Importance of Social Brands

In a world where social media and marketing run hand in hand it is imperative to know about social brands and how you can take your brand or company into this new world.  How can you take an inanimate object such as a brand, product, or business and make it social with feelings, reactions, and thoughts?  How can you make a brand animate with human characteristics when by its very definition it is not human?  You can’t.   

Instead, think of social brands in the context of SIM City or Second Life as an example. Let the consumers build and create their world with your brand or company in it.  Let your brand or company be the backdrop to their social world, in a way where the consumer needs your brand or company within their social context.  This aspect can be as simple as having the consumer “like” some aspect of your business, with a desire to show their social network what they “like” in order to define themselves.  

Keep in mind that the consumer has to feel the internal connection to the product or business before declaring it to his or her social network.  In the context of Second Life, that internal connection is building your avatar with character by who you talk to, what worlds you visit, and what you look like. For the advanced, it’s what world you build a home in, who you invite to visit, what your home looks like, and how you want to attract other avatars like yourself.  People invest time and thought towards the personal development and projection of their avatar, which demonstrates the real life core essence of a person’s connection to social brands.  All you have to do is add a brand name to the connection, and then utilize the brand to consumer characteristics within the social digital context.  For instance, currently, Pepsi is running a viral program called the “Pepsi Refresh Project”.  Pepsi’s Facebook page for the “Refresh Project” seeks connection to those with great ideas.  In this way, Pepsi seeks to connect a personal connection of those with great ideas to Pepsi.  

How do you meet this challenge?  Determine why people need your product or place of business in their world, i.e., why would they put your product, service, or business in their virtual world?  What consumer emotion or feeling do you want to connect to?  More important than ever, you have to define the target market by more than age, income, and marital status; you have to build a personality for your target consumer.  Only by personality will you gain access to your target’s social digital world, as only those who can relate will pass through.

You can’t bring a brand to life, a brand has to be a part of life.