How to Make Your Brand Wiki-Worthy

Welt Branding sat down with Mike Dover, co-author of Wiki Brands: Reinventing Your Company In A Customer-Driven Marketplace, and had a discussion about a few of his branding insights and their impact on businesses. Wiki Brands discusses what companies have done in the past, what they are doing now, and what they should be doing with branding efforts. The authors analyze the effects these efforts have on brands, and highlight some key concepts any executive or marketer should consider.

Don Tapscott’s research program known as Marketing 2.0 initiated Wiki Brands. Dover ran the operations for this program while Sean Moffitt, co-author of Wiki Brands, wrote its research papers in conjunction with other faculty members. The two were granted permission to take existing work and expand it to book form by continuing their own research as well as updating existing results.

Here is a sample of their findings:

Brand managers make a series of mistakes in their branding efforts, which can be simplified into three elements.

1. The main obstacle in branding revolves around philosophy and support. Having upper level executives on board to support and maintain efforts goes far.
2. There is a flip side to a brand’s success: consumers crave authenticity and a brand needs to be honest to facilitate their trust. Trust is also built through consumer engagement and word of mouth promotions, which require long-term effort, strategy, and maintenance.
3. Brands should leverage in individual employee skill sets. Do not hire a tech junkie to manage your social media or public relations – hire someone with communication skills and passion.

Dover also mentions that when brands establish a presence on social media they should clarify ownership of the communicating pages or handles. For example, is your brand’s Twitter activity tweeted through a brand handle or an individual handle (i.e. your VP of marketing)? Ownership is especially important if that individual leaves the company, and this should be predetermined and identified in a Social Media Policy.

Additionally, brands need to be reminded of the importance of the growing net generation. As baby boomers and generation y are rotating out of the market place, companies should be focusing on net generation characteristics and market behavior. Dover defines individuals in this generation as scrutinizers with much different and much higher expectations. Net gens are cynical: less likely to trust and more likely to question, criticize, and research your claims. They will call you out on your mistakes and your lag time. “They care more about things like speed, concept of performance review, feedback: feedback everyday. These consumers expect their voices to be heard and to be responded to very quickly.”

The best way for brands to have any chance in keeping up with these expectations is to engage, discuss, and become as transparent as possible. Create a brand community.

About Mike Dover

Mike Dover is a public speaker, consultant, and a professor of Marketing and Global Business at Humber College in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He favors public speaking because he enjoys the excitement people have regarding his topics. When he is not teaching or consulting he is in and out of speaking engagements. In his global consulting career, Mike prefers working with companies that are just starting out because he has a clean pallet to work with. In fact, a lot of his consulting is actually considered custom research.

Wiki Brands was voted #2 for Best Marketing Book of The Year by Expert Marketeer.

To stay up to date with Wiki Brands:

Buy the book on Amazon
Tweet the authors at Wikibrands
Check them out on Facebook
Read their presentations on SlideShare

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