Sympathetic resonance is a harmonic phenomenon wherein a formerly passive string or vibratory body responds to external vibrations to which it has a harmonic likeness. In other words, if you have two similar tuning forks, whack one and the other will sing, despite the fact they’re not touching.
In communication terms, brands are attempting to create sympathetic resonance… emanating vibrations in the hope that they’ll affect people. In fact the frequency of the vibrations is so high, it threatens to shatter everything: trust, auditory range (we won’t listen / can’t hear it any more) and effectiveness. Any cool new underground vibes emanating from the bottom up – from parkour to capoeira – are leapt upon by trend-spotting brands and thrust it into the mainstream.
But brands are missing a trick. To emanate vibrations that’ll make people respond in sympathetic resonance, they must have a harmonic likeness to those they’re trying to affect. The only way to achieve this is to stop pumping out deafening fake-folksy vibrations and start enabling the people of the world to create their own. Then you can be sure others in their social clusters will respond, start vibrating and cause a ripple affect to yet more social clusters; and eventually millions will sing in harmony. Mass marketing via facilitation – as enabler, not doer.