Opinions about branding by Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

New Facebook strategy - an Orwellian brand nightmare

OK, so I think I get it - Facebook is
  • Launching company brand pages where people can sign up as fans and have that information fed out to their contacts
  • Launching a service where people who shop at certain third party vendors can have that shopping information fed back as advertising to their contacts
  • Launching a marketing research service that serves up all the collective information about brands and those who prefer/use them
Facebook CEO Zuckerberg thinks that this is the wave of the future...a form of trusted referrals from friends to friends. But let me tell you, this is the beginning of a nightmare for Facebook from which they will never wake up. Somebody once said that no money can be made on the Internet, and they were right from the standpoint of the Internet user -- people don't want to be spammed with ads online. Having ads shoved at you from your dozens of "contacts" is not going to do anything to make Facebook more valuable or the companies advertising more popular. Instead it will just increase resentment and people will run away from Facebook.

The thing about trusted referrals from friends is, it's a noncommercializable phenomenon...and people these days are ever more suspicious of commercialized recommendations.

Plus, it's very Big Brother to be tracking what people do online and then broadcasting it to the world. I know kids these days don't want their privacy, but still. There's a limit.

The bottom line is: people get the information they need by Googling it and maybe clicking on Google's sponsored ads. They ignore the information you shove in their faces.

Bad move, FB.