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Engaging Prosumers to Shape Your Brand

In a marketplace teeming with brands and communications, a revolution of sorts has been brewing on the consumer front. The need to engage in collaborative branding is looming, with more consumers making decisions based on what others say about the brand or portray it, rather than what the brand says about itself.Alexandre-Olmedo-09-c

Collaborative branding invites the consumer to participate in a conversation. It gives consumers a voice, and the power to say how they feel and want to shape a brand; and essentially marketing with them, instead of at them.

‘We at Eyeka help brands to take advantage of collaborative branding through 3 core competencies: authentic content co-creation, social media engagement, and consumer insights. Eyeka has a strong relationship with a community of Prosumers, in addition to being an enabler of collaboration between them and brands,’ says Alexandre Olmedo, Co-founder and Global VP Sales eYeka.

Prosumers are new age consumers with lofty aspirations; with a desire to co-create and be involved in the creative process of brand communications; and this best describes the Eyeka community. The community includes aspiring writers, animators, designers,
fi lm-makers and photographers. Their output is viral, with the power to influence peers. 170,000 strong to date, the community
consists of people from all walks of life with different skills – from videography to animation, and photography to writing. The 15,000 of them in the Asia Pacific are said to be a growing lot.

‘We leverage on the community to provide unconventional marketing, adopting an approach similar to ‘crowd sourcing’. Through call-for-entries, Eyeka encourages Prosumers to generate creative ideas for brands in a fun sort of way. Submissions range from designs for Sennheiser headphones to UGC videos for Coke Zero. Our Prosumer community also delivers genuine insights about how they view
brands,’ explains Alexandre.

He gives a hypothetical example of a sneaker brand asking their prosumers to create a video/animation about their brand. If most of videos submitted relate the brand to comfort, rather than play-up the usual youthful image; this a strong cue that brand owners cannot ignore.

However, Alexandre admits that collaborative branding isn’t fully embraced by brands and agencies because of the fear of losing control. And the fact that brand builders have to contend with stacks of CI Manuals does not help either.

But he insists, ‘Today, branding is more than just that. It is about giving the consumer the opportunity to have their say about themselves and their favorite brand. It is about being heard, rather then being told.’

That view isn’t unfounded, given that conversations about brands are increasing, word of mouth is becoming evermore popular and the catalyst is the Internet!