When we talk about brand awareness, consciously or not, we correlate "brand" with one specific phase in the marketing funnel. Many have defined brand as a set of expectations and experiences.
These in turn generate stories we identify with as we develop our relationship with the brand and the company and people who represent it in our minds and interactions over time. Brands that set themselves apart command a premium.
Brand impact in valuation has been a challenging, but not impossible, feat to measure. It's a mixture of qualitative and quantitative data collected about the brand's public profile, its present role in creating demand, and its future strength as an asset.
I equate brand with the infrastructure upon which everything else sits. It needs to contain the integrity of a good reputation, the capacity for trust, the flexibility for evolution over time, and the simplicity to be understood and infused with your customers and employees stories.
Applications like sales, product development, engineering, customer support, and all of the other functions you associate with operating a company sit on that infrastructure and borrow from its characteristics.
Brand also includes the environment or context a company builds around itself to operate, its culture.
This is the sum total of rites, stories, and dynamics that bind people, inside and outside the organization. It includes channel partners and joint ventures. It may also include vendor relationships. An important point to consider as the service and media industries continue to consolidate.
Now think about social. Through the tools we have at our disposal we extend the reach of those interactions and experiences. The results flow back into how we think about our products and services (or they should). The stories your brand creates extend it beyond the company walls and, by reflection, deep inside them.
Execution in social media enriches brands and the people or tribes that make them work. It means you are changing the world and allowing the world to change you as a business in commensurate parts, while you interact with it.
What are the ingredients of this exchange that make social operational?
- Tribe and networks (people)
- Direction or compass (objectives)
- Action and outcomes (measurable goals)
- Maps (strategies)
- Tools and tactics (media)
Engagement and outcome derive from the active - and continuous - participation of individuals and groups in the knowledge flows - within their tribes, and outside them. We constantly evaluate, consider, test, experience, adopt and filter information and ideas while we get them and us done.
How can we use these connection points between ideas and people to change businesses and their stories? This is the question for 2010 - social media becomes operational. Read on.
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© 2006-2009 Valeria Maltoni. All rights reserved.