Dec 16, 2009

Cartfly, Buzzing Across the Net….

Cartfly is an e-commerce tool used in social networks.

As its name indicates, it is essentially a “shopping cart”, a usable and installable basket embedded into e-commerce sites. Contrary to other tools, Cartfly presents itself as a widget that can be installed very easily. 

PC World writes:

Here the key word is not only “easily” but also “share”.

Cartfly can be installed on the whole constellation of Web 2.0. applications.

  These include the profile pages of Facebook, MySpace, Hi5, Blogger, TypePad, WordPress, Friendster….

Cartfly is fully engaged in the development of social commerce in opening up new monetization possibilities for the Web 2.0 .  PageMage, Nimbit, and Payvment storefronts are  also some of these new social commerce tools. 

They all bet on a rapid growth in their points of sale. This is where social networks come into play.

Cartfly counts on its widget becoming widespread and buzz on the net.

It also is betting on its business model, free download and installation, and a commission starting from 3% on all sales, in order to soon become a “must have” tool, and additionally, in its original and übersimple format are boutiques created with this widget. Cartfly assures that there already exist thousands ….

Dec 5, 2009

Definitions of Social Commerce: From Customers to Friends…?

Like many industries starting off, social commerce lacks a clear definition. There are many different terms that exist used to define this concept as Paul Marsden illustrates in his blog SocialCommerceToday.

Between 2005 and 2007 he collected 17 definitions and had the excellent idea of copying them all down in Wordle in order to see the many terms linked to this industry.  Here is the result:

In doing this, Paul Marsden was able to come up with his own definition (18):
“Social commerce: A subset of electronic commerce that employs collaborative social media tools to assist in online purchasing and selling”.

Definitions definitely vary depending on whether one is a retailer or a “shopper”; or whether or not the application point is an individual consumer or a friend in a social network.

By mapping these points of view on symmetrical axes we get a graph of 18 terms, now 19 including the one that I propose for SherPad, which emphasizes the word of mouth strategy, conversations between friends, and social networks.

(19)“Social Commerce rises through trusted advice in conversations and word-of-mouth among your friends and relations in social networks, blogs, and communities, helping to make shopping decisions and transactions”.

For each definition, the four most relevant key words were kept.  There is a certain tendency to see the most recent definitions show at the top, combine the issue of social networks, links between friends, and favor the “shopper’s” point of view.

However, this is not irreversible, as the definitions of IBM and Paul Marsden, which are situated in the lower part, state:

IBM: “Social commerce:  Connect and foster active participation with customers to help improve your customer experience…including ratings and reviews, blogs and micro-blogging, as well as forums and communities”.

There is a difference, or maybe even an opposition, between the definition given by Bazaarvoice, the societal leader in consumer review, and the one of Paul Dunay.

“Social commerce: Strategy of connecting customers to customers online and leveraging those connections for commercial purpose”.

Paul Dunay:
“Social commerce: Working with or using your social graph, which is defined as your followers or your friends, and allowing them to help you make buying decisions”.

Will social commerce continue to develop along these two different points of view or will they merge together?

Dec 1, 2009

Hey Brand Marketers, Do You Have a Good Gaming Strategy?

 Should marketers have a strategy for the social gaming market?

This is the logical question that ensues from the mania of game applications that have taken over Facebook, as well as from the explosion of the virtual goods market that from now on are also accessible on iPhone and Twitter.

Facebook application ratings

Two numbers exemplify this phenomenon:
  • The first three Facebook application creators, Zynga, Playfish, and Rock You, total 285 million active users each month.
  • The virtual goods market in the USA hits 1.2 million dollars this year.

With the iPhone, publishers will, from now on, be able to sell virtual goods using free applications.  Considering that virtual goods were not able to be advertised on iPhone before the OS 3 and then, only with purchased applications, this is a huge evolution that is taking place in the gaming and phone application market.

This market is going to continue to grow from not only application sales (at very modest prices) and advertising, but also with the sales of virtual goods in free applications.
This shows that during the next three years, there is enormous potential for growth in the virtual goods market.

