Sorry, it has been a few days between posts! Herewith is the second installment of “Social Media and the Brand Experience”. I discussed in my last post on this topic how social media may be reducing the brand experience for consumers. How then are brands going to engage their loyal flock? Or engage those who may not be part of their following?
Let’s see what some brands are doing about this. I recently attended the “Web Wednesday” event in Hong Kong that was part of Social Media Week. Speaking at the event was Adrian Toy, Head of Marketing for Puma in Asia. He was outlining what Puma have been doing with Social Media in Asia with Puma’s theme “Here’s to the after hours athlete”.
Here is a link to the “Here’s to the after hours athlete” campaign:
So what is being done here? Obviously, this kind of campaign takes some serious bucks to generate the creative collateral, to create technical interface and then to monitor the results.
What I like about Puma’s thinking is that the campaign is innovative and is going for engagement with their target group. By engagement, I mean interaction from the target group (like writing comments for example). On Puma’s site there is video footage, music and more to interact with. All this is pretty cool and visually it is really appealing (well to me anyway).
Anyways, I decided after the talk to go for an adventure around Puma’s social site. I remember at the Web Wednesday talk the mentioning of all these stats (big numbers ho!) from the campaign, so I was thinking to myself, “this is going to be fun and I need to see what this about”.
To be honest I was pretty disappointed. It appeared to me that after all the work Puma had done; there was little evidence of interaction on their site (few comments, few FB likes, etc.). Their agency or in-house team really should be doing more to get interaction happening on the site.
The other gripe was the navigation of the site. I got lost! I hate it when I get lost on a site. I tried for a few minutes to get going again and look around, but gave up. With the cool look of the site, I think Puma forgot about the navigation. Most (maybe some) are like me will not bother to try to get out of a maze online.
So as much as I like Puma’s concept, there is still some refinement needed for it work. Brands should be going for engagement, like Puma. Brands should make it visually appealing, like Puma. Brands should make it easy to get around, not like Puma. Brands should get people to comment, FB “like” or Tweet to content, not like Puma.
What do you think?
I’ll be writing more “More on Social Media and the Brand Experience” in the coming days. Stay tuned!
I have to say the explosive growth in social networking sites has amazed me. I remember using MySpace back in the day. Now that was truly a social experience and more akin to organizing an online rolodex (and finding the next dinner date). What I have, and I am sure you have too, is seen the change in the consumers’ brand experience due to the growth of social media.
From what I gather, the brand experience is shifting to an alpha or beta state. It is either high or it is low. We have little time to sift through all the noise that social media generates. We are most of the time, restricted to the length of our posts on most social networks. So as we search for commentary on brands, products and everything else, what are we actually reading and how does this affect brands?
It is common knowledge that consumers research products online. We all do it and I know I do all the time. I read back in 2010 that 33% of active Twitter users share opinions about products or companies. Even more recent I read that social networking sites and blogs reach some 80 percent of American internet users.
In my opinion what we are reading mostly on products and brands is a simple rating like a plus (+) . Conversely we could be reading a negative (-) or a dislike. So in effect we are assessing a high or a low. There is not really much more information than that. Of course this changes if we follow the link (if one exists) to more meaningful content. This however rarely happens, especially when you are using social media on the move (a growing trend since the advent of the smartphone and now tablet). I mean it is not so easy to use a smartphone’s screen in a crowded subway, is it?
So how are brands going to manage this coming of age of the alpha and beta state of social media commentary? It is not much of a brand experience to me.
I’ll write more on this in the coming days.