Your Brand Isn’t Yours Anymore (and Never Was)

I’ve long preached to fellow marketers that consumer-generated media means they no longer exclusively manage their brand. Part of marketing today means that a viral YouTube video can eclipse even the most crafted marketing and public relations campaign.

Sure this has been an issue since I invented the Internet, but the easy sharing of video (the most visceral of electronic media) has given consumers a louder voice than ever.

This is, of course, an easy message to preach until you realize that the same is true about your own brand. This beast I’ve created, “Kevin Nalts” is not mine. Others share in the creation of this brand (which bears some resemblence to me, but in a concentric circle kinda way).

After all, a “brand” is the position something owns in the minds of others. So Coolkid1993 has as much to do with the Nalts brand as I do.

Who is Cookkid1993? I don’t know him, but he is one of the most frequent contributors to the Kevin Nalts wikipedia page.

Have I ever interacted with Coolkid? I imagine so, and hopefully I was pleasant. He has a Wiki page of his own, so I know he:

  • Was born in Indiana
  • Is right handed
  • Was born on May 16
  • Supports Mike Gravel
  • He likes The Simpsons
  • He eats at Burger King

I don’t know how to reach him, but I like to imagine myself hanging out with Coolkid as we have so much in common (except that I don’t support Mike Gravel because I’m hopelesly bored by politics). Then again, maybe I’m just being nice so CoolKid keeps my Wikipedia page kind.

I think it’s illegal for me to edit my own Wikipedia page, isn’t it? Can anyone else change that photo? I look like a big fatty.

10 Replies to “Your Brand Isn’t Yours Anymore (and Never Was)”

  1. This is SUCH a crucial point in online video as it pertains to marketing. As a Brand, you GOTTA remember that your customers are talking about you: They’re telling their brothers-in-law to shop at your store, they’re telling husbands to buy jewelry from you, and they’re telling Mom and Dad to buy your new game console for them.

    They’re also telling their friends, neighbors, and the buying public how bad they got burned the last time they bought your product, and how poorly they were treated the last time they were in your store.

    With online video, EVERYONE has a voice who wants one. So if they’re gonna say something about you, make sure it’s something good.

  2. Slater- you bring up a really good point. Word of mouth marketing has been around since the first caveman recommended a certain technique for fire lighting (to hide the scent of his poop). But now it’s more measurable and spreads in seconds. Anyone with a PhD in instructional design will tell you that learning increases dramatically if you hear AND see something. So as a result, online video is the most persuasive form of consumer generated media and “word of mouth on steroids.” Influence is part subject-matter expertise and part theater, right?

  3. You’re late on your suck-up payment. I suggest you send it as soon as possible if you don’t want me to start talking to samtwist.

  4. I have some great pictures I can add to your wikipedia page! If you don’t want them added you know where to send the check.

  5. Heeeeeeeey and no marquis and tripplehelix! This guy doesn’t know you at all 😉

    Come out of the shadows Cookkid1993 I want to start your Wiki Page

  6. Yikes! Kevin, intersting how your new pic is sized 999 X 666! That’s scaring me! You are satan, aren’t you?

    *cying like a little boy who just found out his super hero idol is a wussy!*

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