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Branding and Social Media

Are Brands Pushing For Too Much Commitment?

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Are Brands Pushing For Too Much Commitment?

As the big social media brands synergize and extend their offerings to make it more and more convenient to inhabit their brand of ego-system (hat-tip Brian Solis), when will it all become too much?

Is there a danger that it will all become too invasive? And even if it does come to feel that way, once things are that integrated, where’s the exit row?

Can you just buy a branded product anymore in that space without being drawn into a bigger commitment?

When does commitment become claustrophobic? When does convenience become imposition? When are customers being asked to buy into more than they want, even if what, or some of what, they are buying into is being offered to them free?

Take Google+ for example. It’s not about whether or not it’s better than Facebook, it’s about the fact that it seems to be so similar to Facebook, and to get the most out of it, there’s an increasing sense that I will need to decide to go with one or the other. To capitalize, I’m going to lock up even more with the Googlesphere or Apple or Facebook or Microsoft and therefore comply at some level with their rules and their worldview.

Choices are evolving into variations, and those variations are increasingly sequestered. Ironical isn’t it? More apps than ever, more ideas than ever, more information than ever…but as Wall Street continues to pile on the pressure for continued growth, how far will consumers let socializing brands go to capture value? At what point does a brand that means a lot to you become just too familiar, too knowing?

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