Updated for June ’14, and in no particular audience:

Embed culture into your product.

Innovation, like marketing, is table stakes. Extend your core utility with digital services and layers.

Explore the effect that trust could have on your category. (People being able to trust each other, i.e. the collaborative economy)

Communicate from social audiences and digital experiences – outward.

Your medium is people, purpose motivates them.

Brands = Trust.

Reputation = Trust.

Social = Reputation.

Been thinking about collaboration businesses & brands and they way that the trust features in collaboration businesses replicate the way that brands used to work. Companies like Uber and Airbnb are still in their infancy but are making their mark on hospitality and transport, ultimately disrupting the brands that provided trust previously.

How far can this go?

The way this stuff works is by utilising spareness. So transport, space, and services are natural places to start. Looking slightly adjacent into the maker space Esty and The Grommet provide access to bespoke products alongside reviews and maker trust scores. These seem unlikely to threaten behemoth FMCG brands, but you could see these products occupying premium market segments, much like craft beer.

Finance feels particularly exposed but also provides a new problem. Time. The trust cycle on a room or a ride is fast. You need it, you use it, you rate it. The trust cycle on consumer finance tends to be slow. You need money for a house or a card, etc, these things are long term. The current platforms (lending club and the like) seem to be more about your credit rating than socially driven trust. So perhaps the banks have time, but how much?

Mr Jeremiah Owyang of Crowd Companies on what unites Uber, Airbnb, & TaskRabit:

Regardless of peer-to-peer or business-to-business, tenets of the movement include: 1) Activating idle resources for usage, therefore reducing waste. 2) A paradigm of access versus ownership, therefore reducing ownership as people get what they need on-demand. 3) Using technology to find these idle resources, then accessing the internet of things, mobile devices, social networks, online marketplaces, digital reputations, and online payment systems.

Read the entire post here [the article focuses more on B2B aspects of the collaborative economy]

And for a peerless overview of the area check-out this post.

Since leaving BMF and Sydney town I’ve been a man of leisure, until Monday.

On Monday I joined R/GA.

I did a lot of chatting over the weeks. I met some very smart folk across London agency town.

But, R/GA really impressed. Model, people, culture. They seemed at the edge of this scale.

And now I’ve been working here for 4 days. It’s been great. Everyone’s been very good at making me feel not the like a Noob.

So, the fun begins.

More techno-social bets on what behaviour we’ll adopt next.

Data-mine your life and create a new kind of omniscience.

Cue sells itself on simplicity but as we become more overloaded in our social and interest graphs, perhaps our location graphs as well, I wonder if there’s a space for supply side sorting and algorithmic control over what we see?  That is, a more personally controlled filter bubble.

Interesting from the economist on the difficulty of trying to change political opinions in the US Presidential campaign.

Two important points:

1. Rational messaging doesn’t work for the democrats.  They try and win rational arguments about policy by framing them perfectly, as if this will unlock voters minds.  Which it doesn’t.

2. People need to trust the source to be persuaded by the message. People dont listen to arguments made by politicians (brands) they don’t trust.

The conclusion: focus not on short term policy ideas and rational debates but your longer term value: what do you stand for and how will this affect and interact with the lives of the people you hope to govern. I.e. win the debate on values rather than execution over the long run.

Which I think is a brilliant articulation of how brand and organisation thinking needs to work.

Listen here