“The End of Conversation” describes some interesting thoughts on brand conversation. While a lot of CEO’s/CMO’s/CxO’s look at conversation as the one and only next big thing, Mitch Joel (@mitchjoel) thinks different. For his thoughts I refer to the initial article on the TwistImage Blog, but I really want to put some side notes on the semantics of conversation which can add to the discussion/conversation about the future of brand conversation.
Basically conversation is 2 people talking. So are brand able to talk? Do you want to talk with a brand? Mitch Joel writes about how he looks at conversation in this way…brands hardly conversate, because a brand isn’t able to conversate. Good point, and straight forward questions like “Did a brand talk to you?” “Did a brand comment on your blog post or comments?” …. point out that conversation is more than just brands talking to you. Probably your favorite brand didn’t thank you for buying its products, nor did they start an engaging conversation with you on the future of their brand of products….So why is everybody so full off conversation as the next big thing?
First of all conversation is a lot more than just 2 people having a talk. Especially if you talk conversation in business, Mitch Joel concludes that for brand conversation isn’t important, standing out is, so people share your advertising or (commercial) message. Instead of focussing on the conversation a company again need to focus on the brand and the message (McLuhan?!) instead of the media….In 2012 traditional media and traditional message (shouting/pushing) is declining, so I don’t believe with a traditional approach of building a strong message you can stand out! You need to get your message across, and that’s the true conversation challenge….More and more people aren’t using traditional media anymore, other more personnel media are used to communicate and conversate, so as a brand you should acknowledge this new media channels. Along with this new media channels, new habits and techniques arise (McLuhan?!)…these social media channels are more than just one way communicating channels where you can push your message across!
It’s a community effort to converse
Yes, you need the engagement of your community to team up with you. Your brand community is your true conversation power, not the brand itself (your brand isn’t a person is it?!). Your brand ambassadors are building your brand conversation in their community (word-of-mouth it works! If you’re not convinced? check the Morgensons experiment by Martin Lindstrom).
Therefore you need to give the power of your brand to your brands community. This is the true challenge for every company, transferring the power of the message to the customers and developing a structural honest relationship with you consumers. This calls for a “conversation mindset” within the company, changing the company culture is inevitable! And off course…in the end, it’s not about the conversation, but about selling the product! BUT in my opinion conversation, in a broad sense, can be the (key) element to get your message across.
Flat Statement: The power of your community is the power of your conversation.
The End Of Conversation – http://www.twistimage.com/blog/archives/the-end-of-conversation/