Everything is up for grabs. Including your core message. And it's not necessarily your competitor that will co-opt it. It could be an impassioned former advertising exec who wants to do some good in this world, and will use the talent, money and contacts to make it happen.
This week's Ad Age notes Alex Bogusky's leap into consumer advocacy with his new website, Fearless Revolution. While some question the sincerity, and others question the seeming hypocrisy, I'm pondering the impact he'll have on consumer perception of core industry issues, and how the natural, organic, and healthy products industry has been co-opted. And while we continue to engage in our Boulder (or Berkeley bubble) the rest of the world is taking the core messages and getting them out there better than we have. Because messages of rbGH, water usage, and GMOs are no longer niche messages, they're messages that transcend nations, gender, and industries.
So how do you protect your core messages without suffocating their growth? Simply put, get out of your bubble. Get to know who is talking about this stuff outside your company's/industry's "movers and shakers." The hash tag can be a powerful tool for intell'. Searching a relevant hash tag for your business/industry on Twitter can show you who is engaged in your core message. For instance, look at the breadth of folks in the results for #organic dairy. Another thing to do is to check-out product reviews for your brands. What kind of people are writing these reviews? These are the next generation of influencers on your core message.
Common sense, right? After all, it's marketing, not rocket science.