Circos Brand Karma

Official Blog of Circos

T-Mobile UK is a Brilliant Web 2.0 Brand Storyteller

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From time to time I get asked to cite examples of a brand that does a great job of leveraging Web 2.0 to enhance its brand story.  With the ease in which anyone can post something about their brand experience, its easy for brand stories to get fragmented.  Recently the impact of social media on Domino’s pizza, as well as the instant fame that Susan Boyle from Britain’s Got Talent, are examples of how influential social media has become.  Susan Boyle’s video on YouTube has been viewed more than 51M times — which has not only established her as an overnight brand but also cemented the show (and people like Simon Cowell) as the de facto talent discoverer worldwide.

The examples above are accidental in that something extraordinary happened and the parties were accidental victims or benefactors of the ensuing buzz.  But what about a brand that has actively embraced Web 2.0 as part of its strategy?  A few months ago I saw the t-mobile commercial that featured a dance in Liverpool station in London.  That video has been viewed more than 11M times and generated a lot of buzz for the brand to make it fresh.  T-mobile just followed up on April 30th with a live singing at Trafalgar Square.

The video itself undoubtedly will be as viral as the first commercial, but its the user-generated content from the event itself that will not only further the buzz but increase the specificity through which t-mobile’s brand stories can be “narrowcasted” by the participants to achieve even further impact.  For example, when I searched for “t-mobile trafalgar” on Flickr I found over 300 results, and there are already over 150 results on YouTube.

The “Life is for Sharing” campaign is right for t-mobile because the inherent nature of what t-mobile does is to connect people together so they can share — hence the tagline isn’t a stretch.  But the campaign they’re running to leverage Web 2.0 makes the sharing real.  By creating these singing and dancing events t-mobile also created a platform for participants and passerbys to experience something extraordinary, and the very devices and services they use to tell their friends and family can all be easily linked back to what t-mobile has to provide.

In a brilliant twist of “in-the-know,” the singer Pink is also in the Trafalgar video.  Her brief “just one of the crowd” presence, in addition to the perfect product placements of participants taking pictures/videos using their cellphones while the event is going on goes to show how well t-mobile and its ad agency understand how to leverage Web 2.0 to enhance its brand story.

Similar to the participants of Trafalgar and Liverpool, hoteliers should expect their guests to share their (hopefully extraordinary) stay experience.  Some will do this in text, others will further enhance with pictures and videos.  Each new post will either contribute to or detract from the brand story.  It’s unwise to ignore what these customers are saying, as unlike guest satisfaction surveys which can be seen only by the hotel staff, these posts are publicly available to anyone.  At a minimum, all hoteliers need to be aware of what is being said.

For hoteliers who have a communicative customer base, a business strategy that incorporates Web 2.0 and social media as part of the brandstorytelling will lead the brand to have better awareness, favorability, loyalty, and ultimately, profitability.

Incidentally, I will be speaking about this topic at the China Travel Innovation Summit, an event that is sponsored by China Travel Daily in association with PhoCusWright.  Hope to see you there.


One Response

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  1. Susan Boyle is an exceptionally talented lady who’s been subjected to considerable criticism in the media. IMHO she deserves every bit of success that she is having.

    Taps Aguado

    March 15, 2010 at 3:29 am

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