As for Facebook, the huge success of social game creators has completely changed the video game market.

For example, Electronic Arts, the leader of this market, though having difficulty with its traditional segments, just bought Playfish for 400 million dollars, including Earn outs.

Now, the Social games of Zynga, Playfish, etc…. have become succesful in demand advertising platforms called advergaming and also sell virtual goods.

Thus it is necessary that the marketing strategies of brands on social networks take into consideration new factors, such as the M.A.U. rating (Monthly Active Users) of the main game applications, as well as their ranking.

              (to buy space on Mafia Wars or FarmVille, a real choice…)

They also need to pay attention to the representation of their brands on virtual goods products and their sociability, as in the example of Godiva Chocolates already alluded to in a previous blog

At the crossroads of Facebook and the iPhone, advergaming and virtual goods might soon become the sweetspot of marketing. 
This is the logical conclusion we can draw from the last annual conference of Mary Meeker, the renown technology analyst for Morgan Stanley.

Marketing directors wanting to meet the challenge of social media have their work cut out for them. 
And maybe it's also fun?

Nov 28, 2009

Social Commerce on Facebook, Uh! How Many Storefronts!

Storefronts opening on Facebook!
What does this entail?

Payvment is an E-commerce solution provider who is proposing a new application entitled Storefront integrated in Facebook.  This application allows e-tailers to install stores on Facebook.

The advantage of Storefront is the ability to be launched on any fan page, thus giving “e-tailers” a solution to sell their products on fan pages.

Thus Fan pages are emerging, as the  point of passage for Social Commerce, as I previously  mentioned with the Nimbit platform dedicated to the music industry.  These tools permit, in fact, the integration of business with a “fancasting” perspective.

Moreover, Payvment is compatible with integration via Facebook Connect on e-tailer's web sites

Storefront even goes a step further and combines offers from different e-tailers by mutualizing them. But in doing so with  retailers’ offers it is possible however, that Storefront oversteps e-tailer's wishes….

And concerning the brands, will they be overtaken by e-tailers, when now they are the main source of business fan pages? 

The success Payvment's remarkable initiative will be measured by the number of Storefronts that are launched on Facebook and deserves close monitoring as it confirms that Social Commerce is indeed progressing and moving  “inside Facebook”.

Nov 24, 2009

What’s in a (Things) Box?

ThingsBox, a new social shopping application on Facebook, allows you to select recently purchased products, or items that one wishes to have and give feedback or get feedback from friends.

This touches upon one of the essential components of Social Commerce; receiving reliable opinions before making a purchase.

What is noticeable about ThingsBox is the integration on Facebook and the interaction between using the application and posting comments on walls that generates the propagation of feedbacks.

The ThingsBox application is divided into 3 parts; a “HaveBox”, a “WishBox” and a box entitled “Undecided”.

This division allows subtle interactions between friends.  I put in my HaveBox items that I have and hand them over to be commented on, by posting them on my wall or by directly asking the opinion of certain friends.

I can also ask them about the contents of my “Undecided” box, but also ask them about things I have in my “WishBox”, otherwise what are friends for…..

Judging by the list of products recommended by ThingsBox, this application seems to specialize in electronics, laptops, cameras, and telephones…..and suggests buying such items on Amazon.

Is an affiliate business model sufficient for ThingsBox?

Nov 23, 2009

Is Your Brand “Direct to Fans”? The Nimbit Way!

Social networks are establishing new relationships between brands and their clients. In particular, the fans, as shown by Nimbit.

Where, in the world before social networks, admirers were sure bets as clients, the reality is now different.

Always full of enthusiasm, brand and music lovers alike, have become organized fans, finding, for example, on Facebook, information sites for meeting, commenting and adapted marketing campaigns

New marketing networks are on the verge of breaking out.
 This is what Nimbit wants to do with the music industry!

