The Illusion of Brand Control: Not quite an illusion.

17 11 2009

Here’s a link to a great article by Andrew Mcafee from HBR Voices.

This article really got me excited, and I have a lot of things to say about it. Hopefully I can cram it all in here.

I completely agree with Andrew that content is no longer limited to that produced by a company. Consumers have found an easy way to express themselves through the means of social media. Hence, Andrew’s argument about it being an illusion to control  conversations about your brand holds good. While I don’t disagree with Andrew, I do think there are other ways to control brand conversations in the web 2.0 era. So I’m going to take a crack at explaining how one could actually not only control what people say about a brand but also influence it, in a positive way!

1. Understand your consumers’ subculture – their behaviour, identify key influencers and study them. Remember in school when you always looked up to the kid who was awesome at sports and always had the cutest girl in class as his girlfriend (I did!). Your brand needs to be him! (Apologies for a very male driven analogy…but school was hard!)

2. Once you’ve nailed down your brand’s essence, stay true to it….no matter what! When your consumers see you acting a certain way, using a certain vocabulary and behaving a certain way – they will choose to follow you, thereby becoming brand ambassadors.

3. Finally, be a brand asshole!

Think that your brand is the best in the world and that you know more about it than anyone else on this planet. This confidence will help ensure that only you (or your company’s key spokesperson) are taken seriously when it comes to news about the brand/product.

Think Steve Jobs (man, I was trying to avoid Apple’s example for once…but it always catches up to you!).




2 responses

20 11 2009

Good article but I have a question. What happens if your product is not supposed to be cool like the high school guy? Say that you are selling crutches or toilet paper or Qtips?

20 11 2009
Ujwal Arkalgud

Your right…what I say here doesn’t apply to every brand in every situation. But the point that I was trying to get across was that yes, even in this web 2.0 era, it is still possible to control your brand. While I offered a couple suggestions on how that could be done, your right…it definitely not the “be it end all solution”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: