We sat over beers as he took me through his new social networking app.
Very interestingly designed to facilitate creation of groups; which you could define as “open networks”, “closed networks”; across many many topics and in different languages. There were so many possibilities to connect with people on his app and he was getting good traction. But he wanted more.
So I asked a question all marketers start off with. “What’s the basic need you are satisfying?”
“Networking”, he said. Nope.
“Connecting people”. Nope.
“Finding friends”. Nope.
“Fighting loneliness”. Nope.
“Your turn”, he said. A bit exasperated.
So I did a simple exercise and you must do it too.
I am not a prescriptive fellow and often only “Suggest”. But here’s a blog where I go beyond “suggest”, and INSIST.
I said to him “any successful brand story, survives only if it satisfies one of the 7 original sins. Think about it. There are no exceptions.”
He smiled. “That’s crazy”, he said.
“Is it really?” I asked and I started to write off brands at the top of my head.
Nike — Just do it! It feeds on your self-esteem; Pride!
McDonald’s — Gluttony. I’m loving it, c’mon you can’t deny it yourself!
Onida — Neighbor’s envy, owner’s pride — Need I say more?
Liril — Lust, pure simple!
Facebook — voyeurism, Lust!
Linkedin — envy/ lust/pride. All of it. That is massive, by many standards!
Instagram — envy/ lust
Whatsapp — laziness/ gluttony
Dating apps — lust/ (voyeurism)
Health drinks — lust
Swiggy / Food delivery apps — Sloth
Discovery apps — Sloth
Uber — Sloth
Our every habit is about it is simply true. If your brand feeds into one of the 7 sins, you win.
Uber as a premium cab service? Facebook started as a site to compare college women? It was a late entrant, behind Friendster and My Space and others. Yet it succeeded.
Sure its got a simple and clear interface, it allows me to get connected to old friends, it allows me to find friends of my friends. But most important, it allows me to see them without them seeing me — watching them. It’s a”One way mirror”.
Sure Facebook is a great place for stories to be shared with friends, but its also a great place for strangers to find interesting stories. Narcissism and Voyeurism?
“What would happen if like Linkedin, Facebook told you who came to see your profile?”, asked several marketers who I spoke to about Facebook’s success.
“Its not a question we will ALL be comfortable answering”, said one brand manager. “One of the most powerful attractions of facebook is that others don’t know I’m watching them. Showing curiosity about someone else, is a sign of my interest in them. If facebook allowed me to measure someone’s curiosity in me, would it not give me control over that person?”
We may cloak this in a harmless statement of intent — “ Facebook allows me to know about my friends without me having to write to them, call them. Its so much more efficient.”
Sure, but that’s called voyeurism. Don’t we all enjoy it?
Linkedin, that’s another case in point. It informs me of who has come to see my profile, and build my entire engagement on meeting and attracting “ like minded professionals”.
No. It simply allows me to be the most narcissistic version of myself and show the world how well I am doing in life professionally. Does Linkedin insist that past employers validate all of my job related content? Nope. So where’s the authenticity? And if I don’t care if the content is authentic, what am I doing on this site?
Put in a couple of very attractive portraits and we could argue it’s a very powerful dating site cloaked in the guise of professional connections. By touching several emotions of lust/ pride and envy Linkedin possibly has more going for it than any other social networking site. Just my view.
Humans have evolved rationality very recently in their millions of years of evolution. Brands need to tap into that basic truth. I believe your brand story need not go beyond this simple mandate- feed into what our survival has always depended on.
Spend a few minutes on this. Try and prove me wrong!
And if you’re lusting to make your brand successful, commit the first sin, oops take the first step — visit us on www.grocurv.com!