Mythbuster: Ignoring the 'still' majority

Les Binet and Sarah Carter

Les Binet and Sarah Carter get a little bit angry about some of the nonsense they hear around them... like the the idea that brands are 'thought leaders'.

Often when putting together pitch submissions, we're asked which brands exemplify best practice. Which brands do we admire for their innovative marketing? Or for their social responsibility programmes?

Last week, the question was: 'Which brands are "thought leaders"?' We knew what sort of brands they were alluding to: Apple, Google or Nike. And these brands certainly have had a big influence on marketers.

But the clients asking the question weren't just thinking about the marketing community. They meant which brands were 'thought leaders' in the wider world. And that got us thinking. Our conclusion: as far as real people are concerned, brands are almost without exception not 'thought leaders' at all.