Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How far can we elongate the longtail strategy?

I don’t fully agree with the full-scale application of Anderson’s long tail theory in brand building practice as theorists like Mohd Iqbal are propagating.

It’s counter-productive to over-expand or over-dilute a brand’s meaning in an attempt to mean something to everybody (no matter how long the tail is!). Modern researches have proven that if a brand’s projection is a clear and focused lighthouse, consumers can capture the core essence of the brand within their realities i.e. customize the brand meaning for their specific scenarios.
Consumers can therefore contextualise its relevance whilst still inferring the same single-minded meaning.

Universalists must recognise that every brand is a compelling idea that consumers interpret via usage to meet their peculiar needs. I would rather focus on the brand single minded projection and leave the multiple interpretations to the consumers.
Saatchi's One-word-equity is a call to be disciplined in our quest to secure a space in ever-crowded mindspace


Lexxy2006 said...

i think Chris Anderson as an online writer was speaking more about web strategy. I agree its been over-elongated into an unfit territory

Opeoluwa2007 said...

This is purely academic!
I dont know when branding got a long tail like a cat or dog

Gbenga said...

I disagree. The truth is for the sake of convenience (i.e. to make life easy for the brand strategist), we might want to go with the so called "single brand proposition". But we know that is not just how it works in the real world.
I understand that the brand is ultimately created by the consumer (in the sense that we put out our message or communication and but he interpretes it). But I think that's a lot to leave to chance. How about we go so far as to understand how the consumer thinks up untill the point he buys the product or service? In the consumers' minds things are not as clear cut as we like to think. A bit unpredictable even. Sometimes it is not even your well crafted ad campaign that gets him to buy your product. I think this grey area (that long tail, so to speak) is where Modh Iqbal might be correct.
Though we carry out market research or through some spark of inspiration come up with a brand proposition bearing in mind a target market, we would all agree that some of your customers are not just those you targeted. No matter how few they are (meaning there could be more where they are coming from), but doesn't this tell us we should reexamine our concept of a "single" brand proposition?
With the advent of new media and more power in terms of communication to the consumer, I believe there is more out of our hands than we think.
I know it goes against the understanding of mind space and all that but then mind space is not some absolute theory in a world were our circle of control as brand strategist is "apparently" shrinking by the day.
All am saying is the longtail theory in brands is worth a second look.