Thanks to John Breiner, Marketing Manager, Best Buy for joining us on the chat this past Wednesday! And, many, many thanks to @neilmckenzphoto for bringing him to the chat and for suggesting our topic:  Best Buy’s Connect initiative.  It was a great discussion by all with some terrific pearls of wisdom on being authentic and transparent in your branding.

The discussion also yielded some great tips on putting forth guidelines for employees in engaging social media.  Enjoy the recap!

Q1:Best Buy uses SM connection http://bbyconnect.appspot.com/ Listening in2 employees tweets + what’s UR branding advice/fears?

Brad42Fish: The biggest power and concern with SM is how employees can tweet, blog, and more without censure of corp. #brandchat

bernierjohn: We’re experimenting, and are trying not to afraid to fail, becausewe go in konowing we will at some point, we’re all human. #brandchat

Brad42Fish: If done correctly, employees using SM can build stronger brand. if done incorrectly, it can tear brand apart. #brandchat

andrewmueller: @bernierjohn do the C level execs participate and lead by example #bestbuy #brandchat

Michael_B_Moore: Branding is all about relationships – insinuating yourself into your consumers’ lives. SM can be an important tool in that. #brandchat

johnreddish: @Brad42Fish Yes, SM can build brand – co’s need to see SM as one more tool and not be afraid to encourage participation, sharing. #brandchat

neilmckenzphoto: Q1: I think Best Buy has the right attitude of experimenting – new ground to plow here. Maybe great crops may some weeds. #brandchat

johnreddish: @andrewmueller I see more and more C types jumping in. I’m shaming some of my clients into joining and they are loving it. #brandchat

bernierjohn: @tmonhollon we’ve got guidelines in place that designed to protect us from ourselves 🙂 Basically, be human, don’t be stupid. #brandchat

andrewmueller: @bernierjohn do you have a “rules of engagement” that act to guide employees as to when and how to engage? #bestbuy #brandchat

Brad42Fish: How does a company stop one pissed off, ignorant, misinformed, or loose-lipped employee from ruining brand? #brandchat

nrohrbach: Q1: I’d be afraid of what comes of a disgruntled employee via SM. Even I’m prone to venting on twitter from time to time #brandchat

McCourtRealtor: RT @neilmckenzphoto Q1: I think Best Buy has the right attitude of experimenting – new ground to plow here.Mayb gr8crops or weeks #brandchat

mjbraide: #brandchat I like everything about what Best Buy is doing except the handle Twelpforce. Sounds really odd to me. Bestweet?

DrFernKazlow: @brandchat @brad42fish That’s why training incl brand communication critical. Suitability 2 engage in SM new criteria in hiring. #Brandchat

tmonhollon: @bernierjohn It’s a balance you must strike. Trust comes into play in a major way in this economy. On both ends, co and ppl. #brandchat

DavidSandusky: RT @bernierjohn: we just need to be ready to learn, react, change something on the go. #brandchat

johnreddish: @nrohrbach venting is fodder for corrective action and building. Open the dialog and defenders can feel free to jump in. #brandchat

nrohrbach: Q1: and what would encourage employees to tweet while representing BB, if the repercussions effect their honest living #brandchat

IMAGEidentity: So if they are let go or it doesn’t work out they still respect the brand #brandchat

tmonhollon: @IMAGEidentity In large, spread out organizations, this is a huge, important challenge. #brandchat

neilmckenzphoto: Q1: @brad2fish Every company has employees that don’t represent the brand well. You deal with them as you would before SM. #brandchat

nrohrbach: @johnreddish I agree, but what company wants to have to jump in on “I hate my boss, our company is pathetic” #brandchat

andrewmueller: @Brad42Fish great Q, i guess the answer is to develop a culture that prevents employees from becoming pissed or resolves issues #brandchat

brandchat: RT @nrohrbach Q1: what would encourage employees 2 tweet while representing BB, if the repercussions effect their honest living #brandchat

