Thursday, January 11, 2007

Starbucks Monitoring the Blogosphere

A fellow blogger, Kevin Green at Socially Adept has a great take on Starbucks and branding. Starbucks is a brand that consistently has come under fire for multiple reasons. However, one of the primary reasons deals with Starbucks’ lack of support for Ethiopian coffee growers. A video illustrating Starbucks' lack of support featuring interviews with sympathetic passerbys appeared on YouTube on December 18, 2006.

Two days later, Starbucks responded by opening its own YouTube account to rebut the accusations one by one. Go to NewTeeVee to see Starbucks' rebuttal statement.

Kevin also found a great posting about different routes companies should take when they are monitoring the blogosphere. However, one thing to keep in mind is the level of influence that a particular person, or blog has over a particular topic or brand. Influential people, or "Influentials" tend to be more credible. In other words, people listen and often take the advice of influential people.

A good strategy for any company looking to monitor the blogosphere should be to create a list of "To Do's." One of the things on that "To Do" list should be to identify the "Influentials" who talk about the company. The "Influentials" are ultimately responsible for how other people perceive the brand. Therefore, a good communication strategy that reaches out to the "Influentials" is a great way to leverage CGM so that it may shed a more positive light on the image of a brand or product.

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