Think back on the last decade or so, and you’ll find countless examples of companies whose traditional positions in the marketplace were challenged. Some have successfully adapted, and some haven’t. Nicole Ertas takes a closer look at this phenomenon in Free Range Brands: Join the New Breed of Agile Brands.
To start with, Ertas talks about the attitude consumers take to today’s brands. She deftly divides consumers into four groups: Lords, Lovers, Hackers, and Hawks, each with a unique outlook that brands can tap into in order to reach them. It’s the kind of approach that’s easily grasped, but would come across much more in a presentation where these groups could be dynamically brought to life.
Ultimately, there isn’t much concrete advice as to what action marketers should take to become one of these types of brands. Ertas also packs a lot of shit-or-get-off-the-pot attitude in her writing, and it’s a bit overdone at times. And while the book is packed with short examples of brands whose actions lined up with her ethos, it’s amusing to see Chipotle, GoPro, and Hillary Clinton held up as successes. Which I’d say is a sign that “free range brands” can end up as gristle in fairly short order.
Still, Free Range Brands presents an interesting way to look at how today’s consumers see themselves and how brands can fit their expectations. If you’re a marketer in a legacy brand or mature market, it’s worth a look to see if you’re doing all you can to thrive these days.
Special thanks to Finn Partners Media Connect for providing me with a review copy.