Reebok’s new inspirational chicken isn’t the only brand hitting the open range. All our brands today are being faced with the choice to hide in the coop or jump into a new world, one that changes daily, faster than we can catch up.
But there’s a difference between brands that take the leap and those that can actually survive the free range.
The Difference between Brand Survival & Roadkill
Both free-range brands and future roadkill may seem similar on the surface. Both can launch provocative creative that gets engagement. Both can support philanthropic efforts to show they care.
But rather than engaging consumers with a call to action, free-range brands lead with a call to the wild, teeing up ideas or throwing down the gauntlet to inspire and ignite spontaneous and visceral stampedes. Free-range brands manifest cultural momentum. As a result, they thrive in ways never imagined or pre-defined by the brand team.
Future roadkill, at best, will entertain and die.
A free-range brand knows when to exert control and when to let go. Free-range brands know that true authenticity can only be manifested by the community, not dictated by a brand monarch. So letting go, rather than controlling, becomes the key to survival.
Free-range brands can be corporate, mainstream and have mass appeal, like Coke, Oreo, Kit Kat and Urban Outfitters. Roadkill uses that as an excuse.
The difference isn’t in what programs they launch. The difference is in the way they think, the way they learn and the way they evolve.
While it’s still the wild west on the digital frontier, one critical component of this evolution has crossed a threshold to never return: traditional brand management, hardwired for control, is an era gone by.
So, root for the chicken and consider … what kind of brand are you creating?