‘Loyalty through decency’

Tim Leberecht, frog design’s VP of marketing and communications, riffs on my post about moving past selling advertising as scarcity and about decency as the new ad (my emphasis):

Equity is the accumulation, the repeated occurrence, of actions, interactions, and transactions that add value. The best way, then, to build brand equity is to repeatedly and consistently add value through all your interactions with customers. Advertising doesn’t add value; branded content does (information). Promotions don’t add value; branded entertainment does (entertainment). When you brand something, you don’t just market scarcity and advertise your products and services, you market your ability to add value that is relevant.

The web, and the social web in particular, reconciles artificial scarcity with relevance, and that’s why more and more branding dollars are moving online. It is the ideal forum for creating an abundance of scarce moments, thousands of small great ideas instead of one great big one. These small great ideas come to live in brief moments of attachment with customers that are personalized and truly relevant for them.

“Advertising is failure,” says Jeff Jarvis, and he thinks “media only get in the way of customer relationships.” And indeed, how will you make more friends at a party? Showing up with a big banner around your neck that says “I am a great friend” or engaging in a handful of conversations with strangers, listening to their stories and detecting affinities whilst accomplishing a sense of privacy that gradually becomes intimate? Right. In the end, that’s what we should be doing as marketers to build real, sustainable brand equity – creating publicity through intimacy, loyalty through decency.