A word to big brands: Growth requires vision for what might be…

A couple years back, Joseph Jaffe wrote:

“My message to brands is very simple: Don’t be turned off by a startup’s lack of reach. In fact, this should turn you on! You’re dealing with the most fertile real estate, untouched, and unspoiled by the masses (even your competitors). You have the incredible opportunity to help them achieve their path to reach with your brand dollars, talent, resources, and media. You have the unique chance to join forces with them at the earliest possible stage to co-create and own that big idea.”

This message is even more compelling today. It is hard to know what the next Pinterest might be, or how it will be best commercialized. All too often, big brands want big impacts, and look to established and tried and true methodologies and platforms. But this short term leverage is the old thinking. Big brands still need a place to explore market potential, and to be positioned to explore and understand emerging trends. By the time the “next big thing” really becomes the next big thing, it is often too late, or at least too late to fully leverage the benefit to your brand.

The key is in tapping small communication opportunities that may turn into large communication opportunities at some point. There will be dry holes, and this small game activity may be viewed as a distraction, but this is also the only real way to catch the early tail of a rising media star.

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3 Responses to “A word to big brands: Growth requires vision for what might be…”

  1. Andrew Manners Says:

    For start-ups talking to Big Brands they will hit this problem many times and it is so frustrating – you think… with our technology and your traffic it’s a winner but the Big Brands say they have the money to pay more so they don’t need to take the risk!

  2. mtietbohl Says:

    Andrew, I see this thinking changing at the big brands that have been somewhat stung in recent years, and have come to appreciate the need to continuing to grow and develop.

    However, you point to a mindset that is still too often in play.

    • Andrew Manners Says:

      Yes some have set up teams or what they call “labs” to focus on new ideas/innovation but I think they are the exception not the rule

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