Tuesday, August 5, 2008

OnlineSpin: Social Media: Curing Obsessive Branding Disorder

Last week Joe wrote Social MediaÂ's New Headline: Web Changes World.

Brian Hayashi from ConnectMe 360 says: July 29th, 2008 at 2:13 pm

First, a belated congratulations on your nuptials. As youÂ've noted before, going through all of the wonderful activities that lead up to the big day gives one a different perspective on social media and how it plays out in the real world.

When asked about social media, I usually ask my questioner if they have seen the Michael Douglas movie Â"The GameÂ". As traditional marketing gets more and more mundane, people will get bored and will crave more exciting experiences. In the movie, DouglasÂ' character is propelled into a situation much like an action movie mashed up with Disneyland. Everyone has a part to play, and social media is one of those things that can help create wholly new experiences that are based on the real world.

Fantasy sports are another example. When I was wearing my cable TV hat I would often ask marketers what they thought about a fantasy sports competition where peopleÂ's real world purchase behavior gave them juice in the online world. A hundred dollars spent at Foot Locker translates into a thousand dollars in salary cap, letting you trade your Chad Jackson in for a Terrell Owens. (Sorry, Chad!)

The challenge with a lot of online marketers is they are quite often stuck in a coupon mentality. The common belief is that the only thing that matters is the lowest price and how does one negotiate to that point. Even in an economically challenged environment, we need to think beyond price and get to the point of learning the drivers of value that are not based on price, and from there, how to use online to fuel those drivers.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Social Media: Curing Obsessive Branding Disorder
By Joe Marchese

Last night's guest on "The Colbert Report"  was Lucas Conley, author of "Obsessive Branding Disorder." After watching him and reading a bit of his blog, I am hooked. I haven't read the book yet but I am ordering it right tonight on Amazon (we'll see if it comes up on Facebook). I find it fascinating to watch branding gone wrong, but have always found it more amusing than truly detrimental. But in a more macro view, it can be easily understood how branding over substance as a consumer acquisition strategy, can be very detrimental, to the level of a national "disorder" as described by Conley. The good news, I would argue, is that social media might be just the prescription for easing Obsessive Branding Disorder.

The issue Conley raises is that the effort and resources that go into branding, especially in partnering disparate brands (which make the funniest examples), could have gone into the development of better product. A lot of people have certainly made the connection between certain purchases being simply "for the label," but what Conley digs into is a more systemic issue. Simply put, effective marketing beating out effective product development is bad for all of us.

 But with social media branding the paradigm is shifted (yup, that's right, I just used "paradigm shift"; feel free to use your own meaningless consultant dribble in comments section). Effective social media marketing requires people's permission and endorsement. Even more so, effective social media marketing actually feeds product development! Think about this. If, in order to achieve message distribution, you have to... listen to people... that means that spending money and resources marketing will inform better product.

This still doesn't mean branding and message aren't incredibly important, and it doesn't mean media is free (sorry, brands, you still need a story and agencies are still your producers and authors, even if the story is a chose-your-own-adventure novel). As a matter of fact, effective management of media is more important than ever. If you spend the resources and listen to your consumers to build a better product, you'd better be giving them the tools to share it. You need to help shape the message that will be shared. Be prepared to react to the message being changed by people as it is shared and either embrace and amplify, or try to help steer it back and learn why consumers want to shift your message.

A couple years ago, an American SUV manufacturer let consumers mash up clips to make their own commercial. Many people made videos of the SUV driving through a desert, talking about  poor gas mileage and global warming. I maintain that was a successful campaign. They got half of the social media experiment correct; now imagine if they had listened.

Joe Marchese is President of socialvibe.

Online Spin for Tuesday, August 5, 2008:

You are receiving this newsletter at brian.bobo@gmail.com as part of your free membership with MediaPost. If this issue was forwarded to you and you would like to begin receiving a copy of your own, please visit our site - www.mediapost.com - and click on [subscribe] in the e-newsletter box.
For advertising opportunities see our online media kit.

If you'd rather not receive this newsletter in the future click here.
email powered by eROIWe welcome and appreciate forwarding of our newsletters in their entirety or in part with proper attribution.
(c) 2008 MediaPost Communications, 1140 Broadway, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10001

No comments:

Blog Archive