Hugh has always written about Global Microbrands. Stormhoek, English Cut, etc.
The way I explain it to people is this:
Now the shoemaker in the little village in Italy doesn’t have to make shoes just for his village. If he has a compelling story, and a web connection, he’s suddenly able to make shoes for anyone in the world.
The compelling story part is where we, as creative people, can help.
There are, of course, a couple of catches.
First, most creatives don’t think “global” unless you’re talking Super Bowl spots. That’s a mistake. A banner ad is global, instantly, by definition. So is a blog. So is a Flickr shot.
Second, most agencies housed in anything bigger than a basement have a hard time making money on anything smaller than a Super Bowl spot (and I mean that figuratively, but you know what I mean.) That has to change. I have some ideas how, but it's probably more of a book than a post. But we’re working on a few.
Third, the client him (or her) self, has to be prepared (fiscally, emotionally, intellectually, etc.) to grow. With small local brands that clearly have Global Microbrand potential, that’s simply not always the case.
And finally, there has to be belief on the part of the client that he or she even needs us at all. That's getting harder to do. The tools are in everyone's hands. Tools and talent are two different things. Do you know how to explain that to a prospect? Convincingly?
If, and when it comes together, it’s kind of cool.
Amazing what the virtual elimination of delivery cost, and access to a few simple software tools can do, huh?