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Checkout this post about "creating clubs" or group on #Google+. What do you think?
 
What has...
Groucho Marx got to do with...
Brands creating clubs on Google+?

as a writer with a psychological and humourous twist, I thought I would consider Google+ and offer some ideas for brands
#googleplus #brands #branding

Many people have been saying that brands are missing out on Google+
and +Kim Beasley got me thinking earlier when she hears major brands ignoring Google+ in their plans...
What would one of the Marx brothers say....?

I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.
Groucho Marx
(thanks +Rod Dunne for inspiring the theme on this)

But on Google+ you belong to the club of
whatever brands/people/profiles/pages/images you circle or look up etc.
So...
Circling is our decisions to make.

So....
Brand presence on Google+ could be thought of like clubs

Remember when you were 11 years old?
If you are anything like me, you belonged to a club, I joined the cubs (the smaller scouts), chess and judo. (Which says it all about me.)

Well, for many of us the clubs have changed and sometimes even
moved in the directions of brands.
We make a decision to be associated (to varying degrees) with every purchase decision we make.

Brands on Google+ will have tribes of people circle them and a tribe is like a club.
I wonder if large brands are thinking of it in this way.

And clubs, of course, have people who valuable as brand evangelists.

Belongingness

So, why would they look at using Google+ as a central part of their strategy?

Brands could consider creating belongingness and making the "club" members feel special.
A great opportunity for user engagement as the level of interaction on Google+ seems very high indeed.
This is, as +Guy Kawasaki says, about passions.

Once the club is formed, passionate people are likely to follow.

Shifting attention off immediate purchase

This is a more general point on social media...

Even when people can't afford/choose not to buy a Ferrari, they are still often happy to belong in a club.
They want to be associated with a brand. And talk about them...
"So what?! the brands say, "We don't want them as a customer of they can't afford it etc" yes....
but if you can generate interest in your products as an item to be desired, guess what?
You get social value i.e. people who can afford to buy them, do buy them as they perceive they have great social value.
Like all evangelists they then get passionate about the brand and spread the word, even if not party to a purchase themselves at that time.

People want to be associated with cool brands.

Feedback

On Google+ a brand could send out a post of the latest product launch
and the brand can track not on re-shares but also the level of interaction on that post.
This has to be useful information.

If "New Coke" is not very popular in the posts, they may want to consider taking that feedback onboard (statistically and qualitatively relevant information, of course).

But if the latest "outdoor rain gear" is of interest and seems to be getting positive feedback in all directions then that can be reinforcing for them.

Also, people could even leave the club if the brand doesn't match the social values of that club (e.g. a circle).
So, people step in and out of whatever clubs which they want to be part.
This information will also give brands insights.
This would be voting with your...circles.

Offers and making people feel special
Just like on #klout brands could be looking at those brand advocates (e.g. those that consistently share, comment, reply to comments etc etc)
and giving them:

Offers
Free gifts
Exclusive information
Competitions (assuming that doesn't breach Google's terms and conditions)
etc

This approach can then plug directly back into their broader strategic goals of their marketing strategy.
So, if people are consistently commenting and sharing information then a brand can contact them directly, make them feel special and give them a thank you.

Whichever way it goes, I think many people here on Google+ can see the potential whilst others are daunted
with doing "one more thing" when it comes to social media.

The easier people make it for them to "see the light Plus" then the more likely brands will step this way too.

The simple fact is, on Google+ you belong to the club as soon as you circle a person or a brand/interest page.
And sorry Mr Groucho Marx, you would be belonging to every club of people you have in your circles.
Times have certainly changed.
This is the process of reversal from push marketing to pull.

I am sure many people have been thinking all this through in far more detail than this quick post. Fun to explore what could happen though...
Brand will do what they do but it is either a) they will come to the conclusion themselves (i.e. a person decides) or b) one of us dedicated Plussers says something to them that inspires them to explore the options.

As always, thanks for reading and to end on a light, albeit personal note, inspired by the Groucho himself:
If you want to see a psychological comic strip, you should see me in the shower!

Thanks for the insights, laughter, interactions and putting up with/sharing the same kind of sense of humour! :
+Linda Dee +Denis Labelle +Kim Beasley +Rod Dunne +Amanda Blain +Ray Hiltz +John Charles Steinmuller +jason stockwood +matthew rappaport
+David Stickney +Mike Downes +Thomas Morffew +Jack C Crawford +Allan Sota +Susanne Ramharter +Larry Fournillier +Richard Wooding +Lee Smallwood +alan eisenberg +John Gower +Johan Horak +Rahul Roy +Shamil Weerakoon
+Gideon Rosenblatt +Dirk Talamasca +Cash Dosby +O'Neil Godfrey +GRACIELA MARTINEZ BLAS +Akpo Siekpe +Eileen O'Duffy
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