Archive for Social brands

Good Brands Have Sociable Traits

Posted in sociable brands, Social media with tags , , , , on August 10, 2009 by qubefiona

psfk

PSFK have released a new report on Good Brands, if you want download the full report click here.    This report has been compiled by shortlisting all brands that have been mentioned the most across their trend reports and then they have asked a panel of industry experts from the Purple List to vote on which they thought were ‘good’.  Good being based on an average score for innovation, responsibility and community.

No suprises that brands like google and twitter appear up here but brands like The Good Magazine, Ikea and Amazon are not so likely winners.  (check out the Good Magazine as a particularly interesting brand)

PSFK also have pulled out what they think the most common traits are of the winning brands and it makes interesting reading for those social media believers among you as many of these traits come part and parcel with adopting a more social approach to branding and business.

Utility – Aim to enhance your usefulness for the consumer. In doing so, look not only at your product or service, but the eco-system that surrounds it.

Experimentation – Constant innovation is the essential element of growth. Continual- ly push the boundaries of your offering and create ancillary products.

Design – Premium aesthetics coupled with consistent delivery wins every time. A premium experience can be applied to any product or service, no matter where it sits on the price spectrum. Make your audience feel valued, encouraging them to include you as part of their identity.

Community and listening – Create a sense of community for your customers. Actively engage them and listen to what they have to say. They are the best source of guidance for improved service.

Change the model – Look at your consumers’ eco-system of needs and change your business model to suit them.

Beyond the 30 second ad – Of the top 100 largest advertising spenders in 2008, none of them made it onto this list. Instead of spending money on advertising, leverage the existing community that’s involved with your brand to promote your products and services.

Environmental priorities – Brands in the lower half of the list lose points prizing innovation over environmental responsibility. Build in sustainable practices wherever you can in your brand’s eco-system.

I think its a worthwhile exercise to judge your own brand – or your clients brands – against these traits and determine where you are, and where you want to be on the ‘Good Brand’ or sociable brand scale.  Then think about how social media can help you get there 🙂

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Brand Language Rules

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 14, 2009 by qubefiona

flickr-words

As a social media agency we spend a good proportion of our working day writing, listening to and reading dialogue on the web.

The written word has never been so important yet writers still struggle to get work and some clients still focus on the more graphical elements of their brands visual identity.  Nearly all of us who work at Qube have either done a creative writing course, plan to take a writing course, worked as a writer or write as a hobby. Maybe thats not unusual in our creative generation full of aspiring writers pronouncing their opinions and thoughts across blogsphere,  however we risk losing an important point, that writing – even in the form of conversation online – is still an art, and a professional art at that.

I think brand language – or as its more commonly known, brand copy – is one of the (if not the most) important aspects of brand management within a social web world.  The words you use to describe yourself, the words you use to approach people, the words you use to respond to people – and of course, the words you use to get people to find you!  We all know just how easy it is to be misconstrued on an email or across forums, its the same for any other written communication absent of visual cues.  Just see how Nick Asbury (D&AD award winner) took the most carefully thought out corporate words and re-arranged them into something completely different – and unfortunately into something way more engaging and differentiating!

Your words, more than ever before, have to deliver against relevance and interest for those on the receiving end as well as continually support your overall brand proposition and stand you apart from everyone else.  Its a tough order and it should be given the professional time and investment it deserves.

See what your brand language is telling the visitors to your site by copying the text into this basic word cloud generator.  I think Qube Media’s words on our ‘about us’ website page are spot on for the functional side of our brand – it would be interesting to do this alongside our competitors and see whether we need to work a bit more on brand language (tone and content) thats truly unique to us.

Brand language rules, don’t underestimate it!

5 of the best and 5 of the rest: Run for your lives it’s RUBBERDUCKZILLA!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 27, 2009 by glennwhite

5 of the best and 5 of the rest has arrived to save you from a miserable wet day and bring a little bit of joy and knowledge to your otherwise mundane life.

