Lessons on Branding Your Business Socially

Posted on December 20, 2011


One would hope (or at least I did) that 2011 would be the year of social business. We’ve made real progress, but we’re not quite there yet. As you’ll see, marketers are still learning from the social web and how to best present their brands.

Recently, Fast Company presented a social business case study cooked up by Vivaldi Partners and  examined the following brands:

As FC reported, here are the lessons:

Mattel – When reviving an old workhorse, consider the entire target market. Ken and Barbie may be toys for children, but it’s the moms and dads on Facebook and Foursquare who have the buying power.

Intel – Any branding effort that focuses on the user/consumer will boost all-important sharing (Hey, look at what I made!) and narcissism can translate to revenue.

Flip Video – Even great campaigns can’t stop a shutdown. The initiative scored high on the Social Currency meter. As a tool for self-expression it was the best example of identity generators, according to Vivaldi. “The innovative and viral nature of this initiative helped it score high in building conversation and stimulating positive advocacy.”

American Eagle – To expand your reach and draw more customers, play in a different (and bigger) sandbox. Vivaldi gave American Eagle props for community building on a larger platform, “allowing them to comment on looks that were created and find styling inspiration from one other.”

Blablablab – Most quirky and fun initiatives don’t necessarily lend themselves to mass market replication. Beyond obvious technical challenges, Vivaldi says the initiative doesn’t “score much on advocacy, affiliation, and/or utility due to the fact that the interaction is mostly between the brand and the users, and not as much between the users themselves.”

These are all good lessons every marketer could, and should, learn. Then again, these hard lessons could also be avoided if marketers took cues from social biz expert David Armano’s recent post on Social Business Planning in 2012. Worth the read!