Why Inspiration is the Holy Grail of Brand Marketing

I just stumbled upon a great piece of food for thought over at AllThingsD. Author Keval Desai proclaims that last month’s Facebook’s IPO signaled the dawn of a new web era.

Human Motivation & the Web

Between the AOL IPO in 1992 and the Facebook IPO last month, the Internet has largely been in the business of satisfying basic consumer needs.

[caption id="attachment_673" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Maslow Pyramid for the Web Maslow Pyramid for the Web by Keval Desai[/caption]

 Today billion of web users have reached the top of the Maslow pyramid. Meaning, they already use the web to fulfill all of their fundamental needs.

The dawn of the Web of Want

What we currently see is the dawn of the web of want . Web usage is becoming a discovery-driven entertainment activity. The web of need will of course still exist, but from now on, this is seen as a mere commodity.

Users want to be be inspired, be entertained and discover new things they never even knew they’ve dreamt about.

Brands need to focus on inspiration instead of information

Here’s a couple of first thoughts about how brands can get ready for the web of want:

  • Re-Focus your business intelligence tools:
    • Re-focus your monitoring and market intelligence tools to track general desires and how they connect people rather than just focusing on brand, industry or issue mentions
    • Identify and follow succesful „desire“ curators and learn from their activities. I.e. identify top pinterest and tumblr users for relevant topics and learn how they are building a tribe of people with similar desires


  • Make your storytelling more visual:

    • Desire is more easily being communicated through images than text. It is as effectively being sparked via tonality as via message. Just take a look at Pinterest to see what I mean. So make sure your brand is leveraging visual communications and design as much as possible


  • Build Channels or Tribes around desires:

    • Stop segmenting your audiences and storytelling according to basic level criterias such as markets, income or gender
    • Start building „inspiration“ channels for groups of people with similar desires
    • Become a source for constant inspiration, rather than information