Sunday, May 25, 2008

Corporate Blogging Series II: Blogging and the Brand

Perusing through several corporate blogs to understand the objectives behind their existence, customer aquisition and retention appear important thoughts behind the strategic management decision to host the same.

To promote Customer Acquisition by building brand equity by
a)Showcasing organisational growth
b)Clarifying organisational vision, opinion and direction for consumers,
c)Image Building and
d)Brand Building

Acquisition is a vital stage and a focused and contextual interaction with the customers is beneficial to any organization for furthering it's brand. A corporate blog helps create a forum for open and integrated channels of communication between brand and consumer by enabling interactivity between brand and consumer.

Blogging is fast becoming an extremely important strategy for any online marketer.Research shows that organisations after having commenced blogging have climbed up the Alexa traffic rankings. As news articles about a relevant industry, product updates, interviews, insights into topics of importance to the target audience emerge on the blog, they create a subscriber base, the way people subscribe to the daily newspaper. This way regular updates on products, features etc. can reach the niche consumer base at a fast speed. Good quality relevant content, constant updation and creation of a blog environment where ideas flourish and debates on related topics keep people from the target market coming back is what works for these organisations

People who read organizational blogs perceive an organization's relational maintenance strategies as demonstrating more of a conversational human voice than those who read only the organization's traditional Web content or those in a control group who read Web content unrelated to the organization(Kellehar,Miller,2006)

The CISCO Blog is an open discussion forum where Cisco leaders address key technology issues and where community interaction is encouraged. By hosting a blog with the above viewpoint CISCO first built an image of the company as an authority in technology and developed a community to share its ideas.After developing a dignified readership base, by posting entries like “Patent Board: CISCO is #1 Leader in Telecom”, Cisco has managed to create an image of a highly competitive company which is centre-of-the business-universe telecommunications. Also, by featuring excellent reviews from the Fortune, Wired and Financial Times, CISCO has done well to use its blog effectively towards brand promotion!

The corporate blog of Tata Interactive Systems(TIS), gives a peek into the work being done and products being launched by TIS for learning disabilities of children with special educational needs, by showcasing the Tata Learning Disability Forum, Also, by hosting a category 'Life at TIS', TIS shares its organisational culture with the world.

Corporate Social Responsibility Blogs , like those of Mc Donald's and Hewlett Packard are fast catching on. With Mc Donald's discussing issues closer to health, nutrition and food safety , this endeavour contributes to an image building exercise, as a company valuing quality of food provided to the consumers. This is a good effort for a company which has faced a lot of criticism towards promoting unhealthy food habits.

From the perspective of Jonathan Schwartz, the CEO of Sun Microsystems, blogging is not an appendage to Sun’s marketing communications strategy today-it is central to it. Blogs have authenticated the Sun brand more than any typical advertising campaign and associated with Sun a respectable degree of tenacity and authenticity.

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