Is Web 2.0 for every brand?

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Thoughts on the suitability of "Collaborative Initiatives" of brands. Would it the better for some companies just to avoid web 2.0?

Thoughts on the suitability of "Collaborative Initiatives" of brands. Would it the better for some companies just to avoid web 2.0?

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  • 1. SHOULD
EVERY
BRAND
JUMP
INTO
WEB
2.0?
 By
Werner
Iucksch
 
 Web
2.0
is
decentralising
the
internet,
since
everyone
is
getting
access
to
 platforms
to
generate,
mix
and
distribute
content
at
very
low
costs.
Phenomena
 such
as
the
Wikipedia,
Flickr,
Facebook,
Digg,
YouTube,
Second
Life
and
others
 only
succeed
because
of
the
intervention
of
thousands
o
people
every
day.

 Everyday
its
possible
to
read
something
about
the
value
that
the
interaction
 between
companies/brands
and
people
can
create,
but
the
examples
given
 usually
are
either
of
companies/brands
that
were
born
on
the
web,
thinking
2.0,
 or
“Nike
+”.
Other
examples
created
by
brick
and
mortar
companies
usually
 come
in
form
of
“consumer
created
ads”
–
such
as
“crashthesuperbowl.com”
–
 podcasts
with
user
interaction,
forums
sponsored
by
the
company
and
other
 initiatives
that
make
sure
the
final
decisions
of
most
things
are
in
the
hands
of
 the
advertisers.

 This
“defensive
interaction
management”,
made
me
think
whether
every
brand
 should
even
want
to
be
collaborative.
After
all,
is
Web
2.0
for
everyone?
 
 
 
 Collaboration
can
be
heaven
or
hell.
I
imagine
what
was
going
on
Lego
managers’
 minds
when
the
first
hacks
for
their
robotic
series
“Lego
Mindstorms”
appeared.
 They
failed
to
realize
that
people
wanted
to
collaborate
with
the
company,
 expand
the
experience
of
other
users
by
adding
codes
to
the
software,
and
 threatened
to
sue
the
“toy
hacking

pioneers”.
Soon
after,
however,
threats
were
 dropped.
The
company
perceived
that
what
the
hackers
were
doing
was
actually

  • 2. in
the
very
essence
of
Lego,
they
were
creating.
The
source
code
was
opened
to
 everyone
and
discussion
forums
supported
by
the
brand
were
created.
The
 company
harvested
innovation,
by
keeping
the
intellectual
property
of
any
code
 developed
and
posted
in
their
forums,
perhaps
more
important
than
that,
their
 community
was
stronger
after
all
this.

 Lego,
though,
is
an
exception.
There
is
resistance
to
collaborative
initiatives
 inside
“traditional”
companies
and
many
consumer
communities
are
suspicious
 of
such
companies’
approaches
to
collaboration.
This
is
because
many
 characteristics
that
drive
people
to
collaborate
and
share
are
absolutely
different
 than
those
that
helped
build
most
of
the
big
corporations
of
the
XX
century.
Some
 of
them*:
 Characteristics
 Mass
Society
 Network
Society
 Main
Components
 Collectives
 Individuals
 Nature
of
components
 (predominantly)
 (predominantly)
 Homogeneous
 Heterogeneous
 Scope
 Local
 ‘Glocal’
(global
and
local)
 Centralization
 High
 Low
 Type
of
organization
 Bureaucracy
vertically
 Infocracy
horizontally
 integrated
 differentiated
 Kind
of
Media
 Broadcast
mass
media
 Narrowcast
interactive
 media
 Number
of
media
 Low
 High
 
 Although
many
such
companies
can
see
value
in
adhering
to
web
2.0
 communities,
it
is
very
hard
to
change
their
own
structures
for
many
reasons,
 such
as
embedded
company
culture
and
lack
of
proper
human
resources
to
 develop
Web
2.0
initiatives.

 Additionally,
it
is
interesting
to
discuss
why
companies
develop
brands
in
the
 first
place,
to
understand
another
reason
why
companies
are
slow
into
getting
 conversation
with
“prosumers”
further.
David
Aaker
quotes
Stephen
King
from
 communications
holding
WPP
on
this
subject:
 “A
product
is
something
that
is
made
in
a
factory;
a
brand
is
something
that
 is
bought
by
a
customer.
A
product
can
be
copied
by
a
competitor;
a
brand
 is
unique.
A
product
can
be
quickly
outdated;
a
successful
brand
is
timeless.”
 Developing
sustainable
competitive
advantage
and
differentiation
are
possibly
 the
main
reasons
for
brand
development.
To
do
so,
marketers
operate
just
like
 the
creators
of
comic
books,
movies
and
tv
series.
Marketers
invest
(a
lot
of)
time
 and
money
to
create
meaning
for
something
(i.e.
their
brands).
They
create
a
 personallity
for
the
brand,
develop
brand
values,
think
about
the
market
 situation,
the
human
context
in
which
it
will
operate,
and
they
create
a
world
in
 which
a
brand
is
almost
a
living
entity.
Lynx,
for
instance,
created
a
world
in
 which
young
males’
fantasies
come
true
and
they
get
the
girl
by
using
the
 deodorant;
MasterCard
created
a
world
in
which
credit
cards
are
a
means
to
live
 priceless
moments
and
not
just
buy
goods.


