Tuesday, April 24

What To Expect ...

... When You're Expecting.
What started out as the "go-to" guide for pregnant women then turned into an unexpected brand is now an entertainment property.

"What To Expect When You're Expecting" was certainly my go-to guide in the late 1980's and early 1990's.  I even wrote about this brand's value and evolution in my first book The Experience Effect, as a model brand for its consumer-centric experience.  It's a step by step guide on how to navigate the nine months of pregnancy (and beyond) and has evolved through the digital age to be even more valuable to new moms, pre and post pregnancy.  Through the years even.

For me personally, it was a career enhancer.  My first marketing job out of grad school was at Johnson's Baby Products.  I had never even held a baby before at that point in my life!  To quickly get up to speed, I spent a lot of time with pregnant women and new moms, and I read this book.  I distinctly remember reading it cover to cover on a round trip flight from Newark to Los Angeles (and getting a lot of attention from the flight attendants as a result!).

Then when my first baby was born, of course I turned back to the "guide" to help me with my own growing family.

So to say that I am a fan is an understatement.  This book really helped me get through life, and I've been admiring its growth ever sense.

But I will say that the movie surprised me.  It shouldn't really ... this isn't the first book to become a movie.  But I do think it's (one of) the first "how-to" guide to become a movie and certainly is a leap of faith in terms of brand equity. 

When I step back and think about it though, I get it.  Watching stories unfold of couples going through their pregnancies, with all the ups and downs, is a learning experience much like the book.  It's just fictional ... still every bit as educational.  We're just laughing along the way, as well we should.  Taking these things too seriously merely adds to the stress.  Identifying with others going through the same situation also adds to the enjoyment.  Much like in social media.

What's next ... "For Dummies" the movie"?

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe North America
Author, The Experience Effect and The Experience Effect for Small Business
Professor, NYU

PS - Join me this week for "Small Business Bootcamp" this Wednesday with Vocus. In one hour, we'll break down big brand theory within a small business marketing context. Register here for free if you'd like to join.

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