Brand and Product are not the same thing. A product is made by a company and can be purchased by a consumer in exchange for money. But a brand is a collection of perceptions in the mind of the consumer. It is a promise or covenant between the company and the consumer that a certain experience or set of benefits will follow when the brand is used.
Building a brand is hard compared to building the product. In the journey of building a brand, Social media and user communities plays a major and very critical role. The success of brand now depends on what the community talks about it. So it’s a critical fact to carefully manage and listen to these contents that published in different channels. One small mistake is enough to take down a business. In order to do the branding correctly, it is important to understand the purpose of it first. According to De Chernatony and McDonald (1994), the purpose of branding is to facilitate the circumstances for gaining loyal consumers and retaining them with acceptable cost with the goal of accelerating return on investment. Brand loyalty defines how much a consumer is attached to a brand. Once he/she attached to it, they will spread the word about the it within the community and that message has a larger impact compared to a message from the brand itself. So the loyal customers have a big contribution towards the success of the brand and it’s important to keep their momentum of spreading the word and increase the size of the loyal community.
Companies publish content to different social media channels and they are being followed and seen by different user communities. Some of the content receive negative feedback and some receive positive feedback from the community. Ones with negative feedbacks have different levels of impacts towards the brand and vice versa for ones with positive feedback. Perceptions of the community can’t be known until it is published, but however tracking feedbacks for the published contents can help with deciding on new content to be published. However within this broader audience there are loyals who not only look at the content but also spread the word about it. As mentioned above they are the key success factors of the brand. So it is with utmost importance to identify the loyals and ensure their continuous loyalty towards the brand.