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Keeping Brands Human

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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?

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Keeping Brands Human

  1. 1. THE CULTURE OF PROXIMITY: KEEPING BRANDS HUMAN @djgeoffe
  2. 2. Are Strangers Going Extinct? Are we all celebrities? What are the risks and rewards of influence? What does “real” even mean? @djgeoffe
  3. 3. What is the Culture of Proximity? @djgeoffe
  4. 4. @djgeoffe 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?
  5. 5. The Conjoint Effect @djgeoffe
  6. 6. People act like brands. These days fans aren’t just followers; they have their own fans and followers @djgeoffe
  7. 7. 50% of people act like celebrities. “Someone should make a movie about my life some day.” @djgeoffe
  8. 8. NEW CENTERS OF GRAVITY Proximity gives individuals more power within culture – even to the point that we can filter our own realities. @djgeoffe
  9. 9. 61% - “I can influence popular culture.” 86% - “Fans have some ownership of the things they’re fans of.” 51% - “Sometimes I don’t believe things that mainstream culture considers ‘fact’” 57% - “We filter the information in our social media feeds to see only what we want to see.” @djgeoffe
  10. 10. THE NEW INTIMACY New forms of Proximity are rewiring our brains’ natural instincts for how humans define “close.” @djgeoffe
  11. 11. MIRRORING INTENT @djgeoffe
  12. 12. @djgeoffe
  13. 13. MIRROR SYSTEMS @djgeoffe
  14. 14. @djgeoffe
  15. 15. @djgeoffe
  16. 16. @djgeoffe
  17. 17. 73% - “I’ve made friends with people online because of a shared passion.” 51% - “Messaging is just as personal as talking face-to-face.” 48% - “I feel like I know my favorite celebrity personally.’” @djgeoffe
  18. 18. 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. @djgeoffe
  19. 19. 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
  20. 20. A backlash to fake has been underway the past several years – many of us are becoming radically candid: It’s okay to share… 70% - Having a mental illness 70% - Sexual orientation 55% - Going to rehab 50% - Having a miscarriage @djgeoffe
  21. 21. HOW DO BRANDS NAVIGATE THIS NEW NORMAL? @djgeoffe
  22. 22. 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 people’s terms 5. Brands will need to navigate “real.” @djgeoffe
  23. 23. Infusing Humanity Into Your Brand: WHAT IS YOUR TRUE SELF? @djgeoffe
  24. 24. STARBUCKS @djgeoffe
  25. 25. HOWARD SCHULTZ @djgeoffe
  26. 26. MISTAKES / MAKE IT RIGHT @djgeoffe
  27. 27. PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION @djgeoffe
  28. 28. WHAT IS YOUR PROXIMITY STRATEGY? @djgeoffe
  29. 29. How Does Starbucks Get Close To Its Customers? @djgeoffe
  30. 30. @djgeoffe
  31. 31. Physical Digital Societal Phigital @djgeoffe
  32. 32. HOW ARE YOU CULTURALLY USABLE? @djgeoffe
  33. 33. 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 communicate. @djgeoffe
  34. 34. 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 about. @djgeoffe
  35. 35. 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 and rewards. @djgeoffe
  36. 36. @djgeoffe
  37. 37. My Name is Geoffrey Colon… @djgeoffe
  38. 38. YOUR CHALLENGE: 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? @djgeoffe

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