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If you're interested in your company's brand, Facebook is now impossible to avoid.
I'll be talking about branding with Innovation Protocol's Managing Director, Sasha Strauss, at the Crawford Family Forum tonight. It will be the first installment of DeBord Report live at KPCC's community space, and I believe there's still time to RSVP!
Leading up to the discussion, I doing a micro-series on branding. I already talked about the Apple Genius Bar as a customer-service concept that really put the Apple brand over the top. Now I'm going to look at another fairly well-know Silicon Valley company and the impact it's had on branding.
Facebook isn't even ten years old, but it's already on the runway to be one of the biggest tech IPOs of all time. It claims hundreds of millions of users. And it's become an essential place for companies to make a case for their brands.
But this isn't your father's branding. The concept of "branding" is relatively young — no one talked about brands 50 years ago, as Sasha Strauss will point out. But for most of the history of brands, companies controlled the core message. Apple was what Apple said it was, Nike was what Nike said it was, Ford was what Ford said it was.
After losing numerous sponsors following his SUV-crash-multiple-affairs-rehab-divorce debacle of late 2009, Tiger Woods was reduced to lugging his clubs (well, his caddy was, anyway) in a bag adorned with his own logo, provided by Nike, which looks after the "TW" clothing and equipment brand. Prior to this, he had a bag deal with AT&T that was reported worth "millions." And before that, Woods bag deal was with General Motors; it brought in a reported $7.5 million per year.
A bag deal for the world's most famous golfer had been rumored since Woods returned to competition toward the end of this year. But Tiger formally rolled it out at his own tournament, the Chevron World Challenge, a limited-field event that he — Gasp! — won this past weekend, ending a two-year victory drought. However, the deal is weird. It's with a company called Double Eagle Holdings and its FUSE Science brand.