E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

The Tale Of The Social Brand

Gran Canaria - Ayacata in the WinterEven though the last couple of blog posts have been some of the most popular I have shared across over here in the last few weeks (Surely, it looks like bothΒ Activity Streams, as a powerful method to help reduce information overload, as well as “Filter Bubbles“, seem to be rather hot topics at the moment!), I do realise they are rather lengthy articles, so in order to give you folks a little bit of a break and, why not?, a good breather as well hehe, I thought I would go ahead today for a shorter entry sharing along a link to one of those delightful video clips that one bumps into every so often that surely helps you get things started for the weekend, and with a good message, too! And since we are just a few hours ago from getting ours started, why don’t we just sit back, relax, and start enjoying “The Tale Of The Social Brand“?

It’s a delightful storyline, that lasts for a little bit over four minutes, put together by the always insightful and very inspiring Jemima Gibbons, which describes, quite nicely, two different types of business mentalities: one that we have seen and experienced many of its shortages and pitfalls over the course of decades and another one that clearly defines the future of the corporate world as we know it, if it would want to survive in this 21st century, where everything seems to be moreΒ social, engaged, participatory, sustainable, community-driven, ethical, pragmatic, responsible, … touching than ever before!

Pretty nice, don’t you think? Well, after watching this beautifully done video clip, and perhaps still talking about the topic of socially engaged, I would like to leave you folks with a final thought for the weekend … Which brand, which business of the two, would you want to work for eventually? And, most importantly, which one of the two can your own business identify itself the closest with? Is that where you would want to be in, say, 20 to 30 years from now…?

Have a good one everyone!

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17 comments

  1. Luis, I was honoured to hear Jemima test run this script on an audience from the British Computer Society Young Person’s Group when I shared a panel with her last month. It was a great story to kick off the evening! And the immediate reaction from the panel was “put it on YouTube”, so it’s good to see she did it!

    Have a good weekend,
    Stuart

    1. Hi Stuart! Thanks for the feedback! Yeah, I can imagine! It’s one of those short video clips that surely captures everyone’s imagination on what brands should be doing engaging their customers as part of that particular healthy ecosystem where everyone benefits from.

      When Jemima told me about it I just couldn’t help taking a look and blog about it. It’s just perfect! And pretty timely on the whole thing around social business and how businesses could get the most of that mutual nurturing of personal business relationships! πŸ™‚

      Good stuff!

  2. Thanks Luis for the recommendation!! So glad you enjoyed the animation.

    Stuart – thanks too for spreading the word. It was always our intention to put “The Tale of The Social Brand” on YouTube – we just needed to pull our fingers out and do some work – it all started with that little script!

    Keith – funny you reference The Lorax. Dr Suess was definitely an inspiration πŸ˜‰

    1. Hi Jemima! Thanks a bunch for the heads up and for sharing the video link across! I have also used it a couple of times with a couple of audiences at conference events and workshops and the reactions have been rather positive in helping set the stage as to why businesses need to start not just paying attention to social, but engaging altogether! And the video does a beautiful job at describing how it could be done! W00t!

      Thanks again for the inspiration and happy to keep sharing it across! Too good to miss out on it! πŸ™‚

  3. Interesting… and in general true. I’m always struck that the exception that proves the rule is Apple. They behave very much like the old brand… ignore customers, do what Steve thinks is best… but he *is* usually right!

    1. Hi Jon! Great comments! Thanks for adding further up! Yes, Apple is the only one I can think of that can afford such an attitude, but for how long? I can imagine that as it becomes more and more pervasive it would have to start paying a little bit more attention, specially, as the vast majority of its customers move beyond that #fanboy status, which is, I think, the main reason why they are still getting away with it… But like I said, for how long?

      It won’t last forever and it would be interesting to see whether they would be then willing to go through that social transformation or, instead, move along in a direction where they may well be the only ones! Time will tell! Thanks again for the comments! Appreciated! πŸ™‚

    2. It is interesting – I have been struck by this anomaly in the past.

      I suspect that, in reality, Apple does have a lot of conversations with its customers, it just chooses to have them on its turf rather than someone elses. Its own stores give it a direct connection between its employees and its customers, rather than letting the channel get in the way. It is big enough (and, to be honest, influential enough in its customer’s lives) to have a conversations on the forums it runs on its web site, rather than having to use external ones. I’ve never been to any of its conferences, but would be interested to see if they do a better job of listening rather than just lecturing compared to others (not mentioning any names).

      So I totally get the point, and do feel a level of frustration in this area as a customer, but nevertheless Jemima’s video is really about brands that do not listen. If Apple is using different channels to listen, and only being autocratic after understanding what its customers are saying, then it is just being social in a different way.

      1. True… but they almost seem to pride themselves on not listening (eg insisting on not going to the sub $800 market) and creating things customers didn’t know they wanted. The only time I’ve ever seen them actually react was the Anntennae-gate / free case issue and that was through gritted teeth.

        Also, how many Apple employees do you know who engage on blogs/twitter etc. – I hear it is forbidden!

        But I agree, it is an anomaly, they are the only company who can get away with it!

        1. Great comments, Stuart & Jon! Thanks much for adding further up! Indeed, judging from what Apple seems to do with its customers it sounds as if Apple is happier relying on a walled-garden of customers they interact with where they “control” and facilitate the space collecting that feedback, vs. open Web wide where anyone could engage and lose some of that already existing control. I think the important message is that they listen and react to customers issues, even if one at a time. I have yet to experience the first “bad experience” with Apple products in over 4 years I have been using a bunch of them; so far that’s been outstanding, so perhaps that’s where it all starts: excellent customer service to delight your clients.

          Lots to learn for everyone out there on this regard! πŸ™‚

  4. Sorry, browser ate my homework.
    RIM may have eased up on their policies, slightly.
    But Apple does get feedback, but Steve hates to be wrong. As pointed out already.
    Novell’s product managers reach out to people who are active in their forums for feedback. Something I almost never see from certain other companies.

    1. Hi Keith, thanks a lot for the feedback! Yes, I can imagine how there would be plenty of other companies who still feel they can ignore and neglect social networking tools to the point of forbidding or blocking them at work; not the best of use for these social tools, specially, when your customers are already talking about your products with YOUR competitors! πŸ˜€

      I think most businesses would need to figure out the way they would want to progress further into the next 20 to 30 years, because somehow a world without “social” sounds like a tough one, to me, to still make it that long… Guess time will tell, right?

  5. Thanks for bringing up the Apple issue Jon – it may be the exception that proves the rule, as you say, but Stuart’s point resonates with me – “Apple does have a lot of conversations with its customers, it just chooses to have them on its turf.”

    Absolutely – every time I’ve gone into an Apple store, I’ve had nothing less than great service.

    If other brands just started out with that, then I guess they would know what their customers *really* thought and wouldn’t need to spend time monitoring consumer social networks to find out!

    1. What a great followup, Jemima! Absolutely, it’s interesting to see how now, more than ever, customer service seems to have become a given, a commodity, yet, it’s critical to people’s perceptions of their favourite brands. In fact, the way I see it, is that if an end-user needs to make use of the customer service from a brand that’s the very last resort, and as such, the service should be outstanding, like Apple’s seems to have understood it from the beginning, which is why I agree with you they are the exception to the rule.

      If more brands would care deeply about their customer service, I bet they wouldn’t even have to worry too much about listening; they would be engaging much more effectively altogether! πŸ˜€

      Thanks again for the inspiring video! And the wonderful comments!

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