The trouble is that generally there is a butterfly attention to fame and noteworthy issues these days. This causes issues for brands because ‘fame’ is a vital currency and how it is created, developed and sustained is the all important question. So what is fame? And I mean real fame, not the Andy Warhol fifteen minute kind.
Fame is about influence and numbers, so a majority of people having a high quantity of high quality associations in their mind about a brand.
Then fame is driven by two key ingredients:
- Being consistently present with mass visibility
- Being talked about by the masses
These two ingredients are not disconnected and often drive each other. A recent study into word of mouth found that whilst interesting brand behaviour did impact the volume of chatter the key driver was always the visibility of the brand.
It’s very simple. Brands who are seen more, get talked about more.
Then research into the exposure of people in the media, found there are two distinct types of fame:
- Ephemeral fame or passive fame for a limited amount of time, usually fixed to a specific event i.e. a stunt, a shock, a scandal.
- Self-perpetuating fame, sustained fame fed constantly and topped-up by exposure and chatter (this needs a fantastic strategy, a black book and imagination of course)
To experience growth brands need to create self-perpetuating fame.
The digital age has changed society, culture and how ideas/news are spread, by drastically increasing the visibility of conversations and behaviour. Ensuring a brand is consistently visible and talked about matters more today than ever before. Crucially for brand fame, digital has increased the strength of cumulative advantage, also known as the snowball effect.
The famous get more famous more easily in the digital age. The web and social media are teeming with social influence; this coupled with low transactional costs make the digital environment the ultimate breeding ground for cumulative advantage.The more inter-connected an environment the stronger the influence of cumulative advantage.
And so it goes.