Thoughts on shared branding


at Next09, Hamburg 5th and 6th of may, I am tranforming my “why every company should be a rock band” ebook into a new speech – the overall theme of the conference is shared economy, but I will be talking about shared branding and where it is that rockbandism is actually helping you a whole lot with your branding. I would maybe even go as far as saying that rockbandism is the precondition for good branding these days. I have been thinking a lot about how you share your brand, mainly I think it’s interesting who you want to share it with ?

– It could be your customers, potentiel customers and the market out there, but it could also be your suppliers and your stakeholders. I work with social branding everyday where you actually talk about what return you get from involving your customers in your company (and there’s a whole lot of strategic work involved in this question, because why on earth would people involve themselves in your company ? – ta da – rockbandism is why.

And a part of rockbandism is actually to share your brand inwards – aka. making sure your company is authentic and a rockband. If you are a company like innocent drinks it’s would take a huge blow to your authenticity if somebody found out that you actually shipped your goods around the world with planes. (They don’t – it’s not an option for the logistic managers at innocent drinks, planes are out of the question).

So if you really want people to involve themselves in your rockband – you need to share your brand inwards before you share it outwards. Other approaches than that would be a shame.

Another thing that you could share is the management of your brand, where you lead the brand and put the management and decisionmaking out to the users, but again, how do make sure that people actually wants to manage your brand ?

hm. more to come.

ps. crossposted at Toothless Tiger

The art of failing faster and harder


I see a tendency in how companies who are letting go of the control and embrace the anarcistic chaos of the internet are bombarded back to square one, if they don’t do it properly. I decided that this is a good thing and companies who are trying to embrace the chaos should think of this as a good thing as well. If this wasn’t a chaos you wouldn’t be able to get constructive criticism and feedback for your company because of the control you actually gave up. I have seen a couple of times that the companies who is actually being critized on the net, instead of looking on what to do and what it is that the users are giving them critique about, simply stuff their head in the ground and remove themselves and their initiatives from the net again.

an example of this is skittles, a case I have mentioned before. The result of this case is that skittles changed their strategy slightly so didn’t only show the twitter search skittles.

– another example is the motrin ad

Actually I am listening all the examples of companies failing to embrace their users and social media in my “casestudiesblunders” tag on delicious.

So what is the biggest error in these approaches of companies pulling their horns back again, after doing something I would say that most social media consultants are asking them to do (Loose control)?. I actually think the biggest error is that they don’t stick to it. It depends on what kind of project and response they are getting. My advice to skittles would have been to keep it up for 3 -4 weeks and then evaluate, instead of changing strategy after a week or so. We get tired of things that ain’t new.

I think it’s really important that these initiatives fails – not that it’s a good thing for skittles or motrin but on the other hand they come back brighter and richer for sure, with more understanding of their crowd and more knowledge of their target group – clearly this cannot be a bad thing ?

Talk of the town 3rd of march 2009: skittles(spam) and ABBA


So these days in the sphere of social marketing there’s a lot of social media bloggers who are talking about skittles new social media move – turning their own homepage over to real time results from twitter, and outsourcing photos and videos to flickr and youtube amongst other things. Some of these bloggers think that the skittles case is the worst thing ever to happen to social media branding, 0thers are more neutral.

I think this case has the bravery that we all, as experts and consultants, are urging the companies to have. I would say that letting go of the control of a major part of your website is not really what you want to do – brandwise.


Another thing that we constantly see is that companies would rather display the communities that they participate in, instead of embracing them. The “old” social media marketing saying of “meeting people where they are” – which I like a lot and preach a lot, is replaced by “displaying people where they are – if they talk about skittles”. There isn’t really any interaction. Some people are already  spamming  the campaign and writing skittles after their normal twitter’s – which I think is not where skittles wants to see this heading at all. So the skittles site is going to be filled with skittles twitter spam. Pretty useless. Maybe skittlesspam will be a word used to describe initiatives in the future ? who knows.


