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By Wayne Flemming (Kotzé-Flemming)

Life and everything we do seem to be speeding up. So fast, so vast, limitlessly propelled beyond the referential sphere of reality, the present and consciousness. The consequential factor is a high-speed society captured by the ecstasy of a ubiquitous popular media infatuation.

Zygmunt Bauman, a world-renowned Sociologist, titled this current condition of the world as “Liquid Modernity”. According to Bauman this passage from “solid” to “liquid” modernity has created a new and unprecedented series of challenges before they are even encountered. His findings stipulate that we live fragmented lives, which requires individuals to be flexible, adaptable, ready and willing to change in this postmodern world of consumerism and media indigestion.

Our marketing fraternity is blissfully infatuated with the future, the next big thing that will set our brands apart from the rest, the next high, and the next best invention. Our focus is pinned on the futuristic ethos of reality, resulting in short term projects, quick resolution, narrow-minded ideas and diminutive episodes. We disregard the essence of what we are called to do, the purpose of our business and the value that our products or brands can bring to the lives of our consumers. We endeavor to produce long-lasting relationships, but produce instant gratification with no vertical orientation, nor value, nor depth.

As marketers we need to rebuild the collapse of thinking by being architects of our community. This will aid us to build meaningful brands that add value to the lives of our consumer-communities through meaningful connections ensuing meaningful conversations.

Here are a couple of key principles to assist us in building lifelong conversations:

Collaboration gives us the opportunity to learn, to teach and to co-create. It is the basis of everything we do.

More than ever we have to understand the task at hand. We require a deepened understanding of the mediums we use to stimulate conversations. We have to understand ourselves, the times we live in, our consumers and deeper than that, we have to understand the relationships they have with each other and lastly, our brands.

People will no longer live in silos of silence or closed communities. Neither do they require standing on the rooftops of skyscrapers to shout out their opinions. They converse amongst each other faster than we can track.

What is the herd saying about our brand? Listen carefully to your communities in order to formulate those true-to-life insights to inspire your strategy.

Think (very carefully!) about the perpetual unique ideas you would like to implement. Think again, and then evaluate those ideas against the context of your brand sphere and the relevance it holds for your community.

Stimulate an ongoing, lasting conversation that adds meaning and value to the life of the consumer, the brand and the organisation. It’s the epoch of storytelling. Do you have a story to tell?

Transmedia is the growing popularity of having a non-linear story told. Its how the “new creative” will be much more about many big ideas executed in varying relevant channels by creating conversations.

Let this be a year of change – change by standing still and reflecting on yourself, your work, your consumers, your brand, your business and your conversation. Take on this challenge. Be an architect of your community and become a brand of the future by being current, relevant and present.

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On February 21, 2014

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