Don’t dream, your brand can’t be IP.

For many brands of IP attacks, I don’t think they are successful, or more precisely, their existing success masks their failure in IP operations. For example: Jiang Xiaobai is a failed IP design; Jingdong’s brand IP is more difficult than Tmall; the IP industry of the three squirrels is a false proposition.

To explain my point of view, I have to explain a few basic principles of IP: Why do you want to replace the brand with IP? How to build a successful IP? What are the obstacles to brand IP?

Why do you want to replace the brand with IP?
We know that the biggest function of “brand” is to reduce people’s choice costs, to help consumers pick good things faster, and to sell good things faster. Since the “brand” is so good, why not suddenly eat incense? Because the output value of human society is not oversold now, but crowded! When all the products on a street can be called “brands”, and the quality is good and different, the meaning of the brand is eliminated.

Previously, the brand = good quality. Later, the brand = good quality + low price. Later, the brand = good quality + personality + high value + identity embodiment + social talks … in the current environment, want to create a successful brand is as difficult as looking for a girlfriend who does not love shopping. In this case, the IP species has emerged.

IP = Intellectual Property. This is just the initial definition of IP. Later, in a few years, the word IP evolved into a species that no one can understand. It can be a comic, a TV series, a variety show, a novel, a game, or it can refer to a person, a character, a certain verse, or a business model, a way of thinking…

Although we can’t accurately define IP, IP has several distinct advantages that make the “brand theory” dwarf.

1.? Brand? VS? IP? = 舔 VS VS goddess?

Brands have always been awkward in the face of consumers. In order to get in touch with consumers, it needs to constantly get traffic, while IP comes with traffic. When facing the user, IP is a “pursuit” gesture. What IP needs to do is not to pull more external traffic, but to attract more external traffic and enter its own traffic pool.

Therefore, the brand is a dog, he needs to constantly pull the user, please the user; IP is the goddess, she has to constantly create content, distribute charm, and thus attract more fans.

I use “Hyena” and “Goddess” to describe the survival status of brands and IPs. I want to make clear the first difference between brand and IP: Users passively connect VS users to actively connect. The different characteristics of the two not only determine the connection cost, but also determine the user relationship between the two.

2. Brand? VS? IP? = friend relationship? VS? Religious ceremonies?

The relationship between the brand and the consumer is more like a relationship between friends, not only mixed with interests, but also intertwined with feelings. Therefore, brands must fulfill their commitments in order to gain deep friendships from users. The relationship between IP and users is more like religion and believers. Religion solves not the needs of human life, but the needs of the soul. When users consume an IP, they are looking for a sense of belonging to the soul, and they are actively sinking into an emotional whirlpool.

Simply put, the trust of the brand is obtained by fair exchange, and the trust of IP exists by the attachment of the mind. For example, in the Steve Jobs era, Apple, Supreme, these “needed” brands are like this.

3. Brand? VS? IP? = personality? VS? Personality?

Enterprises will export a lot of content in the process of building a brand, but no matter what kind of content is produced, these contents are grown in the form of existing products. Even if you have a cartoon character and a name as a label, these contents can only give the brand a unique personality, but it is difficult to form a true personality. Because once you define the same item with personality, it means that this item will be branded with strong values ​​and beliefs from the inside to the outside, from birth to death. Let’s look back at Apple’s mobile phone. When Jobs was alive, the concept of IP was not popular, but the way he built products was IP thinking. Why is Apple only allowed to have one key? Why is there only one model? Because Steve Jobs believes in minimalist philosophy throughout his life, this can be seen from his black shirt that has never changed, from the decoration of his “family wall.” Why is an Apple phone an IP product? Because it was born in Steve Jobs’s philosophy of life, not market research.

Brand: first product after content; IP: first content after product. Between the brand and the IP, one product standard and one content content. The former is product-derived content, and the latter is content incubation products, which determines whether they can produce true personality.

