Blogs enable more than they begin

From Brands for the Chattering Masses (NYT – link works right now but may go behind pay wall at any moment) “FOR many, many decades, successful branding — one of the corporate world’s holy grails — involved a clear set of rules. Produce quality goods at the right price. Frame the value in memorable messages […]

From Brands for the Chattering Masses (NYT – link works right now but may go behind pay wall at any moment)

“FOR many, many decades, successful branding — one of the corporate world’s holy grails — involved a clear set of rules. Produce quality goods at the right price. Frame the value in memorable messages seen by millions on television and in print. Then fine-tune the pitch by measuring sales and evaluating consumer responses through letters, phone calls, focus groups and surveys.

Nowhere have those rules been applied more effectively than here, the home of Procter & Gamble, which made a fortune turning Crest, Pampers, and Tide into must-have items on household shopping lists. But the branding game has changed radically, largely because of the myriad choices the Internet provides consumers and because of the economic influence of widespread Web pontificating, known as the blogosphere, which barely existed as a popular force until about four years ago.

As consumers eagerly post word-of-mouth commentary in online communities, message boards and Web logs, a straightforward question confronts brandmeisters: Who wins and who loses as time-tested practices of mass production and mass marketing are undermined by the informed and often cranky voices of the knowledge age? “

My question is: if the blogosphere didn’t exist 4 years ago, what did? Weren’t those same people experiencing the same brands and sharing their thoughts via word-of-mouth? Of course they were!

Blogs do enable more conversation. But, the reason isn’t that the conversations weren’t happening before, the reason is that they were just never recorded and easily accessible.

Published: January 8th, 2007

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