Nimbit's concept is simple.  Set up on each artist’s fan page a Nimbit boutique called “My Store” where, besides music, fans can also purchase concert tickets, T-shirts, and other paraphernalia of the artist.

In a nut shell, all “Music & Merch”, everything from music to its merchandise that could be of interest to fans.

Many independent artists and labels are utilizing Nimbit.

Let’s take for example the folk singer Ellis Paul whose next album is already available to fans on his fan page, or the London Symphony Orchestra who has a fan page and a Nimbit store.

The “music business” never ceases to amaze us. On one end of the spectrum are  major labels, very rigid attitudes, and on the other end is the ingeniousness of ITunes, Deezer, Spotify, and now Nimbit

What does Nimbit offer that ITunes doesn’t?

A direct link with fans, that I call Fancasting, the opposite of Broadcasting.  Louis Vuitton demonstrated this phenomenon recently with their Paris fashion show available exclusively on their fan page. 

By proposing to market “Music and Merch”, Nimbit is taking that extra step!

Oct 30, 2009

Brands Billed in the Blogosphere!

 Are Brands moving in the blogosphere?

This would be consistent with the growing influence of bloggers and brands trend to move towards Social Marketing.  We sometimes forget, that blogs, despite their disseminate nature, are one of the most dynamic social media tools.

Gary Hayes' Social Media Counts  , that displays in real time the evolution of social medias, indicates, for example, that in one minute, 630 new posts are published on blogs for 2806 new tweets, equaling a ratio of 1 to 4.5.
A very positive ratio for blogs, given that posts are much denser than tweets.

Technorati, the famous blog search engine, annually publishes a State of the Blogoshpere, which also analyzes blogs economic activity.

Marketing executives admit more and more that bloggers post high quality content and attract growing and loyal audiences.
The 2008 study already suggested that a strong percentage of bloggers monetize their sites in different ways:

Average revenue generated by blogs was $6000, with 1% of blogs yielding sales of more than $200,000!

The 2009 study,  just published by Technorati, indicates that a large majority of bloggers monetize their sites or would like to.

Nevertheless a variety of ways characterizes the monetization of blogs:

Advertising is not the only path offered to bloggers.  As leaders of opinion the influence acknowledged by bloggers is highlighted in the graph below:

This reality can only precede a strengthened investment of brands in regards to blogs. 

Even more so, given that posts often mention brand names. 70% of bloggers confirm that they talk about brands. 

Technorati, classifying bloggers into several categories (hobbyist, part-timers, self-employed and corporate workers), reveals the following motives:

Ratios and cases already analyzed for Twitter emphasize how important it is that brands consider the influence of blogs. Among those bloggers that mention brands or products in their posts, 47% do so on a monthly basis.

It is in this context that the F.T.C. (Federal Trade Commission), responsible for protecting the American consumers, decided that bloggers, starting on December 4th, should disclose all advertising revenue or sales generated by their blogs. 

However, will this apparently positive decision for a greater transparency, be applicable  ?

The obligation to disclose all “material connections” between brands and blogs, which is not forced upon traditional media,  also risks affecting the press copies for writing reviews.

Facing much protest, which was touched upon this weekend by L. Gordon Crovitz, the influential columnist of The Wall Street Journal, there is a possibility that the FTC is backtracking, at least in part. 

 Since  the FTC decision is likely to include tweets or updates on Facebook, Gordon Crovitz questions,

“There are also practical objections.  For example, if you get a free copy of a book and then post a comment about it on Twitter, how many of the permitted 140 characters must be dedicated to the disclosure?  Do employees of a company have to disclose the fact of their employment every time they comment on its products through their personal Facebook accounts?”

In wanting to over regulate Social Commerce, will governments become anti-social?

Oct 27, 2009

TwitPay, The Sweet Tweet of Money

Those who say social network in turn say, (or will say), social commerce since conversation and commerce are interlinked, even if there exist many different types of commerce.

Can Twitter, the quintessential conversation platform, also become a commerce platform?

TwitPay, launched in November 2008 as a payment solution between Twitter users, is betting on it.