4. Brand? VS? IP? = bounded? VS? Unbounded?

Both brand and IP can cross the border. What is the difference between the two? The extent of brand cross-border is limited, and IP can be infinitely cross-border. For example, RIO can work with hero inks across borders, but if RIO and heart prints, RIO and Nongfu Spring, RIO and BMW… these brands seem to be less likely to find a graft point across the border. But if you replace RIO with Brown Bear, Brown Bear & Heart, Brown Bear & Nongfu Spring, Brown Bear & BMW… Their cross-border products seem to be coming to an immediate eye.

Why is there such a difference? Because in essence, the brand carries the product, and the IP carries the information. Information is a virtual product. It is like water. It can change with shape and adapt to everything.

How to build a successful IP?
1. Role – the real asset of IP

The real asset of IP is the role. The indicators that measure a successful role are divided into two parts: the external refers to the IP “identity”, that is, whether this IP can make you fall in love at first sight; the inner refers to the “spiritual projection” of IP, which is this IP. Can the character make you see it as it is.

How do we understand the degree of recognition? Look at a classic set of IP images: Brown Bear, Donald Duck, HelloKitty, Piggy Page. These are the most classic and most absorbing IP characters, and they all have a very obvious commonality: “It is not like.” Brown bears are bears, but not bears; Donald Duck is a duck, but not like a duck; HelloKitty is a cat, but not a cat; a piglet is a pig, but not like a pig. “It’s not like” can make a difference, let you remember at a glance, and these characters are not like animals, but more like people, so there is a stronger emotional factor.

Let’s take a look at Jiang Xiaobai. The brand must want to make Jiang Xiaobai’s role a “friend around”, but this friend is too “passerby”. In terms of IP recognition, Jiang Xiaobai The IP image can only run as a dragon, but not as a protagonist. The three squirrels are similar to Jiang Xiaobai, and the identification of IP characters is also problematic. The IP images of the three squirrel characters, the mouse squirrel, the mouse squirrel and the mouse squirrel, stayed at the level of domestic children’s cartoons, and there was a big gap between Hollywood and Japan.

Let’s talk about the external features of the IP role – mind projection. A good IP not only makes people fall in love at first sight, but also makes people look at it. All great IP characters are projections of a certain desire in the depths of humankind. For example, Dabai is human desire for unconditional care; Superman is human desire for supernatural power; Crayon Shinchan is our childhood wish.

The role is the origin of IP. Around the IP role, we can go to creative stories and derivative business practices.

2. Story – Is the story really important?

If the first step in IP is to build a role, then the story is the world of character life. An IP with a story can break the boundaries of the dimension. On the other hand, we have seen that many successful IPs have no story system at all. For example, Brown Bear, Kumamoto Bear, and Orange… These IPs have succeeded in a variety of ways.

Is the story important? The story is of course important! But we have always had two misreadings about the story: the story is not equal to taking a film. In fact, for example, the IP brand is orange, and you can endorse it with your personal experience. As long as you see the photos of the old man, the story will naturally flow; the story is the carrier of the character, and the story is the IP booster. But if your story can’t break the circle and enter the public eye, then the story can’t play the role of a booster.

Most companies that want to do “brand IPization” in China have underestimated the threshold of the content industry. Ali has not used the tens of billions of funds to understand the big cultural entertainment, let alone a brand owner? At the level of the story, IP needs a story with traffic and a box office, rather than a story of self-entertainment. The most classic example is the large layout of the Marvel universe.

3. Values ​​- the dividing line from IP to super IP

Both the IP story and the IP role require values ​​to infect every fan. For example, the Avengers need to save the world. But when an IP wants to capture more audiences at the business level, from IP to super IP, it must have “universal values.” The so-called “universal values” are emotions that can resonate with all human beings and will not be blocked by culture, race, and country.

