Conquering Consumerspace: Marketing Strategies for a Branded World

Conquering Consumerspace: Marketing Strategies for a Branded World

Conquering Consumerspace: Marketing Strategies for a Branded World

Conquering Consumerspace: Marketing Strategies for a Branded World

Excerpt

Welcome to consumerspace. Once upon a time, marketers barraged “couch potato” customers with hard-sell tactics. Today, we use products to define ourselves and others. We no longer are swayed by corporate-generated hype, but we are passionate about consumergenerated buzz. That means successful companies now need to shift their focus away from marketing to people and toward marketing with them. In consumerspace, firms partner with customers to develop brand personalities and create interactive fantasies. The winners understand that we buy products not just because of what they do, but because of what they mean. Market share is out, share of mind is in.

In the old days of marketerspace, companies called the shots. They broadcast glitzy ads to massive market segments, assuming that the consumers they lumped into broad demographic categories such as race or gender all would respond like automatons, obediently snapping up their me-too, mass-produced products. Doing business was a zero-sum game, where players advanced by convincing homogeneous blocs of customers to choose sides (at least for now). The winners racked up the most points, measured as market share. The customer was a coveted game piece, a trophy to be acquired and occasionally polished.

That view of the consumer as couch potato is so twentieth century. In today's consumerspace, firms partner with customers to develop brand personalities and create interactive fantasies. The winners understand that we buy products because of what they mean, rather than what they do. In consumerspace, each of us charts our own identity by picking and choosing the brands that speak to us. We reward those that do with our loyalty but also with our reverence and yes, sometimes even our love. Market share is out, share of mind is in. In marketerspace, companies sell to us. In consumerspace, they sell with us.

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