Collecting versus Hoarding
The context of marketing today

Why great marketing is like breathing

I used to have a sidebar on my blog that was entitled "Marketing as the Lungs of your Business." Tq-120919-wsIt never resonated with people, but that doesn't mean it isn't true. In the marketing area of your business, you have to breathe in the culture, the current economic client, and the interests of your audience. And you breathe back out a response that says: "Here's how my company is relevant." You can't afford to be oblivious to your environment. 

Harvard Business Review Blogs: The Logic Breathing Life into Oreo's new Branding, 2012-Aug-30, by Grant McCracken

Brand orthodoxy says that the brand should "keep it simple" and repeat itself constantly, like an old vaudevillian who doesn't mind doing his jokes over and over again because, hey, that's what got him here.

But there are new winds blowing in brand land. One of these came in the form of a book called The Cluetrain Manifesto, which proposed that branding should feel more like a conversation, a give and take between the consumer and the marketer.

This is an important idea because the consumer now appears to believe that the brand should earn its public attention the way all of us must. Say boring, repetitive stuff and you suffer the punishment that every bad conversationalist faces. First, we ignore you. Then, we exclude you.

There's a second metaphor we could use. I like to think of branding as breathing. It is taking in cultural meanings and giving them off. Inhale, exhale — but in this case the stuff of respiration is not air but culture. Culture in, culture out. (There's no point of joining a conversation unless you've got something to say.)

Oreo turns out to be really respiratory. When it celebrates Elvis, the Mars landings, or Bastille Day, it comes alive to the world around it. Playful, even. After all, who celebrates French holidays? ... So the brand escapes the solipsism, the self-absorption, the prison house most brands have imposed upon themselves.