Who owns your brand?

According to The Social Customer Manifesto, “You Don’t Own Your Brand — Your Customer Does.”

“The ease of access to social media has flattened and democratized the market/bazaar. Instead of those with the loudest megaphones and billion dollar marketing budgets running roughshod over customers, we, the customers, now have the ability to critique, to talk back and to connect with each others and share stories and opinions.”

The article has sound advice for how to handle online firestorms that have a critical tone:

“…a marketer’s best bet is not to go into spin mode, but instead to address the issue directly. If there is no issue, or the facts surrounding the conversation are incorrect, then correct them factually. However, if there actually is an issue, address it, and state what is going to be done, and by when.”

I think we’ll begin to see more traditional corporate website pages infused with content from social network sites — especially as more social network sites provide interfaces for syndicating content. Sun does this on many product pages by syndicating non-Sun employee blog entries and Sun employee blog entries that refer to a given product. The non Sun employee blog entries on the product pages are driven by a refined Technorati feed. Quick side note, there is a method for building custom Technorati feeds so that content relevance is increased — Lou is going to blog a “how to”. I’ll update this post when he does.

One more example of community content blended with traditional sun.com pages…as commonly seen on many websites these days, you’ll also see product ratings on the Sun product pages where anyone who has experience with a given Sun product can weigh in with their thoughts on the products Pros/Cons as well as details surrounding their usage experiences. Ultra20 Example:



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