Dec 23, 2010

User Generated Branding

Web has enabled millions of common people to start publishing their own brand-related content. As evidenced by YouTube videos, Facebook groups, Twitter messages, Wikipedia articles, Amazon book reviews and other social media activities due to which amateur pieces have now achieve significant reach. Now the question is how effective are these participatory web programs for brands? FinePix
In order to answer this question it is better to know about UGB-User Generated Branding. UGB is rooted in the theoretical framework of the identity-based brand management approach. This approach takes into account both the brand perception by external stakeholders, referred to as brand image, and the self-reflection of a brand by internal stakeholders, called brand identity. With regard to UGC-User Generated Contents related problems, the identity-based brand management approach is particularly suitable, as it stresses on the brand’s interaction capability. Brand identity is constituted by both the interactions among internal stakeholders and their interactions with external target groups.
As on the Web in 2000 era not meeting the brand promise is punished quicker, more consequently and with farther reach. Therefore, the requirements for internal brand management are increasing. If employees and intermediaries “live the brand” the negative brand-related UGC may be counteracted and positive grassroots brand messages can be evoked. On the other hand, the identity-based brand management approach explicitly considers consumer-to-consumer interaction. User generated brand messages are regarded as brand touch points next to corporate communication efforts which are affecting a consumer’s brand experience and brand expectations.
UGB is understood as the handling of all kinds of voluntarily created and publicly distributed brand messages undertaken by non-marketers from original user comments to reviews, ratings and remixes with corporate messages, to even full artistic work. This UGC might represent both expression of customer complaint and brand fan dedication. It might be visualized as text, image, audio or video and distributed not only via Web platforms such as blogs, review, video sharing and social networking sites but also via mobile devices.
Other form of this technique is known also as user innovative concepts such as Buzz Marketing and word-of-mouth. Unlike mass customization, UGB does not refer to a co-design process within a fixed solution space, but deals with freely created personal brand meaning. Content creators can be regarded as creative consumers. Finally, UGB is more than E-Branding. While the latter aims at using the channel Internet to present a brand, UGB refers to an online feedback movement beyond conventional top-down brand management behavior.

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