Let’s face it; we all are struggling. At least I have been ever since I started my career as a storyteller.
Definitions are blurred as new theories confuse more and clarify far less. Theories of multitasking, social media, design thinking, personal branding, new age marketing, micro-targeting, almost everything has pronounced impact on the psyche of every wannabe brand promoter.
Interestingly, the need gap is addressed by a set of quick-fixers. And that isn’t encouraging.
The other day I chanced upon a brand endorsement by an Instagram influencer. The execution seemed seamless, and the plot was a natural fit too. However, the story looked obvious. Nothing unprecedented as a conflict. I wondered as to how could a 100 year old brand curate such a force-fitting narrative? If they are expecting a boost in top-line via this presentation, then we are up for some serious introspection.
As for the influencer herself, it’s a paid project. But the brand is, definitely, struggling.
These are early signs of Influencer led marketing and hopefully things will improve. But it throws up a poignant reminder of the mind share clutter.
Rome was built in a day
That’s what! Claims like these are on a freeway of lunacy. The sudden rise in personal brands and the propensity of it, has also given rise to an eco-system of self proclaimed brand brokers. Their claim: Rome was built in a day!
My interactions with many such personal brand owners have been experiential. Staring off with initial ethos and brand promises, the take off of these start-ups have not been less dramatic than a fighter jet. But the controls seem to go out of gear within few miles thereafter.
Back to basics is the clarion call.
I tried to decode the issues. I found couple of these:
Known TG, assumed pain points:
Basis their industry experience and earlier positions held in their respective jobs/assignments, most of these personal brands (promoters) are SMEs by their own rights. However, the change in the dynamics and micro-customisation that’s sweeping the consumer mind-scape seem to go unnoticed in its true colours and choices.
Known USP, unverified competitive alternative:
While every brand owner is comfortable with their USPs, it probably leads them to an inertia, wherein they prefer to take chances with their strengths alone. The threats remain undermined, weaknesses go overlooked.
The urgency of launching their products/services and reaching the break-even seem priorities. The essence of differentiated positioning and hence a brand statement that drills down deep as a brand value doesn’t seem to appeal to most. The outcomes are recipes of self annihilation.
Who am I? The question that often takes us on a philosophical trip beyond the yonder, is quite laborious as a hero’s journey, coming back to status quo. Not many brand owners would love to partake in this rigorous journey for their brands either. But that question remains fundamental, and till the answer is sorted, the way forward is essentially a deceleration.
This article is under prepared. And for those who really love to decode, the story has just begun.