This interesting post from Living Light Bulbs (hat-tip to the Get to the Point Newsletter at MarketingProfs.com for the link) essentially talks about identifying an experience with a brand rather than vice versa. The takeaways that Get to Point identifies from the piece are:
Make a personal connection essentially by treating your customers as individual rather than demographics;
Give people a reason to talk about you by focusing on creating dialogues rather than controlling messages; and
Tell a story with your product or brand rather than trying to be clever with corporate buzzwords and abstract slogans.
The key takeaway for me is essentially to broaden your marketing mix. The public relations discipline has been doing this kind of thing for a long time – we exist to tell stories. It is unfortunate, in my opinion, that a lot of people still seem to think that we are the people who control the media; the hounds who you set on a reporter if you don’t like what they wrote.
Used properly, PR has an unmatched capacity to build and develop these sorts of brand relationships. It may mean doing some things a little differently. It may mean taking the lawyers out of the room for a while. It may even mean recognizing that communication is a strategic function of your business that can actually have an impact on the bottom line.
The alternative is essentially to stand in the market and shout your brand name as loud as you can. Unfortunately, thousands of other brands are doing that as well.
And no-one is listening.