This morning, I was privileged to attend a social media breakfast hosted by Crimson Hexagon at the Roger Smith Hotel in New York. I wasn’t sure what to expect, other than breakfast. Breakfast was excellent (as to be expected when catered by restaurant sharing my daughter‘s name, Lily), but the real fare came from the speakers.
First up was Brad McCormick from Porter Novelli. He had my attention at the first mention of Duncan Watts. His best take-away: brands vastly overestimate the extent to which consumer pay attention to branding. He knows this because he’s measured consumer response, at least in the context of an unnamed client in the grooming industry.
Then came Shiv Singh from Avenue A | Razorfish. His thesis was that online brand success factors differ from those of offline brands, alluding to a presentation from fellow Razorfisher Joe Crump on “Digital Darwinism“. He then performed some live (if informal) market research to see if the audience shared his concerns about the future of social media in the branding industry. He found consensus on the concern that metrics are major challenge in establishing credibility for the business of social media. The more controversial issue was the relative value of online vs. offline word of mouth marketing. I have my own point of view on this, but I’ll save that for a future post.
The final speaker was Melanie Notkin, founder and CEO of SavvyAuntie.com. I’d never heard of SavvyAuntie before, but perhaps that’s because I’m not in their target demographic: the roughly 50% of American women who don’t have children of their own. Her presentation was phenomenal, and I can’t do justice to it here. But I’ll try to give you a taste of this case study in success through social media.
First off, she established a clear brand: Professional Aunts, No Kids (PANK) and “playful luxury”, targeting non-moms with discretionary income.She then used social media–particularly her blog and Twitter–to rapidly perform field research and build brand recognition. Some gems: “aunt farm”, “auntrepreneur”. And perhaps the best take-away about the hype about “community”: “Community is for those who want it.”