Living your brand aftershocks

If customer engagement is the new marketing, customer experience is the new brand.

Brand in 2010 is the collective gut feel that customers have about your company. With the internet and social media, companies need to realize that they can no longer control their brand, as they have tried to do in the past, but instead they need to join the conversation and impact it by their actions.

When consumers think of most brands, certain words consciously or unconsciously come to mind.

Volvo = safety
Disney = imagination
Mercedes Benz = luxury
FedEx = reliable
Nike = sport

But in this age of being assaulted by brand messages all day everyday, brands also have what I’ll call aftershocks, brand thoughts that reverberate beyond the initial one like aftershocks after an earthquake.

While walking among the massive booths of the CES show floor on Day 2, I paid attention to whether the brands were living their aftershocks.

My client Altec Lansing’s brand is all about music. The aftershocks, the words that describe the gut feel we want to cause are “sound”, “fun” and “loud”. All day at the Altec Lansing booth, there was a huge Rockband contest with fun giveaways. Crowds formed, friends played against each other and everyone had a great time. Neighboring booths occasionally told us to turn it down a notch. At the end of the day, James Kyson Lee who plays Ando Masahashi on NBC’s hit show Heroes stopped by and jammed for a while.

In my admittedly biased opinion, Altec Lansing did a great job of living not only their brand but also their aftershocks.

Other booths that I visited that did a good job of living their brand and aftershocks:

Motorola – hip, fun, techy, useful
Intel – fast, cutting edge
Kodak – digital, new, capturing memories

Ford’s keynote was very impressive. They have not only reinvented their brand over the last few years, they have aligned everyone in the organization to live and breathe the brand and the aftershocks. Their SYNC and MyTouch technology will completely change the driving experience and it’s clear from listening to all of their keynote speakers that Ford’s brand is part of the fabric of the company.

What is your brand? What gut feeling are you trying to inspire in your customers?

What are your brand aftershocks? Are you living them?

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