Branded Online communities, set up by companies for Building brand equity are now tying up with the electronic media for greater visibility. As the interest of the youth increases in social networking, with humongous volumes of youngsters not only hanging around networking sites, but also eagerly participating in consumer communities,these branded online communities have found themselves most wanted on Television.
In a recent developmentin India, Hindustan Unilever’s SUNSILK GANG OF GIRLS, an online community , and Zoom Television have come together to present a singing reality show called Sunsilk Gang of Girls – Spotlight Mein.
In response to online applications at the Sunsilk GOG site, this new television series will present four talented girls in the country who will be groomed and mentored by maestros from the music and entertainment fraternity, in preparation for a live finalé performance in front of a big audience.Reality TV, it’s success, the impact generated and the huge volume of viewership it draws is not new to us.
As branded online communities embrace Television, the euphoria created by such shows will further increase traffic on the site-increased membership is a foregone conclusion.
Kelly Mooney’s thoughts in an ADAGE article on For Relevance, Think Three-Way throw light on how corporates can leverage such situations.By looking at the Brand, the consumer and online communities as three components of a love triangle, she reiterates the need for brands to intersect with online communities, to be able to connect with their consumers.
“There are no diminishing returns when brands think three-way, when they “triangulate” to communicate in a b-to-we world. Online communities are an infinite resource bringing not only preexisting participants within the brand’s range, but new i-citizens formerly uninvolved until their passions are sparked by a marketing campaign or message that inspires them to spread the love.”
In Sunsilk’s case,the three sides of the triangle are aptly covered- the brand connects to each girl and the fan community; the girls connect to the brand and each other — all tied to the community or the event as the center.While acting as excellent repositories for information, such communities help the brand marketers by providing information to validate their understanding of the market, while further bifurcating consumers with respect to preferences, expectations, and level of brand loyalty.