Monday, November 9, 2009

Day 86 - More major companies make the switch to Social Media

Luxury goods manufacturer Burberry has just hooked up with Facebook to launch a new Web site celebrating its trench coat, making it the latest in a long line of retailers who are using social media to boost their brands.

The Web site,, will allow members connected via Facebook to submit images and stories about their own Burberry trench coat experiences. I will admit that I always wanted a Burberry trench coat. But I wonder how many people under 30 have even heard of the brand?

The original Burberry was designed by company founder Thomas Burberry specifically for use by British army officers in 1914 serving in World War I. This same trench coat design is still the company's top-selling garment. Talk about a timeless value!

Their latest social networking move puts Burberry amid a procession of retailers who are using social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to get their brands in front of consumers and try to interact with them (us). I’m just not convinced that this translates into sales - yet. The next generation of marketers is betting it will.

Another retailer - Mothercare - already runs its own successful social networking site (for moms) at, as does the British online fashion group, ASOS, at its community, ASOS Life.

Others, like Marks & Spencer which announced last month that it had 80,000 followers on its Facebook page, have set up brand pages on every major social networking site. While I have my doubts that this is the way consumers will "connect" in any meaningful way with brands as we move through the 21st Century, dedicated sites and online advertising certainly do help to raise awareness of products and services. Like many people, I am concerned that the Internet is still in chaos. It is barely regulated, warrants extreme caution and sees major changes on a daily basis.

What’s your take on this trend toward social media marketing? Major international corporations are spending billions of dollars in their marketing budgets to “connect” with you online. Are you feeling the love?

Gold Rush

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