The Relationship Between the Brand and the Customer

I like Under Armor. I like Nike. I like Titleist.  Do I love them? No, it’s a platonic relationship.. Now where does that put me in the grand scheme of things when it comes to our “social relationship“? What do I want that relationship to look like? I know what they want it to be. They want me to friend, follow, like and fan all of their social sites. They want me to be available to them on all digital channels for all of their push style messaging.

But then what? What are we both supposed to do at this point. At best, the end game from the brand perspective should be transactional. Right?  In the interim, it should be me engaged with them building towards a transaction, and possibly sharing that engagement or brand experience with my friends.

At the least they, the brands, should be mining all of my demographic, social and personal data so that they can target market to me out the wahzoo. Again though, what do I get out of that besides the product that I may buy. If they were smart, they may have asked me what I want but the bottom line is that if I am friending, following, or liking a brand for a reason. I have a modus operandi. I have to. Right?

What is my strategy? Why do I or should I follow, friend, fan or like a brand? What do I want out of the relationship? What do I want from you Oh mighty brand that I adore?

Free Stuff, deals and coupons. That’s it. Let’s call a spade a spade and quit hiding behind fluffy connotations of the brand/consumer relationship. Give them deals, don’t screw them and if you do, make sure you make it right quickly. That’s the reality of the social consumer and the social brand.

3 thoughts on “The Relationship Between the Brand and the Customer

  1. Maybe it’s because I can get access to the Nike, adidas, and Columbia / Mountain Hardware employee stores where current, 1st (i.e. not mistakes/2nds) apparel is sold at 50% off, but I look for content from the brands I follow in social media. I am a prude when it comes to being a friend, fan, follower, liker of brands in large part because I don’t want to my social media world to be inundated with push marketing efforts that lacks quality stories, new perspective, and fresh content that I otherwise would not get. Gary Vaynerchuck discusses this in the Thank You Economy…brands need to be part of and add to the story and community rather than use it as a direct marketing effort.

    Maybe this is me, but I’m not looking for coupons and deals but rather content about the larger industry, an inside story about the compnay / products, and a unique perspective from a brand I like.


  2. Funny, I just wrote a post about this from the brand’s perspective. We’re living in an era where the customer is king, and if you the brand fail to respond quickly enough to complaints or don’t give enough freebies in exchange for his data, he will say “off with your head,” and others will happily join in the chorus. On the one hand, this whole ply-em-with-discounts phenomenon doesn’t sit well with me, as I don’t think it’s a way to increase loyalty. On the other hand, we are asking for personal information, and that should never come free.

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