TwitPay presents itself as a way to transfer money from one user to another.  Its strength is its simplicity.  All you need is a Twitter account and…….a PayPal account, because the second asset of TwitPay is that it works with PayPal and, therefore, benefits from its user base, its security, and its credibility.

To make a payment simply send a tweet.

Nevertheless TwitPay has not shown huge growth and only has a few more than 5100 followers, (you must follow TwitPay to have an account).

The main reason is that TwitPay can currently only carry out hypothetical transactions between Twitter users, since there is no organized supply market currently on Twitter. 

Also, your account risks looking like this:

However, let’s take the gamble that commerce will develop on Twitter and that TwitPay, which takes, in addition to the PayPal commission, only 5 cents (1 nickel) on all transactions less than $1, will find its place, if it lasts until then.
While waiting, here is the “tweetflow” of TwitPay happening simultaneously as I’m writing.

Oct 26, 2009

Have you Read Half a Million Tweets?

Probably not.  Even at the height of the live tweet feed #iranelection, I read only around 200 tweets a day, equaling a potential annual amount of 72,000 tweets.

However, Jim Jansen, associate professor of information sciences and technology at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), did!
Assisted by a small team of two students along with Abdur Chowdhury, Twitter’s chief scientist, Jim Jansen analyzed 500,000 tweets to study the presence of brands on Twitter.

In the crossroads of marketing, sociology, and technology, social commerce is becoming a “red hot” subject of research and business.
The results of their study were published in the Journal of the American Society for Information Sciences and Technology.”

Confirming my post “The Twitter Paradox”, brands are often cited on Twitter.  With 20% of tweets being about or mentioning brands, Twitter is the quintessential word of mouth marketing platform.

Considering that there are 6 million people who use Twitter on a daily basis who tweet around two times a day, this equals 2.4 million tweets about brands.

Jansen adds:
“It may be right up there with e-mail in terms of communication impact.”

“Businesses use micro-communication for brand awareness, brand knowledge and customer relationship.  Personal use is all over the board.  A lot of the brand comments were positive.  There are some good products out there, or at least products that people are happy with.”

When one of the biggest hesitancies in using social networks by brands is the fear of “bad rap”, it is debatable whether adopting the use of social networks as communication tools is close and unavoidable.

In fact the results of the study by Jansen’s team are telling and can be broken down as follows:
  • Very positive (no criticism, buying recommended)……..29.8%
  • Positive (positive feedback, prevails over criticism)……30.8%
  • Balanced (positive status is mediocre or balanced)…….12%
  • Negative (globally negative or deceiving)……..15.7%
  • Entirely negative (no positive feedback, not recommended)……..6.5%
  • Neutral (no opinion, ask questions)…….5.2%
Brands need not worry because the percentage of negative tweets only account for 22.2% of the total.

Contrary to other marketing strategies which are based on the purchase of key words or the diffusion of emails, social marketing on networks is founded on the creation of conversations, the differentiating feature of the word of mouth strategy.

A challenge for all who think that it is only a question of money and that they would be running the risk of the networks being spammed, word of mouth works according to the relationship system that Jansen presents above.

The publication of a tweet can positively or negatively affect the image of a brand and marginally improve its notoriety.

The tweets circulation among followers and eventual retweets reinforce the confidence and satisfaction and generate loyalty or strength, which in turn shows in an immediate or future purchase. 

Oct 25, 2009

EBay, With a Little Help From My Friends (The Page Mage Solution)

EBay to my friends, the Page Mage solution
Talk about Social Commerce to your friends and they will give the name Ebay.  And rightly so, since the auction site is the referent of social shopping.

However, Ebay, in its own turn, is impacted by the rapid expansion of social networks and their user friendly quality.  Doesn’t auction selling on Ebay run the risk of giving way to social networks where internet users are increasingly spending the majority of their time?

This is where Page Mage can be helpful.  A platform for designing Ebay auction templates, which helps improve ones selling page using videos, slideshows or even pop ups.

Page Mage is even taking it one step further by incorporating a “share” function that enables to post a page on Blogger, Facebook, MySpace or LiveJournal.

As indicated by Eric Scifres, CEO of Page Mage,
By sharing the listing where people are congregating, a listing’s visibility grows exponentially.”

For example, on Facebook, your Ebay offers will appear on your “wall”, allowing your friends to leave comments or to share, in turn, your offer with other friends.

If the transaction is still done on Ebay the solution proposed by Page Mage takes the opposite direction of Facebook Connect by releasing the offers into the social network.

Is this a new trend?

Oct 22, 2009

Pepsi “Amp Up”: The Social Excuse Way & The Bad Buzz Strategy

Pepsi learns to “socially” apologize to women while playing it buzz macho.

Whether a difficult exercise or premeditated calculation, to promote its energy drinks Amp Energy, Pepsi took the initiative and developed an App for the Iphone entitled “Amp Up, Before you Score”, which involves “classifying” women into 24 different categories and obtaining “information” about these, as well as tips on how to seduce them.

They may be only stereotypes and caricatures, but, according to Pepsi, are in tune with Amp Energy’s male public.

Though it's not even certain that men identify with a simplistic vision of seduction, pretending to share common interests by using fitting responses provided by the application, which looks for them on Wikipedia or Twitter.

Would the public of Amp Energy be comparable to Pat Healy in the film There’s Something About Mary!?

Worse, this is the general overview of Amp Up Before You Score as it appears on the App store:
“Here’s how it works:

  1. Identify her type
    Got your eye on a girl, and aren’t sure how to get started?  Pick out her profile, flip the card, and study up quick with a cheat sheet on the stuff she’s into with lists, links and some surefire opening lines (surefire to what, we won’t say.)
  1. Keep a list
                Get lucky?  Add her to your Brag list.  You can include a name, date and                 whatever details you remember.
  1. Brag
    You got it?  Flaunt it.  Keep your buddies in the loop on email, Facebook or Twitter.”
Keeping with the "subtlety" of Amp Up, the App includes an "elegant" “After you Score”!  

In fact the App was not successful. Launched in mid-summer, Amp Up, Before you Score quickly topped out at 1400th according to Mőbclix, free Apps ranking .

This went on until “bad tweets” mainly from women started to appear little by little on Twitter provoking the release of very negative articles such as the one in the Wall Street Journal on Oct 13 entitled,
 “Looking for obnoxious chauvinism?  There’s an app for that.”

And so Pepsi found itself in the middle of a real brand image problem.

While Amp Up suddenly had a great public success by becoming, within two days, the 8th most popular free download, is this result positive for Amp Energy and Pepsi?

Some say yes, associating an energy drink with picking up women, male chauvinism, and seduction, is a well known strategy called “bad buzz”, adapted for this type of product.

However, the bad buzz strategy from now on, needs to take into account the existence of social networks and their capacity to impact a brands reputation.

For Seth Godin, known blogger and author of Tribes,

“Pepsi is learning a valuable lesson in social media marketing the hard way, for too long advertisers and marketers thought it was okay to treat women as objects to sell something.  The difference between now and then is [general public] now has a platform to complain about it.  This is a symptom of platform shifting.  Pepsi’s not the only brand that’s going to have to learn this lesson.”

This “citizen” change shows that the rules of “buzz marketing” have changed!  In the past, this was a way to help launch a product by creating a growing buzz, generated by communication actions, before or around the launching of a product.

However,  buzz were unregulated and shapeless by definition.  With the dawn of social networks, the buzz can no longer avoid taking the form of global conversations, nor can they avoid  the control that network users exert through these conversations concerning the value and authenticity of marketing campaigns.

Thus, if  Amp Energy could have been satisfied with this transgressive “bad buzz” toward its targeted audience and the growing success of the App on the Iphone, the brand now runs the risk of degrading its image and losing its footing to the playing field of this transgressive aspect.

This risk is high since Amp Energy largely associates itself with sports, including by promoting women.

Amp Energy is left with trying to repair the damage by presenting excuses.

Here the result is also catastrophic because Amp Energy apologizes but doesn't pull the App from the App store.
Once again this is a total lack of authenticity that does not go unnoticed in social network days.

Worse look at  the bottom of the excuse.  Amp Energy encourages Twitter users to send their comments using a specific hashtag called #pepsifail .

Behind the apparently good idea to open up a specific channel on Twitter, Amp Energy light-heartedly attaches the Pepsi brand, which is much more of a household name than Amp Energy.

The famous site Advertising Age very rapidly did the diagnostics of the situation,

“The Amp brand Twitter feed has only 1,000 followers, compared to about 15,000 for Pepsi, almost 18,000 for Mtn Dew and nearly 5,000 for PepsiCo
The tag, along with the re-tweets, seems to unnecessarily associate Pepsi and Mtn Dew, two of the company’s largest brands, with a heated and potentially damaging debate.  Ostensibly, those who have a problem with the app are not Amp’s core customers, after all.

But now that Pepsi, Mtn Dew, and Pepsi corporate have attached themselves to the debacle, the problem appears much larger, as those brands and, indeed, the entire company may appear insensitive to women.  For example, many of the tweets commenting on the app have bypassed the Amp brand entirely and are instead assigning the apology, the App and their distaste to Pepsi.”

Now New Fiction  a well known blog claims:
Bad buzz or social reputation?  It’s up to Pepsi to decide……

Oct 19, 2009

When Business Week Top 100 Best Brands go Social !

When social marketing impacts brand value!

WetPaint, a community site, and the Altimeter Group, a strategy consulting firm, conducted an extremely interesting (and downloadable) study using the online social media brand database Engagement db, which measures the online engagement of brands.

They created a ranking that takes into account the different brand intervention types, in social and community media.
Top 40 extracted from Engagement db

This ranking is taken from the “Best Global Brands 2008”, an annual list of the top 100 rated brands by BusinessWeek/Interbrand.

Media and social tools considered were:
  • Blogs
  • Social and community brand networks
  • External social networks (Facebook, Linked’in, MySpace….)
  • Twitter
  • Discussion forums
  • Photo and video community sites (Flickr, YouTube…..)
  • Wikis
  • Rating and tagging sites
 The ranking is done by taking into account the number of media used, as well as the level of media participation, by using criteria specific to each media.

This allows to identify 4 types of social media intervention:
  • The “Mavens” who rank among more than 6 types of highly influential social media.   Typical brands in this category are, notably, Starbucks, Google, Dell, even SAP and Accenture.  They dominate the list.
  • The “Butterflies” who also have a very diversified presence, but their implication is, at the moment, weaker, like American Express or Hyundai.
  • The “Selectives” such as H&M or Philips are very involved in a limited number of social media.
  • The “Wallflowers”, like McDonalds or BP, who are globally behind.
It is not surprising to find that Starbucks ranks number one on this list, figures at the top of Facebook brand fan pages, and has a high influence and presence on Twitter as well.  Starbucks, a real “living place” in the real world is also a social relation network on the Internet.

The study done by Wetpaint and the Altimeter Group is also very interesting in that it finds a correlation between the level of intervention in social marketing and the financial performance of the companies studied, as published by Yahoo Finance or Marketwatch.

The authors of the study, Ben Elowitz, CEO of Wetpaint and Charlene Li, partner of the Altimeter Group, indicate that:

“While much has been written questioning the value of social media, this landmark study has found that the most valuable brands in the world are experiencing a direct correlation between top financial performance and deep social media engagement.  The relationship is apparent and significant; socially engaged companies are in fact more financially successful”.

Even though no quantifying data exists to determine the cause and effect relationship between social media engagement and financial results, it is still possible for the authors of the study to explain this relationship:

“Social media engagement and financial success work together to perpetuate a healthy business cycle:  a customer oriented mindset stemming from deep social interaction allows a company to identify and meet customer needs in the marketplace, generating superior profits.  The financial success of the company, in turn, allows further investment in engagement to build even better customer knowledge, thereby creating even more profits – and the cycle continues”.

