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Celebrating WBENC & GoPro’s Winning Approach

I want to start this week’s blog with a huge thank you to the organizers of the 2014 WBENC Conference, held this week in the mighty city of Philadelphia. It was a truly inspiring experience to be in the company of so many driven MBEs and WBEs. The conference kicked off with a wonderful reception hosted by MBE Magazine for the ‘WBEs Who Rock’, and I am on honored to say I was one of the nominees. Congratulations to all the winners! Other highlights of the conference include keynote speaker Randi Zuckerburg breaking into song during her session (video below) and, of course, meeting with so many very knowledgeable corporate representatives so clearly motivated to advocate for successful MBEs and WBEs. It was an incredibly busy and highly exhilarating few days and a fine example of the tremendous value WBENC brings to the WBE and MBE community. Congratulations to all involved!

Another company having a good week is Go Pro.  It’s fair to say this week has been a fantastic one for GoPro, the San Mateo, Califorina-based wearable camera company. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, after their stock market debut at $24 this week, shares are already up to $38 as of Friday morning, creating another newly minted batch of tech millionaires. Congratulations are due to a company that in spite of the proliferation of smartphones with sophisticated video recording capabilities has created a single-purpose product that has not only sold in its millions, but has also captured the hearts and imaginations of thrill-seekers everywhere.

I’ve written before about wearable tech and its various struggles to become widely adapted by the mainstream. The poster child for wearable tech is of course, the Google Glass. This controversial product has been widely lampooned, none more so effectively than on a recent piece on the Daily Show. Amidst the concerns about invasion of privacy, one recurring complaint is the eerie social barrier that Google Glass creates, that – as with some other wearable tech – it isn’t an immersive, natural experience. The same could be said of why GoPro trumps smartphones on video recording; instead of having to hold the phone to scan and capture the scene, the wearable GoPro provides a much more natural, personal experience.

If you haven’t seen any GoPro footage first hand, there are a wealth of videos available on Youtube, such as the ones here. I also reached out to a friend of mine who was an early adopter of GoPro who showed me some hair-raising footage of his parachute jump from a hot-air balloon and a nerve-rattling cyclist’s eye-view of biking through busy city streets. The experience is immediate and real. It is, perhaps, the limited capabilities of the camera that contribute to this – there is no zoom functionality or ability to preview what you are filming.

All this points to another reason for GoPro’s success. Firstly, it has a committed tribe of brand advocates who are creating content and sharing it online.  In a world where content creation is so important in building a brand’s awareness it’s enormously beneficial where that is literally what GoPro is all about. With all this user-created content at hand, that incidentally CEO and founder Nick Woodman is a prolific contributor to, comes brand authenticity – that holy grail of marketing.

This week, polling results released from a survey conducted by Gallup suggested that brand activity on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter has limited influence on consumer buying decisions. Really this makes perfect sense. In the conversational tone of Twitter, or Facebook news feeds of a friend’s wedding, a sudden promoted, unprompted sales pitch from a brand can at best be jarring. This brings back the point of brand authenticity – it is not about imposing a brand on an audience but about meaningful engagement and adding value, at the right time, in the right place.

If you’d like to hear more on how ARTEMIA can create meaningful, powerful brand articulation for your company, as ever, we’d love to hear from you.

I’ll sign off with another round of congratulations, this time for Team USA at the World Cup. What an incredible achievement! Onwards!

 

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