Saturday, August 30, 2008

Minibrand, anyone?



I've been to two of our premier acad institutes in the past month - IIM Indore and IIFT, Kolkota. I went to IIM Indore because Neeta Nagar, a former colleague, found me playing online scrabble and made the case. In the case of IIFT, they had partnered with NASSCOM and were holding a full-blown event on the topic of "Indian IT at crossroads". At both the places the students were earnest, well-organized and very interested in the topic of branding. Very different from the way we were.

Is it because the new media with its glut of information intensifies the competition for attention, and hence the need for brands? Or that it is now possible for everyone, potentially, to be a brand? Well, ok, being a megabrand like Paris Hilton or Pamela Anderson isn't for everyone, but a minibrand with a thousand followers is pretty doable.

I was researching Barack Obama's online efforts for my book,Marketing in a Flat World, and it is truly amazing what he has pulled together in terms of his social media presence and in connecting it with his offline activities. I did a mapping of the online instances and it could serve as a blueprint for anyone who wanted to build either their own brand, or that of their company.

There is a lot of good analysis including one in the MIT Technology Review on how the campaign went about doing this, and it is worth reading for anyone who wants to be a mega- or mini-brand.

Posts on any indian equivalents to this are welcome.

On another note, the interest in Second Life continues with two requests from the media this month for story inputs. Wipro also had its virtual SOA lab inaugurated by Srinivas Parthasarathy of Farmers Insurance, which shows that SL is now getting more business interest. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDciO4JbFUA

Friday, August 01, 2008

Second Wind for Second Life?

I got no less than 3 queries from the Indian media about Second Life last month. One resulted in this press article http://www.business-standard.com/india/storypage.php?autono=330062 and another in a short tv clip on UTVi.
Wipro has been on Second Life for over a year now and our island has had 4000 unique visitors. It is very useful as a 3D representation of labs and other features, though I have to admit its user interface is a bit challenging for those who are not 'digital natives".
Now with Lively from google there is another virtual world to play with. I'd like some views on why virtual worlds are not experiencing the kind of fast business adoption that would be expected. And if you have an island on Second Life, what your experience has been.