Brand Discourse

Why ‘discourse’? Discourse is generally considered to be a formal discussion or debate about a topic and individual ‘tweets’ and status updates from the statusphere could be considered trivial. But as we begin to find new ways to listen in on and contribute to these conversations we will find that there is a true discourse that is worth paying attention to.

We now have the power to overhear conversations from all over the world. We are also approaching a critical-mass of people conversing through digital channels in bytes and bits. The ability to jump in and out of the conversation as well as overhear a recommendation, woot!, or @!**$% about a brand is going to change the way brands market themselves.

First marketing folks were saying “social” a lot and experimenting with the tools that emerged. No one really knew what was going on, they just knew it was different and cool. A new kind of channel has emerged and the next step will be where the potential is truly understood and revealed – and ultimately packaged in an ‘expert’ presentation.

Brand Discourse will follow three key trends which we expect to flourish over the next year:

1. Making Money:

Eventually, even the coolest tool needs to make money to survive. Some of the stronger players – those with more eyeballs – will surely survive for the first monetizing wave. Advertising can only go so far in the quest for a profit. More creative solutions have to and will emerge.

2. Measuring Stuff:

May be related to the money showing. Many bad tools based on old paradigms — like blog measurement — will be created, but eventually some great tools will emerge. No one has asked the right questions yet. Once they do and create a tool that provides the answers, we hope to be there — or beat them to it đŸ™‚

3. Creating Real Value:

The ability to mold a brand’s image has eroded since the internet age began, but now the tipping-point has been reached. Brands can no longer simply tell their audience what/who they are and then reinforce that through sponsorships and messaging. Brand management needs to be more fluid than ever before. Only brands that provide real value will truly thrive. They’ve got to:

  • Listen
  • Learn
  • React
  • Measure… different stuff
  • Provide real value!

We are not the experts… yet.

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