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Once upon a time, there was a Brand. It earned its reputation on behalf of great products and conquered a lot of markets. Marketing helped it to build its personality, and communication broadcasted and reflected this personality, encountering customers’ satisfaction everywhere. The Brand bacame a global brand.
Of course, the Brand had to take into account cultural differences between countries where it was now firmly established, which was acheived through local alternatives of its marketing mix (advertising, packaging, incentives,…) while fastening its global personality.
The Brand developped its online presence. Website, e-commerce… It carefully began to experiment with social media, listening consumers, joining the conversation. But how could it now keep on satisfactorily answering local aspirations, as the conversation is getting global? Very soon, a customer’s question texted from Konakri may have as much impact on the Brand as one posted on a blog in Los Angeles, albeit conveying totally different cultures and social environment. How will the Brand give anyone an individual answer, since everybody may listen and understand this answer differntly? How can the Brand make a distinction between global and local without partitioning its personality, sailing into dangerous waters?
Brands are nowadays facing a really big challenge, for which we have no answer yet. They learn about listening, they now have to understand, and to answer accordingly. We are just scratching out the surface of social media impact on branding.