Thursday, July 30, 2009

Week 2: Empowering the customer, part 2

I really enjoyed the lecture on brand communities. By discussing communities that preceded the internet, it reinforced the too-often overlooked notion that it's human need that drives the technological breakthroughs, not the other way around. For example, before the innovations in digital music recording enabled the now-ubiquitous trend of making music by sampling other recordings, DJ's manually (literally) "sampled" bits of vinyl records.

What web 2.0 has enabled is the capacity for a much deeper penetration of these brand communities into our lives. Instead of hitting the road for half a year, I can be a deadhead from my livingroom sofa. And by having a lower hurdle of consumer commitment to clear, marketers have a better chance to get their target consumers engaged. I imagine that, prior to web 2.0, these sorts of brand communities were fairly rare; in the near future, however, I expect they will be a channel of choice for marketers deprived of the network tv, newspapers, and other one way, top down-type marketing means that have defined the discipline for the better part of the last 50 years.

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