This quote made my day today. Not just beacuse I agree - we always like to know that our own brilliant thinking is shared by others - but also because I've seen the shiny objects syndrome at play only too many times. We get so caught up by new possibilities and 'so ein ding müssen wir auch haben' that we take our eyes off the ball; this tendency is particularly prevalent when it comes to new technology, media and communications vehicles.
When I was European digital director at Levi's I would, among many things, work closely with the country marketing teams to plan and execute digital programs. I was met time and time again with all sorts of ideas from the teams on new stuff/things/apps/widgets/gadgets etc that somebody - often a local agency - had suggested.
While I really appreciated the creativity, my main role in these conversations quickly came to be Chief Sense-Making Officer, ie challenging them to test the ideas and their validity against the digital brand strategy - which of course was in place to support the overall brand strategy.
At some point, I developed a simple litmus test tool for the teams called 'Testing Your Idea', with the sentiment that all good marketing starts with an idea, however, not all ideas make for good marketing and with the purpose of encouraging strategic thinking. (I think I'll post this tool in a blog post soon, it's still pretty good!)
Anyway, as the digital protagonist in the company I was somehow expected to jump at and promote any new tech thingy that would pop out of the blue and often the teams just didn't get why I was so, in their eyes, conservative.
And this is why I love Chris Kirubi's quote above. Because it isn't about all the new shiny objects. It's about sticking to the brand strategy, having the courage to do so in the flurry of all things new, clever, cute and seductive, and having the judgement to filter out what isn't relevant and to frame within your strategy what is.
And btw, I'm not saying that social media isn't important, it's extremely important. But first and foremost the importance for a brand lies in finding the relevant and sustainable way to make use of it, whether for communications, research or other purposes.
Tim Sanders himself says it brilliantly: 'Don't let social media glam you out, causing you to waste time and money on keeping up. Confirm your brand promise and how you fulfill it, and find ways that social media can complement it. It's about being human, not techy.'
- More about social media on my blog, click here for the post 'It's the mindset, not the media'.
- About being human as a brand, click here for the post 'Brand-bonding'.
- And to read a terrific article on the strategic use of social and other media in Harvard Business Review, click here - 'Branding in the Digital Age'.