Your customers define your brand..   Horse shit.

With the rise of social media and review sites, consumer’s two cents have been deemed priceless. Similar to grammar school brown-nosers, many brands are telling us exactly what we want to hear. But like all predictable lovers, this is terrifically unsatisfying.

When brands blindly bend to consumer feedback they develop a copy & paste personality. We need brands we can believe in, not manipulate. We depend on them to be bold, not boring. And the quickest way to bore someone is to give them exactly what they asked for. While the best brands give us exactly what we didn’t know we wanted.

Nike  We asked for running shoes; they gave us Nike+.

Apple  We needed a phone; they gave us a computer that could text.

Ford  We wanted a faster horse; he built the Model T.

Can you crowd source the next Prada bag or Kanye album? Of course not. And if you could, we wouldn’t want it. But what you can crowd source is the changing needs of consumers. And it’s the job of brands, and their advertisers, to provide creative solutions to those needs.

Great brands are like great storytellers; they know their audience, but that doesn’t mean they give them the mic.