5 Big Brand Case Studies Every Marketer Should Know

by Brian Halligan

Date

January 21, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Many big businesses have begun to experiment with social media, and have dived head-first into the world of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and beyond. While others still remain traditionally skeptical of the new metrics and pull-instead-of-push approach, companies such as Southwest Airlines and Ford have proven the success of incorporating these new platforms into the company culture.

If you're wondering which big brands do it best, here are 5 big brands case studies that every marketer should know:

 

SouthWest-Airlines-Social-Media Southwest Airlines: Personalize your brand.

Southwest Airlines has effectively used social media to highlight what makes their company unique.  From promoting a viral video of a rapping flight attendant on YouTube to informing customers of flight delays on Twitter to uploading customer photos on their blog, Southwest Airlines has developed their image into a friendly, unique, and personable brand , with which customers can build a long-lasting relationship.

Comcast-Cares-Social-Meda Comcast: Serve your customers.

Having an issue with your television connection? Instead of listening to elevator music while on hold indefinitely, tweet about to @ comcastcares . Comcast has discovered a way to respond quickly and directly to customers, especially unhappy ones. The company uses Twitter to monitor customer feedback, reactions, and complaints, and responds within minutes to not-so-favorable posts.

ford-social-media Ford: Resolve emerging issues.

When Ford made an internal error that involved threatening enthusiast sites with lawsuits about copyright infringement, the enraged public quickly made the situation a big deal. The saving factor emerged when Ford’s community manager clarified the story and immediately informed the public via social media. Furthermore, as the company resolved the situation, the public was informed every step of the way, preventing further confusion and frustration .

Starbucks: Request direct feedback.

“My Starbucks Idea” is the popular coffee brand’s consumer portal where customers can submit ideas and vote/comment on other’s thoughts about improving the product(s). In a company where the “experience” compensates for the high prices, it is in Starbucks’ best interest to receive feedback directly from the customers themselves. The corresponding “ Ideas in Action Blog ” is written by Starbucks employees and discusses ideas that are being implemented while responding to other suggestions.

Sun Microsystems: Increase company transparency.

In a world where trade secrets are protected and gaffes are hidden, Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun Microsystems, publishes a CEO blog that addresses company issues and discloses business advancements. By encouraging two-way communication between the head management and employees/customers, Sun Microsystems promotes a culture of transparency and honesty , in which everyone can receive visibility into the company’s actions.

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