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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.

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Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.

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