5 of the best

Twitter Fall

Lay back and watch the tweets just roll in. A very visual way to check out a trending topic or any other Twitter search term you wish.

Joke review boosts T-shirt sales

This was going to be in 5 of the rest but I thought it was far too important to be associated with that drivel. A social media campaign, started by users, that increased sales by 2,300%, surely that is every businesses dream? Not so for some people it seems “We appreciate humour as much as the next company, but we don’t approve of some of the remarks.” That said I think they are probably a little happy deep down.

Negative ads may not be nice, but they work

Now this isn’t very social! It seems that businesses are doing well from knocking their rivals. Time to put it to the test; did you know @mrtomasz is a boring rambling fool and that @glennw is much more interesting! You do now.

Helvetica-tized

Ever thought about recreating your favourite social media logos in Heltavica. Well some lovely chap has gone to the trouble so you dont have to!

Spam Is Back, With a (Social Networking) Vengeance

Guess who’s back, back again, spam is back, tell a friend. If you haven’t noticed yet spam has been invading our social networking spaces as well as our inbox. I look forward to plenty more followers called @O4CGX2

5 of the rest

RUBBERDUCKZILLA!

I’ve posted a couple of augmented reality tools before but this is be far the best! Make sure you print out the magic symbol (there is a very helpful instructional video if you click “How to play”)

Unemployed Gray

Our good friend @graemebenstead is settling into the life of unemployment with style. Check out the video, oh and tell your friends, see if we can just get him a couple more views.

Tweenbots

This little robot is so cute! An art student decided to find out if she could get a robot from one side of the park to the other, with the help of strangers. The little cardboard chap could only go forwards so strangers would have to help point him in the right direction to make his goal.

Office Supplies Challenge: Liquid Fuel Rocket

Dont try this at home! (or at work) so tempting though!

A close-knit community: Meet the ladies who’ve spent years stitching their entire Kent village

I cant believe I was so quick to dismiss the Daily Mail. They have almost won me back over with this great piece of investigative journalism. By almost won me over, I mean I will still never read the paper and will vilify it in public, but I will tell people they once did a great story on knitting.

Could your brand be heading for a social crash?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 25, 2008 by qubemedia

Explosion

I spent a few hours last night being inspired by Malcolm Gladwell who was speaking on a tour for his new book Outliers.  As is usually the case I interpreted everything I heard through my topical filter – which is basically the premise of what ever project I am working on at that time!   That premise was social media and how as social media experts we can help companies build and maintain social brands for success.

Outliers is a word he uses to describe something or someone that has achieved out of the ordinary success (or failure) and the book attempts to explore the factors that contribute to this. The story he used was one about plane crashes and he focused on why airlines in Columbia had experienced more than their fair share.  

Using the transcripts from one particular planes black box he illustrated that the crash was mainly due to:

1. A breakdown in communications where the co-pilot failed to bring the right information to anyones attention

2. A lack of honesty in communication, for the linguistics out there this was about mitigation

3. The dynamics of communication common to a group of people, in this case Columbia. (here he referenced Hofstede’s study into the cultural power distance index of Columbia – for more on that see here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geert_Hofstede )  

4. The small often trivial events that go un-noticed or un-noted that eventually amount to a much more significant event.  (he used a different example here too – http://www.gladwell.com/1996/1996_01_22_a_blowup.htm )

He concluded that the plane crash was not a technical error but a social error.  This was a social crash.

I wonder, how many brands or companies know they are heading for their own social crash? 

Are the cultural frameworks within companies or the communities with which they engage, helping or hindering social success? Are companies really aware of the small trivial events occurring out there in communities and conversations that could eventually lead to a social crash? 

Interesting stuff.   I am off to buy the book and read some more…..

http://www.gladwell.com/outliers/index.html

Photo thanks -  http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinksage/3021131218/