Posts Tagged ‘Ford’


Social Media…Pretty Much Like Real Life (a series)

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Part I:  Good Friends Are Good Listeners

Do you have a friend that you sometimes can’t stand to be around because he steamrolls the conversation – talks so fast, and so much, and so loudly that you want to cover your ears? I do. Actually, I think I might have several.

I’m reminded of these friends when I think about the way a lot of brands behave when it comes to social media.  These brands walk into the Facebook party and become the guy that dominates the conversation.  It makes sense in a way, given that marketers are trained to talk loudly and often to help shape their brand.  But this model doesn’t work within social media.

Why?  Essentially, making friends in social media is akin to making friends in real life – it’s as much about listening and getting to know your friends as it is talking about yourself.  Good listening builds trust, rapport, and openness.

Let’s take a look at some self-aware brands that get this – and through their adapted behavior, have become fluent social butterflies.


Target: Target is all about being the philanthropist.  But Target’s Facebook page doesn’t just shout about the brand’s good-deeding.  Instead, Target asks its fans to share what they care about (charities in past years; now focused on schools) and then makes charitable contributions based on their responses.  Target’s Facebook presence gives the company’s consumers and advocates an actionable voice and enhances Target’s position in the community.

fordFord: Ford loves talking about cars – but it understands that it needs to hear from consumers, too. In fact, Ford is so empathetic that it developed a social site dedicated to soliciting stories from car owners.  Ford’s brilliant approach lets the brand get to know their car owners in a much deeper, more personalized way, which provides inspiration as well as the chance to build long-term relationships with consumers.


Kleenex: Kleenex is listening even when friends don’t realize it.  In December 2011, the brand launched the “Feel Good” campaign, whereby the brand combed through status updates on its page to identify 50  “friends” with colds – and it couriered each of them a get-well kit.  All of them returned the favor by posting the interaction to their FB walls (delivering 650K impressions).   Pop Chips is also known to take this low-key approach– the brand will show-up with unexpected gifts of Pop Chips if they discover hungry Facebook friends.

One red flag: don’t bother initiating dialogue if you don’t really care.  Because no one likes that guy, either.  One online travel company recently asked its community to share stories of their favorite travel souvenirs.  A ton of fans spoke up, but the company took no note of their responses and missed an opportunity to bond and create dialogue.  Brands attempting to listen to their consumers need to follow through on what they hear and learn to start building lucrative relationships.

Sara Linderman, Strategist


Who Will Be Our Source of Inspiration, Now?

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

I wanted to be respectful and let some time elapse after the sad and premature passing of Steve Jobs. But now that the eulogies are mostly complete, I wanted to raise a very important question that’s been bugging me for the past couple of weeks. Namely, with Steve Jobs no longer with us, just who will be our new source of inspiration in our daily work?

Let me tell you why this question is important to me, and to hundreds of other marketers around the world: (more…)


The Anti-Hybrid Brand Strategy

Monday, May 9th, 2011


After a recent trip to the New York International Auto Show, we learned that Mazda is veering way off the hybrid track, taking a very interesting stance on new engine technology. How will this impact the brand? Our latest article on tells the full story…


The Detriot Trio- Good, Bad and Ugly

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009


The performance of the three major US automakers over the past 12-18 months sees the companies arranged neatly into the good, the bad and the ugly. And considering that all of them were confronting the same extreme marketplace conditions, it’s more than interesting to see how the three are coping.



Get Clunk.

Monday, August 17th, 2009

By now you’ve heard about the Cash for Clunkers program instituted by the Obama Administration, and probably heard about the success of the program, need for more funding and how, as a result of the program, Ford is finally selling some cars. (more…)