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Brands need to be in permanent beta

March 23, 2007

Transparency, openness, honesty are all buzzwords that are being thrown around the meeting rooms of marketers, ad agencies and brand consultants.

Easy to say, tough to achieve.

The recent rash of Web 2.0 brands seems to have something going for them; they seem to be in a permanent beta state.

What’s interesting about these brands being in beta, is that they are openly acknowledging to consumers that they are not quite ready.

They are showing vulnerability and in so doing, their humanity.

The state of beta also suggests they are open to questioning and ideas for improvement.

This is a radical contrast with most of the brands that came to life in the C19th and C20th, they have an industrialized view of the world, a view that assumes everything about them should be tightly controlled and perfect.

A world of them and us; the people that make and the people that buy.

Although they are created by humans and staffed by humans, they are somehow always perfect, shiny and immune to the failings of most human beings.

Sadly, for these industrial marketers, this level of control and infallibility longer endearing, the most interesting brands today and in the future are going to be the ones that are honest about their flaws and failings.

In short, brands need to find a way to be in a permanent state of beta.

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