Do brands really need to become customer's friends?

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Lee Odden just shared an eBook today talking about social media predictions and he has a great point about brands connecting with their audience on a one-on-one level

Do brands actually need to connect on a one to one level in a real, lasting and meaningful way to be successful? As a consumer, the idea of a real, lasting and meaningful connection with a box of soap kind of scares me.

There's a great follow-up on this from Lyndon:

I'm a little sick and tired of seeing/hearing things like"Your brand should be connecting with it's audience"...Think about it - how many consumers do companies like Warner or UniLever have? Even if only 0.1% of their customers/audience use social media - that's going to cost them a bomb in resources to even try to engage fully/regularly. It's utterly unrealistic!

Further - I honestly doubt people expect (or want?) to interact with Brands in that manner. Do you really want to sit there talking to Vanish, Mars, Ford or Argos?What are you expecting to talk about?




... and perhaps a few will engage to highlight great service

Of course social media are an evolving trend particularly with the ubiquitous smart phone.  If you are just bowled over by how that car sales representative did for you, why not show your gratitude by a quick tweet.  That would be gold for that individual.  Hashtags will give it an even greater boost and perhaps others will join the activity.

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