Just Asking

Social networks. Over-hyped? Overpop- ulated? Definitely increasingly overrun with brands and advertisers. It’s disappointing that something so important and valuable to so many could have been defiled so quickly and clumsily by the demands of commerce and advertisers. Brands and media owners need to focus on making things better—not worse—for the people they want to become loyal customers. Peyton Manning and a weak Patriots’ secondary. Tainted focus-group shellfish. —

How to break 80, how to measure branded entertainment and how to make the Internet real, like broadcast TV. Indigestion. Other than wondering just how much Heather Mills McCartney is going to get, I toss and turn trying to figure out why so many clients still spend millions on crappy, formulaic work. There’s so many potentially great ideas for brands that never see the light of day because people are afraid to take informed, calculated risks. Brand management, which too often is a rearview mirror form of thinking that prevents a brand from setting the standards in its categories, adapting quickly and continuously refreshing its meaning. A brand is not a place, but a direction. Brands must be constantly surprising, innovating, behaving differently at different touch points.