In a great example of leveraging the attention economy, the London-based entrepreneur kept track of how he spent his time during a six-week period this summer. Then, he noted how much of it was spent in giving attention to particular brands. Next, he calculated the value of his attention on those brands â€“ and sent invoices to the brand owners.
[â€¦] I’ve written to over 50 companies (read a sample letter and invoice > ) that I’ve interacted with over this six week period, and requested payment for my time. What’s more I’ve even given them a whopping 75% discount of my standard hourly charge-out rate (based on my client charge-out rate at work) to reflect the fact that time spent with them is not as ‘productive’ as it is with my employer – for example, I may just be standing in a queue, or my time might be split between multiple consumer points such as being on the computer and watching the TV at the same time.
First positive result â€“ McCrudden received a cheque from PrÃªt a Manger last week for Â£62 in full payment of the invoice he sent to the sandwich retailer. In total, heâ€™s billed out over Â£6,200 to the 50 companies heâ€™s invoiced.
Iâ€™m looking beyond the entertainment aspects of this story and seeing a very interesting point from a brand interaction perspective when I read this thought from McCrudden:
[â€¦] those lost minutes and hours are pretty priceless to me. But to those companies who have my attention, my time is worth one hell of a lot.
What would happen if more people did what McCrudden is doing? What if I did a similar thing with, say, the computers and software I spend so much time with? Or the music or podcasts I listen to when driving my car? Or the time spent in the supermarket queue?
Would we see a new kind of brand-consumer relationship developing? Would we see â€˜brand mention overloadâ€™ as people perhaps talked up brands all the time. Too much of a good thing perhaps? Or would brand owners, whatever their size, simply dismiss such actions or even counter-invoice you?
But the attention economy isnâ€™t necessarily about money, is it?
A lot of questions here! Iâ€™m watching this unfolding with interest.