Managing Brands On The Web
One of the harsh realities of living on the web is that companies can no longer talk at their customers. As Walmart recently found out when they launched the Roommate Style Match group on Facebook. Some 1,000 members joined. The idea was to market dorm furnishings to college-age audiences, but several hundred vehement comments surfaced about Wal-Mart’s labor practices, hijacking the brand’s message. BusinessWeek recently ran a day long session with IDEO and a bunch of marketing managers to discuss how best to use social media as part of the overall branding message. The article talks about a blogger northfaceguru.com, who complained about a fake North Face fleece jacket bought on eBay. Today, readers exchange anecdotes about North Face products on his blog—and, he says, the company’s counterfeit team points customers to his site, turning a potential brand-damaging consumer into an ally. The problems that brand will face with real people writing real stories of brands online is a big one indeed. Even in India, sites like MouthShut.com and ComplaintsBoard.com have become channels where people openly discuss issues or great experiences they have had with brands. Searching for Eureka Forbes on Google bought up real user views from users on mouthshut and complaintsboard. Want to work in an hot, emerging industry? How about one that helps brands manage their image online? Link to the BusinessWeek article.