Branding 2.0 is About Shared Experiences

Warning: If you hate made up buzz words that use numerical suffixes (like 2.0) and TLA’s (three letter acronyms) to get the readers attention and make the writer sound smarter, then don’t read this post.

Branding is one of those words that marketing types like to throw around because it typically means spending a lot of money.  The goal of branding is just what the name implies: to burn your companies name or logo into the memory of your customer.

For many companies its worked well for decades. But now with CEO’s questioning the amount of money used to accomplish this, I think the old method of branding will be replaced by a new community driven approach to branding.

In 2006 Edelman found that the #1 person we trust is “someone like me.” Well, Mr Marketer, someone like me, is not you (OK in my case it might actually be you).

The world is made up of someone like me’s (SLM’s). And SLM’s are connecting with each other everyday. Many of those interactions might involve SLM’s who are both customers of yours and not even know it. Many of those SLM’s are people inside of your company.

Branding 2.0 is about creating or supporting shared experiences for the SLM’s that involve your brand.

Web 2.0/new media/social networking provide perfect opportunities to be involved.

Here are my 3 steps to Branding 2.0:

  • Find the communities where your customers interact and engage with them.
    • Provide resources that will strengthen the community
    • Respectfully interact with the community to gather feedback
  • If no community exists create one that fills a niche.
    • This may be a part of your company site but is better if it’s not
    • First make sure that one really doesn’t exist. Getting people to switch communities is hard
  • Open your organization so the SME’s on the inside can interact with the SME’s on the outside
    • This is potentially the easiest place to start by allowing your employees to blog, podcast, vlog, etc.

By involving your brand in your customers and employees shared experiences you are strengthening your brand in ways that traditional ‘push’ marketing can’t. And, dear CMO, it’s typically cheaper and more appreciated than interruption.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

The Future of Marketing

This was written in response to a question posed by Dan Bobinski for his weekly article over at Management Issues. Dan’s article can be read in full here.

The future of Marketing is both scary and exciting.

It is scary if you are set in very traditional ways. It is exciting if you can see all of the possibilities that lie ahead.

It is scary if you rely on reach and frequency. It is exciting if you like personalization and conversation.

It is scary if you rely on brand building. It is exciting if you realize that your customers own your brand.

The future is now.

Consumers are no longer content with media made for the masses. They want media made for them, individually. And if you aren’t willing to give them their own personalized message, they’ll create it themselves. (Checked out YouTube lately?) Then they’ll share it with their friends and a few hundred thousand people.

The best thing that Marketers can do is participate. Not participate like that little league baseball dad who got kicked out of games for yelling at the kids because they weren’t “doing it right.�? Participate like the team mom who always showed up with orange slices and threw the pizza party at the end of the year.

If you’re one of those Marketers who is a little afraid or not quite sure where to start; start small. First look at your customers as a community. Then identify what it is you could do that would be the most supportive to your community. As a Marketer your job is to support that community. They are your brand. Your product or service only exists to makes their lives better.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Top 10 posts, Stats and a Break

It is my 6 month blogiversary and I thought I would share with you my top ten posts to date.

#10) Business Social Networking- Social networking is coming to the business world in a big way. As I said here, traditional marketing is not where the power of new media will be fully realized.

#9) On Phenomenology and Web 2.0 - There is a whole new level of collaboration and innovation that is happening on the web and if you’re not involved you are missing it. Even if you’re reading blogs and watching what’s happening, you won’t be getting the full advantage the the social web has to offer.

#8) Follow-Up on WGI’s Internal Blogging - It was almost one year ago that Shel Israel met with Andy Snodgrass to talk about internal blogging at WGI. I had the opportunity to meet Andy and I had to ask him if anything had become of his interest in internal blogging. I was disappointed but not at all surprised to hear that nothing at all had come of it.

#7) Wikipedia is the best thing ever! - “Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world, can write anything they want about any subject. So you know you are getting the best possible information.�? - Michael Scott

#6) Communication Convergence - I love communication. I love online communication. This has lead me to do online PR, new media marketing, which lead to SEO, I do internal communications, work with IT people to develop intranet platforms. Helping people communicate with people online. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Who cares if it’s internal or external to an organization? Who cares what it’s called?

#5) Old Media’s Dead. Why Should New Media be Afraid? - As marketers scramble to figure out where to throw all that ad revenue social networks and other new media channels will rake it in. But for how long? How long will users continue to put up with interruption. How long before MySpace follows old media to the grave because users are sick of the free ring tone ads?

#4) Giving your employees a square peg and a round hole - The knowledge workers in your organization work in a very specific way. And that way is specific to each knowledge worker. Why would you hand each of them a tool that doesn’t work the way that any of them work? The answer, is that it’s easier for the programmers to design one tool, that works one way.

#3) New Channels of Engagement - We don’t have enough channels for the amount of information we have (and we haven’t seen anything yet). All of our old channels were designed in a different world; a world of limited information.

#2) Business Lessons From a Dead Viking - Erik the Red get’s banished from Norway after killing some people. He convinces a bunch of other Vikings to move with him, builds a flourishing European society in Greenland (after getting kicked out of Iceland for killing people). Then everyone dies. The End

#1) Top 5 Web 2.0 Collaboration Tools - Is it any wonder I decided to do another list after seeing my most popular blog post was a list?

Some short stats:

  • 6 months
  • 44 posts
  • 66 inbound links
  • 68 subscribers
  • 292 highest daily unique visits

Thanks for playing along. With this post I plan on taking a few weeks off from NewCommBiz. I plan on catching up on some posts over at TechBoise, catch up on some reading (blogs and books), and enjoy some summer activities with my wife and kids.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Business Lessons From a Dead Viking

I’ve been reading Michael Raynor’s Strategy Paradox where he addresses the fact that so many good strategies fail. He points out that the DNA between good strategy and bad strategy is often impossible to tell apart. Raynor is coauthor of Innovators Solution with Clayton Christensen. I highly recommend both books.
Read more »

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!


Bad Behavior has blocked 2407 access attempts in the last 7 days.