My judgement is that, even though it’s hyped a lot these days – this campaign is not going to work for skittles, mainly because it doesn’t really give anything to the skittles brand apart from showing what people are saying about the word “skittles”. I think skittlesspam is all that is going to come from this.

And onto something else – ABBA – one of my alltime favorite bands is launching an online music store for their fans. The great part about this is that they are making the musicstore transitional – which means that their fans will be able to have an ABBA music store on their facebook profile or on their blogs (they have around 176.000 fans in their community already. Now this is something (on the contrary to skittles)  that is actually involving people who would love to be involved in ABBA – Great stuff.

Mama Mia =) -via

A pill of rockbandism for your social marketing


In a combination of a blogpost by Seth Godin about Authenticity, a post about “best recession marketing investment: relationships”, and a further rockbandism clarification from yours truely, in danish – I decided to write a bit about rockbandism again. I think this is dead important people, so listen up.

Social marketing is not just something that people accidently catch up on, when you want to market something socially. If you’re lucky, and the thing you market is really great and remarkable, this will truely happen – and that is a really great thing. But for the rest of us, it’s hard work. It’s business unusual.  I mean there is no naivity of the internet. Don’t underestimate your audience by thinking that if you decide to make social marketing a part of your overall marketing strategy, that your brand will go viral. It won’t unless you create rockbandism.

I wrote an ebook about rockbandism a while back, in my opinion you should read it if you want to do anything with social marketing or with being business unusual.

Rockbandism is the step before the social marketing proces, it’s the step where you define how you brand and product will feel on the internet and IRL – with autenticity, trustworthyness, remarkability and with substance. it’s the step where you invent the reason for people to involve themselves in your brand and make your brand go a bit more viral.

If I am to be completely honest with myself, this is not a question of marketing and appearance. It’s a question of inventing, building and creating something so genuine, authentic, thrustworthy and remarkable for your company that it can used as marketing. It’s about being human and a company people can relate to, on the internet. Inhumanity is what rockbandism is fighting. It’s about being a business unusual and a rockband. truely.

how to make photo sharing mainstream

I have been doing a lot of thinking about photo sharing lately.
Plain simple down to earth revolution.
I have been challenged to do thinking about getting photo sharing out to the masses – or the “general public” so to speak.
How would you do this best?

You have to make photo sharing common or mainstream.

You would want to make it local.
Im not talking Denmark here.
Im talking nitty gritty cities in the outskirts of Denmark .
BBQ parties, concerts, conferences, babies.

Following upcoming rockbands on tour.

How do you make it common and local?


My blogging manifesto? : be yourself

blogging manifestoReading this. I don’t like being categorized as a blogger, but hey it might work for somebody.

My own  “blogging manifesto” consists of two words ” be yourself “.

Blogging is about sharing the things you like, and adding questions. I think you should copy all the thoughts that makes you freeze and wonder, and spread them out there.

Blogging is about people and making people happier.

That said, it’s also important to write content that people think is interesting and value-adding for them. But you can content-plan and SEO-optimize all you want. If you’re not yourself there’s a significant part of your brand and your core that’s not with you.


How marketing from multinational companies has changed


Just a quick thought on today’s marketing

I was wondering today if my generation (who were kids in the 80s and 90s) are in particularly vulnerable to advertising, marketing and commercials?

I recall sitting at my great-grandmother’s place and watching MTV. In particular the video “boys boys boys” by Sabrina. MTV  had so many commercials that you ( at that point in time) did not have in Denmark. There were no commercials on danish tv – because the only tv station was licensed by the government. It was when another danish tv station ( a commercialised one) started that the commercials came into our face.

But when I was a child,  I was crazy about marketing. Crazy for candy commercials, Barbie commercials, My Little Pony commercials. I was told that the best meal I could have was at a fast food restaurant. The best way to play was with Barbie.

My point is that I am worried about how big firms market to my daughter. I hope it won’t be as necessary to tell her that the best meal she can have is at homemade – and not pizza or McDonalds.