Denton: "Of course a brand can be your friend"... or Dr. Seuss gets an MBA
By generalizing about brands, and treating them as uniquely duplicitous organizations, we lose our ability to differentiate between good brands and bad brands. Worse, we lose the ability to encourage any kind of incremental progress, by identifying better social media campaigns that Coca Cola might learn from, for example.2I don't think it's true that generalizing about brands prevents us from differentiating between them. In fact, I'd argue that refusing to acknowledge the profit motive at the heart of corporate branding exercise makes analysis even more difficult. And in any event, I don't see why that prank—or Sam's essay—don't point to the "incremental progress" you seem to want. It is fairly obvious to me that a "better social media campaign" would be one in which a major corporate brand does not attempt to enforce a vision of slick positivity using an unsupervised and easily hijacked bot. We can't hold brand managers hands through the vagaries of Twitter, nor do I think we should be obligated to.Max ReadView discussion >>3(I just wanted to note that we appear to have encouraged some kind of "incremental progress," at least, by ensuring that Dove's smarmy new Twitter-positivity campaign won't be automated.)Max ReadView discussion >>
Brands are shorthand reputations. Everybody has one, not just corporations. Think about yourself. You work for me; and I am a proud builder of media brands. Our journalism depends on technology and entertainment brands who covet our audience more than our docility. Your department's board has a blog presence, Politburo, which suggests ironic communist dinosaur.4It seems pretty clear to me that Biddle's essay is using "brands" as shorthand for "corporations" (or maybe more specifically "consumer-product corporations with fawning 'colloquial' social media presences"), not in the so-general-as-to-be-meaningless sense of "reputation." The shorthand works because it calls attention in particular the consumer-facing departments and aspects of a corporation.Max ReadView discussion >>
Sam, you write for a brand within a brand within a brand. In fact, you are yourself a brand: puerile, nihilistic, infuriating, occasionally infuriatingly brilliant.