Monday, March 23, 2009

Would you trust your customers to define your brand?

Traditionally, companies have spent $M of dollars on Brand Management, Positioning and other Strategic Marketing functions. All these activities are geared towards getting customers to understand how they want their products or brand to be seen.

But as we saw during the Twitter discussion this weekend, some brands are becoming more open to allowing their customers or communities to provide feedback. Brands like Skittles are actively using user-generated-content to define what their brand means. Other brands like Coca-Cola have no idea why so many people are attracted to their brand and want to help define it.

It creates an interesting set of questions.
  • How comfortable are you in allowing your customers to help define your brand?
  • Is this a good way to get feedback from your customers to help alter the product, or are customers too near-sighted to be helpful in strategic planning?
  • Should your strategy include a combination of company-defined branding, and the creation of customer-forums to allow them to re-define or augment your brand?
  • Is this potentially the beginning of a new way to look at Brand Marketing, Positioning and Strategic Marketing?