Leverage customer influence and heighten your brand value

In my last article, I highlighted Umair Haque's perspective of the shrinking advantage of traditional brands.  However, unlike Haque, I don't believe branding value is shrinking but evolving. Today let's discuss methods in which a company can leverage the immediacy of online connectivity to maintain its branding advantages.

In my mind, it all comes down to this.  For success today, a company has to be willing to listen to their customers and to work with them.  And that means ceding partial control of the branding process to your customers.

If you're a marketing manager going "eep!" right about now, then you're not getting today's customer environment...

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Customers connected online rewrite branding rules

Communities of online customers are rewriting the rules of corporate branding.  The reason is because they're spending more time talking with other consumers through various types of online connections than listening to companies with their traditional branding messages.

In other words, customers are wresting control of the branding message from companies.  In an environment like that, how do you continue to be an influential voice for your own company and products?

We're going to talk about that today...

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Why companies should build collaborative online communities

As a marketing professional, I spend large chunks of my day thinking about my company or client's corporate brand or identity and finding ways to communicate the essence of the brand to customers, prospects, partners and other audiences.  When I do my job well, then the company readily attracts prospects and retains customers.  If I don't, then we lose business opportunities because others won't recognize who we are or what we do.

One way to successfully communicate is through collaborative online communities.

Now, if you're a company with a strong consumer focus, the idea of creating online communities is more obvious.  What if you're focus is B2B?  And what if you're organizational focus isn't business at all? 

Does an online community make sense for you? ...

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