No There There

You’re probably familiar wth Gertrude Stein‘s quote about Oakland – “there’s no there there.” Putting aside the meaning of the statement (nostalgia and not a diss of Oakland), it came to mind when I read about Obsessee. This offering, as reported by WWD, will cover fashion, culture, music, beauty, food, shopping and relationships for the 14- to 22-year-old set. What’s unusual about it is that the brand will exist only on social media platforms. No website, no app of their own. In other words, no home base. No there there.

Accession Number: 1979:4010:0001 Maker: Alvin ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It will be interesting to see how this works. One thing many companies forget about social and other non-owned media platforms is that your brand is at the mercy of the landlord. When the landlord decides to change the terms of the lease or to raise the rent, you’re sort of screwed. Won’t happen? I’ll tell you what – go look in your Google Analytics for all the keywords used to come to your website via Google search. They’re all (not provided) Google decided to change their policy. It’s just as easy for any of the social platforms to do the same, and we have many instances of Facebook changing both their policies and their algorithm in ways that require any brand in the platform to rethink how and why they’re using it.

What happens when you become wildly popular and, as with some other analytics, Facebook decides to charge you if you want full data in your Insights reports?  Maybe I’m too much of a control freak, but it seems that without a home base that’s completely under a brand’s control, there is no alternative but to sign up for whatever terms and conditions the non-owned platforms decide will be how you operate.  Moreover, you never really own the customer. What are your thoughts?

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