We’ve all got our favorite brands, whether it’s a type of cereal, a line of clothing, or a favorite musical artist. And more than anything, you can bet that we’ve got our opinions about them. Our opinions are the things that drive brands to succeed; we buy a product, we like it, we come back for more, we talk about it, and we send our friends to buy it. Simple, right?
Flash back five years. Can you remember the internet before Facebook? In those days, when you liked a brand and wanted to talk about it, your options were limited. The occasional piece of fan mail and e-mailed letter of approval were among the only means of “talking” to a brand.
Thanks to social media, the brand-customer communication lapse has since shrunken tremendously, allowing consumers to be on an almost face-to-face level with their favorite brands. Enjoy a product? You can like it on Facebook. Have an opinion on a movie? Tweet about it. Long gone are the days of fan mail, speculatively never even read by the recipients, and rarely ever viewed by other consumers. Consumer opinions are now one of the top-valued pieces of information for even the biggest of brands. For example, Tornado’s Mexican Food Brand wanted to introduce a new flavor to their product line. Rather than send the task straight to their R&D department, they divvied the task out to the ones who would actually be exposed to the new flavor, the fans, who were encouraged to upload their most creative flavor ideas. Winning fans would win a year’s supply of Tornado’s, as well as a microwave.
Recently, Pampers recently encouraged fans to upload their own parenting stories to their website in their “Welcome to Parenthood” campaign.
Similarly, in Domino’s “Show us your Pizza” campaign, fans were asked to upload personal photos of their own pizzas.
Irrelevant and silly as some social campaigns may seem, they do in fact make an impact. They make consumers feel engaged and appreciated. That keeps consumers interested, and more importantly, happy.
Fans drive brand innovation, aide with product improvements, and reassure companies of their decisions. Brands even accept consumers’ greatest complaints. If they’ve got something to say, brands want to hear about it. Consumers spark the changes in products today. If they want something, they talk about it, and they get it. So go ahead and “like” your favorite brand, because who knows, your face may end up across the front of their next box. How’s that for consumer power?