Creating Communities Through Experience Blogs


Image by robclark.atsmg via Flickr

Getting out of the mindset of advertising and direct promotions is important. Neither activity are enough to move customers online. One thing I am seeing that looks promising is the creation of experience centric blogs. Blogs created for, and blogs written by, the people that live and breath the brand experience.

These blogs don’t need to written by company employees, and they don’t need to be blogs about products. The idea of experience economies comes across strongly in experience blogs, that products and services both take a back seat to the economic power available to companies that deliver customer experiences.

Two examples I’ve seen include Dell’s Digital Nomads blog, and Citrix’s Work Shifting Blog.

There’s a couple neat things that these blogs do, that would be a good example for others to take note of for in the future.

Instead of blogging about the companies products, create blogs for the experiences created by the companies offerings for their different customer segments. Just like a laptop company enables businessmen to work on the go, the same tools also enable students to take their learning with them outside the class and into the real world, or how a webcam company enables different customers create more rich connections with others online.

The blogs don’t even need to be written by people at the company. Sure you can give the impression that your corporate culture, or employees care about the products or experiences delivered, or in connecting with customers, but often there’s overhead. What seems to give these experience blogs a running start is the identification and acquisition of already blogging, community figures that live and breath the experience delivered. Get them to blog, get them to be ambassadors of your brand experience. They come, batteries included with an audience, and the skills needed to blog successfully.

Even if blogging is considered an older piece of social media, there’s a lot of opportunities for companies’s products and services to communicate with their customers, and not be pretentious, by exploring this space. There’s a lot of space that companies share with their customers, but not many of them have begun take advantage this higher level of connection they already share.

Are you trying to promote your products or service? Or have you begun to celebrate with your customers the experiences you are providing? To what extent are you even giving your own customers a platform to express their own love for those very experiences?


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9 Comments

  1. You know, it's funny, as panned as Dell seems to be from many in our world for their products, they are a brand who seem to understand what will help them drive customers. (except for the Della site – what a blunder that was) Between Digital Nomads and IdeaStorm, they understand the “prosumer” approach that it seems people are looking for. I'm incredibly impressed with where Dell has come in the last two years, and think they've positioned themselves very strongly in the PC marketplace – now, if only the caliber of their products could consistently match that.

  2. I totally agree with this blog post. Many still believe in the “If I build it they will come” model, but the best thing to do is to forge web of alliances with people who are already passionate about your brand/activity. In so many ways, it's the most human thing to do.

  3. I think the idea behind the Della initiative was great but the implementation was misguided.They could have benefited from approaching Della with the same strategy as the Digital Nomads blog rather than shoving their marketing objective so blatantly. It comes down to building the authentic experience.

  4. Exactly, and even if people are too busy, active, or smart to just be fans of a product, more people can relate to experiences and what are so far mostly lifestyle blogs.

  5. You mean Dell products *aren't* the epitome of product quality and service excellence? ;)Anyways, it is funny how Dell has started to be sort of an icon is social media innovation (their use of Twitter as well has been top notch also), but isn't it some sort of manufacturing innovation that made Dell successful in the first place? Yet it's always a surprise to see them at the front of the pack.Also innovative of note, they also sell Ubuntu consumer computers!

  6. Haha, who knows what they were thinking with Della, maybe they thought that the Digital Nomads already worked as a a blog because their audience were already tech experts and knew blogging, while the women they saw as more beginner and still new to computers.

  7. Thanks for the open commentary on building communities. When we launched http://www.digitalnomads.com last August, we didn't really know what to expect and how folks would react to what many have called an “off-brand” community, in this case focused on the lifestyle of working and playing with mobile devices. We've learned quite a bit along the way but that doesn't mean we're perfect. Everyone makes mistakes – it's how you learn from those mistakes that's important. Twitter is another area where we're still learning, experimenting, trying new things. Thanks. I'll see you out there.@bruceericatdellEnterprise Evangelist and Digital Nomad!

  8. I, personally, love experience blogs. Toyota sent my friend and I around the country a few years ago in a Toyota Tundra and we just blogged about our experience of being on a roadtrip and visiting some of the best high school football schools in the nation. At every school, we filmed little documentary-style pieces on the school's team (lineofscrimmage.com) and then watched the “big game” from the tailgate of our Toyota Tundra that was parked in the end zone.The entire campaign was well-received and they are still doing it with pieces airing during Sunday night football on NBC every year. It's been a blast and the high school kids seem to really enjoy the experience. Hopefully, it planted a seed in their brain and when they are ready (or their parents are ready) to purchase a new car for their kid, they will think about how much fun they had with the two guys on that Toyota roadtrip! Regardless, I know when it came time for ME to buy a car, I went with a Toyota! ;)Great post.

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