All posts tagged “disruption

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The Masses Are the Media

It wasn’t so long ago that brands held dominant sway over the media. Television, movies, radio, print… all of them were things the masses engaged with primarily as a result of there not being anything else. Our stories were implanted through those mediums, sometimes as adverts, other times through the work of our public relations teams.

Then the internet came of age. And more specifically, then Social Media came of age.

Now, the masses are the media.

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, et al have all re-written the act of what ‘media’ means. The masses are constantly connected, both with each other, and with media from everywhere. Everyone is now a content publisher. Every platform is accessible. And this has fundamentally changed the way we need to market our brands.

The adverts that used to work are passed by as distraction. Just look at the declining success of display ads. Commercials are neutralized in the on-demand culture that surrounds television. Conventional product placement has been replaced by the concept of influencers. And marketing teams have whole new divisions to create content.

This drastic shift is a byproduct of the masses choosing what’s worthy. If it’s great, they share it. If it’s not, it’s smothered. Now, more than ever, the emphasis behind our brands must fall not only on being authentic to the mission and vision, but how we can best tell the stories of success and impact the brand has.

Further, this increased dichotomy between risk and reward has leveled the playing field. Well-known brands are forced to compete on the same playing field with the lesser-knowns. Quality, not caliber is placed at a premium. Half-efforts, which maybe once were easy to mask, are now immediately called out and shunned. But when brands succeed at creating quality stories that resonate, the reward is the masses spread the content viral.

This control means the Masses have now taken over as the media. We must turn our stories over to them, and they will be the final judge.

 

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Flexibility vs Consistency

I read an interesting article on Valedictorians yesterday. The article studied those that graduated first in their class through the next 20 years that followed. Many were by the standard norms “successful”. They had good jobs. They were generally in power positions. They made good incomes.

But they also weren’t the leaders we might perceive. They were unlikely to be entrepreneurs. Unlikely to be millionaires. Unlikely to found companies based on innovation. By contrast, the successful people in these respects were more likely to have a 2.9 GPA.

There was a quantitative deduction done on this study to analyze this trend. And frankly it makes sense. Those that were Valedictorians proved they could be consistent in their executions. Consistent in their thinking. Consistent in following a laid-out process. But those who had the lower GPA’s tended to forget traditional learning. They were more commonly disruptors. They were less likely to go with the flow – preferring their way to the mainstream way. Their approach was flexible – worrying less about grades, and choosing to go real-world experience instead.

Think about this as it relates to your brand. Is your brand consistent? Is it checking boxes? Is it following a path laid in front of it?

Or is it flexible? Is it choosing to disrupt space and make the world a bit more unique?

Maybe asked differently: How successful is your brand? No, really?

REFERENCED ARTICLE: http://time.com/money/4779223/valedictorian-success-research-barking-up-wrong/