The web pays no heed to language, geographic or cultural boundaries. What began with the internalization of currency and expanded through multi-national corporations is now compounded by the seamless integration of social media users around the world. Our awareness and experience of the intimately connected global community that we now live in growing and this is transforming business.
This shift disorientates companies. No longer are bricks and mortar HQ’s the hub of a brand. Nor are the websites they design as destinations. Rather, the center of a brand is constantly migrating within free-flowing conversations across different social networking platforms.
This shift has complicated business strategies, measurement and goals. It has caused an uneasy co-mingling of feeling of freedom and disorientation within the board rooms of companies and ad agencies.
Brands and marketers can either respond with fear or fortitude.
Choosing the latter, they can recognize that the depth of their commitment to social engagement is now their compass. They can become nimble, collaborative, and fascinated with technology and how it helps them hear and understand exactly what their customers want from them. They can embrace their potential reach, resonance and diversity by actively engaging and working with their global communities.
For instance, internally they can use Lingotek’s Collaborative Translation Platform (now integrated with Microsoft Sharepoint) to brainstorm, collaborate and translate all at the same time through crowdsourcing. For marketing they can crowdsource campaigns or product and service ideas like Mountain Dew, Starbucks or Levis. For corporate social responsibility, they embrace their role as custodians of global well being using the web and influencers to expand their contribution as with Proctor and Gamble’s ‘Give Health’ blogivation strategy.
Brands are free of geographic limits and have the opportunity to redraw the map of the business world along brandlines within the web. By doing so they can engage a new and existing customer base, expand brand awareness and reach, and ultimately dramatically elevate their brand. Thanks to the advent of social media, real time tools and translation software, the online world is up for grabs and the business landscape is virtually limitless.
Do you see the online world a place for brands to grow and reinvent themselves? Or do you think the real world still retains control?
Reprinted from SimonMainwaring.com
Simon Mainwaring is a branding consultant, advertising creative director, blogger, and speaker. A former Nike creative at Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, and worldwide creative director for Motorola at Ogilvy, he now consults for brands and creative companies that are re-inventing their industries and enabling positive change. Follow him at SimonMainwaring.com or on Twitter @SimonMainwaring.