We had a really good discussion on this topic in our panel session this morning at ad:tech Sydney. The topic was Handing Your Brand To The Consumer: Are You Willing To Let Go?
The distinguished panel members were: Charis Palmer, Managing Editor, Online Banking Review; Jackie Maxted, CEO, beautyheaven.com.au; and Gareth Llewellyn, Corporate Communications Manager, Oracle Australia.
Starting with the proposition that any control over brands in the past was merely an illusion we heard some case studies from Gareth & Jackie. Then we segued into an interesting conversation about some of the issues.
The wide ranging discussion covered areas such as risk and resourcing for online activities like blogging and social networking for business.
Another important topic was getting the tone right and the importance of a relaxed culture vs. corporate tone, and informal vs. formal messaging.
Other considerations included transparency versus legal & compliance issues – especially for banking and other highly regulated industries.
The consensus was that brands are out of our hands to a certain extent anyhow, so it is better to engage on your own terms and start a conversation with consumers. And listening was seen as a critical starting point to the dialogue.
A big thank-you to the panel, they did a great job in bringing out key lessons learned and issues for consideration before embarking on this kind of corporate journey. Will try to blog some more about this later as the panel had some good ideas.