Decide what your brand means, or someone else will.

by Holland-Mark | September 23, 2009

TonyUber-blogger Seth Godin just announced the launch of Brands In Public, which I find fascinating on several levels.

As Seth put it:

“Squidoo has built several hundred pages, each one about a major brand. More are on the way. We’ll keep going until we have thousands of important brands, each on its own page (and we’ll happily add one for you if you like). Each page collects tweets, blog posts, news stories, images, videos and comments about a brand. All of these feeds are algorithmic… the good and the bad show up, all collated and easy to find.

Of course, these comments and conversations are already going on, all over the web. What we’ve done is bring them together in one place. And then we’ve made it easy for the brand to chime in.

If your brand wants to be in charge of developing this page, it will cost you $400 a month. And once you take the page over, the left hand column belongs to you. You can post responses, highlight blog posts, run contests or quizzes. You can publicly have your say right next to the constant stream of information about your brand (information that’s currently all over the web—and information you can’t “take down” or censor). You can respond, lead and organize. If a crisis hits, your page will be there, ready for you to speak up. If your fans are delighted, your page makes it easy for them to chime in and speak up on sites around the web.”

Didn’t catch that? Allow me to translate:

Dear BMW Brand Manager: We know you’re a little skittish about this whole social media thing, so we took the liberty of taking all that stuff you’re terrified of, the stuff that’s been spread all over the Internet by your most ardent fans and detractors, and put it all in one place where everyone can see it. Oh and PS, you’re more than welcome to comment on it, so long as you pay a small fee to us, da management.


Look folks… the genie is out of the bottle. The conversation about you, your brand, your customer service, whatever, is already out there and happening online. It’s time to deal. It’s time to get involved, set the record straight where you can, and learn from the mistakes you make where you cannot.

If this doesn’t get you there, just wait until Seth and co. stop by to ask you to buy some “insurance,” so “nuthin’ bad happens.” Seems to me it’d be better to get involved now, so at least you know what’s being said.

Either that or get a doberman.