www.hornallanderson.com/blog/authenticity-is-king

Authenticity Is King

By Jamie Monberg on February 25, 2011

A lot of terms get tossed around pretty casually in our world: innovation, experience, positioning. I believe that it’s crucial to have a real point of view on what those things mean to us as an organization so that we can speak clearly about them to our clients. Nathan Schedroff recently came by our office and shared some really great thoughts on how we can design experiences that have real meaning. We’ve been having some interesting and thorny conversations around here lately about how we design experiences and how we position brands. They’re important questions, and interesting discussions that have spawned a whole bunch of other topics:

• What kind of experience does a brand like Zappos sell?

• How is Red Bull’s approach different than Mountain Dew’s?

• What does Axe stand for compared to Dove?

I spoke to some of these in the article I wrote for Fast Company. I also reiterate the claim that “positioning is dead.” Of course, this isn’t entirely true (and we have a brilliant team of brand strategists who prove this counterpoint on a daily basis). Positioning in the Don Draper sense of the word does need to be put out of its misery though. We need to move away from trying to manufacture need for a product by manipulating someone’s emotional response to it. That’s a little sleazy, and more importantly, it doesn’t work: I don’t care what the positioning is, I care about the review I read on Amazon.com. We believe in creating meaningful experiences and authentic relationships with brands, and we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Who’s really getting this?

Who’s missing the boat?

What do you think the role of positioning should be today?

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