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The Shrinking Brand: Marketing in a Small World

A talk by Tim Leberecht at next09

About the Talk

May 6, 2009 7:30 AM

Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg, Germany

From micro-loans to micro-vacations, micro-celebrities to micro-trends, speed dating to speed cooking: the “long tail” world of consumers is becoming smaller and quicker. Products, services, and experiences are being deconstructed in easier to digest, easier to afford bits, allowing consumers to collect even more experiences, as often as possible, in an ever-shorter timeframe. With accelerated news cycles, shrinking attention spans, and communications fragmented into 140 character tweets, instant gratification and presence seem to have become the predominant paradigms of online interaction. Micro-blogging services such as Twitter diversify meaning into myriad atoms of communication, a hyper-targeted in-the-moment form of looking at the world by expressing it in real-time: “Now is Gone” (Geoff Livingston).

This emerging “economy of micro-scale” renders the traditional consumer segmentation obsolete and has major implications for brands that distribute content.

Small content can go anywhere. The shorter the attention span, the more important the role of micro-communications. The more sliced down the content, the richer the channels of distribution. You could also say: The smaller your brand, the more you can share it.

Given the atomization of audience size and behavior, this talk argues that brands need to “shrink,” too, if they want to remain able to connect with consumers. Discussing Barack Obama’s campaign and other select current case studies, it will explore:

  • the five principles of micro-marketing (hybrid, transparent, open, instant, and social)
  • the concept of “vibrational attunement” (or what it means to “shrink” a brand to fit an audience)
  • how to activate “dormant social networks” through “social content”

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