Truly "Social" Media

Outstanding article in the latest Harvard Business Review from Douglas Holt, author of the book How Brands Become Icons.

Holt wrote his book about a decade ago and since that time social media has exploded. As he points out, it is challenging to make any kind of impact with branded content on social media, much less an impact that is truly lasting and reaps enduring benefits for the brand.

However, Holt argues that an avenue toward this kind of success on social media is to tap into a broader cultural story.  An example that is central to his argument is the Chipotle “Back to the Start” campaign, which tapped into broader societal concerns about industrialized farming. Of course, Chipotle has had some problems recently that probably have significantly damaged its brand equity.  Nonetheless, before that news became public the “Back to the Start” videos gave the brand a voice and differentiated it from other fast-food chains.

Holt also discusses how Axe, Dove, and Old Spice all, in their own unique ways, used social media to create powerful messages with lasting impact in the deodorant and beauty space.