The 3 P's Brands Must Embrace: People, Purpose, Participation!

Building brands that are truly meaningful, admired and (sometimes) even loved has not become any easier over the years. If anything, it is becoming increasingly difficult. We’ve never lived in more connected, fast-paced, over-stimulated and challenging times; just ask any marketer and brand manager. And yet – as is typically the case – every challenge brings about an opportunity. Guess what? In this article I will give you three.

On a recent flight from Los Angeles back to New York, I sat next to a 13-year-old kid from somewhere in Oregon. Having had long meetings, a short night and definitely a bit of jetlag, an in-depth conversation was definitely not highest on my wish list for the next six hours. Little did I know that it would turn into one of the best and most insightful conversations I’ve had around brands and branding for a long time. And trust me, I do have many of those.

Kyle was visibly bored with the in-flight entertainment program, so it took about three minutes after take off before he asked me what I was doing in Los Angeles. I told him that I’d been on the West Coast to help a client develop what hopefully turns into a fantastic and very cool brand experience for the company.

“I like some brands. I looooove my Nintendo Wii,” was his short but pretty passionate reply. He immediately followed up with a series of questions:

“So your job is to build brands? How do you do that? Is that difficult?”

Asking a brand strategist how to build a brand is like asking a professional chef how to cook a good dessert. There is no straight answer. It’s a blend of science and art. And sometimes the right amount of each, down to an ounce, can make or break a great brand, as is the case with any delicious dessert.

Kyle was visibly not in the mood for a lecture about the many ingredients it takes – so breaking it down to some simple truths was both a challenge and a fantastic exercise to strip away the theoretical noise that at times keeps us marketers distracted from what ultimately constitutes the brands we fall in love with.

So here are my takeaways – broken down for a 13-year-old

Read on: the full article can be found here:

Justin Merino