Infinite Brands are Social Media Brands Owned by the Community
Infinite Brands are Social Media Brands Owned and Sustained by the Community.
I have recently come to think about the whole concept of infinite brands. This is divergent thinking because 99.9% of existing marketing theory on branding is based upon the concept of finite brands. Lets first define finite brands. They are created and then at some point they end.
Infinite Brands on the other had are created and never are in demise. The don’t exist within a lifetime as we know it but across lifetimes and many many generations.
So, how would we think about Infinite Brands. Here are my thoughts:
First, they are created, owned and maintained by the community. Often through social media but their engagement extends out into the physical world of reality.
Second, Infinite Brands let go! This also presupposes that brand strategists who curate these brands have also applied some of the principles of the five forces model. Here we are talking about the brand acknowledging the communities needs to self actualization. The community is the brand, so the collective actually creates and drives the brand. This means that the brand strategist needs to let learn to know when to let go to allow engagement to occur. Particularly, the brands co-creative engine of value creation. An example to the contrary of this was a recent experience I had with the Air New Zealand social media brand. No desire to allow public discussion. Rather, traditional branding strategy to take the discussion offline. Not letting go. Sometimes I feel some brands are just waiting for social media to go away.
Third, Infinite Brands are sustainable. By this i mean that organisations accept that the brands sales won’t be correlated to traditional economic boom and bust models. So, not continually shouting at customers to drive sales in the short term. Consumption is oriented around the life-blood of the community. This brand makes the collective tick.
Fourth, their business model supports unlimited customer funding. By this I mean the business model is intertwined into the fabric of the customer and its collective. In the case of Spotify the monthly cost is minimal compared to alternatives such as Apple iTunes. In my case it gives me unlimited download access to music, importantly, when I am mountain biking in the back forests of New Zealand. The intertwining part is the mountain biking part. A more morbid context is the issue of Facebook and death. Facebook has become so intertwined into some peoples lives that it would appear that people seem to live forever. For example, the very sad case of Paul Walker. Forever loved.
Finally, they are brands of love. Like Apple, Infinite Brands are Lovemarks. In the words of Kevin Roberts.
“By connecting with the emotions of your customers you have the opportunity to receive their greatest reward. A Lovemark. (Kevin Roberts, 2015).”