I have finally returned to the world of technology after learning how to be effective when your computer and your bberry are no longer at your fingers tips—disconnecting you from all aspects of your life. While I was incommunicado, I had to take a deep breath and think. How am I going to connect with everyone?
I am reading all over the internet that the “Big Three Car Makers” are now individually making their cases in an attempt to persuade consumers to support a US government bail out. They are reaching out on several websites, including google and youtube, facebook, twitter, blogs and Emily Steel reports.
Ford last week placed a video on YouTube featuring CEO Alan Mulally and launched a Web site, TheFordStory.com, that differentiates itself from GM and Chrysler. A Google search for such terms as “auto bailout,” and “cash flow” brings up a link to the site. The company also has enlisted members of its staff to respond to blog postings and messages on Twitter.
Chrysler’s efforts include posting to its blog, creating a new YouTube channel called Grab Democracy, as well as a Web site to promote its position. It has also launched a virtual road show.
GM, meanwhile, is running ads tied to search terms about the auto bailout, the United Auto Workers and the economy, posting videos on YouTube and buying ads on the third-party sites where Google sells space to drive users to its GMFactsandFiction.com.
I can’t help but giggle as I watch these companies reach out and find all sorts of creative ways to build a case to get universal support—especially the streaming video on CNN of 3 private jets sitting side by side as the “Big 3 CEO’s” testified before the US congress and plead their case.
Despite short-sighted moves such as this, I do believe that all three are using the creativity that is needed to connect and engage their consumers. And that is what brand evangelism is all about. If these companies continue to connect to the people they need and show that they are willing to engage their consumers by proving their worth—not only as a result of the many jobs they provide but also because of the quality and care they put into their products and services—they can build momentum by creating a tribe of supporters that will help spread the word. The US government bailing them out will ultimately assist these companies to produce products that represent the values of the people they are connecting to. Good Work Auto Industry. This is a great way to start (just be sure to pay off your words with action).
I think that as companies begin to assess their marketing budgets for 2009 they are going to have to figure out how to connect. How are they going to introduce consumers to the values that they attach to their products and want people to associate with? How are they going to build their tribe?
What does it mean to connect? The dictionary definition of connection is “to establish communication between; put in communication.” The beauty of social media tools is that “communication between” is now possible. You can create a strategy that will allow you to discover how the people you want to reach best want to establish communication with you. How can you solve the challenges that they have and need by using the products and services that you offer? You connect with them to build their trust and let them know that you want to share your values with them and vice versa. They can then become your trusted brand evangelists.
By engaging with enthusiasm, you can build a loyal fan-base that inspires a passion around your products and services that will spread. Offer ample opportunity for self-expression and you enable your fans to share their love.
The Big Three figured out pretty quickly that if they want to be bailed out that they better find every way possible to establish communication between themselves and the people that build and buy their products. They will be the people that will ultimately help them stay in business in 2009.
We want to hear from you. How do you plan to connect?
Sharing the love?
Taking a vote?
Knowing it and sharing?