How to Solve the Conflict Between the Exclusivity Paradigm of Luxury Brands and the Open Source Character of Social Media Part 1

Social media has significantly restructured the communication of companies - influencing organizations, the consumer and brands all around. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram together register more than 2.7 billion active users who spend an average of 2.4 hours daily on these platforms (Adweek, 2014). This corresponds to 39% of the world’s population – illustrating the immense power of online users. Consumers are no longer search for information passively; they actively create content and moderate discussions on brands (Hanna et al., 2011). Nowadays, we are living in an era where corporate communication is democratized as the power over communication has shifted from organizations to consumers (Kietzmann et al., 2011). Brands had to realize that online branding is an open source activity controlled by the customer rather than by brand managers (Fournier & Avery, 2011). Posing simultaneously both an opportunity and a threat, this consumer empowerment has a significant impact on how industries operate – the luxury industry being no exception (Dubois, 2014). Due to the enormous increase of online users, digital marketing and especially social marketing has become a mandatory element for every company (Hanna et al., 2011). But why have especially luxury brands struggled so long to invest in social media?

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Your Brand under Attack: Negative electronic Word-of-Mouth (eWOM) and online Firestorms in Social Media Part 2

Although the importance of this topic seems to be extremely high, research is still in its infancy. There is a wide variety of academic articles available that describe the changing paradigm of word-of-mouth, yet there is only limited literature available that examines how brands can deal with negative electronic word-of-mouth and online firestorms within the social media context. This may be connected to the fact that its emergence, its development and its consequences happened in a rather short period of time. However, from popular press articles, Thomas et al. (2012) gathered and analyzed a variety of company examples. Thereby, they identified five general coping strategies, delay, respond, partner, legal action, and censorship, which will be illustrated with cases below. 

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The Power of Personal Branding in Social Media Part 2

To illustrate the opportunities social media present to individuals I would like to look at some examples where everyday people have been able to create strong personal brands and become new type of celebrities- celebrities of social media. Lets first look at second biggest social media platform YouTube, it has more than a billion users, every minute more than 300 hours of videos are uploaded on the site and everyday people watch billions of videos (youtube, n.d.).

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Power of Personal Branding in Social Media Part 1

Internet emergence of Web 2.0 has tremendously empowered individuals by providing the tools for successful personal branding. The advantage of Web 2.0 is that no longer the knowledge of complex coding language is necessary, this provided anyone with the opportunity can generate their own content online, upload their pictures or videos and directly share it in virtual world. (Labrecque, Markos and Milne, 2011). The information that people generate online leaves a digital footprint that indirectly results in personal branding.  (Lampel and Bhalla 2007; Madden et al. 2007 cited in Labrecque, Markos and Milne, 2011). As such, social media has become an essential tool through which people express and present themselves and learn about others (Vazire, Gosling 2004 cited in Labrecque, Markos and Milne, 2011).

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Why strong social presence magnifies brand weaknesses and how brand managers can address this?

Brands present in the social media environment created tools for consumers to critique brands and magnify weaknesses, due to transparency, loss of brand message and power of social networks

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