Build it and they will come…field of fantasies

MM pointed me in the direction of this fine post about how many corporate social networks are making zero dollars and more so nil sense.  Marshall Kirkpatrick uses the Breeze kitty litter community as a hilarious but also worrying example. It has 198 members. I wonder the cost per member? Who signed this idea off?  Who the hell managed to sell it in?  It has a touch of the “emperors new clothes” about it. 

Again, I will rip-off a fine analogy of MM’s for this…”Why would you want to go to a bar that was owned by (Brand X) and hang out there? In the same way why would you want to join one of their on-line communities?”  Now, the brand we were talking about was not the sort of brand that would build a bar that you’d want to hang out in. They may like to be. But being like one, and being actually one is a very different matter.  Unless the brand is one that you and a group of other people are passionate about, then I can’t understand why a brand would spend burn LOTS of cash on one of these unless they suffered from that same lack of self-confidence as the emperor did when he was stitched up in sweet-nothing.  For some brands it makes a lot of sense to create an on-line community, for others it’s CRAZY!  But some of the talk I am hearing about the traps is that it’s a “must”; you have to have a “presence”, you gotta get on board.  

I think this ties in with one of my theores around “brand vanity” that I oft think about, but never get anything down about…this shall be the subject of the very next post.

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