Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Make Marketing Customers.

For many years now, my pal Remo Giuffre has pursued the idea of customer involvement in product development and sourcing for his online store under the moniker of "The Community Is The Brand." It has engendered great devotion in its customers and featured high in the Lovemarks survey.

A fascinating article in today's New York Times entitled To Charge Up Customers, Put Customers in Charge details similar activities in a number of entrepreneurial businesses. This includes threadless.com whose customers have designed every T shirt in their catalogue and a shoe company dealing in open-source footwear.

Given my distrust of market research, I particularly like the way that this shared philosophy focusses on what innovative consumers are actually doing and what that means for future demand. The pre-eminence of the product also meets with my approval.

Peter van Stolk, the founder of Jones Soda admits that this is an ever-evolving way of doing business. "Are we a soda company? Are we an Internet company? Are we a social networking company? We're all of that. Our goal is to keep creating more ways for customers to exercise ownership of the brand."

That's a succinct credo for the New Marketing.

6 Comments:

Blogger echolalias said...

have you seen the wave of 'create your own commercial' or 'customize your own commercial' advertising online? in one case where the consumer had the ability to write in the copy for a certain commercial..well, it backfired a bit. as far as what they wrote.

11:50 AM, June 18, 2006  
Blogger john dodds said...

Yes - I think I may even have blogged about it. It strikes me as lazy in the extreme - marketers do have a job to do and they can't outsource it completely.

As has been said about Iraq, if you support democracy you can't complain about who the people vote for. In marketing, I think the equivalent of spoiled ballots and crank candidates have a far greater impact than in an election and so it's just common sense not to allow the possibility that they might mess with your message.

12:29 PM, June 18, 2006  
Blogger echolalias said...

it seems like market research blown way, way past its own bounds.

1:46 PM, June 18, 2006  
Blogger echolalias said...

or, if you caught the times article about the star wars fans making their own episodes... i have never favoured the trekkies. i am seeing them in a whole new light.

10:08 PM, June 18, 2006  
Blogger echolalias said...

shows you how much of a fan i am. i meant star trek. not star wars.

10:11 PM, June 18, 2006  
Blogger john dodds said...

But can you imagine what those episodes look like?

Live long and profit.

1:06 PM, June 20, 2006  

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