‘The Social Code’ Follow-Up To ‘Primal Branding’ Now Available On Amazon

The Social Code_cover_HanlonThinktopia announces the release of The Social Code, the much-anticipated sequel to Patrick Hanlon’s widely acclaimed book Primal Branding: Create Zealots for Your Brand, Your Company And Your Future, published by Simon & Schuster Free Press in 2006.

The Social Code illustrates how to design and attract social communities in the digital age, using the underlying principles that help create viral brand communities. What Hanlon proposes is the agreeable notion that 21st century social communities are created not just from digital code, but from the emotional connections that bring us together: the social code.

YouTube, the largest social engagement platform on the planet, already promotes the construct outlined in The Social Code as their recommended method for designing and attracting online social communities. The new mission? To create a fan community that becomes so passionate about your success, they are willing to create it themselves.

A build on Hanlon’s 2006 book, Primal Branding—celebrated by marketing and branding experts as the best explanation written so far on what Brands are and how to create them, The Social Code redefines the seven elements that define belief (creation story, creed, icons, rituals, sacred words, nonbelievers and leader) in today’s digitally-centered environment. Facebook “likes,” social media clicks and hashtag counts become meaningless short-term responses unless they simultaneously build the social mechanisms that create long-term community.

Those who build social code attract others who share their values and beliefs—creating community and an unfair advantage over their competition. Those who don’t, don’t.

For the last decade, Thinktopia has been working with Fortune 100 companies honing the strategic and executional principles set forth in the The Social Code. While the cult classic, Primal Branding, anticipated social communities and looked at brands as belief systems in 2006,  The Social Code is a great leap forward and the essential guide for kickstarting entrepreneurs—as well established products and services—seeking to define their community narrative in the new social economy.

This becomes a billion-dollar equation for many companies. And we get the feeling that no one will want to be left out.

The Social Code is available now through Amazon.

“What Chatterjee Said” Launches A New Conversation About Branding

Chatterjee Vid Screenshot

Why do some company’s products and services mean something to us, while others don’t? Why do people stand in line waiting for new iPhones, Lady Gaga tickets, or to get into Disney World? It’s not about their Facebook page, their selfies, Twitter count or hashtag program. These brands have an emotional connection that makes people feel like they’re a part of their community. They have a belief system that attracts others who share their beliefs.

It’s one thing to say that, it’s another to actually create it. So, how do you create that intangible ‘something’—that sticky soft tissue that attracts people to brands?

This is all revealed in Chapter 16 of The Definitive Book Of Branding, the new book edited by Kartik Kompella and published this month by Sage Publications, Inc.

Thinktopia ceo Patrick Hanlon contributed the article that leads the Emotional Branding section of the book, with a chapter titled “What Chatterjee Said”.

“When I wrote Primal Branding: Create Zealots For Your Brand, Your Company, And Your Future,” says Hanlon, “it was a theory I had. Since that time, the construct has been proven out, thanks to working with Fortune 100 brands all over the world.”

(The big news is that YouTube (the largest social engagement platform on the planet) did the metrics and proved that the Primal Branding™ construct works. It is now their recommended way of creating online social narratives. YouTube includes it in their certification courses at YouTube Labs.)

“We have learned a lot,” Hanlon nods. “And I wanted to share that. So when Kartik called me with his idea, I jumped at the opportunity.”

The Definitive Book Of Branding also includes chapters by Al Ries, Adam Morgan, Kevin Roberts and others. These people have written some of the best books ever written on branding, and it was great to be included, adds Hanlon.

“It was a privilege to have Patrick Hanlon contribute a chapter to The Definitive Book of Branding,” adds Kartik Kompella. “I had read Primal Branding and his perspective of brands was radical and brave. His approach is insightful and refreshing.”

Today, some people look at brands as Madmen trying to sell them something. But Hanlon, who worked on Madison Avenue, says nothing could be further from the truth.

“In today’s environment, Brands are more important than ever,” says Hanlon. “When there is a proliferation of products and so much choice, brands are the only way consumer can assess if something is real or not. The need for ‘brand’ has become larger, not smaller. Authenticity and transparency rank highly, and we want to know who we can trust.”

Hanlon’s primal branding construct includes creation story, creed, icons, rituals, a special lexicon, nonbelievers, and leader. Known as the primal code, these elements create a strategic brand narrative that is relevant, resonates with people and, at its core, is the glue that bonds social communities together.

Beats By Dre: Did Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre Create The Fastest Billion Dollar Brand Ever?

When an executive at Proctor & Gamble was asked how long it took them to build their fastest-growing billion-dollar brand, they answered seven years. The brand was Tide Pods.

Beats by Dre, the headphones and music streaming company, became a $3 billion brand in 3.5 years.

Full disclosure: MKTG, whose role you will hear about, has been a client. But we are not being paid to write this article. Some things just happen.

beats by dreBeats was the brainchild of Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. In a world somewhere above and between Boze hypertech geekdom and simple Apple earbuds, the world of sound was ready for some cherry-red head bling.

Beats was well-funded, but clearly entered a category where they played David against two big Goliaths.

Dr. Dre and Iovine were certainly newsworthy enough. But a pivotal point in mass awareness came early on–during the 2012 London Olympics. Unwilling or unable to afford the supersmack costs of official Olympics sponsorship, underdog Beats created a lounge just outside the Official Olympics perimeter.

The Beats Lounge was a chill zone amidst the helter-skelter of the massive event taking place outside. Celebrities wandered in and wandered out. People from all over the world sprawled on couches. It had the energy of a stylish crash pad, but was more like an adrenalin pump.

It was a cool place to be, and it was a hit. (And what’s with all the crazy red headphones?)

The Beats Lounge concept was so strong, it survived the Olympics. Experience engagement firm MKTG, who had first conceived and ran the Lounge, was now in charge of prolonging the buzz on this side of the Atlantic.

Emboldened by the Olympics success, MKTG redesigned the Lounge as a pop-up in Times Square. The micro-retail concept took off again, so they moved it to another high traffic area: Soho. Staying agile, and not to burden the fledgling Beats with the headaches of managing a retailing operation, MKTG ran the entire bricks and mortar retail, from design to managing staff to turning in receipts at night. Bang bling.

The Soho shop became even more popular than the Olympics stunt. It went viral, as they say.

And the rest is big bucks.

Of course, the Brand called Beats is much more than its retail operations. It was founded by people who know something about sound, about music, about pop culture. Beats by Dre is as much creed as it is nomenclature. With three music heroes at the helm (Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails joined BbD in January 2013 when they launched music streaming), they bring street cred to a category whitewashed by engineering esthetes and plastic accessories. They have added underdog to the mix.

The question: Now that Apple and Beats have become one, will the beats go on or will their agile moxie be diffused by one of the world’s largest brands?

Stay tuned.

(And see if you can get into the Apple Corp holiday party this year. They’ll be the hottest tickets in town.)