Can Corp Blogs Build Brand Without Mentioning Product?

 BenettonTalkA TALE OF TWO BLOGS The Benetton Talk blog is interesting, professional and doesn’t mention anything about product. Read tales of activism, coming of age, exploration and adventure, intellectual pondering, the difficulty of being young and gay in a repressive country. See really cool graphics. It all fits into the world-view, diversity embracing brand of Benetton.

But the posts are written by a small group of the same people (paid by Benetton?) and the sameness of the language discourages give-and take that is edgy or engaging (isn’t that really Benetton’s brand?).

McDonald's corporate responsibility

The McDonald’s Corporate Responsibility Blog is more self-serving and elicits even fewer comments and trackbacks than Benetton (two comments in five posts – remarkably low for such a large corporation).  The blog is written by the Senior Director for Corporate Social Responsibility. One of the topic threads is “Balanced, Active Lifestyles.” Strains credibility? 

The Benetton blog knows its audience – the consumer. The McDonald’s blog suffers from an identity crisis. They want to convince us that McDonald’s understands corporate responsibility but who is the audience. Will I seek out this information on the web before my next impulse buy of a hamburger and fries. A better target for this blog would be McDonald’s suppliers, partners and investors.

Both blogs fail to create community or a meaningful dialogue and are good examples of how corporations are shackled by their intrinsic restrictive nature when attempting to build brand in interactive communications.  

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