Home > Online Marketing > What’s your 2.0 brand strategy? Devour or Devotion?

What’s your 2.0 brand strategy? Devour or Devotion?

The topic of today’s Silicon Valley Brand Forum was “Bloggers and Tweeters are Devouring my Brand”, though I wonder if the title could alternatively been “How do I get Bloggers and Tweeters devoted to a brand?”…. more on that later.


But first a big thanks to Kevin Heany for putting this and the many years of Brand Forums together!  You have a rocknroll great memory Kevin.

Jeremiah Owyang from Altimeter Group, author of the hot Web Strategy blog was the keynote speaker for the forum.  He spoke so briefly, but he could have captivated my interest all day!  He presented 3 simple yet smart ideas: 1) your website is irrelevant, 2) real time is not fast enough and 3) customers don’t care what department you are in.  If you assume for a moment that all three of these are true for your company, what tactics would you use to empower your brand?  Would you say something like: seek relevance and link it on your site, prepare a listening strategy and centralize customer touchpoints into a single (positive) experience?  Right on.

The host for the forum was Electronic Arts (EA).  What a fun place to work!  Gotta love the Starbucks in their lobby and the fun games you can play while enjoying your beverage.  Check out the photo from Jeremiah Owyang’s photostream:


But to find the venue the day before, I did my usual type-into-Google-maps thing and to my surprise, the company rating results that popped up next to the map for EA were certainly not as wonderful as their lobby.   EA was rated with 1 lowly star and the comments about the company I saw certainly weren’t stunning.


If anyone needed help from getting their brand devoured by bloggers and tweeters, I figured EA was on the list.  So I was extra curious to see their presentation.  And I was extra impressed.  Jaap Tuinman, EA’s online marketing and community development manager really gets this stuff.  And EA is a good business case for learning from failures, #EAFAIL to be exact.  That is the hash tag where users comment on EA’s failures.   EA really does pay attention to user comments as almost 4 million of you already know from watching the Tiger Woods walk on water video.

I got quite a kick out of Cisco’s Jeanette Gibson who told the “Cisco Fatty” story.  It’s a story about a woman got exposed when she tweeted her disinterest in a Cisco job that came with a “fat” paycheck.  The issue quickly got out of hand for Cisco, and the woman, especially when someone created a YouTube video, which went viral.  The issue than reached crisis level when the Oprah show called to get Cisco on air (Cisco rejected the Oprah offer though I wouldn’t have…) There are tons of examples of people broadcasting things that they shouldn’t or that they regret, but this one has some excellent lessons learned.  Sure, don’t broadcast things you regret, but a more important morale:  the more that a company like Cisco proactively develops a strategy and pays attention to online conversations, the better they can prepare, react and adapt in times of crisis.

So what were some of the essential takeaways from the Brand Forum?  Well some may believe that squeaky wheels in the web 2.0 world can devour a brand.  Some may believe that brand managers should be responsible for controlling a brand.  Believe it or not.  In this open and connected online world, it’s more evident than ever that brand is made of the perceptions and experiences in the minds of the CONSUMERS.  The role of branding particularly in this online world is to provide a clear platform, content and an experience for bloggers, tweeters, employees and consumers to engage in and enthusiastically advocate.   Goodbye Devour, Hello Devotion!

Categories: Online Marketing
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: