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Getting a little help from your friends was easy enough for Lennon and McCartney, but in an age of Google Circles, Facebook lists and Twitter followers - it is far from clear what friendship actually means. Worse still, marketers are muddying the waters. Brands used to want to brainwash us - now they want to be our friends. But consider this for a moment. What if social marketing was not about getting your customers to like you on Facebook but rather fixing a much bigger problem? Namely, trust.
You can have too much of a good thing, especially if it wasn’t yours to start with. Here’s the perfect example - brands that shamelessly imitate the strategies of their major competitors. I was scouting the Westfield complex in Century City, LA last week and noticed a new Sony concept store a few feet from a classic Apple retail shrine. It was striking how similar both stores appeared, except for one crucial distinction - Sony was devoid of customers.
Contrary to cliché, its not hard putting a value on reputation. Accumulate enough bad reviews on eBay or have your business flamed by enough blog writers, and you can literally count the dollars disappearing from your bank balance. Transactional trust has until now been the main focus of online reputation management systems, but is it the only game in town?
eBay have been on a shopping spree lately. On the list - Shopping.com for US$620m and two free classifieds sites (Gumtree and Loquo) bought for an undisclosed amount.
Game aficionados will no doubt be curious as to the result of the legal deathmatch between Vivendi Universal games, and Valve, developer of the insanely popular Half-Life 2 blockbuster. The settlement, which will see Valve's entire boxed inventory yanked off shelves and moved to online distribution should raise a few eyebrows and the blood pressure of retailers hungry for software sales.
© 2013 Tomorrow Limited