Dave Cushman over at Fasterfuture has some interesting thoughts about brands, information architecture and how that informs a different way of looking at out networked world, The church of brands and the marketplace of people
As media brand owners, we have an overwhelming desire to build our information architecture in the style of churches: We want the congregation to look up to us. We design to impress, to leave the congregation looking up, to dominate the landscape, to bring a body of people together, line them up and preach at them. Ideally we'd prefer it if they only ever read one book - ours.
And David goes onto to say
Perhaps these are the things (in their wider senses) media brands should consider if they wish to continue with the Brand as Church approach to information architecture.
I have to declare at this point that I believe the Church model was at its most effective in a world of controlled information. And that this applies to brands, too. And I believe that world of centralised control is over.
Think of the pre-printing-press world of information. Life before Gutenburg was life informed by the church
Apply a little insight to that. The marketplaces grew up around churches because church was once very important to the same people who go to the market. The group of people who went to church - whose lives were dominated by church and the information it disseminated - were the same people - the same size of popluation - as those who went to market.
This is no longer the case.
Markets are conversations
A marketplace was always somewhere where information was exchanged (distinct from a church, where information was broadcast), where people were entertained (churches once did that - and media brands would certainly contend they master this) and where people could both buy and sell. (Churches/Brands, well they might set up a stall at the back to sell you postcards and tea-towels... but...)
And so escaping information and market feudalism
The world that's emerging is one in which the traders set up where they wish and don't need us to bring them trade.
Right, and the business model is different too!!!
Finally, a powerful metaphor
We live in a post Gutenburg world. The blog is one example - anyone can publish. The Church of Brands is no longer in charge of the disemmination of information.
There is less reliance on 'The Word' - more faith in each other. The trends towards co-creation of content and the inherent disruption of the value of mass produced, centrally controlled content that brings, are a solid example of how the relationship between the Church of Brands and the marketplace of people is changing.
The marketplace of the future will be at its strongest where the principles of peer-to-peer transacting and co-created products/services/content are easy to produce, easy to share (in).