We as consumers have come to known brands as what the company communicates to us about what to believe about their products. However in today’s day in age, we have groundswell which has completely shifted the brands image to “what the consumers says about the brand.”
I have performed a little demonstration to what I mean by the effects of groundswell. I have used the brand BMW which is known as being a luxurious German car brand that is known for being sleek, sophisticated, trendy and overall impressive brand.
Here is a commercial to how BMW wants its consumers to view its brand
After watching this you might think as a consumer that this would be a car you’d love to own, it’s all the terms that I listed above. However this is what the company wants the consumer to think, not what the consumer thinks of the brand. Groundswell has introduced us to an online community where we can discuss our opinions of the brand and how we view it as consumers.
There is an online community who views this brand as being one of the worst car brands in the world. They have created a website BMW sucks
So companies like BMW have to shift their marketing focus from their frame of mind to the consumers frame of mind. They need to work with groundswell to develop a more strategic way to communicate what brand image they are hoping the consumer feels about their brand. I suggest a few ways that companies like BMW could go about doing this.
One thing that BMW should look into is monitoring their negative feedback. If people don’t like something about your product, then modify it. This is called Brand monitoring it involves companies like BuzzMetrics that keeps records of what consumers are saying about your brand online.
Another idea for a listening strategy is to set up your own private community that can act like a focus group for your company. A good company to use is Communispace that sets up an natural interaction for you to focus in on.
Using this methods can create a better image for your brand and there is 6 reasons why you should care about what’s being said about your brand online.
1. Find out what your brand stands for – this looks into the miss communication of how the company views a brand and how the consumer is viewing the brand. Remember your brand is whatever people say it is. For example BMW used this advertising to get people talking about their brand, however in blogs it has been reported that has just tarnished the brand.
2. Understand how buzz is shifting – understand buzz and how it can change. This cold lead to product improvements and consumer problems being solved.
3. Save research money; increase research responsiveness – Communispace can save you more money once it’s running because instead of doing customer surveys, you can just read what your customers are saying about you.
4. Find the sources of influence in your market – find who is most influential in talking about your product. For BMW they should research what the blogs are saying about them and use that negative feedback to influence the consumers in a more positive manor.
5. Manage PR crises – know how to respond to bad publicity. In the case of the BMW ad mentioned above, BMW should respond to the negative feedback in producing a more appropriate ad towards what they want their brand image to communicate. The ad they posted above communicates to its consumers a inappropriate tarnished brand.
6. Generate new product and marketing ideas. – in others be creative and innovative. BMW has launched a new ad that has definitely got some good public attention. It’s innovative and catches your attention, without being inappropriate.
When consumers purchase goods they are going to consider what they read on the Internet. Groundswell has made marketing products to consumers more complex in that what the company says is no longer more important then hearing what other consumers have to say. Consumers trust consumers more then they trust companies.
“No matter what I hear, read or find on TV, radio, or in a magazine or newspaper, I can verify it on the internet.”-consumer