Have you heard the word? Somebody took out Brand Loyalty. Body hasn't been found yet, but it won’t be. This was professional.
No one knows who did it. Or how. Or why. All we have is what we’ve read on LinkedIn and those wise guys seem pretty sure of themselves. Don’t they always?
Only one thing for it. Round up the usual suspects. Get them in a line-up.
In they come, five hardcore hijackers. Some work together, others alone. And you don’t put guys like that in a room together. Who knows what could happen?
So who’ve we got?
1. The Brain (5’ 6”)
Or ‘Popcorn Brain’, as that guy David Levy calls him. Always online, always buzzing. Looking for the different and the new, exploring all the options, never settling for the tried and true.
Watch out, he’s going for his pocket! It’s OK, just checking his phone. Strange way he’s holding it, side on.
2. The Context (5’ 11”)
Some say context is everything. So could he be the one, the Keyser Söze of marketing? Nobody believes he’s real. Nobody ever sees him or knows anybody who worked for him. You never knew. That’s his power
He’s just there. You sense his presence in the divorced parents, the truthy politicians, the fluid believers, the unscrupulous corporations.
3. The Man (6’ 2”)
The tall guy. Maybe he’s the boss. All those bosses, with their expectations of late nights and working weekends, their sudden restructurings and redundancy texts. The zero hour contracts they take out on people.
And the attitudes that breeds in their employees. Everyone keeping their distance. It’s not personal, it’s business.
4. The Scientist (5’ 10”)
Maybe we’ve got it wrong all along. We haven’t been looking at the evidence. Double jeopardy, penetration first, light buyers. And he was there, he was physically and mentally available.
What he says, too, it sounds like the truth. “It’s not that people don’t think well of you enough, people just don’t think of you enough”. He’s right, isn’t he? You don’t get anywhere with people if you don’t get their attention first.
But what then? What’s the purpose? What’s the motive? How do you make brands grow by killing loyalty? Why would he do that?
5. The Brand (5’ 9”)
You don’t think…? Not The Brand itself. It couldn't be. Could it?
I know, all those discounts and promotions. Focusing on the next quarter not the future. The lofty purpose and the unkept promise. All of that hasn’t done any lasting damage, has it? Yeah, The Brand’s got a limp and its left arm is withered and useless. But he’s still a player. He still matters to people, doesn’t he?
So why does he never stop talking? It’s all content, content, content. Did you know what ‘Söze’ means in Turkish? It means 'talks too much’. ‘Verbal’. Now that’s evidence.
You know something? We got nothing. We’re going to have to let them go, all five of them. Back out into the world to wreak more havoc.
There goes The Brand, shuffling away down the sidewalk. What’s with the limp? Where’d it go?
He’s flexing his left hand, getting out a cigarette. The flick of the lighter, where've I seen that before?
Who’s driving the car? Is that him? It could be. We never thought of that.
One thing I’m sure of, somewhere in that line-up we had him. The Anti-Brand. And he’ll be the death of all of us.
The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.
And like that, he’s gone.