Monday, April 13, 2009

Social Immersion: Mirror Your Environment

A friend of mine sent me some photos of a "new" hunting blind that utilizes mirrors to mimic the natural environment.

The blind, called the Predator V4, is marketed as "the world's only mirror hunting blind." It is stated that the stand becomes any environment you place it in and is described as the perfect camo, or mirrorflauge. Clever stuff.

This same principle can be applied to social marketing where you want to be immersed into the social strata without being perceived as a foreign entity. I favor a 360 degree approach - much like a huge disco mirror ball.

You need to plant your mirrors all over the Web: Flickr, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter - and water with constant attention. Feed the bite-sized brand mirrors with fresh content and allow users to see and express their own identity as a part of your brand. Send messages to show you're a fan of their brand enthusiasm and their stewardship. Above all nurture participation. Read more in a very thorough article: Design for Social Networking.

Joe Marchese has an interesting article called, The Social Media Mirror where he states that "social media is a digital reflection of real-world social interactions." He goes on to further state that "social media is where people create a digital representation of themselves for other people to see."

Brands can act as accessories to individuals' social representations online. They are an outward digital expression of who they are in the real world.
This cyclical approach to social marketing is beneficial to the consumer and to the marketer. Adam Wilson, former Creative Director of the Jeep brand at Organic, Inc stated that social media participants were "micro broadcasters." They were key-influencers in a own micro-universe that overlaps with multitudes of other like-minded individuals.

I have the honor of acting as one of the key brand stewards for the Jeep brand.
The core values of the Jeep brand: Freedom, Adventure, Mastery, Authenticity and most recently Fun naturally appeals to a wide demographic. Marketing for the Jeep brand - we make a concerted effort to maintain an identity that can trace its roots back to 1941. It's taken over 60 years to create the branding of Jeep - a true original. That same recognizable identity - that portrays rugged individualism is just one reason the Jeep brand has thrived in the social arena.

So, is it the brand that is imitating the audience or the audience that is imitating the brand?

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