SOCIAL_Commentary is a reading of our memes — theorizing what they say about the zeitgeist — an expression of collective truths.
Your perspective isn’t the only one, nor the right one.
There is no “right” one.
Real or not... Equipping everyone with social platforms over the last decade has pulled back the curtain on service-based employment — we now have access to behind the counter shenanigans few were ever aware of. It’s been a regain of social control. The voice at the drive-thru is not just a voice but a real person... one with power.
But then there’s the other side of this: the flurry of YouTube videos and TikToks over the last decade of those who torment drive-thru workers from the safe distance and protection of their cars. At best, it’s been mildly entertaining, and at worst: a startling look at class warfare treated as a joke.
Look long and hard enough and you’ll find patterns in everything.
This is “branding.”
There’s an incredible Godin quote: Imagine if Nike made a hotel. Now imagine if Marriott made a sneaker.
We can picture that Nike hotel. The latter, not so much.
This difference is branding.
Nike has a brand. Marriott does not. Name three distinct characteristics between Marriott and Hyatt. You can’t.
You can’t because they don’t have a brand.
Wes Anderson’s aesthetic is a brand. Consistent differentiation.
This is what anyone building a brand should aspire to.
I’m forecasting a future of cross-overs.
As our entertainment becomes increasing made of franchises (TV, film, and video games), IP will require new strategies to stay fresh and keep audiences engaged.
The solution will be to nod to other established IP.
(It’s hard to tell as we’ve never been here, but...) it feels like we’ve been effectively destigmatizing mental health over the last decade. Especially the last three years.
Is this what peak normalization feels like? Winking about being hospitalized?
How do we like this new comfort?
We often forget these rules were made up. New ones can be too.
Put this in the time capsule.
I’d challenge us to realize kids are increasingly getting exposed to fucked up shit online as tech adoption trends younger.
On one hands it feels like an ubiquitous coming of age phase as one grows up online.
On the other, it feels completely unnecessary, preventable and has no imaginable net-positive outcome.
Social media scarring is purposeless. Why do we accept it?
We don’t actually want authenticity. We want to want it.
We don’t want a lot of things as bad as we say we do. More often than not, we just want to want things.
This phenomenon explains a lot: from failed diets to productivity app obsessions. People who spend more time developing a Notion ecosystem than using it want to want to be productive. But, alas, they’re not.
Same goes for our unopened Headspace apps.
As marketers and makers alike, how do we service the want to wanters vs. the true wanters? And how do we nudge the want to wanters to finally just want it?
No one wants an app predicated upon authenticity. We want to want that.
I love the branding example. I always tell the folks I mentor that “X” has a brand if something specific that comes to mind when you ask yourself, “what does it mean for something to *feel* like [insert brand]?” If you can’t even begin to answer the question, they probably don’t have one.
Loved this, looking forward to more volumes 🙂