7. Brand Stories

by karen orlowski

TED talk: Tim Leberecht

Takeaways from Tim Leberecht’s “10 Brand Stories:”

1. “Brands are what other people say about you when you aren’t in the room.”

2. “Reputations are volatile, loyalties are fickle.”

3. Radiohead re-releasing IN RAINBOWS online gave consumers the opportunity to determine the price for themselves by being allowed to choose for themselves how much they wanted to pay. It sold more copies this way than before.

4. Danish chocolate company Anthon Berg opened  “The Generous Store” in Copenhagen. The company asked people to buy chocolate with the intention of doing good deeds towards the people they loved.

“It turned transactions into actions and generosity into a currency.”

5. Patagonia asks you not to buy new clothes from their lines, but instead look towards eBay for used products. They ask you to re-sole your shoes before buying new ones. Interesting. Though it may have harmed short-term sales, it boosted long-term loyalty with shared values.

“The ultimate empowerment of customers is to ask them not to buy.”

6. “Companies are the makers of their fortunes…This should make them more human.”

7. Companies like Netflix and Hulu offer unlimited vacation to their employees, saying that productivity is higher when they focus more on what needs to get done, rather than how many days were worked. Jon Steel, similar to Hulu and Netflix believes in the worth in offering unlimited vacation, also saying that productivity is higher when people feel as though they don’t have to be in the office for the sake of looking productive if they are really fried.

8. American Express turns travel into a game, British flower company Interflora sends flowers to customers having a bad day, and Dutch airline KLM launch “little acts of kindness” campaigns. In another TED talk on brands, Jason McCue says that brands need to live by example.

9. Companies embracing their ideals and doing the unexpected are really making a difference.

10. Listening to people talk about brands is fascinating to me.