How Consumer Brands Can Earn Social Currency

by Shawn Collins on April 29, 2010

I just read the Social Currency Study from Vivaldi Partners, and it included some valuable insights for consumer brands.

While the study is geared towards consumer brands, the information can be adapted by affiliates, too.

Some key insights:

  • Social currency is not the end, it is merely a means to the end of building strong brands and connecting with people. The study shows many brands and companies invest in social media and technologies and engage in networks that builds conversation or buzz but that does not contribute to the value of its brand and does not translate in business results.
  • There are six levers that trigger social currency. It is not just conversation that matters. The relative importance of these six dimensions (see definitions at the end of this document) depends on a number of factors: the stage of brand development, the nature of the market of either consumers or customers, the category and industry, and others.
  • What matters is “meaningful” social currency. Social media efforts should be evaluated in terms of the extent to which it contributes to a brand’s equity, the extent to which it drives category or industry attributes or connects with consumers. Example: successful viral efforts like Burger King’s subservient chicken digital efforts created a lot of buzz but did not really contribute to the strengthening of key components of its brand equity nor did the effort deliver on factors that drive purchase and consumption in the category.
  • Context Matters. One of the major facilitators or enablers of social currency is the nature and type of context in which a brand is consumed or used. For example, beer is a social product because it is used or consumed in a consumption context. This creates a natural advantage for certain alcoholic beverage companies. For example, our study shows that beer companies, despite their advantage, have not leveraged this opportunity well until today.

Get the Social Currency study.

More information on the study in the May 2010 issue of FastCompany.

More Info: Click here

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