Communities dominate brands: aka why large brands don’t ‘get it’ ..

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Following on from the Boing Boing story in my previous post, we see yet another example of Communities dominate brands

Most big brands never get the power of digital communities and the blogosphere

Interestingly enough, following the original story, one blogger discovered that the World Cup rightsholder CEO had exaggerated his Harvard Business School claim

Why is this relevant?

Consider the two scenarios: In the first instance, the law firm in question had a bad PR story recently

The damage was limited to the firm itself.

This time however, following the Harvard post, the damage has now spread to the firm’s customer!

While one could dismiss the ravings of bloggers, this development is far more serious because it affects the firm’s customers.

Why is the blogosphere difficult to understand for most large providers/brands?

Let me put it this way ..

Most large companies, PR departments, brands are used to ‘one way’ flow of information – what I call – broadcast messages.

AKA – They talk – we listen

If we don’t like what we hear, we can switch off or ignore the message. Switching off is increasingly not possible in many cases(such as ads which appear on TV while a show is running)

Even if the ‘customer’ is irritated – there is little they can do because there is no easy feedback channel

Imagine an extreme case of this : the fly by night operator who sticks a poster on your garden wall.

Its irritating – but not much anyone can do about it

Now, switch to blogosphere.

The ‘offender’ in blogosphere leaves a ‘return path’ which can be traced at the click of the mouse.

The feedback(often negative) is no more than a comment on the blog/other relevant blogs

The offender also leaves open a path to their customers – and in fact – to the whole world

This amplifies the resultant impact, made worse by the scrutiny of a million eyes and their million subsequent comments ..

That’s why .. Communities dominate brands – BUT most established brands will never get it until it’s too late!