  • 3. When
individuals
begin
to
develop
new
stories
using
characters
and
worlds
that
 are
copyrighted
material,
it
is
possible
that
they
develop
stories
that
are
not
in
 line
with
intentions
of
the
original
authors.
With
brands
there
is
the
same
 concern,
with
the
additional
problem
that
it
is
more
common
for
people
to
 manifest
themselves
parodying
brands
in
a
negative
way
rather
than
otherwise.
 As
the
work
of
anyone
can
spread
incredily
fast,
it
is
possible
that
a
creation
from
 a
single
person
reverberates
dramatically.
Its
impact
can
be
exponentially
 increased
when
difussed
and
discussed
in
social
networks,
blogs,
podcasts,
wikis
 and
social
bookmarking
sites,
spawning
new
versions
and
complementary
work
 as
its
life‐cycle
progresses,
potentially
damaging
the
brand
equity,
just
like
the
 case
in
which
GM
asked
consumers
to
make
a
commercial
for
it’s
Tahoe
SUV
and
 many
consumers
took
the
chance
to
voice
their
antipathy
to
such
vehicle
.

 As
final
obstacle,
web
2.0
business
models
have
no
track
record
in
many
 industries,
so
the
profitability
of
making
large‐scale
participatory
efforts
are
 uncertain.
Is
it
worth
trying
to
become
a
company
so
innovative
and
respected
as
 Google,
if
the
whole
business
model
has
to
be
changed?

 The
task
of
getting
many
companies
to
completely
accept
ideas
linked
to
the
web
 2.0
(as
well
as
the
other
way
around)
is
very
difficult.
There
are
good
reasons
 from
both
sides
to
keep
a
certain
distance.
The
matter
of
control
over
its
 intellectual
property
and
monetization
of
it
is
central
to
marketers,
the
search
 for
freedom
and
collaboration
is
central
to

individuals.
 Companies
may
not
like
it,
consumers
have
the
upper
hand,
for
they
are
key
 stake
holders.
Without
their
contribution,
companies
and
brands
don’t
exist.
 Therefore,
as
society
moves
towards
the
direction
of
creating,
adapting
and
 distributing,
marketer
should
adapt.
In
writing
this
article
I
thought
of
4
ways
in
 which
companies
may
behave.
Not
the
only
4,
I’m
sure,
but
they
are
a
start:

 1) It
might
be
the
case
that
not
every
brand
is
suitable
to
be
leveraged
by
 collaborative
work,
for
the
changes
needed
to
do
so
would
make
them
 commercialy
unviable
and
just
pretending
to
be
2.0
can
have
undesirable
 outcomes.
In
this
case,
the
brand
shouldn’t
try
to
travel
the
“web’s
2.0
 road”.
 2) The
majority
of
brands,
however,
need
to
get
into
this
arena
and
face
the
 incredulity
of
some
groups.
If
the
brand
is
loved
in
the
“offline
world”
(e.g.
 Lego),
it
is
likely
that
good
solutions
are
possible
and
in
the
medium
to
 long‐term
reveal
themselves
as
highly
profitable.
If
the
brands
are
 commoditized
this
is
an
opportunity
to
differentiate
itself
and
gain
value,
 but
the
work
is
likely
to
be
harder.
Persistance
and
consistency
would
 have
to
be
priority.
 3) Companies
can
start
creating
new
brands
that
are
born
with
the
spirit
of
 web
2.0,
in
order
to
be
accepted
and
don’t
feel
the
pressure
of
company
 culture
as
much.
Such
brands
might
eventually
enter
the
segments
of
the
 own
companies’
established
brands
and
replace
them.
 4) An
alternative
approach
for
brands
would
be
that
of
creating
web
2.0
 platforms
that
generate
demand
for
their
products,
instead
of
re‐ inventing
it
completely
from
scratch.
If
Kodak
or
Nikon
had
had
the
idea
 of
creating
Flickr
or
Sony
the
idea
of
creating
YouTube,
for
instance,
they

  • 4. would
have
gained
an
outstanding
amount
of
credibility
and
possibly
 business
among
content
generating
users.
 To
decide
which
way
to
go,
companies
must
first
understand
and
accept
the
 rules
that
consumers
are
adhering
to.
Brand
managers
and
directors
should
keep
 both
eyes
in
what
their
consumers
are
doing
with
their
products,
some
might
be
 having
exceptional
ideas
and
posting
them
in
some
small,
obscure
forums.
Many
 maybe
adopting
new
values
and
beginning
to
demand
new
attitudes
from
brands
 they
buy.
Knowing
how
to
evaluate
these
changes
and
ideas
may
be
the
 difference
between
highly
effective
initiatives
and
completely
irrelevancy
of
the
 brand.
Acknowledging
the
possibility
of
change
and
experimenting
with
it
will
be
 key
to
long
term
survival
of
a
number
of
brands,
as
well
as
their
parent
 companies.
It’s
difficult,
but
interesting.

 
 
 *
‐
Dijk,
J.
v.
(2006,
pg.33).
Network
Society.
Thousand
Oaks,
California,
USA:
Sage.