It’s good to be back!!

Yesterday I had a very informative conversation with a client of mine with a deep marketing background. The topic centered around “Web 2.0” companies and could small to midsized, non “Web 2.0” companies, borrow some of the same concepts to grow market share and brand awareness, social networking, and focused marketing strategies leveraging social networks. What immediately came to mind was “Web 2.0” companies have attitude, and tons of it.

These companies have bold refreshing websites, take a strong position, will call out the big dogs or have an enemy in mind, and have attitude for days. They usually make it incredibly easy to connect with customers, other companies, and recruits. These companies tend to make extremely good limited feature products that are incredibly easy to use. Personally when these characteristics are exhibited, I am attracted like a moth to a flame. In these recessionary times, I actually want to patronize these people.

Here are some examples taken from some of my favorite companies right now…

Web applications today are too limited. They’re hard to use and don’t play well together. They’re also incredibly difficult to build. We want to change that. — 280North

Balsamiq Studios LLC is a fresh little software company, focused on adding flavor to your Web Office suite.
Life’s too short for bad software. Most applications have too many buttons, are ugly and boring. We focus on small problems, so that we can solve them really well.

The entire About us page at MailChimp.

Here are three examples of attitude presented in a tasteful manner that instantly separates these companies from the umpteen millions of large and small companies and firms that all seem to want to provide value, and are focused on customer service. When is the last time you heard AT&T talk about how they were focused on providing a kickass telecom network and customer service to support their myriad of consulting services. Can you even find out what consulting and data center hosting services they offer in less than 1 minute?  Thus it is no surprise that large companies and mid-sized companies that want to be large corporate titans are having a difficult time using social networks to spread the word about their brand. It’s kinda hard to get twitter followers if your boring and monolithic. Luckily there is help, but I wonder how dynamic can you really be when your’re so large and can’t shake the irresistible urge to be conservative.

Here is an example of a marketing services agency that got it right.

Social Media isn’t a gimmick. It isn’t a fad. It’s not going away.
Social Media presents new and exciting opportunities for brands to
better understand and connect with their customers online. At Spring
Creek Group, we help our clients monitor and analyze their brand equity
online, develop their social media marketing strategy, and build their
social media brand presence and customer engagement programs. — Spring Creek Group

Talk about a tightly focused, strong position, introductory statement that really draws you in. It really isn’t that hard to do.+10 points for this description of their team:

Our team at Spring Creek Group consists of a growing group of Project Leads, Analytics & Measurement Leads, and Engagement Leads. Our titles don’t map to traditional marketing and advertising agencies, because our services and business model are quite a bit different than typical agencies. We are organized from the ground up to focus on our clients’ needs and driving brand insights and awareness in the social media channel.

You know who else is showing tons of attitude in a very engaging ad campaign…. Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewery, a subsidiary of FEMSA (NYSEFMX) and better known right now for Dos Equis. “The Most Interesting Man in the World” advertising campaign is another great example of a larger organization showing some attitude using the social networks to their advantage, and getting results for their brand. At this point who isn’t a fan of Dos Equis on Facebook? Who (unless you’ve been living under a rock) hasn’t seen those commercials on TV or YouTube.

However, to be fair, there are some large entities showing plenty of attitude in the midst of a downright brawl. Apple and Microsoft have been slugging back and forth for awhile now and their ads are indeed entertaining. In fact Microsoft has been showing a bit too much attitude because apparently Apple wanted the Laptop hunter ads to be removed. I’ll save my comments for later about what I think of Apple’s course of action on this, but it is worth noting that these two companies are definitely taking a stand and their attitude and fight are showing in their ads. I literally joked with Mikal that the “I’m a Mac” ads were a sucker punch to the head by Apple, and I was curious to see what the retaliation would be. It took a while, but eventually Microsoft came back swinging. That’s attitude, that’s where the web and popular culture is going, and people need to get on board.

What other “traditional” aka non Web 2.0 companies are showing some attitude either on their websites, or as a part of their marketing strategy?

— Justin

2 thoughts on “Attitude

  1. Justin,

    Great article. Coca-Cola is also reaching out to its consumers through facebook, twitter and now video! Coca-Cola just launched their Open Happiness song on MTV. They are engaging people through other non-traditional means. The song is #1 in China right now!



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