May 31, 2012

I Should Have Gone To Harvard

I just read a piece in the Harvard Business Review that leads me to believe that my education at Brooklyn College was way below my station.

Let's compare stuff that a semi-literate Brooklyn graduate has written to stuff that appeared in the Harvard Business Review last week.

Brooklyn: (From 101 Contrarian Ideas About Advertising)
"... I'll bet you $10 that the primary reason people become "friends" or "followers" of brands on Facebook and Twitter is not to have a conversation with the marketer, but to get a discount..."
"What consumers really want when they interact with brands online is to get discounts..."
"... the marketing and advertising industries have been obsessed with the idea that marketing is a "conversation" and that consumers want a "relationship" with brands and companies. Of course, being the dick that I am, I've gone out of my way to ridicule this obsession. "
"In a study involving more than 7000 consumers, we found that companies often have dangerously wrong ideas about how best to engage with customers."  
"Here's what people want. They want products that work well, look nice, taste good and are reasonably priced from companies that treat them fairly... All this conversation/relationship bullshit is just a distraction."
"Myth #1: Most customers want to have a relationship with your brand. Actually, they don't."
Is it too late to apply?


Jim said...

What will happen if more people end up agreeing with you, what will you change your name to?

In sales (which is dead btw, please add to your list) there is the same confusion and abundance of myths.

It is popularised today that the role of the sales person /  new business person is to form relationships. 

Recent research show that those who see their goal as forming
relationships, aptly named The Relationshp Builder perform worse
compared to those who challenge the prospect with insight and evidence,
those that do this are called The Challengers obviously.

CRL said...

My alma mater has a saying about Harvard:

"You can always tell a Harvard man, but you can not tell him much."

Matt K said...

Here is a great commentary on The Onion about the cool new tide detergent social media video:,28356/

Atomic Tango said...

You didn't hear? In the name of truth in advertising, HBR is renaming itself "The Harvard Obviousness Review" or HOR for short. The full story is here:

Geoff said...

Your point is correct, but only when applied to toilet paper, toothpaste and soap.

What about those brands that do inspire conversations? How about the Yankees, or Harley Davidson, or BMW?

Trek Bicycles has 260k fans, and they're talking about bike events, and riding in the mud, and saddle blisters and god knows what...but it looks to be  a conversation centered around a particular brand.

Considering the cost of managing the page is probably less than a quarter page magazine ad, and presuming that many of those fans/friends/freaks are (forgive me) evangelical about the brand, it seems like brilliant marketing.

Sharpcjs said...

Bob, you should do a Social Media "is Dead" piece

Sandyeyego said...

I REFUSE to pay a fee, just to enter a market.

So instead (when I go to Costco) I go in tow with someone who does.

Damn good store though, yet not as good as I am obstinate.

What's all this got to do with Harvard/Tuck/Booth/Kellogg/Wharton...?

James Sinegal has defied many time-worn tenets of retailing, and in so doing
built a business based on a "BOOTS ON THE GROUND" knowledge, not bound by "HOW TO" books found in the library.


The James Sinegal's  who are out pounding the pavement today, wouldn't get past HR-GATEKEEPER #1.  Not with his San Diego JUCO/San Diego State profile. Yet 50 years later his NET WORTH = $3Billion+.

ERGO: Why do agencies hire the over-PEDIGREE-ED to talk to us under-DEGREE-ED? There's an old axiom in advertising that says:
"Don't talk AT them, talk TO them." & "Takes one to know one."

Perhaps Robert Browning & Mies van der Rohe were correct?

Simon Larkin said...

This is right up your street. Be interesting to see how pans out over the next year..