now? They Need To Be.

On her site Conversation Agent, Valeria Maltoni says our brains love novelty. That we are built to notice all that is different and new, a fact which keeps us moving on to higher, better ground – whatever that may be. She then righty asserts that it’s hard to retain readers’ attention, customers’ spending habits and true commitment and energy from employees. Because the mind naturally wanders.
Maltoni also looks to psychologist Toru Sato for answers.

According to Sato, communication is a continuous process of breaking down and rebuilding our self-esteem. People change. People’s circumstances change. People’s desires change. In order to keep any relationship working, we need to be constantly open to those changes and adjust accordingly each moment we interact.

Here we are in the moment. How’s the moment for you? Good, I hope.
Here’s a challenge for any brand entering social spheres on the Web: How to live in the moment, continuously from now on (or at least until the electricity runs dry).
Think about a global brand like Coke or Nike. Everything they do online is 24/7 because they have customers in every time zone. Where’s the support framework for real time communications coming from? A help center in India? We need a better answer than that.
When your brand participates in the social Web (and really, the entire Web is social), it’s always on and your business is always open. Nothing’s contained any longer. The work day goes on and on, there’s no specific time for media consumption, it’s all one giant mashup. I say this because business owners and brand managers aren’t typically thinking about the Web in this way. They’re asking for a new site, hopefully one with viral content. Who is answering back, “Do you know what you’re asking for?”
The reason I say brands need to enter the media business is because that’s what it takes to play in an always on, many-to-many global conversation. It may not be true for every brand, but it is true for global lifestyle brands.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.