Open Brand, by Kelly Mooney and Nita Rollins, PhD (Paperback, 2008)|
(You can print this review in landscape mode, if you want a hardcopy)
Mark Lamendola, author of over 6,000 articles.
Anyone who is involved in marketing, product development, sales, public relations, or customer service should read this book.
Traditionally, companies have developed their message and pushed it out to their customers--this is push marketing. Companies would push demand through the sales channels. So, the various efforts were company-driven: product development, marketing, sales, and customer service, to name a few.
Today, the marketing model is increasingly a pull model. Customers pull demand through the various channels. And not just to the companies--but to a vast network of other people. This massive customer communication puts customers, not companies, in the driver's seat. If marketing is a show, the audience of customers now controls the stage. This is why a book like The Open Brand matters.
The book consists of four Parts. Part One consists of three chapters. These focus on the concept of "Open." The author has an acronym:
- O: On-demand.
- P: Personal.
- E: Engaging.
- N. Networked.
These describe today's marketing environment. While customers are empowered due to online tools such as Instant Messaging, e-mail, blogs, and communities, the effects of their communications reach well beyond the online world into every nook and cranny of the offline world as well.
Part II discusses the iCitizen. The power of the consumer is far different from what it was a few years ago. What is this power, and how did the iCitizen end up with it? Who are iCitizens? Who has more influence--a few celebrities, or thousands of regular people who all have a voice? Part II answers these questions and more. It also explains how and why the iCitizen can be both the medium and the message.
Part III explains the response to the iCitizen. It presents a strategic framework that allows a company to make sense of Part I (the social Web) and Part II (the iCitizen). It discusses the two trends that, more than any others, anchor the open brand framework:
- The emergence of consumer notoriety. This is
in stark contrast to what has historically been consumer anonymity
with regard to brands (and the world). Now consumers can be highly
visible, almost instantly. The implications are profound.
- The emergence of creative production. This is
in stark contrast to simple, uncritical consumption. Today, we have
a dazzling array of engaging online activities that didn't exist
just a few years ago. Someone writes a blog or releases a video, and
a viewpoint (good or bad) can easily go viral.
Part IV is titled "Getting to Open." It's based on what the authors call "The Four OPEN Experiences." Different people experience the Web in different ways. The authors classify these as:
- Collectively inclined icitizens believe "I
- Cultural change agents believe "I am."
- Digital competence seekers believe "I can."
- Celebrity-motivated icitizens believe "I
Do you know which group (or experience) has the most power? The answer may surprise you, and that's OK. What's not OK is not learning the answer and doing something about it. What you do, exactly, depends on several interdependent factors. Part IV addresses those.
When you're done reading this book, you'll have an understanding of who is really driving many of the choices companies make. More importantly, you'll have a framework for developing a suitable response with long-term viability.
The book has an appendix with a glossary, acknowledgements, and index.