Thursday, 4 June 2009

New brand tribalism ... and some other stuff

This is going to be a really tough assignment. I'm about to blog on an event I attended on Wednesday knowing full well that the guys who created said event (and then proceeded to get me drunk afterwards - hic!) will be reading this with a critical eye. "Hello, by the way and great to meet you yesterday!" Before I go any further, I must tell you that I have already quizzed one of the commercial directors at work on the subject of pride as we discussed yesterday. In fact, I put him on the spot in a room packed full of new recruits eager to be inducted into the world of broadcasting. My card is no doubt now marked as a trouble maker! There the poor chap was answering nice safe questions about what his area of the business did and patiently trying to explain what a Mux is, when some smart arse in the second row asks him how challenging he believes it is to instill pride in a brand that few outside the company have heard of and is actually made up of such a complex mixture of legacy companies that sometimes it feels like working for about ten different businesses. The poor fella looked like an apprentice in headlights facing Alan Sugar in his roller. Well, perhaps that's a slight exaggeration, but he did try and bat the question in the direction of the internal communications department. "Aha," says I. "That's me! You see I think that the business is facing a real challenge in this area but it's one that we can overcome and have a lot of fun in the process". [see the man back slowly out of the room wondering why he ever agreed to present at induction...]. Was fun. We had a very nice chat later and I was not quite as bossy as this may sound and nor was he in fact the slightest bit scared! This tone may be because I have just watched Mr Sugar's mates grilling the poor candidates on the Apprentice and boinged straight from TV to PC. Curses to my company though. Having missed the programme on Wednesday, I thought I would watch it on Catch Up TV naively believing I could somehow avoid discovering who left the show with their tail between their legs. Naturally this was not to be as I wandered into some sort of TV monitoring studio at work to see the three of them appearing on This Morning with the newsly skinny Fern and dashingly silver Phil. Tish!

As an aside, I'm a bit worried about the sadistic nature of my company. They put people in dark rooms for 12 hours a day and force them to watch daytime TV, poker and Eurosport.

Speaking of being ensconced in a dark room all day, perhaps I should return to the original point of my post. It was actually a real joy to spend my Wednesday with such like-minded thinkers and believers. Creative people are good for the soul dear readers. I advise you all to hang around these right-brained thinkers.
Tribes... that's what we talked about, more specifically new brand tribalism. It's about recognising the basic need to belong whether as an allegiance to a football team or a bunch of engineers who fit transmitters. How do these tribes behave and how can we use them to form the right culture for our business? They brought the theory to life with an inspirational case study from Lynn Arrowsmith -Head of Internal Brand, Communication & Culture at Orange. But do you know what, I'm not going to write anything else about the day because I guess that would defeat the point. The team at The Alternative are developing some great new ideas for communication, engagement and culture. Why not let them tell you all about it and experience for yourselves some of their drive, energy and creativity!

1 comment:

Thank you for your comments - I always love to hear what you think :)

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