Tag Archives: branding

Has Your Business Lost Brand Control?

With the prevalence of social media and the internet, businesses no longer have complete control of their marketing messages. Consumers who are willing to talk about their experiences – also have the power to change perception.

What are some of the steps you are using to manage your reputation?

Here’s three we do:

1. Monitor. We use a variety of search tools to keep track of what is being said about our company, the people that work here, our services, clients, and other relevant keywords that appear online.

2. Evaluate. We read through everything. Then, we need to decide “if”, “how”, “when”. and “what” approach to use.

3. Act. Before we comment, we try to take into account the source, outlet, timing, and level of risk what we might say will have in the social sphere. We also try to decide if it is better to respond publicly or privately.

What else would you add?

Skittles the Un-Website

Ok, for the last month or so I have heard people talking about “what Skittles did” and the huge controversy.  I just figured it was more of the usual website hype.  Until this morning.  Now I understand what the hoopla (who says those words anymore?) is about.

In a nutshell, if you also have not followed the Skittles talk, they replaced their regular website that had content, product information, and the usual company fluff, with a portal atmosphere that brings in many of the big social networks.  That’s right, they got rid of their website and are using YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and other network spaces instead.  WOW.

They have essentially said, “you our customer know how you want to interact with us, so we are handing you the keyboard” (my quote not theirs).  I personally think this is brilliant.  Skittles is going where their customers are.  They are truly “giving power to the people”.  They have however gotten quite a bit of criticism from marketers and business people.  One blog post I read called the move “crazy“.

According to Skittles, their goal was to “consolidate access to all social media around the brand.”  I applaud them.  They are a bit ahead of their time.  What they did is what I consider a stab at web 3.0.  What’s that?  It’s where businesses and brands will be able to harness and make the current social media landscape usable and personal.  Friendster and ping.fm are just a few examples of organizations already trying to do this.

Good or bad, there’s a few things we can learn from this:

1. The first one there owns the game. Skittles will get the most publicity and launch excitement because they tried it first.  Others that follow will have a hard time getting the coverage that Skittles did.  Since they did it first, they also get to create the rules and build the business model.

2. Integrated branding. Skittles is focusing their time on creating their company profiles across the social media channels online and their traditional marketing offline.  They are approaching new media with new thinking.  They are creating an entire brand experience from each part and funneling everything back to their website URL.

3. Optimization. Talk about high ROI.  Skittles will be able to gain higher visibility and link-ability on the web faster and easier than any website before it.  How?  They are letting their customers do it for them.

4. Mistakes happen. Is the Skittles new concept perfect?  No, of course not.  By trying to legally protect themselves with a dialog box asking your age before you can visit the site they seem to be turning off site visitors.  But, this is how they and those that follow behind them will learn.

So, as I wrap up this post for the day,I am left thinking, who else would this concept work for?

Why Twitter?

I was asked a simple question last night, “why are you using Twitter?”.  I thought about it for a little while. Note-Twitter is a “microblogging” service that invites you to share what you’re doing with the world in 140 characters or less.

Here’s my top reasons:

Cutting-Edge: I personally try to stay up-to-date on new cutting-edge marketing opportunities.  I am constantly out searching and trying-out new programs that our clients might be interested in now or in the future.  Twitter is something new, so I will give it a try.

Little commitment: It’s so easy.  Unlike mySpace where you really have to work to create a design, a following, and 15 other things which could take up your entire day, Twitter needs only a few minutes each day (thanks to Tweetdeck) to read what others have twittered and post my own tweets.  And, I can twitter from my computer or cell phone.

Response: In a short period of time (about 30 days) I have been able to build a network of “followers” that I can ask questions, post recommendations, and search comments.  What I find different about twitter compared to LinkedIn, or other social sites is the real time answers.  On my other social networking sites it seems to take a day or two to get responses from people.  In Twitter, it takes minutes.  That kind of network building and personal response amazes and thrills me.  I am an instant gratification kind of person!

Branding: Ok, I’ll admit it.  One of my goals is to help people/businesses realize we exist.  It is a free marketing channel that costs me some work time.  It’s a new form of PR that I am happy to add to our overall marketing mix if it shows promise.  Which so far, it has.

So, now I ask you, “why do you use Twitter”?