Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Communities Dominate Brands / Tomi T Ahonen and Alan Moore

Tomi T Ahonen and Alan Moore | Communities Dominate Brands | Business and marketing challenges for the 21st century (Futuretext Ltd, March 2005)


Communities Dominate Brands: Business and marketing challenges for the 21st century is a book about how the new phenomenon of digitally connected communities are emerging as a force to counterbalance the power of the big brands and advertising.

The book explores the problems faced by branding, marketing and advertising facing multiple radical changes in this decade. Communities Dominate Brands discusses how disruptive effects of digitalisation and connectedness introduce threats and opportunities. The authors compellingly illustrate how modern consumers are forming communities and peer-groups to pool their power resulting in a dramatic revolution of how businesses interact with their customers. The book provides practical guidance of how to move from obsolete interruptive advertising to interactive engagement marketing and community based communications, with dozens of real business examples from around the world.


The book discusses such recent phenomena as blogging, virtual environments, mobile phone based swarming and massively multiplayer games. The book introduces a new generation of consumers called Generation-C (for Community). The book also discusses such new concepts as the Connected Age, Reachability, the Four C's, Alpha Users, and introduces Communities as an unavoidable new element into the traditional communication model.

Combining the digital trends, modern management theories, and emerging new customer behaviour, Communities Dominate Brands arrives to its conclusion, that traditional marketing methods are increasingly ineffective and even becoming counterproductive. The power of the brands and the abuses by marketing have created a vacuum for a counterbalance, and digitally connected communities, the blogosphere, gamers, and especially the always-on connectedness of those on mobile phone networks, are emerging as the counterforce to redress the balance. The power of smart mobs and digitally enlightened communities will react rapidly to marketing excesses as the natural force balancing the power of the brands. The way a business can and must interact with the powerful new communities is through engagement marketing, by enticing the communities to interact with the brands.


Communities Dominate Brands establishes a new class of consumer, Generation-C for Community, the population that is always in contact with friends and colleagues and trust them more than your branded messages. The book indicates how we have moved from a Networked Age of the 1990s to the Connected Age of now, pinpointing the relevant changes and explaining the significance of this transition. The authors explain how the communication model is altered with the emergence of communities. Then the book provides practical guidance how brands can move from interruptive advertising to engagement marketing, to capture the interests of the new communities.


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+ Related


Why use your TV to watch repetitive drivel when you can plug your PlayStation into it instead
Posted by Alan Moore, 19 December 2005


Kevin Kelly (Wired article here) makes the case for

Peer to peer flows of communication
What we all failed to see was how much of this new world would be manufactured by users, not corporate interests. And as we like to say Communities Dominate Brands.

Linking unleashes involvement and interactivity at levels once thought unfashionable or impossible.

The electricity of participation nudges ordinary folks to invest huge hunks of energy and time into making free encyclopedias, creating public tutorials for changing a flat tire, or cataloging the votes in the Senate. More and more of the Web runs in this mode. One study found that only 40 percent of the Web is commercial. The rest runs on duty or passion.

The language of postmodern culture is one of:Flexibility - fluidity - portability - permeability - transparency - interactivity - immediacy - facilitation - engagement

In our book we talk about the 4C's; Commerce, Culture, Connectivity and Community. Without these interlocking components business and marketing models look pretty lame, or in this instance TV programmes.

We live in a super distributed media ecology, where we swap, scrape share, mash, mix. Upload and download. We co-create - we participate - we want to be engaged - And you don't come out of a computer game and put up with the sliced white bread that seems all to often to be the average broadcast experience these days.

And remember Prime time is no longer a time of day it is a state of mind.

We are curating our consumption like never before but that means we look for quality of experience. And our personal P&L account is based upon value.

The thinking at SMLXL is that government, businesses and their brands in the 21st Century have to give up control to gain control.
They have to become facilitators, enablers, life-simplifiers, co-creators, they have to inspire greater C2C interaction and in that way they will get the most precious thing from their customers is personal advocacy

Living in a postmodern world means that we have to leave our industrial mindset in the past.

For a while it suited us and delivered exponential value for many years. But our world has changed.

So its How clean is your house vs. World of Warcraft .... err I think I'll take the constantly modified World of Warcraft please with all its role-playing interactivity. Or hang out with my mates at myspace.com

"If Companies spent the 20th century managing efficiencies. They must spend the 21st century managing experiences."

Our means of production have changed and also our means of consumption.

Creativity now needs to sit at the very heart of what we create, what we make and how we deliver it.

We need hot media not cold media, relevant and interactive. But most of all give it some quality, please.

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