Archive for July, 2009

Mosh Pit

Posted in Miscellaneous on July 28, 2009 by Something for the Weekend


The new role for brands is to be a network of the unacquainted.

MIT convergence culture expert Grant McCracken believes that the new role for brands “is to behave like a network of the unacquainted”. Brands have to connect people who love them and facilitate happy crowds.

With the run-up to the Olympics and Web 2.0 stuff, we’re going to hear more about crowd control and behaviour. It’ll be tied into the pursuit of creating brand communities and concentrated audiences.

There was a great article in the Saturday Guardian the other week about this. It talked about the increasing responsibility brands have to manage crowds and understand their behaviour (think the Primark Oxford Street store opening frenzy – hospitalisation over £2 pieces of unethical tat).

And Mark Earls has blogged about this here.


The Future of Business is Free

Posted in One to Ponder on July 26, 2009 by Something for the Weekend


Chris Anderson’s been doing the talk circuit with his new book, Free: The Future of a Radical Price, which explores why ‘free’ is going to be the unignorable business model of the 21s century. Every brand will need to offer a free version of its product and devise a strategy for competing against free.

This article is a good summary of the book.

Listen to the audio book for free on Spotify.

Or buy it here.


Posted in Culture on July 26, 2009 by Something for the Weekend


A psychologist has found that Saab drivers have the highest levels of ‘psychological involvement’ with their cars.

After studying 1.2m posts on Motor Talk, Germany’s biggest automotive web forum, psychologist Rüdiger Hossiep reports that Saab drivers are the most emotionally engaged with their cars. They display more than 10 times the passion of the average Volkswagen driver, it was shown.

A similar study from the US on brand communities shows that Saab drivers have created an ownership hierarchy known as ‘Snaabery’. Drivers feel a moral obligation to help fellow Saab owners and create myths around how their cars have saved their lives.

Saab is considered an anti-brand brand for people who resist easy categorisation. Before it was homogenised by General Motors, Saab’s USP was its oddity – from its bubble shapes to unusual gearboxes. Tellingly, of the original 16 Saab creators, only two knew how to drive.

Saab was sadly declared bankrupt earlier this year.


Thinking Woman’s Diet Coke

Posted in Branding on July 26, 2009 by Something for the Weekend


The Guardian call it the ‘thinking woman’s Diet Coke break’.

Carte Noire, Penguin and agency Work Club have created a campaign around seductive coffee breaks. They’ve hired grown-up hunks like The Wire’s Dominic West, to read raunchy excerpts from Penguin novels available on Carte Noire’s website.

Complaint Choirs

Posted in Digital on July 26, 2009 by Something for the Weekend


A musician who blames United Airlines for breaking his beloved guitar has taken revenge by writing a complaint song. United Breaks Guitars has gone viral and knocked 10% ($180m) off the company’s share price.

Consumers are becoming more vocal about airing their complaints against brands, governments, even the lows of living in Birmingham warrant a tune. ‘Complaints choirs’ are a global trend.

What if a brand serenaded a disgruntled consumer with a piece of engaging and human apology marketing like this, rather than sending a bog-standard, six months later letter?