What’s the Fuss about Social Media?

The term ‘social media‘ has been going around exceptionally rampant recently and most people sees it as just Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Blogging. Is it just that?

Watch this short video clip and you may just change your perception towards social media.

Yes, social media DOES have THAT much of potential and it is able to impact your business like never before. Want to know how social media can do THAT for your business? Stay tuned to find out!

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Branding Myths #1: Part 2

I was talking to a client recently and this question came out relevant to my previous post on Branding Myths #1 and Spring Cleaning..

“How Do I Enhance Customers’ Experience?”

There are 3 simple ways of doing it and it is a proven method as consumers today would very much like to be a part of your business rather than being seen as mere profit sources.

1. Openness: Show your customers your brand‘s processes, systems, structures so they can feel the full experience from you and not separated from it. Most brands today tend to keep these information away from consumers with the perception of “they will ask when they want it”. By doing so, the brand’s vision/objective will not be communicated to the consumers. A good example would be the logistics sector where they now allow prospects to first understand the full process involved and then get them involved in the process itself by providing tracking services, scheduled pick-ups, etc.

2. Community: There will definitely be people either complaining or praising you on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, word of mouth and more! Find and create your own community of followers and make them an ally in delivering a positive message about your brand to the mass consumers.

3. Capitalize: Find ways to identify customers that are enthusiastic and passionate about your brand. They can be your loyal customers, friends, anybody that strongly believes in your brand. Reward their passion and use them as your ‘ambassadors’ to push your brand among the consumers. There is nothing better than a living testimonial walking about, going on and on with your brand!

Test these out and let us know how did it do for you! I’m sure it’ll reap great rewards 🙂 After all, a successful brand forms a constant growing relationship with it’s customers.

Branding Myths #1

Welcome back! How have your holidays been and how’s Spring Cleaning thus far?

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but the TV commercials (TVC) have become rather repetitive especially throughout the Chinese New Year holidays.  Yes, it is all done in the name of branding but how effective has it been? Do the TVCs motivate you to buy? Or does it simply just annoy you? For the most of us, THAT is the cue to switch channels.

One of the common myth of branding is “all about getting your brand out there”..

Logical as that sounds, it doesn’t work that way.. simply forcing your brand to the consumers  may do more bad than good. Think cold calls, think direct sales pushing products to you.. How effective is that? A brand has to always feel for the consumers and to create a living relationship with its customers.

Easier said than done. I agree.. and that’s why Spring Cleaning is important. It gives you a head start ahead of your competitors in creating a relationship with your customers and positions you (and your business) as a professional within your industry.

Trust me, you won’t want to miss out Spring Cleaning your brand! You’ve got nothing to lose 🙂

Google Buzz: A Potentially New Marketing Tool

Those of you that uses Gmail should’ve noticed something different after logging into your email account. You should be presented with an additional screen featuring Google’s very new addition… Google Buzz.

Earlier this afternoon Google Buzz went live  after launching it online (in fact, streamed live) over YouTube. It is a brand new social networking tool (somewhat like Twitter) that allows users to share updates, links, photos, videos and more with your Google network. By reading the hundreds of comments posted on YouTube, it would seem as though people have developed a liking for Google Buzz within such a short period of time more than Facebook and even Twitter!

Don’t get me wrong, Google Buzz may not be the Facebook killer but it may appear to be just as significant. As you would have probably figured out on your own, Facebook interacts on a more personal level where you keep in touch with families, friends and co-workers with the many interactive tools and games provided for. Yes, no doubt it can (and is) used by companies to communicate with their prospects and clients but note: the keyword here is communicate.

Google Buzz may end up being in more useful places, away from the consumer social networks into businesses. Google Buzz leans more towards a collaborative tool, something you would want to use to figure out what’s going on right now that’s really important or get something done in a directed, collaborative manner. In other words, it opens up existing intranets in a social nature, doing away with emails forwarded, carbon copied, blind carbon copied to tons of people. Groups of people can now collaborate and share information effortlessly.

Though it may not seem impressive to you at this point of time, Google Buzz may just become a Buzz due to its open API concept, allowing developers from all over the world to improve on its functionality, making it the next big thing online.

To sum it up, Google is not trying to wage war and eliminate Twitter (though it was their first mission). Their main objective is to create a collaboration tool for enterprises. And if you think about it, Google has been targeting enterprises ever since. Gmail for email communication, GDocs for document processing, GChat for instant communication, GApps for productivity (calendar, to-do-lists, etc) and now – GBuzz for collaborative work!

Will Google Buzz work? Or will it end up like Google Wave? You decide!

The Secret to the Smarter Choice!

In Malaysia, everyone knows, heard or at least find the brand – DiGi (a mobile service provider), familiar and immediately link it to the colour yellow, followed by the yellow man (officiously called YCF – Yellow Coverage Fellow) and the song “I Will Follow You”.

What DiGi has done here is no doubt – Branding. Now, at this point of time you may be thinking along the lines of “but DiGi spent a BOMB on advertising.. I will never get that kind of a budget to spend” or in other words, “branding costs a LOT of money”. That may be true to a certain extend, but do you also know of businesses, companies and organizations that has spent equivalent amount of $$$ but got ZERO returns? I’m sure you do.

So what makes DiGi’s branding movement so successful? Read on!

What DiGi did was unconventional, it was BUZZ. What is BUZZ? Unlike a normal advertisement or a promotion where it starts and fizzles, it starts, explodesand gets everyone TALKING! That is the ultimate difference between mere branding spending and true branding.

BUZZ marketing is one of the most powerful tools in branding as it utilizes the most effective media of all to capture the attention of your customers through personal networks – word of mouth. Believe it or not, word of mouth travels instantaneously especially with today’s technology. Either a bad or good review can immediately show up somewhere online causing hundreds, thousands, and perhaps millions of people reading it! AND, such reviews and comments tend to leave a more lasting impression on individuals. In actual fact, they are forever engraved into the online database. Don’t believe me? Think Facebook! Think Twitter! Think Blogs! These tools aren’t to be messed around lightly as it can be your friend and foe at the very same time.

DiGi's Mascot - The Yellow Coverage Fellow

DiGi's infamous mascot

Being unconventional is one of the keys to BUZZ marketing (I will be giving out more keys on future posts so stay tuned!). DiGi successfully utilized this key by implementing a striking mascot – the yellow man or the YCF. Now pause and think for a bit, who on earth associates telecommunications with man in yellow suits running around? It would have even been a ridiculous thought in the beginning! Well, DiGi did and it caused a storm in Malaysia. People started to talk about it, sharing it with their friends and to find out more about this yellow figure and naturally, the mobile plans that DiGi provides.

Lets put DiGi aside and look at another telecommunications company – Telekom Malaysia (TM). Nothing great, you say? TM recently launched a promotional movement based on the theme “Everyone Connects” and created a massive crowd of followers within a short period of time. They maximized the power of BUZZ and leveraging on today’s technology to spread an initially mysterious video clip online that is said to have won the hearts of Malaysians. People just kept spreading the word (and the video) and they were literally hooked to it! It was also reported in The Star whereby people actually memorized the lyrics to the song to sing-a-long! Whats more is that TM was able to pull a huge street event, closing the roads of Bukit Bintang, KL to have a massive sing-a-long session all these through a video!

That is the power of BUZZ! This is more than advertising.. Yes, it IS advertising, but it is just a TOOL for an effective BRAND MESSAGE – a message that lasts.

Now, is branding advertising? NEVER! Branding… Always The Smarter Choice!