How do you win as a brand in a world where products are more and more alike, where distribution systems are efficient and far-reaching, where everyone has a “story” and is telling it across multiple channels? If you can’t win on quality, efficiency, timeliness or narrative—or at the very least, you can’t hold any advantage you do have for long—how do you carve out a place for yourself in crowded and converging marketplaces?
The brands that are winning are not those that are telling or selling, but rather those that are finding powerful and personal ways to connect. By first building affinity and inclination and then using product, distribution and storytelling to strengthen and tighten those bonds, these connective brands are essentially reversing the traditional relationship equation. They first link with people to instill belief in the company, then draw on social media and story lines to involve and include people, and finally they look to distribution and product to deliver experiences and products.
The camera company GoPro has built a fiercely loyal brand community by advocating for personal heroism—by calling on people to get out into the world and push themselves to the limit. The fascination with that idea and where it could take them is what binds all these people together. They connect through that love of, and thirst for, a more exciting life. Each person yearns at some level to be a hero in their own way. Go Pro’s videos, social media feeds and stories then celebrate, through capture, what happens when ordinary people do exactly that: base jump off sheer cliffs; ski in extraordinary environments; climb icebergs; brave mountainous seas. The stories endorse the belief in exploring possibilities. They bring it to life.
All of this in turn changes the relationship that people have with GoPro’s cameras....
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