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Beyond Branding is written by members of The Medinge Group

The Beyond Branding blog

December 31, 2005

The Fortune 500 and blogs 

that don’t do as well with their , indicate data cited by PSFK. Chris Anderson and Doc Searls hypothesize ‘that the companies that blogged were often those that had less coherent and successful that those that didn’t.’
   This sounds correct to me. Some of the corporations that use corporate blogging don’t take back any notion of how the should be , though I am sure they do use some of the ideas fed back by readers for other areas of their businesses (as in sales). It is possible for these blogs to help these companies—but they must integrate them into the and processes, complete with feedback.
   Trouble is, companies like don’t seem to possess a model. The GM Fast Lane blog reflects one-way thinking, based on the times I have visited it. It, like the rest of GM’s marketing, still smacks of “fire it out”, rather than, ‘How do you view us today, and where can we take you?’ The are still driven by the few, rather than the many, at their peril.
   It’s not the blogs at fault, it’s the failure to consider them as part of the branding process, and by extension the .
   A final comment on this as I sense Chris Macrae will ask the same: how do we know the share price is the best indication of the corporation’s strength? Should blogs be against them? Or should they be measured on the strength of the informal networks, and their potential (ultimately) to perform better in , sales, or —which might not be reflected in the share price readily?
I still believe in my rationale, even if the data on which the story was based do not show sufficient correlation between share price and blogging, according to David Kline: ‘True, there are a number of firms that started blogging clearly because they were suffering image problems that their traditional PR methods failed to redress—Microsoft, GM and Boeing are cases in point. Interestingly, though, while Microsoft's share price is down nearly 9% the past year, Boeing's is up 29%.’
   My point, however, differs from Anderson, Searls et al: mine is about how well integrated audience feedback is. The more inclusive a brand, the more likely it will do well share-wise.  
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