David Brooks wrote a great Op-Ed piece in the NYT today on friendship. He discussed its importance and necessity. He shared whys and wherefores of what makes a true friend. As great writing does, he makes you think about your best friend. Do you have one? And what makes them so? “Nothing inspires friendship like selflessness and cooperation in moments of difficulty,” he writes.
I had a boss once who I liked very much. He was interesting, full of life and inspiring. A potential friend. He told me he could never be a friend of an employee. He’d been burned once. Como se sad?
Remember when you were a child and a kid you’d never met before asked “Want to be my friend?” What was your response? For me, the question was off-putting. Instinctively, I couldn’t process it. A lot has been written recently about a consumer backlash concerning friending brands on Facebook. Brands are getting too needy and aggressive and it is hurting them. It’s a very non-friendly behavior.
As much as I would like to suggest brand planners think about the components of friendship when making brand strategy decisions, I will pull back. But only a little. I’ve written before about the need for brands to provide help. And educate. Brands can never be friends, but it wouldn’t hurt them to act like one every now and again. Peace it up.