Tuesday, November 16, 2010

26 Brands in Social Media

A is for Applebee's: A Partnership with Consumers

Applebee's impressively engages consumers with its Veteran's Day social media campaign. The company offers free selected entrees to veterans and active duty military personnel on November 11, 2010. It offers them a meal, a gift which consumers appreciate. Applebee's asks consumers to be co-creators on its website and Facebook page. It creates a dialogue through reading and listening to consumer messages.

Consumers, in this difficult economy, love free items. The giver's brand is enhanced in the eyes of the happy receiver. Applebee's realizes that the gift of a free entree draws diners, who will buy additional items. The company also creates its own positive aura, i.e. increased brand equity, by honoring veterans and military personnel during wartime.

Applebee's asks for its own gifts from consumers: photographs and messages relating to military friends and family. http://veterans.applebees.com/veteransday/honor-a-veteran/ These gifts of content on Applebee's Facebook page and website create a partnership between Applebee's and consumers. Consumers want to be partners with brands, and Applebee's gives them the opportunity by asking for their input. This opportunity communicates to consumers that the brand respects them and their ideas, which is important to them.

The Applebee's-consumer partnership of content creates a dialogue. Applebee's reads what consumers post to its sites and consumers read the company's responses. The exchange builds the relationship between the brand and its consumers. Free gifts, consumer content and a conversation: how to excel at social media.