Inspired to hack

Posted by Adam Kleinberg on April 12th, 2011 at 10:48 am

Yesterday, ad:tech held it's first ever "inspiration" day as part of the speakers featuring a diverse bunch of really interesting speakers. I judge "inspiration" as something that will inspire me to actually think or do or approach something differently.

Renny Gleeson's talk on "Brand Hacking" fit the bill.

Renny, who is a strategy guy at W+K, defined brand hacking as creating unexpected value by using brands in unexpected ways. Like using a box of soap as a paperweight, but more... Inspired.

Opportunities abound to do this. Renny  clued us in on several hackable brand parts: distribution, data, people, communication and product.

Distribution: could you use extra space in a delivery truck to provide free shipping to a nonprofit? Or use packing crates in an art installation?

Data:  could you use all that information your brand collects to power your own "6 billion customers served?" or maybe uncover what they want to be served next?

People: could you give them the freedom to help make your customers happier like best buy has done with twelpforce?

Product: could your macaroni that was dinner last night, be your child's art project tomorrow? Could your Red Bull energy drink can today, be your Red Bull Augmented Racing track planning device tomorrow?

Communication: I forget what the example was that Renny gave for this. Come up with one yourself. The point is that value can come from anywhere and if you allow yourself to toss aside your preconceived notions of what things are supposed to be and use your imagination just a little bit, you might create some unexpected value yourself.

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