Thursday, February 11, 2010

Laura Ries Comments On Brand and Blogging.

Recently I have had the pleasure of interviewing marketing guru, best-selling author and mass-media commentator, Laura Ries. Laura shares her perspective with us here at Brand Corral.

Ed Roach: Laura, what impact on their customers do you think a company's CEO would have if they blogged and allowed comments?
Laura Ries: It depends on the CEO, the company and the category. What might work for some will not work for others. There is no rule that works for everybody. The CEO of Amazon or Zappos is quite different from the CEO of Procter & Gamble or General Mills. CEO blogs work best for a brand with a narrow focus, in a fast moving category with enthusiastic customers. The CEO also needs to be well-known or willing to become so.
Ed Roach: Professionals who wish to establish their expert profile are often frustrated by the fact that blogging doesn't harvest immediate results. Do you have any words of encouragement that if they embrace blogging it will deliver?
Laura Ries: Almost nothing gets immediate results. And compared to writing a book, a blog feels pretty immediate to me. What works best for a blog, a marketing strategy or almost anything is life is consistence and patience. Both of those are hard to come by in corporations.
Ed Roach: Does consistency in the tone of a company's brand message have any relevancy in their corporate blogging efforts? By tone I am referring to the way a company speaks to its stake holders in their on-going marketing vehicles. Apple's tone for instance is creativity, youthful and a difference.
Laura Ries: You said it. Consistency is key. But in order to be consistent a company must first decide what to focus on. What do they want to stand for? For BMW its driving. Volvo its safety. For category leaders they stand for the category. Google stands for search. eBay stands for internet auctions.
The real problem isn’t consistency. The real problem is that too many companies don’t even know what their brand stands for. Most companies hate to focus for example. They want to sell a wide variety of products and/or services with high quality and good prices to everybody.
Ed Roach: Should a corporate blog be consistent with the brand image or stand alone and look completely different?
Laura Ries: Again, it depends on the company and the CEO. But in general there should be a consistent look between the brand and the blog.
Ed Roach: In your opinion Laura, what is more powerful for the brand - one dedicated author of posts or numerous authors? Same goes for addressing comments.
Laura Ries: It is definitely more powerful to have one dedicated author which assures one dedicated voice. The same holds true for addressing comments. If possible one person should handle it.

Thank you Laura.

If you'd like to learn more about Laura Ries visit her blog or pick up her new book, "War In The Boardroom."


Brandi N. Grays said...

The comments about a lack of focus were dead on. I think that many small business owners are scared to focus because they don't want to miss out on other customers. I can admit that this was a bit of a struggle with me when I first started my business.

What I think some business owners fail to realize is that just because you set your brand focus, you dont have to only offer one thing. McDonald's is known for burgers and fries but they sell really good salads. They didnt include salads in their brand, but they still offer them and people buy them.

Your brand should definitely have a focus, but I don't think it has to be a big limiter.

Ed Roach said...

Brandi, Laura's comment on lack of focus resonated with me also. It's probably something we all encounter.

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!

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