A few years ago I worked with a guy who had a thing for Altoids. He loved Altoids. He decorated his desk with the little metal boxes the mints are sold in, and he covered his cubicle walls with Altoids advertisements.
He didn't get any money for it. He just really, really enjoyed Altoids. And his personal brand was tied to the Altoids brand. Even folks at the office who had never spoken to him knew him. He was the Altoids guy.
That level of obsessive interest in a company is cherished by branding folks. They know the power of one-to-one style marketing. And they know that folks like the Altoids guy are important to their success.
But people with that sort of passion have also become important in B2B journalism -- producing and analyzing news about their obsessions.
Today's New York Times has an interesting article about bloggers who specialize in news about a single company.
I've written about this phenomenon before both here and here, and suggested that this particular form of standalone journalist poses a threat to traditional B2B publishers and an opportunity for entrepreneurial reporters.
It's time to ask yourself, if you're in this game for the money, how can you compete against someone who is in it for love?
tags: journalism, b2b, media, trade press, magazines, advertising, entrepreneurial journalism, standalone journalism