Who owns the brand?

SmartCompany /

A casual conversation in an airport has convinced me. Brand is better out of the hands of marketers.

Who owns the brand?

Naomi Simson

I was sitting at the airport waiting for my flight and I was busily writing a blog when I was interrupted by a fellow traveller. He asked “How do you like your Mac? I was thinking of changing from my Windows machine…. What do you think?”

I shared how I had been an avid Mac user but how I had been lost to Windows in the days before the iMac when all things were grey at Apple including its leadership. I had come back to the Apple fold after my kids had introduced me to iTunes and then the iPod (this is a few years back). Once I saw how wonderful photos were managed on the Mac, I was back.

He asked “But how do you really find it?” I said: “It is absolutely seamless in our mixed platform office. In fact now that new machines are coming with MS Vista pre-loaded – and there are no drivers for our printers, they are not backward compatible with applications – many are now saying ‘I want a Mac – at least I can be productive quickly’.”

He then bemoaned “that is exactly my point – now Macs are really not much different in price, why would you deal with Vista when it just doesn’t seem ready – especially with regard to working with other software”. He said: “I’m convinced – I work for a large IT company which supports both platforms – so really it is up to me.. and I just want to be hassle free.”

This is the power of a recommendation. The power of the word and how it spreads. This man will probably buy a Mac and when he has a fantastic experience he will tell others. Of all the brochures and information this man has read, he wants to know first hand “how I experience” what was promised.

Conversations like this take place every day – everywhere – and most marketers have no idea that they are going on (nor how to encourage them). Yet what one customer says to another potential customer is way more powerful than any brochure that they can produce. If you are writing a brochure of course you are going to write good things about yourself.

Who owns the brand? Our customers. They’re the ones that spread the word. But it is up to us to give them something worth saying.


To read more Naomi Simson blogs, click here.

Naomi Simson is the founder and CEO (Chief Experiences Officer) of RedBalloon Days, Naomi is passionate about pleasure! Backed by enthusiasm, energy and drive and recently named one of Australia’s best bosses (Australia’s Marketing Employer of Choice), the Entrepreneurs Organisation (Sydney Chapter) President 2007 – 2008 and mother of two, Naomi also inspires others as a regular speaker, writes a blog and has recently completed her first book.


SmartCompany is the leading online publication in Australia for free news, information and resources catering to Australia’s entrepreneurs, small and medium business owners and business managers.

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