All week we’ve been talking about the value for companies and organizations of connecting with, and even embracing and empowering their brand evangelists. But a recent post by Sean Howard raises a very valid question: What if an brand evangelist creates content about a brand, that the brand might not approve of? To illustrate his point, Sean even created a parody video about Marketing Profs, so I invite you to click over and check it out.
Here’s a couple of other possible examples that brands might object to:
- A popular political blogger that’s an evangelist for a particular restaurant chain creates a post lauding the chain. However, the post contains the blogger’s usual proliferation of 4-letter words, and the blogger actively supports several organizations that the restaurant chain’s founders are opposed to.
- A video blogger creates a humor video where he does a ‘taste test’ of several different soft drinks, and spits each out, declaring that it tastes like (use your imagination here). Then he finishes by drinking Pepsi, says it is amazing, and not at all like the other soft drinks.
The idea is, what should a company do if one of its brand evangelists creates promotional content for that brand, that the brand objects to? How should they respond?
As I told Sean over at his place, I think it all starts with the connection that a company has with its evangelists. The company/organziation has to make the effort to connect with its evangelists and communicate to them exactly what their branding is. Companies and organizations can’t invite their evangelists to promote them, then try to slap their wrist if they create content on the brand’s behalf, that the brand doesn’t agree with.
Remember that evangelists WANT to see your company or organization succeed and they WANT to promote you. And they WANT you to talk to them. To give them direction. To show them how they can best help you. Take advantage of this to work WITH your evangelists to help them better do what they already want to do: Sing your praises.
How do you think companies and organizations can best communicate to their evangelists how their brand can best be promoted? Should they?