China’s super IP is the four famous books. Why do people from all over the world have a special liking for “Journey to the West”, but instead show indifference to the “Dream of Red Mansions” with higher literary status? “Journey to the West” not only has a fresh character, a stronger story line, but more importantly, the rebellion of Sun Wukong, the inertia of the pigs and the loyalty of the sand, which represent the common values ​​of human groups. Lin Daiyu’s funeral flowers and self-pity, Jia Baoyu’s young men’s glass heart will only make the Western world puzzled.

What are the obstacles to brand IP?
Due to the differences between the brand system and the IP system, there will be some conflicts in the process of “brand IPization”. We will explain this problem in the following aspects.

1.IP investment – mental conflict between brand and IP

Some brands are naturally IP, while others are not.

Naturally the brand of IP: Want Want, Xiaoxiu, Tmall… Naturally not IP brand: Jingdong, Suning Tesco, know…

Obviously, the above brand, the brand name is the role name of IP; the following brands, brand names and IP names are two titles. Jingdong’s IP image is a puppy, called JOY; Suning Tesco’s IP image is a head lion, called Suglain; the IP image is only an arctic fox, called Liu Guanshan.

Do not underestimate this difference, regardless of brand or IP, is a long-term investment in the consumer’s brain, but the brand focuses on the consumer’s mind, IP is more focused on the user’s emotions.

The budget for each company is limited. When we focus on the brand name, we will weaken the IP role; when we emphasize IP, the brand name and brand’s functional attributes will give way. Therefore, when the cat and JD.com do IP promotion together, Tmall will get twice the result with half the effort, and JD will do more with less.

Start-ups, if you want to use IP thinking to build products, then you must unify the brand and IP symbol system from the beginning; and mature enterprises, if you want to do IP transformation, you must be prepared for a protracted war.

2.IP promotion – not selling but making waves

The feature that IP must be a sought-after role determines the different ways in which IP and brands can be promoted. The idea of ​​brand promotion is to sell yourself. It is used to telling consumers who they are. Why am I, why do you need me? And IP should make users feel that you are cool by creating content, creating social money, doing topic marketing, making explosions, and creating an impulse to have you! If you have a good IP, don’t try to sell it, make waves, create a bit of news, hot content, let the IP wave get the user involved. For example, Japan’s Kumamoto Bear is the leader of the wave.

3.IP realization – the premise of cross-border is bounded

Many domestic companies want to use IP to transform their brands. In fact, there is a big ambition behind them, that is, cross-border growth. The idea of ​​entrepreneurs is this: When I invested heavily in creating an IP empire, when users irrationally pursued my products because of IP, I could reach out to other areas, break down industry barriers, break the bottleneck of corporate growth, and cross the border. Growing.

People with this kind of idea are completely confused by IP cross-border. The premise of IP cross-border is bounded, and it has enough powerful content assets. Disney, for example, is the world’s largest IP empire, and its amazing revenue is mainly attributed to Disney’s unique profit model – “Round revenue model”, namely movie box office → DVD / subscribers → theme park → brand license Derivatives, thus reciprocating. It must be emphasized that Disney’s “round income model” is sequential, and must have explosive content first, with super content as the engine, and then there will be subsequent changes to the current situation. That is, as we mentioned before, IP is the first content, only the industry. In the case of a weak content foundation, all content industries will be castles in the air.

4.IP management – the boat of friendship will still say that it will turn over

To put it simply, if an IP derivative has a quality problem and is socially criticized, the IP fan will defend the IP. However, if an IP brand has a quality problem and is exposed by the society, no one will make it. Because the derivatives of IP are only the accessories of users’ consumption IP, the meaning of this product is to satisfy the user’s spiritual sustenance, and to meet the needs of life by the way; while the goods produced by the brand must first satisfy the user’s immediate needs, and secondly, fill the emotional gap. . This kind of primary and secondary relationship determines that even if a commercial brand has established a strong IP culture, it must be as careful as a thin ice in front of users. IP does not become a brand’s amulet, at most it becomes the brand’s spiritual totem.