Do Consumers Really Want To Converse With Your Brand?

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The radical notion that marketers must cede control and enable consumers to create brand meaning for themselves is no longer radical, at least in theory. We talk about it all the time. And to a greater or lesser extent, many of us are making it happen.
But have you ever wondered what to do with a brand that no one wants to talk to, co-create, or have a conversation with? It seems like the same ideas get tossed out at every brainstorm I attend: let’s invite consumers to blog, chat, communicate, converse, co-create, develop new products, etc. These are great ideas for some brands in some contexts, but every now and again it occurs to me that perhaps the majority of the brands we use every day simply can’t reasonably ask consumers to spend all that much time with them.
Do you really want to co-create your favorite brand of shoelaces, toothpaste or bottled water?

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About Matt Bergantino
  • http://adpulp.com David Burn

    Do you really want to co-create your favorite brand of shoelaces, toothpaste or bottled water?
    NO!

  • http://adpulp.com David Burn

    Another question that begs to be repeatedly asked is: Do consumers want to interact with other consumers’ co-creations?
    Make The Logo Bigger points to a recent co-creation effort from White Castle.
    I wanted a cool story about how two dudes bought 11,000 crave cases and filled up someone’s dorm room to the ceiling. Or the time they bought 200 large fries and tried to feed the bears through the fence by holding them in their teeth. innstead, u get like realy bad chat talk.

  • http://adverlicio.us adverlicious

    “Do you really want to co-create your favorite brand of shoelaces, toothpaste or bottled water?
    NO!”

    I 90% agree with this … most brands, as presented to their consumers, are way off the public’s radar screen. Rightfully so: as 24×7 humans, we only have so much bandwidth for creating and consuming content.
    But, it can’t go unnoticed that smart marketing can get us to emotionally invest in even the most mundane brands.
    Case in point: the BeingGirl website operated by P&G’s Always brand isn’t about their femhy products … it’s about connecting with young women as they come of age.
    Check it out – http://beinggirl.com – they’ve got an incredibly engaged community. Some of it’s borrowed interest, but a lot hinges on the emotional connection they’re making.
    My 2 cents!

  • veedub

    good point. the brands that are closest to our hearts are the ones that have the most potential to deepen that relationship via the interweb.
    i don’t think marketing alone can get you to “invest emotionally” in a brand unless it’s important to your life. teenage girls are very interested in tampons. i’m guessing.
    personally, i always thought it was a bit odd that a toilet bowl cleaner could just hijack 30 seconds of my attention without me asking. thank god those days are over.