28 May 2006

The New York Times on brand co-creation

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Brand co-creation
“The rise of consumer-generated advertising can be viewed as either a boon to brands (outsourcing marketing to loyal customers) or a threat (handing marketing over to a bunch of uncontrollable amateurs). When G.M. solicited consumer input in online ad-making for its Chevy Tahoe, many people responded with anti-S.U.V. messages.”

“Grant McCracken, an author, anthropologist and consultant, takes a broader view, describing consumer involvement as a kind of branding Reformation: marketing professionals used to be the high-priest gatekeepers, but now we can all have a direct relationship with the Almighty Brand. He refers to this as brand “co-creation” (a term he credits to C.K. Prahalad, a business professor at the University of Michigan), and sees it as both inevitable and smart, even in the case of the Tahoe controversy. “The era of the brand that’s blandly constructed and hopes not to offend anyone — to be pleasant — that notion is really dead,” McCracken says.”

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