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Google Earth's Heartfelt Story for the Win
By: Janet Kalandranis
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So here’s the thing. Sometimes in order to bring about the true core of a brand, the business needs to step away. Quiet the marketing, remove the brand words, and just let customers speak themselves. When customers speak and they tell their stories, other people listen. The people any brand wants listening? Potential customers who are engaged.

There's no guarantee what a customer will say and there are few boundaries as to what a brand can expect, but when done correctly with honesty and true passion, the brand stands to become a winner. When customers speak and tell their stories, it seems more real. Brands start to become friends that other customers want to play with. There’s less of a business feeling and more of an intimate “I get you” feeling. That is something that brands can’t create on their own. Sure, they can try, but it doesn’t have the same impact, the same following, or the same outcome as taking a back seat and letting someone else do the talking instead.

Google Earth lucked out. Sometimes brands just luck out on the customer stories they have to share. But luck has to be combined with the right brand and this magical potion is created. First, take a look. Second, take some time to wipe the tears away. Third, notice the impact of this video told from a real customer in his own words instead of re-told by the brand itself. Compelling...really compelling, no? This is what can happen when brands ask customers to share their stories and pick the ones that relate to the core of the brand without adding any marketing terms to the conversation. And it’s pretty definite with a spot like this that Google Earth won’t have a dry eye in the house. A little boy, lost and adopted, finds his family decades later all with Google Earth. Yeah, that’s pretty much the power of this little tool.

As brands, the goal is always to be in front of customers. But as a business, sometimes the better option is to ask for help. Let others tell the brand story in their words, in their own terms and the result might be exactly what customers want. Brands need to balance any customer story with a story of their own, but in the right combination these two tactics allow a brand to be trusted and understood while also becoming a new customer favorite.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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