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Posted by on Oct 7, 2009 in Branding | 0 comments

The Crow Paradox and Consumer Attitudes

NPR recently reported on the crow paradox. Studies have shown, crows can recognize and remember individual humans for years, while humans have a tough time differentiating one black bird from the next. Interestingly, if you upset one crow, they will caw–cuing another nearby bird to caw and soon the entire flock is mad at you. It’s viral. Not only will they be mad at you then, but when they see you across town, they’ll caw and soon it’s turned into the G version of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. The crow paradox could not be more relevant than in the digital age. When your brand leaves an impression on a consumer, whether it’s good or bad, they will “caw” and let their friends know, either through word-of-mouth or social media. Particularly when something is bad, they can blast their message to hundreds of people, depending on their community influence. If others agree, they’ll jump on the wagon, creating a banned group of unhappy consumers. And as your brand stretches into...

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Posted by on Sep 30, 2009 in Branding | 0 comments

Get Off My Social Property

Early in the afternoon I heard the clanking of bottles and a shrill voice yell, “Get off my property,” about five times, consecutively. I imagined it to be a homeless man scrounging for bottles in the garbage across the street and the homeowner whom he was taking from got a bit overzealous. It got the wheels turning about brands interaction with consumers in social communities. Often times, fans of social sites consider it to be private property—free of sales and pitchmen (i.e. brands). When brands invade their private property, some yell just like the woman across the street. Most people don’t mind, however. To avoid those outspoken opponents, consider if the homeless man were to take a different approach—one that was not so intrusive—he might find more success. Consider Target. Every year they donate X amount of dollars to several charities. To open the lines of communication with Facebook users, they asked them to allocate their charities dollars for them. Their efforts paid off. They garnered significant traffic and...

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