Tag Archives: brands

A Chef is not just an expert on saucepans.

I interact with a few of my very favorite brands and thinkers on various social media networks. These are brands that kind of hold the same values and world view as myself. I enjoy receiving useful bits of information about various topics from them. What distinguishes these brands from other brands I merely follow is that I like to show them my support – I ‘like’ things they post and I sometimes participate in conversations they initiate by posting comments and answering questions, retweeting, repinning.

But recently I’ve started to question this ‘loyalty’. Because if I’ve taken the time to ‘like’ and comment and interact with a brand, then I believe the least the brand can do is recognise this relationship/support.

I believe that good brands should act like good friends. Is that the way good brands would treat their friends? By ignoring them? Until now social media has been used as an updated form of push marketing rather than a genuine attempt to connect with people (albeit brands push their messages out to people who have opted in to the messages).

Social media is such a great way to connect with people but when not used properly, it just highlights a brands opportunistic and selfish tendancies. Any brand / employee can be given the tools to connect, but very few brands (and employees) really understand how to talk and how to treat people.

Here are my issues:

Why don’t brands link their customers online and offline interactions?

Why don’t brands reward customers who support them online?

Why don’t brands use social media as a form of customer support and customer service?

If I was a brand owner / custodian I’d make sure that I connected the people who most commonly interact with me to some sort of loyalty or ‘appreciation’ program. I would send them a little note “Dear friend, next time you’re *at the cafe / at the mall / shopping for shoes* we’d like to shout you a coffee, because you’re special to us!”.

I think it’s time we built smart database or eCRM programs that connect people’s social media activity to the real world. Databases that value people not numbers, interactions not merely transactions.

That’s how I’d treat my friends and supporters.

~ Brenda.

Brands that move me to action.

As I mature, the brands that engage me (and which deserve my loyalty and money) are those that benefit my health, wellbeing, my intellect, my family and the world around me. They tend to be cultural brands, magazines, journals, personalities (Jamie Oliver), bookstores, places, museums, even household products that have an inclusive and empathetic view of the world, and give back to the community or world at large, in an honest, transparent way. I am loyal to Brands that I can interact with, and if I can interact with them to help a cause or belief I have then that’s even better. So what I’m saying is that brands that engage me + are relevant to me + have a post-digital presence + have a consistent conversation with me + improve the world in some way + have an honest social point of view and social conscious are more likely to catch my attention and move me to action. That’s not much to ask for is it?