Wednesday, 14 July 2010

First rule of influence? Don't talk about influence!

I just had a moment of clarity that connected four relatively unrelated themes. I tweeted that moment thus:
ooh, a blog post was just born in my brain, writing it now... #fightclub #fastcompany #influence #oldspice
Let me explain. FastCompany recently launched their influence project. Frankly, it sounded naff and very gameable. It did not engage me. It did not fire my ego. FastCompany as a brand aged in my mind. From what I could see it was panned at the start on twitter, surely the undisputable home of early adoption and social influence, and if the tweeters weren't buying an influence project then who the hell would? Like the Times Online, I suspect no-one of any influence is buying it. Nice try but ultimately it's a big fat #fail imho.

Today, out of absolutely nowhere, an old brand engaged brilliantly and resulted in an awesome explosion of brand conversation. FastCompany and the rest of us should be able to learn a lot from it.

I have not thought about Old Spice for maybe two decades since my dad last wore it. The brand became younger and more relevant to me today. Complete positive reconnection. I will now almost certainly try it next time I'm near a shop. Job done! I bet I buy a bottle. I bet I feel like this guy...

The secret? Talk about the product, the audience, the humour, the flaws, the usp's, anything but not about the conversation itself. And that's where FastCompany went wrong. They should have focused on the product. Instead they focused on the conversation. And everybody knows the first rule of Fightclub is that NOBODY talks about Fightclub!

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