Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - The People Formerly Known as Your Customers

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A brand is a shorthand to personal meaning and experience. People have always 'owned' the brand in that sense. It's the business that is just now coming to the realization (only many are still in denial).

@Tim - monitoring the conversations happening in the marketplace is not enough. Marketers and communicators now are exposed to what people think about their brands, yet often they do not have enough clout inside an organization to transfer that knowledge in a way that is actionable by the business. How about making the conversation transparent to the whole business? How would the management group feel if the whole employee base saw how the company's products and services were perceived and received in the marketplace?

@Karen - that was the concept behind Seth Godin's "All Marketers are Liars." Such a difficult title, such a good idea! In fact, we talk to the people who share a worldview with our product through the way that it makes them feel. Hugh MacLeod popularized the concept of social object for the thing (concept all the way to physical product) that allows us to have that conversation - and narrative in our heads. We do buy a story of us. Good hearing from you!

Hi Valeria

Interesting discussion. I particularly like your comment: "Today, we don't just buy a product or a service anymore, we buy how that product and service makes us feel."

Last week, I wrote a post that came to a similar conclusion. I read a review about a book by New York Times Magazine columnist Rob Walker called "Buying In." One of Walker's conclusions is that meaningful objects are rarely chosen through rational means, but through narratives that we generate about ourselves in choosing a particular product.
Once we sell ourselves the story, it isn't hard to get other potential "spectators" involved with your brand.

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