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Reimagining the way work is done through big data, analytics, and event processing, Chris is the cofounder of Successful Workplace. He believes there’s no end to what we can change and improve. Chris is a marketing executive and flew for the US Navy before finding a home in technology 17 years ago. An avid outdoorsman, Chris is also passionate about technology and innovation and speaks frequently about creating great business outcomes at industry events. As well as being a contributor for The TIBCO Blog, Chris contributes to the Harvard Business Review, Venture Beat, Forbes, and the PEX Network. Christopher is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 305 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

In a social world, brands take stands and stand out

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We live in a viral world eager for conversation and looking for viral ideas to share. The world is also full of passions for different causes. Social media gives brands an excellent opportunity to engage in causes with our customers at a level we never could before.

Few things are more engaging than our personal passions. A brand that can identify with what we care about most allows us to vote with our wallets and do more than make a purchase.

For the cause

We already know technology allows marketers to engage in a more personalized way than ever before, even down to the individual and their moment-to-moment context. Forward-leaning marketers are learning to engage their customers in the most personal ways that enrich the fan experience and bring revenue lift.

Thanks to technology and evolving strategy, the future of social passion marketing is here, just unevenly distributed.

A few great examples:

  • Yoplait – Think Before You Pink raising money for breast cancer research
  • Ben and Jerry’s – Campaigning against the excessive amount of money in American politics

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 7.33.23 AMTaking a stand doesn’t mean brands have to engage in controversy. They can, but they do so at the risk of alienation of their supporters (this can be a calculated risk, though). More likely, what we’ll see are brands that support children’s products, for example, taking a stand for supporting preschool education and campaigns like Yoplait’s.

Passion purchases

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 7.32.23 AM

Social media tools can rally those who support the idea and identify the brand with the cause. Many people would pay a few pennies more for a product that has a visible social presence that connects to their passion. Imagine supporting African clean water wells when you like, retweet, and then purchase bottled water.

With social media here, there needs to be a new way to stand out from the crowd and this will be the next wave. It will have a lasting effect on brands, but more interestingly, on forwarding the goal of causes that have struggled to find a voice.

Published at DZone with permission of Christopher Taylor, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)