Speak on it: Why now more than ever, your opinion matters

We’ve all got our favorite brands, whether it’s a type of cereal, a line of clothing, or a favorite musical artist. And more than anything, you can bet that we’ve got our opinions about them. Our opinions are the things that drive brands to succeed; we buy a product, we like it, we come back for more, we talk about it, and we send our friends to buy it. Simple, right?

Flash back five years. Can you remember the internet before Facebook? In those days, when you liked a brand and wanted to talk about it, your options were limited. The occasional piece of fan mail and e-mailed letter of approval were among the only means of “talking” to a brand.

Thanks to social media, the brand-customer communication lapse has since shrunken tremendously, allowing consumers to be on an almost face-to-face level with their favorite brands. Enjoy a product? You can like it on Facebook. Have an opinion on a movie? Tweet about it. Long gone are the days of fan mail, speculatively never even read by the recipients, and rarely ever viewed by other consumers. Consumer opinions are now one of the top-valued pieces of information for even the biggest of brands. For example, Tornado’s Mexican Food Brand wanted to introduce a new flavor to their product line. Rather than send the task straight to their R&D department, they divvied the task out to the ones who would actually be exposed to the new flavor, the fans, who were encouraged to upload their most creative flavor ideas. Winning fans would win a year’s supply of Tornado’s, as well as a microwave.
Recently, Pampers recently encouraged fans to upload their own parenting stories to their website in their “Welcome to Parenthood” campaign.

Similarly, in Domino’s “Show us your Pizza” campaign, fans were asked to upload personal photos of their own pizzas.

Irrelevant and silly as some social campaigns may seem, they do in fact make an impact. They make consumers feel engaged and appreciated. That keeps consumers interested, and more importantly, happy.

Fans drive brand innovation, aide with product improvements, and reassure companies of their decisions. Brands even accept consumers’ greatest complaints. If they’ve got something to say, brands want to hear about it. Consumers spark the changes in products today. If they want something, they talk about it, and they get it. So go ahead and “like” your favorite brand, because who knows, your face may end up across the front of their next box. How’s that for consumer power?

Gave the word

01 Comment

    Tancil

    Thanksgiving, you’re a coward for not using your real name to cctriiize me, and you accuse me of making no sense when your comments make you sound like a drunk American stealing away from their family on Thanksgiving. Too bad for you your IP address is in the Netherlands. As I explain below to Jeremy, who also suggested I’m making a hasty generalization, I use more specific examples than Wall did in his infographic, which I thought was significant enough to show reasonable doubt and warrant further research be done before anyone subscribes to the Google loves brands theory. I’m not proposing the theory, I’m demonstrating why it’s potentially flawed. In American courts of law the burden of proof is on the prosecution, not the defense. Blog posts here are not held to such strict standards, but I’m doing more than most. Have you seen the SERPs lately was a rhetorical device used to make a point. I used hyperbole to demonstrate the absurdity of proposing a theory without providing evidence of altered ranking in the search results. Since this was a blog post and not a peer reviewed article in a medical journal, this rhetorical device should be acceptable to most of my audience.I didn’t forget any of those things about an affiliate page. In fact, I’m saying that affiliates often can rank higher than brands legitimately, and I use an example (SimplyRecipes.com) to demonstrate that. Not sure where you’re coming from here. Perhaps something was lost in translation.My religion is immaterial here, but when someone says you’re Catholic here in America it’s usually a synonym for dogmatic or guilt-ridden. I assume you mean the former here, but it’s hard to tell, as I’m actually providing the dissenting opinion, not the dogma. So to use your metaphor I suppose I would be more of a Lutheran (though I’m not). And Google didn’t say they have a brand bias. Wall quoted two of Google’s more than 20,000 employees and attributed it to Google. This is problematic because Matt Cutts who is quoted says very explicitly elsewhere that , and because Google is a huge organization without a central hub of communication, and their employees sometimes contradict each other on certain issues. So you don’t have to be a believer to find fault with this particular theory. If you can attempt to be more clear in your response, I would welcome it. I do enjoy the discussion.

    March 9, 2012

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