Find your voice and get your story straight
Passion, belief and sincerity. Magic ingredients for brands in social spaces.

Passion, belief and sincerity. Magic ingredients for brands in social spaces.

1) PASSION for or about something is inherently attractive.

Genuine passion is highly attractive. You’ll know this if you’ve ever interviewed someone for a job. The stand-out candidates are often those who, either by luck or by design, end up talking about something about which they have a real passion.

Real being the operative word.

Because, in my experience, passion is the marketing equivalent of orgasm.

In that I’ve seen it faked many many times.

I’ve lost count of the number of sponsorship activation briefs I’ve seen that were built around the idea of passion for the sponsored field of endeavour.

“Brand X shares the fans’ passion for sporting event Y.”

Yeah right.

“Brand X has paid to have its name associated with sporting event Y and wants you the fan to like it a bit more than you did before.” would be more accurate.

This is why I think playing the role of patron is a much stronger concept than playing the role of sponsor for brands that want to engage in social spaces. Patronage speaks to me of a whites-of-the-eyes, long term, authentic passion.

Sponsors need an audience to love what they do.

Patrons really do love what they do.

2) BELIEVING IN or STANDING FOR something might not make you to everyone’s taste…

…but it is more likely to make people at least feel something for you.

The alternative is to not stand for anything.

(And have people not feel very much about you either way.)

(Which is not a good place for a brand to be.)

I am reminded of Marty Neumeier’s definition of a Charismatic Brand from his book The Brand Gap.

Among the hallmarks of a charismatic brand are a clear competitive stance, a sense of rectitude, and a dedication to aesthetics.

I love the idea of brands having a purpose so strong that it could be described as a sense of rectitude. What moral crusade is your brand on?

3) SINCERITY has an almost pornographic effect.

This is an excuse to share one of my favourite quotes of all time.

Beyond a certain age, sincerity ceases to feel pornographic.

Life After God : Douglas Coupland

There are so many lessons for brands in that short quote.

Sincerity has the power to arouse.

But organisations shy away from sincerity because it feels raw, risky and taboo.

When you mix these ingredients – passion, belief, sincerity – and stir over a low heat for a while, this (below) is the kind of effect you can have. This video example does not come from a brands but it demonstrates what a powerful recipe this can be.



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