Presentation from Unconference 2018 in San Diego, California. People are trying to act like brands. Brands are trying to act like people. This Conjoint Effect is causing lots of confusion. So why are we here in this place now?
Culture is operating under new
rules where people, celebrities,
brand and content creators are
now entangled with one another,
in a web of influence, occupying
the same culture-making space.
People, brands, celebrities and
media companies are entangled,
and influence is a jump ball. How
is the Culture of Proximity
affecting us all?
People act like
These days fans aren’t just followers; they have
their own fans and followers
50% of people act like celebrities.
“Someone should make a movie about
my life some day.”
NEW CENTERS OF GRAVITY
Proximity gives individuals more
power within culture – even to the
point that we can filter our own
61% - “I can influence popular
86% - “Fans have some ownership
of the things they’re fans of.”
51% - “Sometimes I don’t believe
things that mainstream culture
57% - “We filter the information in
our social media feeds to see only
what we want to see.” @djgeoffe
THE NEW INTIMACY
New forms of Proximity are rewiring
our brains’ natural instincts for how
humans define “close.”
73% - “I’ve made friends with
people online because of a shared
51% - “Messaging is just as
personal as talking face-to-face.”
48% - “I feel like I know my
favorite celebrity personally.’”
THE FILTERED “ME”
The Culture of Proximity puts us in front
of a bigger audience, and we’re making
new choices about when and how we
reveal our true selves.
It’s Risky to Be Yourself:
75% - People are attacked online too
often for sharing their real selves.
70% - Choose activities in real life
that will give them things to post.
32% - Brands are as honest as people
try to be. @djgeoffe
A backlash to fake has been
underway the past several years –
many of us are becoming radically
It’s okay to share…
70% - Having a mental illness
70% - Sexual orientation
55% - Going to rehab
50% - Having a miscarriage
HOW DO BRANDS NAVIGATE THIS
BRANDS NEED TO ASK AND
ANSWER THE FOLLOWING:
1. How do you infuse humanity into your
brand? What is your true self?
2. What is your Proximity Strategy?
3. How are you “culturally usable?”
4. Brands will need to get close on
5. Brands will need to navigate “real.”
Infusing Humanity Into Your Brand:
WHAT IS YOUR TRUE SELF?
Connecting people to each other,
not just to us, will become crucial.
We can’t just message, we have to
become one of the ways people
BRANDS WILL NEED TO GET CLOSE
ON PEOPLE’S TERMS.
From the relationships people have with
celebrities we work with, to the uber
importance of shared interests, we’ll have to
show new sides of what our brand is all
BRANDS WILL NEED TO NAVIGATE REAL
Being raw isn’t about just consistency to
where you’ve been and who you are.
Honesty presents a different way to
operate and connect – one with risks
Finding Your Brand’s True Self
Equifax is a brand we believe is inauthentic. After a preventable data breach that exposed
more than 140 million consumers they did not report the breach for two months.
Further, one of their senior leaders was charged in dumping the stock before warning consumers.
Though widely criticized, Equifax continues to operate as a brand disconnected from
those most important to its future and coldly shrugs its responsibility.
How can Equifax find its way to authenticity?