Social marketing, therefore, would be the new way of applying the proven concept of a business oriented towards its customers, or customer centric.

As social marketing becomes more and more important due to the growth of social media, the brands involved in these media should, in time, replace the brands that don’t get involved.

Is social media going to overturn the hierarchy of brands?  There is definitely indication of movement, as illustrated in the graph below made by Sherpad by relating the Engagement db ranking of the study with the BusinessWeek/InterbrandBest Global Brands 2008” list.

Shown above, the top 25 Engagement db (vertical yellow line), horizontal axis (growth or loss of position compared to the BusinessWeek list).

This section is dominated by technology companies. We even note the presence of B2B companies like SAP, Accenture, and Oracle, next to Google, Amazon, Ebay, Dell, and Blackberry.  However, Starbucks surpasses all of them. Toyota also still figures as the top brand in cars, even though it shows no progression.

Shown above, the top 26-50 Engagement db (vertical yellow line), horizontal axis (growth or loss of position compared to the BusinessWeek list)

This section regroups the consumer goods companies most engaged in social marketing; Nintendo for games, Panasonic for electronics, and Gucci for fashion.

Pizza Hut subscribes to the logic of Starbucks and as for cars, even with Lexus, Toyota is the most engaged.

Coca-Cola, top ranking brand on the BusinessWeek list moves down 49 places in the Engagement db ranking, despite an effort of Facebook and Twitter who will end up reversing this trend.

Shown above, the top 51-100 Engagement db (vertical yellow line), horizontal axis (growth or loss of position compared to the BusinessWeek list)

This last part of this list is divided into two sections:

Brands that show an increase: Several fall into the fashion category, Prada, Hermès, Rolex, Cartier, Armani, Tiffany.  This category is very much at the forefront on Facebook.  Equally present are wines and spirits, Moet & Chandon, Smirnoff, which illustrate the festive and social nature of….social networks!

Brands that show a decrease:  These are numerous, and with an economically weak year, the fact that they are banks is not surprising, Morgan Stanley, HSBC, Goldman Sachs, Merril Lynch, and JP Morgan.

German made cars, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Porsche, and VW show a negative spiral, the opposite of Japanese cars.

Among everyday goods and food items like Marlboro, Budweiser, Gillette, Kellogg’s, Heinz, Wrigley’s, and Dannon, these are still far from the positions of Nestlé, Nescafé, and Nivéa.

Finally, Louis Vuitton drops considerably, but, undoubtedly, turning radical, LV renewed himself  recently by organizing his Paris fashion show exclusively for his Facebook fans. 

Oct 17, 2009

Social Commerce? Just Tell me When!

The advent of social commerce, this is the whole bet and project of this blog and its team.

If numerous signs have indicated premises for this new form of consummation, keep in mind that this is only a taste of what’s to come.

Jeremiah Owyang, analyst at Forrester Research, predicts a bright future for social commerce….after completing 5 key phases of social media:

  1. Social relationship phase: people connect with each other and share information
  2. Social functionality phase: social networks take on the form of operating systems
  3. Social colonization phase: each experience can now be “social”
  4. Social context phase: the content is personalized and targeted
  5. Social commerce phase: communities define the new products and services

We can see well how social networks complete phase 1. 
Phase 2, the era of applications and widgets, social interconnection is already well advanced.
In phase 3, the one of “shared ID”, individual identities shared between networks and websites is also taking place. Thus, a lot of internet users directly share videos on their profile from YouTube on these social networks.

However, a real “portable” identity is not yet in place, despite having the OpenID standard.

Phase 4, the one of social context, involves the availability of targeted content and seems to me more confusing.  Fortunately, for Jeremiah Owyang, these phases superpose with time, as indicated in the graph above.

This puts the horizon of  social commerce  around 2011!

Will we, impatient social consumers, be able to wait?