Tomi T Ahonen and Alan Moore | Communities Dominate Brands | Business and marketing challenges for the 21st century (Futuretext Ltd, March 2005)
Communities Dominate Brands: Business and marketing challenges for the 21st century is a book about how the new phenomenon of digitally connected communities are emerging as a force to counterbalance the power of the big brands and advertising.
The book explores the problems faced by branding, marketing and advertising facing multiple radical changes in this decade. Communities Dominate Brands discusses how disruptive effects of digitalisation and connectedness introduce threats and opportunities. The authors compellingly illustrate how modern consumers are forming communities and peer-groups to pool their power resulting in a dramatic revolution of how businesses interact with their customers. The book provides practical guidance of how to move from obsolete interruptive advertising to interactive engagement marketing and community based communications, with dozens of real business examples from around the world.
The book discusses such recent phenomena as blogging, virtual environments, mobile phone based swarming and massively multiplayer games. The book introduces a new generation of consumers called Generation-C (for Community). The book also discusses such new concepts as the Connected Age, Reachability, the Four C's, Alpha Users, and introduces Communities as an unavoidable new element into the traditional communication model.
Combining the digital trends, modern management theories, and emerging new customer behaviour, Communities Dominate Brands arrives to its conclusion, that traditional marketing methods are increasingly ineffective and even becoming counterproductive. The power of the brands and the abuses by marketing have created a vacuum for a counterbalance, and digitally connected communities, the blogosphere, gamers, and especially the always-on connectedness of those on mobile phone networks, are emerging as the counterforce to redress the balance. The power of smart mobs and digitally enlightened communities will react rapidly to marketing excesses as the natural force balancing the power of the brands. The way a business can and must interact with the powerful new communities is through engagement marketing, by enticing the communities to interact with the brands.
The authors discuss the business relevance of such community related technologies and phenomena such as blogging, CANs, iPod, MMOGs, MVNOs, PVRs, Ringing Tones, SMS text messaging, swarming, VOD. This is the definitive business book on the impact of new technologies, not explaining how technology works, but showing what businesses need to do to make money in the new digitally converging environment.
Communities Dominate Brands analyses early successes of engaging communities by global brands such as Adidas, Apple, Audi, BBC, Boeing, Coca Cola, eBay, Ford, Google, Guinness, Hush Puppies, Lonely Planet, MTV, Nokia, Orange, Philips, Red Bull, Sony, Tesco, Tony & Guy, Vodafone, etc. The lessons are amplified with insights from rough punishment by communities suffered by Hutchison/Three networks, Kryptonite locks, Mazda, the Philippines Government, etc.
Communities Dominate Brands establishes a new class of consumer, Generation-C for Community, the population that is always in contact with friends and colleagues and trust them more than your branded messages. The book indicates how we have moved from a Networked Age of the 1990s to the Connected Age of now, pinpointing the relevant changes and explaining the significance of this transition. The authors explain how the communication model is altered with the emergence of communities. Then the book provides practical guidance how brands can move from interruptive advertising to engagement marketing, to capture the interests of the new communities.
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