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Eff’ing F-Words.

March 30, 2009

Gordon Ramsey got it right – he built a great brand by using F-Words. Do you remember the P words? It was business as the centre, eminating out in a controlling, systematic arc of influence. Then – in a world where the only thing in short supply was human attention – the C-words took over. It was all about the Concept, Channel, Costs, Communication, Care, Change Management. And now – I find my little F-key on the laptop is getting a lot of use. Today, it is all about the Focus (product and brand) being Fast (service), being First (to market) being Fashionable (design), having Friends (business partners) and above all having Function, (product differentiation). And as Hamel points out, it will be the Facebook-generation that will shape the next ten years. There is nothing mystical about the choice of letter of course – but this change of argot does reflect the change in what keeps us on our toes (or keeps us awake at night, it its one of those weeks). The original marketing reflected a militaristic risk, plan – command and control mentality. The nineties saw the rise of the seventies and eighties kids, with a softer approach, and the concern about the tricky human and non-mechanical parts in the marketing system. And now – we’re in an era which combines the two. Not only must you have a cracking product thats better and out before your competition – but you have to understand the ephemeral position of a consumer, who is not only increasingly difficult to communicate to (media fragmentation) – but is now capable of changing brands, products and services more easily than ever before and then telling all their pals about it within a few seconds. There is one last great F-word of course, that may sum up the increasing position of the poor marketer. Frazzled. What were you thinking of?

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