Will brand-driven consumer involvement overtax the audience?

Posted on Sunday 23 April 2006

Asks me a few very relevant questions in her recent piece You and Your Users, Marketing Together on ClickZ, namely: Is the CDI tactic of creating competitions for consumers and customers, for advertising development, quickly turning into a fad? How many more competitions of this sort will the audience want to accept, before people simply tune out and – again – look elsewhere?

Consumer Empowerment should to be looked at strategically, not as a mere advertising tactic. Essentially, I see two ways of doing it right: a) You look for those people who really have a strong emotional connection with your brand, and you carefully choose a few of them, invite them to participate in major decisions and developments, as a “consumer advisory panel” or “consumer innovation panel” that will not only give good advice but also spread the word, on their blogs and elsewhere. Lego has shown that some people are even willing to spend money on this! b) You use well-organised mass-voting events where large numbers of people jointly get to have a say about decisions that are being taken at your company, in online polling. Every participant can join and participate quickly, without any hassle, and afterwards they must be shown that their contribution counted. Voilà.