The Need for Niche - Big Brands Wake Up to the Power of Peer Generated Media

Posted on Monday 12 December 2005

How do big brand’s such as Nike deal with the dilemma of needing to appear exclusive and aspirational when their business model is based on massive mass production?

The answer, according to an interesting article this morning, is personalized, or rather community-based advertising. The idea is to identify ‘identity communities’ and tailor your marketing to them that speaks to them in their own language. The web has seen the emergence of connected identity communities organised around common interests – fashion, sport, music and travel – with their own peer-generated-media (PGM) (online magazines, forums etc). By avoiding one-size fits all marketing, and building relationships with these communities through sponsorship and adapted advertising in PGM, brands can create brand value – and retain an air of exclusivity and aspiration.

Of course, this is not new news, one size fits all advertising, if not dead, has been severely challenged for some time by the fragmentation and splintering of markets into a myraid of identity communities. No one wants to be a clone. But the problem has been and continues to be the economics of producing different ads for different identity communities. Perhaps the solution lies with allowing identity communities to customize their own ads?