What is This Brand Engagement Thing?!?!

October 14th 2009

Hello again my three viewers. Have you been sitting by your computer rabidly awaiting my next post? No of course you haven’t, why would you ? What exactly is here that is actually going to entertain you other than my 4-600 words a week.  There is no Brand Engagement. Other than that quaint little header that I use there is not a whole lot stimulating stuff going on.  However, if you jump over to Starbucks Facebook site by chance. You may find that there is not a lot of difference between our sites. With one glaring exception of course, as of today Starbucks has approximately 4.5 million friends. I have 3. The two people who have left comments on this blog, and the one that I know is reading, and not leaving comments. 🙂

What allows Starbucks to be the #1 ranked social media brand engaged site in the world? Brand Engagement. People want to be seen with Starbucks. They want other people to know that they like Starbucks. From a marketing standpoint: WOW! That’s some powerful stuff. But how did they get there. I mean, back in 2006 they (marketers in general) couldn’t even decide how to measure online brand engagement, or social media engagement. For the most part brand engagement was essentially throwing piles of money at an issue in the hopes that it ‘will make things better.’ So how did Starbucks get ranked #1? Well a combination of marketing through multiple channels so as to expose their values more so than any specific product and Starbucks spent bucket loads of money, at one time, to promote their ‘third place’ concept. Essentially, it’s not home, it’s not work but it is somewhere that you can come and just be comfortable and have a cup of coffee. Not only that but they have so many channels to choose from today, that they can  choose the best suited to them, and go from there.

For Starbucks a site like Facebook is gold. People show up and say small things like “I can’t wait to get a Caramel Macciatto” and then people can respond to that. All the Marketer has to do is set up the page by registering on Facebook, upload an image of the company logo and they can sit back and watch their user base grow. So what is their advantage to having something like this? Measurability! according to Avinash Kaushik “It would be criminal not to…” Social media spreads like a virus, it slowly creeps along and mutates with every generation. Look at the difference between MySpace and Facebook.  This gives the marketers at Starbucks a major advantage, because not only can the marketers from Starbucks then measure their failures and successes, through web analytics. But as the social media cloud spreads to encompass more users every day, so does the brand engagement that big organizations, like Starbucks, need to continue being profitable into the future.

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