Type in “marketing” into Amazon and 87,202 results are returned. “Social media” gets 37,200 returns. “Customer” comes back with 89,398 items, “brand” – 89,556, “collaboration” – 57,460 and “engagement” – 55,800; even niche terms like “online communities” have 7,140 entries and “customer experience” – 8,430 many-faceted selections.
So why this book “Wikibrands”? Why now? and what new arguments and thinking are being added to literary realm by another book? We’ll give you reasons. How about 20 of them?
Beyond a passion shared by us for telling stories of businesses that just plain “get it”, not just the big publicized ones but the absurdly provocative and interesting “under-the-radar” examples, we want to genuinely improve the lot of our business neighborhood. We’ve read a good chunk of our shared publishing cousins, and as much as we love many of them, we’ve seen some gaps and needs we’d love to address and new knowledge and insight we feel compelled to share.
1. Social Business > Social Media – Wikibrands is an attempt to understand how business and organizations use new customer-connected strategies, tactics and technologies to drive value WITH not AT their customers; social media is simply a piece of sod in a very large playing field.
2. The “How” and” What” vs. “Why” – we’ve reached the tipping point for executives raising their curiosity about these newly empowered customers, forget the anthem – that’s so 2006, they want to get to the solution now – Wikibrands provides a bit of the “why” and a lot more of the “how” and “what” roadmap to get there.
3. 10 Steps to Wikibrand – we provide the ten sequential steps for building an engaged organization from: instilling a culture of customer intimacy, to building an enterprise-wide FLIRT strategy, tactics, tools and technology followed by incubating a customer community for the long haul.
4. “Being Social” vs. “Doing Social” – too often, we see examples of customer engagement glorified that pay lip service to the real thing or identify faulty media models – we’ve sifted through the press, personalities and literature and tried to uncover global examples of the best of the best.
5. The Six Benefits of Business Branding – even though “marketing and communications” tends to be the landlord of brand and customer-facing work, the roster of benefits has many stakeholder tenants; Wikibrands is about winning in business regardless of functional expertise – we’ll illustrate for you the full landscape of customer-driven wow.
6. New research – we’ve drawn on nGenera’s multi-million dollar global research and Agent Wildfire’s annual Buzz Report as well as a wealth of secondary research – we’ll appeal to the intuitive right brain and data-hungry left brain to advance new arguments.
7. The role of brand – many books and experts believe the idea of “brand” is outdated in a 2.0 and 3.0 universe, we think it requires a serious reinvention, but face it, the notion of “brand” is here to stay – let’s figure out how.
8. Hard won lessons – digital and social media is cursed with inflated expectations and grandiose ambitions followed by rude realities and underwhelming performance, we talk to some of the practitioners and architects behind real in-market successes.
9. The legacy of Wikinomics – we’ve drawn on the inspiration and encouragement of our friends and colleagues Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams and evolved arguments for collaboration and engagement from the seeds of their best selling book Wikinomics from four years ago (which in this fast-moving world can be an eternity – time for a reboot – but the double bill of Wikibrands and their new book Macrowikinomics).
10. The Organization-Wide Effort – as much as we love many of the recent books on social media, most are told from the point of view of visionary entrepreneurs and personal brands; a much different and tougher task is involved in building wikibrands in thirty, three-hundred, three thousand and thirty-thousand employee brands.
11. The Conversation Continues… – the inked word is only the start, we’d like to make wiki-brands.com the world’s top resource for new research, insight and case studies as well as a member wiki on engaged business and brands.
12. A History Lesson – we’ll demonstrate how Wikibrands represent an evolution in the history of the 150 year brand and point to the seven current divides in media, marketing, technology, customer expectation, business models, generational and culture that point to the new role of brand as a “symbol and lightning rod for customer participation”
13. A Balanced Argument – many books are quite partisan in their hatred of big corporations for ideological, political and perhaps justified reasons. We don’t see Fortune 500 as the “enemy” but the “challenge”; we’d rather objectively shine a light on the best examples of how Inc. and Co. effectively build customer engagement
14. An Annual Celebration – look forward to the annual Wikibrand Awards celebrating the world’s most engaged brands and companies, crowdsourced from your suggestions and votes and settled on by our panel of seasoned judges.
15. Ancillary Stuff – some expanded coverage on future smart bets for the evolution of wikibrands and the subculture of personal, business-to-business, not-for-profit and public sector wikibrands.
16. Wikibrands 300 and Wikibrand City Chapters – an effort to galvanize three hundred champions of new business, new culture, new media, new marketing and new tech. and special mentions to local regional enclaves of grassroots champions.
17. Wikibrand (the noun) and Wikibrands (the verb) – the hopeful mission to identify a philosophy and set of tactics in one term that is so much bigger than social media but a bit smaller than business building.
18. Change Agent Ammo – providing the arguments and examples to help bring collaboration inside your company, change the minds of the “corporate fencesitter” and arm yourself against the “company naysayer”.
19. Curating a Roster of the New “Mad Men and Women” – as much as we love Draper, Sterling and Olson, we’d rather interview and get to know the best of Silicon Valley, Madison Avenue, Main Street and Wall Street and their international equivalents that are making wikibrand ripples – we’ll be calling, Skype-ing, tweeting and following you for more of your stories (or make it easy on us and give us a shout).
20. Detente – it may sound trite and sentimental, but we’ll like to play a role in bridging the oftentimes, adversarial chasm between “the suited establishment” and “the T-shirted movement” , helping them get on a common page to develop better strategies and in the end, have customers and the Wikibrand “white hats” win.
And if that isn’t enough, we’d like to inspire the world to …… Free hugs.