After everyone greeted each other by the hand, which sadly happens quite rarely in the field of design, fashion and media, the mood for the night was set. I would describe it as, personal. The dinner was cooked by Mikkel Karstad, and served all family-style. In perfect alignment with the conceptual and ideational DNA of Kinfolk. But somehow I was still surprised that the table was set by the Kinfolk team itself - even founder and editor in chief Nathan Williams was involved by carrying the dishes out as they were ready to be served. No one too fancy to bring a plate. It encouraged us all to get involved around the table and it felt warm and family-like.
I tell this to picture how down to earth, delicate and sincere these guys are working - even after 5 years since the company's foundation and a whole lot of success later. It gave me a whole other level of inspiration and respect for this business. This made me reflect upon how I have been feeling about marketing in generel on social media. Let me elaborate. It's important for me to state that this post is no way near sponsored and by that also totally impartial (not that B&O or Kinfolk would need my promo anyway, but). So these are my personal views and phrases.
Give and take. Watching this journal post from a rather analytical perspective: Yes. I took pictures and I wrote about this evening for 'free'. I did so because I was not asked to. I was happily seduced by intelligent elements, such as no encouragement posting pictures or using a specific hashtag in return for the experience - and its interesting that this, atm is what motivates me.
I have used a couple of years in the media field already, turning down an endless amount of offers of products in exchange of photos on my Instagram account and a caption telling how much this product changed my life. So why did I turn each one down? This 'classic' approach to SoMe brand marketing seems unimaginative and straight provocative to me (let me just clear out that doing commissioned work is another thing than doing these promo posts). Because.... It take form as the exact opposite of a sincere recommendations or guidance, when telling to use a specific product only because you were paid to have this opinion. It is permeated by interests and screams 'I love it because I was paid to do so'.
Who do we want to be. I'm quite determined about that the person and the values I pose on social media, should by all means reflect the same ones as I practise in real life. I would never give my mom or a friend or even a stranger on the street asking for help, an answer I was paid to give. Most people wouldn't. And I think we need to incorporate this mindset in the digital-life with its current massive presence in our life. In all levels and forms. Anyway, luckily what I sense is that more and more developed a well-trained eye for this kind of marketing and we are more rejective towards it. I don't want to feel pushed to promote, neither 'used' as a consumer. I want my mind to be seduced by stories, feelings, experiences, quality, but most importantly, get inspired and activated to create and add value to the collective myself.
An approach. And this is exactly the feeling I got from the gathering held by B&O and Kinfolk. They straight-up upgraded people to sensuous human beings from being just consumers. They give and they make you want to invest yourself in return, without loosing anything. To give a tangible example it was liberating to experience a dinner place card with my simple name handwritten on it, not followed by a hashtag and a line of instructions of how I should spread out content on social media. To you guys.
My recommendation. So my point is that I wrote all of this simply motivated by a very rich personal experience. Consisting of different elements such as the the unconditionally approach, the conversations I shared with people twice my age and also these elaborating thoughts I have had in the realms of the evening. Finally I do so because I actually want to give my recommendation of these two companies and the people behind as I appreciate what they create and how they do it. What makes the bigger difference is how a vision is carried out and how it makes us all feel.
Last thursday left me feeling humble. Thank you.