Because of the discussion during the last class about how can you promote a brand via Web 2.0 and what kind of platform would you choose: Facebook or Twitter. But because the result of the discussion in class was that a mix between YouTube and Facebook could be the best solution to market a brand via social media.
Therefore I would like to have your opinion on brand communities. Which are communities in which “brand-fans” can get in touch with other fans of a certain brand. In this community they can share stories, idea’s and news about their brand but they can also give their thoughts about the mistakes and failures of their “favorite brand”. So a brand community has its pros and cons.
For example the Danish brand of LEGO saw that a huge chunk of their revenues (34 million Euro’s) didn’t came from the children of their parents but from creative adults that didn’t see LEGO as a toy but as creative building materials.
In 2005 LEGO created a very unusual and expensive LEGO product (at that time): the Imperial Star Destroyer: http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=10030-1. It costed over 200 euro’s and existed out of 3104 pieces. So it hadn’t a good fit with their core target market: young children or their parents.
But it was sold-out worldwide within hours and it is among the most popular LEGO products of all time.
Social Media like You Tube, Facebook, Twitter etc have undoubtedly a huge impact on the consumers, either positive or negative. Inspired by the discussion that we have in the class about UnME Jeans case, I remembered a representative example of negative effect of Social Media. Musician Dave Carroll was travelling with United Airlines when he and other passengers saw baggage-handling crew throwing guitars on the tarmac in Chicago O’Hare on his flight from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Omaha, Nebraska. He arrived at his destination to discover that his $3,500 Taylor guitar had indeed suffered a broken neck. He tried to communicate with the Airlines but to no avail. He talked with three different employees who showed completely indifference towards him. Carroll says that his fruitless negotiations with the airline for compensation lasted nine months. Then, Carroll wrote a song and created a music video about his experience. The lyrics include the verse “I should have flown with someone else, or gone by car, ’cause United breaks guitars.” The song “United Breaks Guitar” became an immediate YouTube and iTunes hit upon its release in July 2009. It amassed 150,000 views within one day, prompting United to contact Carroll saying it hoped to right the wrong. The video garnered over half a million hits by July 9, 5 million by mid-August 2009, and 10 million by February 2011. Media reported the story of the song’s instant success and the public relations humiliation for United Airlines. The Times newspaper reportedthat within 4 days of the video being posted online, United Airline’s stock price fell 10%, costing stockholders about $180 million in value. What is for sure is that United Airlines lost a lot from this reaction.
More and more brands are assigning for brand communities like Facebook, Ning, Twitter etc. but what are the results? If the results of brand communities aren’t that effective for your brand maybe you should consider reading this article. How can I commit more customers to my brand and provide more brand loyalty? Based on the following article;
The Influence of On-Line Brand Community Characteristics on Community Commitment and Brand Loyalty, Heehyoung Jang, Lorne Olfman, Ilsang Ko, Joon Koh, andKyungtae Kim
There are several sites on the net that use personalized recommendations, for our mini case we discussed several sites, which included Kieskeurig.nl and Corendon.nl
Kieskeurig.nl is a comparison sites that compares all kind of products that are available on the net or in real stores. It is an independent website, which means that companies can not buy a place in the ranking so that there are no companies pops up first due to a massive share they have in the website.
Customers of Kieskeurig.nl can write their own reviews about each product and give a rating to the stores and products. When buying a product, customers can choose which product they are looking for, and then decide which attributes are of importance for them. Also the reviews and rating that have been giving to customers on the site, are always double reviewd by specialists from Kieskeurig.nl. In that way Kieskeurig.nl wants to be sure that are no pointless reviews on their site.
Consumers in recent days are always overloaded with too many products. Producers think this is the best option to keep customers satisfied. Despite the good intentions of producers, it only put more stress on costumers choices. Think about when you go to a shop overloaded with a wall of technically the same products, by only looking at it already makes you dizzy.
Ok, lets not only talk about buying or choosing products. Think for a second about how many choices you have to make within a day or a week. This is already keeping you occupied, let alone having to make choices to what pasta sauce to buy for dinner.
Over the past decades research shows that choice overload reduces:
2. Decisions Quality
A video by Sheena Iyengar: How to make choosing easier on the TED talks show gives some ideas how to help consumers in the choosing process. Also gives a indication how producers can present their products on the shelf.