Primal Branding Thinktopia®

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While it’s easy to explain how Coca-Cola has become a brand after 100 years of marketing, it’s inexplicable how brands like Starbucks or Google have become brands in a fraction of that time, even without advertising. Why? And, why do we care about some products and services, but not about others? Patrick Hanlon, international branding expert and founder of strategic brand innovation firm Thinktopia®, explains how brands are belief systems that attract others who share your beliefs. Those who believe, belong and feel they are members of a grand (and often global) community. Primal Branding was published 2006 and anticipated social communities. It is listed as one of Top 10 books on branding. The construct is not only descriptive, it is prescriptive and outlines how you can create a community—whether they are consumers, co-workers, citizens, advocates, or just your best customers—that prefers you above all others. This unique and revelatory method (it's been heralded as "not the same old branding B.S.") has been used by Fortune 100 companies all over the world, to create communities of consumer zealots as well as a method for designing mission-driven organizational culture. Enjoy.

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Primal Branding Thinktopia®

  1. 1. MINNEAPOLIS I NEW YORK I BEIJING I EVERYWHERE
  2. 2. HOW TO CREATEBRAND COMMUNITIES: THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  3. 3. THE DESIRETO BELONG IS ATTHE CORE OF EVERYHUMAN BEING. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  4. 4. BUT BEFORE YOUCAN BELONG, YOUMUST BELIEVE INSOMETHING WORTHBELONGING TO. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  5. 5. A BELIEF SYSTEMATTRACTS OTHERSWHO SHARE YOURBELIEFS. THISCREATES COMMUNITY. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  6. 6. THEY ‘LIKE’ YOU ANDPREFER YOU ABOVEALL OTHERS. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  7. 7. THIS SENSE OF‘BELONGING’ ISCREATED BY ARICHLY RESONANTSURROUND OF7 ELEMENTS. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  8. 8. THE PRIMAL CODE. Listed in Top 10, Primal Branding is heralded as “not the same old branding B.S.”. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  9. 9. ALL BELIEF SYSTEMSHAVE SEVEN ELEMENTSFUNDAMENTAL TOCREATING BELIEF. IT ISTHE “SYSTEM” THATCREATES BELIEF. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  10. 10. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  11. 11. All belief systems have a story attached. Two guys in a garage building personalcomputers. Two kids in a college dorm. A pharmacist who created a secret soft drinkformula. New York was founded by the Dutch. The creation story is the foundation of thebrand narrative, and answers the question, “Where are you from?”. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  12. 12. All belief systems begin with core principles. A mission statement that declares that allmen are equal. A belief in life after death. A belief that the state is supreme. A belief in theRed Sox. A belief that you can be “the greatest t-shirt shop in the whole wide world”. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  13. 13. All belief systems create totems that are quick concentrations of meaning andencapsulate who you are. The swoosh. The Stars & Stripes. The cross. The hammer andsickle. Icons are the hand holds of any belief system, and can involve any of the fivesenses: sight, touch, sound, scent and taste. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  14. 14. Rituals are the repeated interactions between those who believe and your product, orservice. Ritual replaces chaos with order. The vitality of a brand community comes fromthe positive ritual engagements between your brand and your consumer or advocate. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  15. 15. “lol”All belief systems create special vocabularies that define those who believe. And thosewho do not. These lexicons have precious meaning. If you don’t “know the words”, you’renot part of the group. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  16. 16. In order to have the yin of believers, there must be the yang of nonbelievers. By knowing whothe nonbelievers are, we help to define ourselves. Belief systems commonly define thecounter group, then proceed to vilify them (Democrats/Republics, Mac/PC, doves/hawks,PlayStation/Xbox360, Baidu/Google, processed/organic). THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  17. 17. All belief systems have a person who believed there was a better way to do things,then transformed the world according to their own point of view. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  18. 18. THIS CONSTRUCT ISWHY WE BELIEVE INPRODUCTS, IN PEOPLE,IN ORGANIZATIONS, ANDIN OURSELVES. ©THINKTOPIA 2012
  19. 19. ONCE YOU CREATE THEBELIEF SYSTEM, YOUATTRACT OTHERS WHOSHARE YOUR BELIEFS. ©THINKTOPIA 2012
  20. 20. “BRANDS” ARE CONSENSUAL COMMUNITIES THAT PEOPLE DECIDE TO “OPT IN” OR “OPT OUT” OF. ©THINKTOPIA 2012
  21. 21. IT’S WHAT BUILDS COMMUNITY. ©THINKTOPIA 2012
  22. 22. THERE ARE (AT LEAST)4 TYPES OF COMMUNITY. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  23. 23. Community.There are communities that surround products and services, called “consumers”. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  24. 24. Community.There are communities inside organizations, called “co-workers”. ©THINKTOPIA 2012
  25. 25. Community.There are communities that follow personality brands, called “fans” (short for “fanatics”). ©THINKTOPIA 2012
  26. 26. Community.There are communities that follow political and social movements, called “voters” or activists”. ©THINKTOPIA 2012
  27. 27. Community.There are actual civic communities, called “citizens”. ©THINKTOPIA 2012
  28. 28. HOW DOES THIS CREATE POWERFUL BRANDS? ©THINKTOPIA 2012
  29. 29. AppleCreation story: Former HP employees Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniakstart building personal computers in a garageCreed: Think different. No idiots allowed.Icons: Apple logo, iPod, iPhone, iTunes, Steve Jobs, Apple store, GeniusBar, Steve Jobs.Rituals: Apple “S”, iChat, downloading, searching via Safari, buyingmusic on iTunes, loading pictures in iPhoto, etc. No ‘focus groups’.Intense iterative product design. Confabs with Steve.Sacred words: “Apple”, “iPod”, “iPhone”, “iMac”, “iCal”, “iTunes”,“iPhoto”. “No dummies.”Nonbelievers: PCsLeader: Steve Jobs ® Registered trademark of Apple Corp THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  30. 30. Lady GagaCreation story: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta beganperforming in the rock music scene of New York Citys Lower EastSide. Her debut album, The Fame, was released on August 19,2008. Its first two singles, "Just Dance" and "Poker Face" becameinternational number-one hits. The album earned six GrammyAward nominations.. By the end of 2009, Lady Gaga released hersecond studio album The Fame Monster, with the global chart-topping lead single "Bad Romance", and embarked on her secondheadlining tour of the year, The Monster Ball Tour.Creed: individuality (I Was Born This Way)Icons: her looks, her clothing, her musicRituals: her concerts, photo shoots, appearancesSacred words: “Lady Gaga”, “little monsters”, song lyricsNonbelievers: people who prefer Doris Day/Madonna, et al.Leader: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  31. 31. United States of AmericaCreation story: Discovered by Christopher Columbus. Settled byPilgrims. Declared independence in 1776Creed: Freedom for all. Independence. (Capitalism)Icons: American flag, White House, Statue of Liberty, Declaration ofIndependence, the Constitution, the PresidentRituals: voting, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, MLK Day, paradesSacred words: “We the people”, “freedom”, “liberty”, “equality”Nonbelievers: Fascists, communists, Al QuaidaLeader(s): Barack Obama, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln,et al. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  32. 32. Civil Rights MovementCreation story: Rosa Parks sat at the front of the bus inMontgomery, AlabamaCreed: all men are created equalIcons: picket signs, songs, photos of snarling police dogs,Rosa ParksRituals: speeches, marches, nonviolent demonstrations,registering to voteSacred words: “I have a Dream”, “We shall overcome”Nonbelievers: racists, people who thought that change wasnot possibleLeader(s): Rev. Martin Luther King & others THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  33. 33. WE COULD ALSO SUGGEST THAT THEFOUNDATION OF OUR SOCIETY IS BASEDUPON THE NOTION THAT TWO PEOPLE“BELIEVE IN” EACH OTHER SO STRONGLYTHAT THEY ARE WILLING TO SPEND THE RESTOF THEIR LIVES TOGETHER.HOW DOES THAT WORK? ©THINKTOPIA 2012
  34. 34. Romantic loveCreation story: “How did you guys meet?”Creed: I love you.Icons: rings, flowers, chocolates, cardsRituals: dating, going steady, engagement, marriage,Valentine’s DaySacred words: “I love you”, “honey”, etc.Nonbelievers: single people, old boyfriends, old girlfriends, ex-spousesLeaders: both of you THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  35. 35. BRAND=BELIEF=BELONGING THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2012
  36. 36. BELONGING ISAT THE CENTER OFMASLOW’S HIERARCHYOF HUMAN NEEDS. ©THINKTOPIA 2012
  37. 37. WE ALL WANT TOBE A PART OFSOMETHING BIGGERTHAN OURSELVES. ©THINKTOPIA 2012
  38. 38. BELONGING=PREFERENCE ©THINKTOPIA 2012
  39. 39. 7. It is the combination of all seven pieces of primal code working together that creates the belief that forms the community of people who not only believe but belong. This is what leading communities have accomplished through great gut instinct, having smart leaders, and through luck, timing and determination. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  40. 40. NOT JUST DESCRIPTIVE,BUT PRESCRIPTIVE. ©THINKTOPIA 2012
  41. 41. TO CREATE COMMUNITY,YOU MUST CREATE ANARRATIVE FOR PEOPLETO BELIEVE IN ANDWANT TO BECOME APART OF. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  42. 42. THE PRIMAL CODECREATES A STRATEGICBRAND NARRATIVETHAT BUILDS BELIEF. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  43. 43. PRODUCTS & SERVICESTRANSIT FROM BEINGMEANINGLESSTO BECOMINGINGMEANINGFUL. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  44. 44. FROM “WHO CARES?”TO “I CARE!” THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  45. 45. THE RESULT IS A STICKYBRAND POWERED BY ACOMMUNITY OF STAUNCHADVOCATES WHO TINGLEWITH EVERY BRANDBREATH THEY TAKE. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  46. 46. IT BECOMES MORE “NIKE”THAN “SHOE”. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  47. 47. strikeanerve@thinktopia.com ©THINKTOPIA 2012 THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013
  48. 48. THINKTOPIA® IS ANAWARD-WINNINGSTRATEGIC INNOVATIONFIRM DEDICATED TOCREATING COMMUNITIES THINKTOPIA® HAS CONDUCTED BUSINESS ON EVERY CONTINENT ON THE PLANET, EXCEPT ANTARCTICA (WHICH GIVES US OUR STRETCH GOAL.AROUND BRANDS. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2001-2013 THIN
  49. 49. THINKTOPIA, INC. © 2011
  50. 50. MINNEAPOLIS I NEW YORK I BEIJING I EVERYWHERE

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