Will.I.am words, “Don’t see yourself as a brand, see yourself as a part of community,” are among the best pieces of advice brands will get at this year’s Cannes Lions.
Companies keep saying: “letting go of our brand is not easy.” It’s not. But it’s inevitable. In today’s world, brands have no control over their brand. “Consumers own the brand and the perception of the brand is reality” said Paul Edwards, executive director of marketing strategy at General Motors. Trying to control your brand, just as trying to control the community, will bring you absolutely nowhere.
“Too much marketing messes up the communities. So think ‘communiting’, not marketing,” other wise words by Will.I.am. “Communiting” as a word might not have existed until yesterday, but we like the word and we definitely like the idea that lies behind it. “Communiting” is about enabling and fostering communities. About facilitating, not dictating. About engaging, not trying to sell. About truly becoming a part of the community, contributing to it and showing that you care.
Remember that community is not a place where you win awards for beautiful campaigns (Cannes Lions is!). It’s where you win the hearts of people by listening, contributing, caring and engaging. And that’s worth more than all the awards combined.