Sunday, 1 November 2009

Baked In - Live

Alex Bogusky and John Winsor have written a brilliant book called Baked In. It is about creating products that market themselves, products that naturally build conversations. There are many different ways of approaching this, brands such as Mini or Starbucks have an inherently interesting back-story, others like Nike+ integrate digital aspects to build communities.

Increasingly we are seeing businesses trying to achieve this by 'baking in' a live experience aspect to their brand, not as part of a marketing campaign but as a more fundamental part of their DNA. A recent example is Times + which uses privileged access to live events as a way of driving the paper's subscription service. American Express' latest ad campaign suggests they are taking a similar tack, time will tell whether this is a fleeting relationship with live or a more serious bid to part live at the heart of their business.

Other examples of brands building live into the DNA of their business include:

Apple Camp - summer classes at Apple stores teaching kids how to use iLife programmes such as garageband and imovies.

Mark's Work Wearhouse - a smallish brand in Canada has put live at the heart of their business by installing walk-in freezers with fans to create windchill in its stores so you can trial their clothing and see how they perform at temperatures as low as -40. This could be perceived as a simple piece of brand theatre, but Mark's are using it as a core driver of their business.

Nike Human Race - Nike are perhaps the ultimate example of an experiential brand, creating
things that becomes a part of people's lives, continually creating larger and more dramatic live experiences.

Mercedes-Benz Factory - buy the right model and Mercedes will fly you business class to their factory in Bremen to pick your car up, take a factory tour and drive it home. There is also the live experience offered by Mercedes-Benz World at Brooklands in Surrey.

O2 - Everything from their involvement with the O2 and the Academy chain to the way in which they activate their sponsorships speaks of a brand that understands the power of live. Their latest Priority campaign works so well because it is born of a proven brand passion for live.

Howies Do Lectures - This annual retreat in the Welsh hills plays a fundamental role in helping Howies stay ahead of the pack as a brand that sparks conversation and builds a community around itself.