I’ve just finished reading ‘Baked In’ by John Winsor and Alex Bogusky from one of the world’s best agencies, Crispin Porter + Bogusky. John was kind enough to give me the opportunity to review the book prior to official launch.
What a great read. As many of you know, I write a lot about Generation C – and some of the key dimensions of Gen C are their need for Co-Creation, Collaboration and Control over brand stories. Brands today need to engage their ‘communities’ in all aspects of business and this book brings it to life with some great examples. In a nutshell it’s about the blurring line between product and marketing – the need to ‘bake’ marketing into your product. This book is short, sharp and easy to ready with some great case studies and examples from Crispin clients. It’s the book that keeps on giving as every chapter has a twitter feed associated with it so you can join in a conversation ecosystem that’s created by readers of the book. The guys are practising what they preach when it comes to stimulating conversation within communities.
I’ve pulled out some of the most interesting statements/points of view in terms of how brands can ‘bake’ marketing into their product innovations and stories:
- To be successful a brands story must connect with a LARGER CULTURAL CONVERSATION that’s happening
- The MIDDLE IS TO BE AVOIDED by marketers at all times
- Every product has a story, the JOB OF MARKETING IS TO MAKE IT SING
- CREATIVITY IS LIKE ANTHRAX, extremely potent, hard to distribute, so to ‘weaponise’ it is to find out how to distribute it quickly and widely
- Real innovation comes from the POWER OF RANDOMNESS
- Culture always wants to change, especially pop culture, WHAT’S THE CULTURAL CONVENTION YOUR BRAND CAN FLIP?
- EXPLOITING CULTURAL CONFLICTS and tensions is the key to big ideas, use them as levers to create change (this is where the boys at Crispin continue to set the standard in terms of cracking culturally interesting ideas)
- Live your product. service to FIND TRUTHS AND INVERTED TRUTHS
- Always allow members of your brands community to take self guided explorations of your brand
- Brands built on INTUITION are more likely to be disruptive and adapt to a rapidly changing environment
- MINE YOUR BRAND’S HISTORY for interesting stories
- Steal from other categories to innovate
- Focus on OPEN COLLABORATION
- STORIES and the ability to share them are what make us human
- Great product names are essential to design – bake in names that mean something in culture eg: MINI, Flip, Red Bull, ipod
- If possible, innovate to CREATE AN ABSOLUTE – don’t bother communicating if you are ‘faster’, ‘lighter’…ER’s are meaningless
Thanks John for the chance to review ‘Baked In’ some great stuff here for marketers who are looking to engage people in the new marketing environment.