Popularized with hip hop culture, “bling-bling” things are usually shiny and sparkling jewelry or expensive objects like big cars, associated with apparent wealth. Bling-bling things are very common in music videos; and let’s not forget that things are brands managed by people. Bling-bling brands or organizations are the ones that rely on their appearance only: they shine on the outside but not in the inside, like some people just talk but never act. Obviously in our “Googling mania” world these brands are not sustainable. Trendwatching pointed out that “brands need to take real and meaningful actions to make consumers’ lives better or make a world a better place to be”. Wrapped up in a fancy concept like “The death of human brand”, this must sound like a wake-up call. But is it?
A wake-up call maybe, but certainly not a new MarCom strategy. Simple examples: Havas Meaningful Brands Index or Best Global Green Brands by Interbrand.
Since the beginning of MarCom, one of the key rules is to make consumers identify themselves with the brands. Once one relates to something, they simply think: “This match with what I believe in” or “This reflects who I am”. Thanks to some social brands like TOMS, one even thinks: “I’m doing something good!” as the One for One concept eliminates the guilt of over-consumption. Here real and meaningful actions are taken by the brand, actions that can be checked on their site and social media.
Are they what they do?
With more new mobile applications, people are more and more encouraged to share their experiences. At such a point that both significant and (a lot of) insignificant moments of our lives are shared on the WWW as if we were all Kardashian. Just check out Periscope or Snap Me Up, an alarm clock that stops ringing until you take a selfie. Like trendwatching demonstrated, over communicating on our doings, do not make them neither real, nor meaningful. So does it for brands. Just recently, I read that Nick Woodman, GoPro’s CEO dropped $229 million to his college roommate to fulfill a 10-year-old promise. I just thought “what a man! A word said is a word kept. It must be great to work for his company!” Not only because I wished to get a similar promise, but above all, this is a man of his word, a very rare kind in this world.
Googling mania: We are what we display
As we do for people, we double-check brands doings on the web; it has become a reflex in today’s world. The last filter remains: our own judgement. Because what is displayed on the WWW is selected information from fans or detractors are all mixed up. As an example, Beyoncé was recently pointed out because of her last video clip “Feeling Myself”, as she poured in a pool a $20.000 – based on the WWW gossips – bottle of “Ace of Spade” Champaign of Armand de Brignac, brand newly bought by Jay-Z. But let’s not forget that Queen B. is also a co-founder of Chime For Change, probably one of the arguments that made her one of the “Femojis” – feminist emojis.
Stop the bling-bling and start the doing
MarCom actions are more challenging today as it was before, since brands must be omnicanal. But are not we just expecting acting brands, rather than communicating ones?