Romanticism and Branding…Beyond Social Media

I was a lucky guy meeting through the blogosphere to Tim Leberecht, a German living in San Francisco, who is the author of the theory and book The Business Romantic.Everything started reading a post at his Medium blog titled The Beauty of Things That Don´t Scale. Leberecht convey, defend and justify that brands, within the current context of Digital Economy, must have a romantic character at their DNA.

Having a critic look on how we manage social media it seems that, in general terms, we are sharing too much content and information. We want to have presence at any time in an omnipresent way. We fear to loose awareness and visibility in front of the individuals we relate with at the different virtual communities we belong to.

The thing is that this way of understanding openness, sharing and ubiquity at the Social Web is also implemented for those brands we are working for. In addition to this, we are obsessed with the idea of measuring relevance just under quantitative criteria: the number of followers, the reach – impressions, the number of times a particular content is shared or favorited, and the perverse aspiration of becoming trending-topic. We use tools like Klout, Kred and Peer Index in order to identify the degree of authority of whatever brand at the Social Web. In top of that, lately we don´t stop talking about Big Data…and do we really know what does it mean?

, Wanderer above the Sea of Fog,
Caspar David Friedrich, Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, 1818

The Romanticism is a cultural and political movement that emerged at the end of the XVIII century as a revolutionary reaction against the rationalism of the Illustration. It provided priority to the sentiments, favouring the difference against the common, as well as the imperfection, the unveiled and the incomplete.

And Leberecht is absolutely right in his analysis…as well as in his thesis: the brands of the future must be both intelligent and romantic.

They are rebel brands capable to interrupt our daily routines with a heavy dose of love,unexpected experiences, insurgence and romanticism. It´s not necessary for them to share everything; they will be welcome by their consumers even facing calm and, why not, absence.

Romantic Brands are wrapped by an aura of mystery, beauty, curiosity, mystique andnostalgia. They are astonishing and culturally vibrant. Their storytelling conveyed through the Social Web is felt like really truth and lead their fans into advocacy, word of mouth…and storymaking.

Through the authenticity of the experience of these brands, the borders between the product or services they represent and their marketing activities disappear.

The author of the book The Business Romantic, frames at this category brands likeApple, Starbucks, Tesla, Etsy, Virgin, Red Bull, Under Armour and Dove, among others. No doubt these are archetypal brands…and heads up: some of them don´t run traditional advertising and particularly Apple has no owned media at the Social Web.They are crowdsourced and grass-rooted brands.

Who in the hell was going to think that embracing the rebel spirit of a movement that disrupted the end of XVIII century would mean to innovate in the new context of the Digital Economy.

Many thanks @timleberecht for bringing us back the spirit of Romanticism and inviting us to incorporate it at the passionate world of Social Media Marketing.

Ángel González

By Ángel González

Founder & CEO