Buzz is not a Big Idea

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How often have you heard someone say “our strategy is to generate buzz”  or “our idea is to do something viral”?  How sad.  Like sales, buzz and pass along most certainly aren’t themselves a strategy but the result of a big idea.  So to be clear: Buzz is not an idea, nor are executions such as banner ads, a Web site or press tour.  A big idea has a meaning so compelling that when it’s cleverly messaged it measureably changes attitudes and behaviors. It is born of a consumer insight that the competition doesn’t know or has yet to harness. And given that the worlds of commerce, culture and communication have all converged, that means that big and transformative ideas required of brand marketers are more and more likely to be “killer apps” (such as those of the iPhone or Nike +), branded entertainment and gathering places where ever-narrower niches of self interest can feel at home, networked and listened to (social networks).