The Impact of Social Media on Service and Product Brands
Not long ago, consumer relationships followed a defined path that moved from engagement to loyal customer. Every detail—from visual statements to physical environments to user experiences—was carefully studied, designed, choreographed, and then measured and evaluated. The goal was to deliver consistent bottom-line results. Control was the norm, with a limited palette of customized options and brand extensions adding an occasional flourish to the process.
Then came the Web and a growing range of social media, from Facebook to YouTube to Twitter, and traditional strategies for branding went by the boards. Customer relationships are now conversations—dialogues that extend the exchange between company and consumer to include comparisons across brands, as well as shared commentary among those who have bought and who are thinking of buying a product or service. Control is a thing of the past. For designers and design managers, it’s a dynamic, bewildering, and perhaps terrifying context.
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