Monday, January 29, 2007

Why aren't brands more individual?

So I was out at Antisocial on Saturday; a fantastic club if you like neon acid hands up flourescent dance music. Fortunately that sort of stuff rocks my boat gale force five.

Anways, there I was admiring the beautiful people - the boys, the girls, the somewhere inbetweens - when I thought, it's not beauty its bravery.

Being brave enough to brighten up put on the makeup and go-out for the sheer fuck of it without any care in the world. OK, it's not like thats a brand new phenomenon; people have been dressing up for centuries and I've got some great photos of my Dad in the 70s to prove it.

But when was the last time a brand dressed up? When was the last time a brand put on make-up and dared show another face? And here I'm specifically thinking a nice big juicy mass-market brand. Brands seem the equivalent of the sad old bastard who always goes out wearing the same clothes. How far would you get if you always said the same thing in the same tone with the same shallow smile? And yet thats what we continue to do as we crucify ourselves over words on a page - brand pyramids, onions, turtles and the like are all straight-jackets that inhibit flamboyance and personality. As brand guardians we are so paranoid about putting the wrong foot forward, we tie our shoe-laces together and trip over them.

And lets not overestimate the importance of flamboyance. It signals a great big unafraid of the world attitude that wants to change things and won't take no for an answer - and isn't that what brands are all about with their visions, manifestos and beliefs? One size beliefs do not fit all - we need to break them apart, find ways of dressing them that suit not only our target but our mood.

What if brands decided to have a extroverted phase? To die their hair red or get a clothes makeover? What if they didn't worry about saying the same all the time and adopted some of the unpredicatbility and individuality of their audience. I admit the results would be unpredicatable... but surely more interesting than the same smart-casual we get today...

1 comment:

tomandstephsoffice said...

i love the idea of brands dressing up. (by the way, as i write this, tom is rereading his own post -it's making him sigh - he is actually seduced by his own cleverness.) but i wonder if the dress-up kids at the antisocial are really 'brave' - and if brands need to be brave to dress up. surely, it's just a bit of play (at its best), a bit of showmanship (at its worst). and it's gotta be true - we all need (not just brands) to play more.