The Social Brand outlines 'Bank Account' model for modern marketing success

Patrick Kalotis, head of marketing and innovation at PepsiCo Europe, reviews The Social Brand.

Have you ever felt more negative toward a brand because it annoyed you by asking you to complete a customer survey or sent you something as seemingly innocuous as a long, confusing invoice?

Ever felt good about a brand because its broadband service always stays online, or you spoke to a friendly call-handler who was actually able to help you? Welcome to the concept of the "Brand Bank Account".

The Social Brand introduces a marketing framework based on the profound observation that each of us has a virtual "Brand Bank Account" in our minds for every brand or business we deal with. Every day, we have hundreds of "transactions" with many brands, and the value of each of those experiences creates either a "deposit" or a "withdrawal" in our minds.

This book argues that the vast majority of modern marketing delivers withdrawals – a distraction or experience with the brand that doesn’t add value because the brand-owner is not asking the right question: "What is something truly worthwhile that only I can give people and they will want to seek out and share?"

This is the fundamental premise of the book. To be social, brands need to embrace this question rather than get hung up on what social-media platforms they are on.

The book goes on to demonstrate how doing this, and keeping your brand mission close to your product at the same time, will increase customer loyalty. In doing so, I think The Social Brand positions itself as a marketing manifesto for today’s social era that is set to revolutionise how brands conduct their marketing activity.

Each of us has a virtual ‘Brand Bank Account’ in our minds for every brand.

The author, a marketing director for one of the world’s most prominent brands, has chosen to remain anonymous, as he or she wants the book and the theories put forward to stand on their own merit, and not in the shadow of his or her industry reputation.

And this is one of the things I like best about the book. Not necessarily its author’s anonymity per se, but the fact that by remaining anonymous, he or she is, in essence, putting the whole theory that sits behind the book to the test. Is The Social Brand giving people something they will seek out and share?

What I can say with certainty is that my "Brand Bank Account" feels like it has received a major deposit. I suggest many other marketers would benefit similarly from this splendidly illuminating book as they seek to create meaningful brand missions in this social era.

The Social Brand is published by The Social Publishing House.

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