Friday, October 14

#occupywallstreet

It seemed to get off to a slow start, on September 17th.  Those who are
tired of the financial crisis started encouraging others to bring a tent and camp out on Wall Street.  I didn't pay attention at first, in fact I don't think many did.

But then it started growing, so I started keeping track.  And reading, and watching, and witnessing history in the making.  This movement (yes, a movement) of a few people really took on critical mass.  It even started feeling like a brand.  With signage and twitter hashtags and brand advocates coming out of the woodwork.  An entire brand experience unfolding before our eyes.

There was one slogan that actually even got me:  "There's a 99% chance that you are one of us!"  WOW - if that's not a brand rallying cry, then I don't know what is!  Every good brand has an emotional call to action.  This one is among the best I've seen.

They say they are tired of 1% of the population making all the decisions and reaping all the rewards.  They are not feeling the love or feeling that the economy is getting better and they want to change it -- and they carry the hope that they will change it.  They want a voice, I just hope the voice stays true and peaceful.

As the "brand" grows, now there are t-shirts and a global movement (yes, a movement) to #unite around the world on a single day.  It's all set to happen on 15O - October 15th.  Not just Wall Street NYC anymore, but 71 countries and 719 cities.  All on the same day.  United for #globalchange.

Is everyone in it with the same mission and values, no.  I just hope it doesn't get out of control ... filled with people who just want the spectacle and not the cause.  But it is amazing to watch something start out small, grow, and then become a branded force.  I don't know that I've ever seen anything quite like it.  From a marketing perspective, it's quite the case study.

Stay tuned, stay safe.  Please.  What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect

3 comments:

  1. While it my be a brand as you've stated, Occupy Wall Street has three core problems that have to do with leadership, lack of a message and image. I wrote an earlier blog post highlighting each - http://ryanshell.com/three-challenges-for-occupy-wall-street/.

    And Jim, the cause is already full of people wanting to be part of the spectacle. I live three blocks from the party they have occupied and spent a good amount of time talking with protestors and walking around.

    There's one particular part of the park where it appears that some of the folks are drugged up homeless people. And, no, I'm not generalizing - if you go look you'll see exactly what I mean.

    They might be a brand, and it might be a movement... but they have no goal. No end game. They aren't trying to hit a sales target. They aren't trying to change X law. They ARE full of people that don't have jobs and aren't trying to get jobs. All of which are things I have a hard standing behind.

    Good thought provoking post.

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  2. Thanks so much Ryan - I wanted to put it out there and I really appreciate your perspective. Couldn't agree more - leadership and a goal are also essential brand elements. Jim.

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  3. To add to Ryan's post, it appears that most are jobless people that have the time to perticipate. It is not a middle class movement that would have more resonance that would perhaps have an end game and a goal. Although I have not been there in person there does not seem to be any leadership and without a leader steering the ship the destination is unknown.

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