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  • hey everyone — i just found out the presentation from Zeus Jones referenced above is available here:

  • Interesting concept, DLY. For it to work for me, as a consumer, it will need to carve out some of my ever-dwindling mindshare being bombarded by all the data and content out there. So, it needs to be entertaining and an experience, preferably an engaging,interactive one. For the right companies, a neat feature would be consumer-generated content, allowing consumers to define the company and its brand based on their experience, beliefs, values, thoughts, and perceptions. It would mean relinquishing control, but the potential is to have something pretty cool.

    Also, day by day, I’m developing more of an opinion that brands don’t (or shouldn’t) create experiences for consumers. Rather, effective brands engage, enable, and empower consumers to create their own experiences. I think it’s more than semantics, and perhaps a guiding principle in position and company and its brand.

    Of course, that’s just my opinion – what I’m most interested in is yours; what do you think?

  • Hi Denise, what I really like about this is the fact that it’s a story rather than a static document. However, one of the things that I think a lot of folks came up with was the idea that a brand is dynamic and constantly evolving. Can you create a documentary that evolves too.


  • some follow-up:

    ray — thanks for your comments. i thought about including an interactive component but decided against it because i believe a brand must be clearly defined by the people who create it and deliver it. in my pov, soliciting the input of consumers is great way to foster customer intimacy and to engage customers in a meaningful relationship, but it’s not the best way to articulate what the strategic platform of the brand is. leadership and strategic intent are critical to brand strategy and so i would want this tool to be a conduit for that understanding.

    as for your comment about brands creating experiences vs. brands helping people create their own experiences, i believe there is a continuum between the two and different brands sit at different places on the continuum.

    however, you might be pleased to know that tom asaker (of seems to agree with you — in his latest book, he says, “Today’s commonly accepted view is that brands tell us their stories with various products, pricing, people, online presence, facilities, and communications. That’s a misguided view. In reality, we use our interaction with brands—their sceneries, props, set decorations, scripts, and actors—to construct our own stories, ones that we want to tell about ourselves.”

    adrian — good point about evolution — maybe this should be a series of flims, created over time as the brand evolves? — as a library of documentaries is compiled over time, brand understanding would increase even more.

    what does everyone else think?

  • It’s an interesting concept but I think it’s purpose could get confused. To get to the brand documentary you’ll inevitably have to define your brand through some model or another. There are of course many….I think this would then become another expression of one of those models.

    If it’s a new model then I guess it should be put together in the way a documentary is. I remember working on a pitch model that was based on the way political campaigns are put together, which helped to identify key stakeholders, target audiences and values / beliefs, who held the key vote etc. I’d see this as something similar…i.e.

    Who are you trying to sell the documentary to? internal stakeholders, consumers (will they want to see an actual documentary – not sure if this is what you’re intending – too literal?)

    What’s the truth you’re looking to expose?

    What do people think the truth is at the moment?

    What are the myth’s?

    Who’s point of view is the story coming from?

    Who’s the best person / character to tell / guide / narrate the story?

    An interesting topic…got me thinking!

  • Denise,

    I guess I would have to agree with Andy (above) in that the documentary would simply be an expression of the pyramid or some other outline-driven model of the brand. Documentaries aren’t made on the fly, they are outlined like any story to present a specific POV. To create that POV, one must first have a position–that position is, in effect, the “brand model”.

    That said, I do think the story format is a valuable and effective way to express a brand to internal stakeholders as long as quality can be kept high and productions costs low.


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