4 Responses

  1. Christopher
    Christopher September 8, 2010 at 3:54 am | | Reply

    An interesting read. However I am a bit confused on the overall message. Is it suggested that the concept of a brand is too immobile and closed off to handle the needs of it’s participants with any care or agility?
    I would like to suggest that the use of community should be a vital element for any would-be successful brand going forward. Branding is about understanding who you are and what value you truly have to offer in the marketplace. The conversations and relationships built out of community are the single most effective means of understanding your potential. It is true, your brand is not a community. However, every brand is at the center of it’s own community. Like it or not, people are talking. The question is, are they listening?

    1. Guy LeCharles Gonzalez
      Guy LeCharles Gonzalez September 8, 2010 at 8:32 am | | Reply

      “every brand is at the center of it’s own community…”

      That’s where we fundamentally disagree, and is perhaps the cause of confusion, as I firmly believe brands are no longer the center of their communities. That was the case in the days when one-way broadcasting was the only option, but as the Madonna/Lady Gaga example illustrated, those days are pretty much over. Today, a brand is a combination of what the brand owner WANTS it to be and what its community SAYS it is.

      eg: Apple wasn’t sure how to market the iPod Touch at first, until the gaming community made it its own, at which point it became a versatile gaming platform: http://nyti.ms/bHOVJ1

      And the question you pose at the end needs to be flipped. People ARE talking, but the real question is are BRANDS listening and responding to what they’re hearing?

  2. Patrick
    Patrick September 8, 2010 at 9:43 am | | Reply

    Excellent, particularly like the point that without a real vibrant community, commerce is a tough sell.

  3. Mary Tod
    Mary Tod October 1, 2010 at 12:04 pm | | Reply

    Hi – I appreciate your distinction between brand and community, particularly the idea that brand is mainly one-way broadcast while community involves two-way dialogue and listening. The beauty of our digital world is that authors can connect with readers and potential readers through communities – not in a self-promotion way but in a real spirit of dialogue. We need to think of it like a spider web of interconnections not a hub and spoke with ourselves (the ‘our’ can refer to either authors or publishers) at the center.
    Cheers,

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