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CommunityNext - Brand Utopia

The following are notes I took during the CommunityNext conference held at the Annenberg Auditorium at Stanford University in Palo Alto on February 10th, 2007.

Presentation by Josh Spear & Aaron Dignan on “Brand Utopia - What’s Happening as the Next Generation of Brand Consumers (Us) Combine Our Will, Technology, and Taste to Transform the Brand Landscape”

Does the world really need another social network or community? For example, let’s look at Noah's “community footprint”:

-         Jewish

-         Vegetarian

-         College alumni

-         Dog

-         Cars

-         Sneakers

-         Likes Yahoo!

-         Training for the marathon

-         Etc

But does he need all these social networks? Can anyone put all these into one place (like profile linker)? Staying connected is a lot of work. But what does each community bring to the table?

We want to live in a “brand utopia”. It’s a place where every brand creates a unique experience for consumers. There are a set of unspoken rules to create brand utopia:

-         Know what you care about. Have some values, have some impact, what do you care about .. environment, simplicity, design, natural, privacy, intimacy, luxury, creativity, sweatshop-free

-         Do something worth talking about. For instance, Facebook will donate all virtual gift shop money in February to breast cancer. And as you go forward, keep doing things worth talking about

-         Be authentic. The best social networks are built by lovers. People who put the network first. For example, see humblevoice.com.

-         Create community. Let community create you. Follow the community’s lead. Integrate, don’t infiltrate. Let heavy users select next feature, moderate the discussion, test the next big thing, help create your marketing strategy, be your ultimate focus group.

-         Operate within the rules of the universe. Gather deep knowledge about the space you’re building, look at what’s happening in the “brand solar system”. For example a social network about graffiti would have graffiti art that got whitewashed every 24 or 48 hours.

-         Change the world. Sounds lofty? Fair enough. But in brand utopia, it’s your business to change the world. Community user bases are untapped resources in more ways than just $$$. And consumers are hungry for purpose. Who I am is what I consume. For example, I can go to Toyota and get a hybrid and help change the world.

 There’s no limit to what you could do with the collective will at your disposal.

So, how can these rules make your network a part of the brand utopia?

Show us something new!

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February 11, 2007 in Marketing-Advertising | Permalink


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