Celebrity to go: Personal-ilty apps that take us all to market

Simon Mainwaring / Social / 10 years ago

Image credit: Brian Solis on iTunes

Just before the holiday break, Brian Solis, the highly respected PR strategist moved the blogosphere one step forward yet again. By launching his own app, he not only gave himself a powerful tool through which to interact with his community, but he also kicked off a trend that is likely to grow exponentially in popularity. (Here’s another app launched by Deepak Chopra the day after.)

In a culture familiar with shades of celebrity, the ability to distribute oneself in a mobile application will prove appealing (especially among the younger online generation). Initially the trend will be driven by content providers; by those active online or in the blogosphere. But shortly after, I believe, we will see widespread adoption as we download each other’s mobile celebrity in the form of an app that combines their writing, music, photos, speeches, thoughts, tweets and daily musings for others to enjoy.

As a consequence, our smart phones will soon feature galleries, not just of our friends and followers, but also of applications that allow us to deep dive into each of those personalities engaging with them directly in real time or exploring their content archives.

No doubt we will then be able to “introduce” these applications to each other through content sharing another layer in the increasingly complex web of social networks.

As the personal application space gets crowded, consumers will then start to filter rather than collect personal applications with each of us effectively creating a self-portrait out of who we choose to download.

This new trend is further evidence of an undeniable phenomenon. We are all producers, publishers and curators, and as such, we are taking ourselves to market.

Is this something you would do, or do you disagree?


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  1. Damn this is a great idea – I want one too 😉

  2. Avatar Iconic88 says:

    This is part of the 'vanity' trend which IMHO is a subset of 'identity'. As there is more noise in the marketplace, look for individuals to place a stake in the ground to develop their online persona using apps like Brian Solis has produced.

    Those who create the signal as opposed to the noise will find success.

    In a world where businesses have to find where it's current and future clients are engaging in conversation, there is a power shift. This power shift also moves the paradigm of thought from WIIFM to WRWM (what resonates with me).

    If it's resonating, then you can be sure that it will resonate with many others and they're talking and sharing stories about it.

  3. Thanks, and agree about the need of individuals to distinguish themselves. And definitely noise will be the death of some.

    It's going to be hard for businesses to constantly find their audiences. I'm sure, in truth, many of them will just bump into them as long as they are out their on the road. It's no more predictable than it is to guess what someone else will do next.

    The filter has to be WRWM as you say. Businesses will have to get so targeted, multi-voiced and nuanced, it's going to be a huge challenge for them. But once one does, all these tough dynamics will work in their favor.

    It's as if consumer's are saying, “Catch me if you can”. Thanks for the great feedback.

  4. Avatar Iconic88 says:

    Great discussion Simon! Thank you Sir.

    Yes it will definitely be a challenge for many businesses to find their audiences and it will take a tremendous amount of leadership and listening skills to genuinely 'connect' with their audience.

    They will have to take risks to try new ways to reach and connect with their audience.

    For many businesses, this will be difficult because the paradigm of thinking necessary to succeed is different. Epistemically, real time search is a different footy field as soccer is to rugby.

    Some clients they may 'bump' into and others they can properly, to use an analogy, 'fish' (as opposed to phish) for if they have the right bait, equipment, understanding the weather patterns and so on, there is every chance they will succeed. Nothing like testing the waters and looking for successful patterns in comparable industries to apply to their own.

    Just as fish are as unpredictable to catch on a good day in the South Pacific, they still need to eat 😉

  5. Thanks and yes, one thing that will perhaps be the hardest thing for brands to adjust to is the permanent lack (and loss) of control. Conversations are streams headed in all directions with their own organic logic and whim and it will be infuriating for brands to track. And then once everybody has jumped in, it would be difficult to adjust to everyone fishing in the same waters. While there will still be strategic demarcation between brands, they'll all be chatting up customers at the same party. (Bet you the odd fight breaks out.) What is sure, though, is that those that pollute the water will be quickly expelled. Such an interesting time for marketing. Thanks as ever and hope all's well. Simon

  6. Avatar Iconic88 says:

    You know Sydney in the summer Simon, it's always a beautiful day even when it rains 😉

    You're right. Conversations are streams heading in all directions with their own organic logic and whim. Brands will be developing strategies and tactics to jump into the conversation like working with 'wingmen' and 'wingwomen' (a.k.a loyal clients to give feedback) to better understand how to help people to reach their final solutions.

    Adjusting in a crowded space will be made easier by being the first to consistently and genuinely reaching out to people. Opening the channels of communication to reach their audience is the easy part in my opinion. The challenge will be how to keep them open over the long-run.

    One of the imperative words in this age of WRWM is 'help' not sell. By changing your paradigm of thought, vocabulary changes too. If you're helping people, you're inherently building trust. Trust is the key for an enduring relationship even at a business's expense to send their clients to their competition if they can't help them.

    Businesses now have to be conscious of the internet. The internet gives their audience all the necessary information needed to assess your 'fit' to make their purchase decision.

    At a macro-level, even the old sales rule applies, people don't buy your product/service, they buy what the final result of what your product/service does for them based on their personal criteria list. If its a car, they buy transportation from A to B, drillbits – holes, Nike shoes – comfort and possibly being like Mike 😉

    …and fully agree about the odd fight breaking out and some businesses polluting the waters purposefully or unknowingly (through poor advice) leading to expulsion.

    Kinda sounds like a night out at a club in Kings Cross, right?

    Take care and thanks again.

  7. So agree. Keeping people over the long run is the challenge. After all, every conversation runs out of steam sometime so it'll be a case of moving with or directing the conversation elsewhere – and sometimes letting go. No one likes someone in their face all the time.

    It's going to get ugly out there as you say, but like bar fight, sanity eventually prevails. Thanks, Simon

  8. Avatar Iconic88 says:

    It's true, every conversation runs out of steam sometime and people dont like other people in their faces all the time.

    I guess that's where brand management professionals like yourself step up Simon to show how to mediate, negotiate, inspire, lead and navigate these new and challenging waters.

    Maybe “Brand Navigators” could be a new role for businesses. Just like in sailing these people will be responsible for looking at where the winds of conversation are and predict where they will be.


    Thank you, Iconic88.

  9. Sure. There are courses springing up everywhere and conferences etc. the usual marketing of, in this case, marketing, is in full swing here. But yes, that could work as a descriptor and service. For sure.