[slideshare id=15039782&doc=socialretailersinnerssaints2-121105181228-phpapp01] This week I gave a presentation on the sinners and saints of social to a room full of retailers. The sad truth is that it's nearing the end of 2012 and it's still really difficult to find brands that are doing a good job of social. There are definitely more and more that are starting to understand that content isn't just something that magically appears, but they are still falling short on the 'doing stuff that puts the customer at the center' bit. The moral of my presentation is, "It's not about you" but I continue to observe and hear time and time again that brands are more focused on their own needs than they are the needs of the customer.

From asking for 'viral videos' when they really mean they want lots of views without concern for whether people really enjoyed or engaged (and counting paid views as engagement) to sacrificing user experience for brand control, there are too many sinners than there should be when there is endless information on how to create a great video, an amazing website and a great overall customer experience. It makes me wonder if I'm living on a different planet than those who are running the strategy for most brands.

If you don't want to thumb through the 114 slides (most of them are really quick btw...I design my presentations to be readable on multiple platforms - in person and web), just skip it and read this bit...which is my favorite section and the one I live by. If you haven't read any of Joseph Campbell's writings on The Hero's Journey, I highly recommend it. It's an oldie, but goodie and the story arch behind pretty much every successful movie, book, adventure and campaign ever launched. Here is my interpretation of it for a beauty brand:


See what I did there? ;)

I watched Justin Kingsley talk about The Art of Storytelling this morning at a conference (no video or slides yet) and couldn't help but think of how much the examples he used follow the Hero's Journey story arch almost perfectly. I love how some fundamentals never change. Human connection may be enabled through new technology, but WHY we connect remains pretty constant.