DrFernKazlow: @bernierjohn @mjbraide Agree something > original would be better – don’t like twelpforce for sure! #Brandchat

tnehren: Consumers or employees will talk in SM, regardless of whether or not you decide to listen #brandchat

Brad42Fish: @neilmckenzphoto but when an angry employees was mad in the old days, he couldn’t reach millions in seconds. #brandchat

mariaduron: #brandchat @bernierjohn I agree not every1 will agree w/name. How do U handle employee complaints?

tmonhollon: @tnehren But the question for many companies is, what are they doing with their time on the clock? #brandchat

bernierjohn: @tmonhollon agree 100%. It’s a fragile thing, trust is. We’re trying, and giving an honest effort. Hopefully we get credit. #brandchat

IMAGEidentity: Which means companies have to actually treat their employess well now. #brandchat

bernierjohn: @mariaduron we fire them on the spot. J/K. Feedback on functionality is logged and addressed. #brandchat

IMAGEidentity: It all comes back to a culture of Brand Responsibility #brandchat

mariaduron: @Brad42Fish Agreed! Communication is now at a much faster paste w/all of R gr8 tools, but it’s all still word of mouthn #brandchat

tmonhollon: @bernierjohn Is there an impact difference between formal SM presence on a brand’s behalf & loose association like “I work for”? #brandchat

pmarckworth: my impression from bbyconnect is that employees are positively engaged with their work and their company #brandchat

andrewmueller: @Brad42Fish If the employee has a legitimate gripe it is dangerous, if it is unfounded it will be seen as such-solve legit gripes #brandchat

mjbraide: #brandchat Q1 Companies get more credit for letting employees vent than they lose for whatever bile might come out.

bernierjohn: @brandchat they haveto have a passion for helping people. I think it’s a simple yes or no queston. Are you willing? #brandchat

tmonhollon: @andrewmueller I also think legally, issues like defamation and libel are tricky territory for cos on the HR side. #brandchat

DavidSandusky: Q1 SM enforcing said values toward acted on values re: employee relations=good for all #brandchat

johnreddish: @Brad42Fish reaching millions has 2 sides. those who will say “that doesn’t jibe” & those (looking 4 grumble) who say it does. #brandchat

mariaduron: @neilmckenzphoto It’s still all word of mouth but at a hyper-connected pace. So it’s magnified + accelerrated #brandchat

bernierjohn: @tmonhollon I think if the individuals are noting on the SM space that they are a BBY employee, they represent i part, the brand. #brandchat

nrohrbach: Q1: I’d hate to see a company with commission based employees tweeting for the company. Could you truly trust a salesperson? #brandchat

Brad42Fish: Does everyone at BB have access to and ability to officailly represent the brand? #brandchat

Michael_B_Moore: RT @andrewmueller: @Brad42Fish let employees bring gripe to world = opportunity to show how you solve problems and R a great co #brandchat

johnreddish: @nrohrbach If you can’t why are they working for you? Everybody who gets a W-2 or a 1099 is a company/brand rep. #brandchat

bernierjohn: Knowigwere your problems are,whether the news comes from employees or cust is the fastest way to get them fixed. #brandchat

DavidSandusky: Q1 recruiting strategy-hire brand champions/passion, Honest and respected communications always. biz IS personal #brandchat

johnreddish: @DavidSandusky I used to think that “trust thing” was confined to those over 30, am more liberal with age now. #brandchat

tmonhollon: @Brad42Fish But look at the examples of where it goes from informal @Agent_M was an intern,now an “official” presence for Marvel. #brandchat

Q2: What’s UR thoughts about BestBuy Connect? Curious 2 know if ppl can start disc topics or only comment on ones BB employees R tweeting about?

Brad42Fish: How much info can you effectively share w/ cust.s? Do cust.s care that you just changed compinsation plan? #brandchat

bernierjohn: @brandchat everyone, yes. #brandchat

brandchat: @bernierjohn What r ur steps in training ppl? I’ve seen @zappos culture manual. Do U have something similar or a system? #brandchat

johnreddish: @Brad42Fish customers buy and care for their own reasons, Showing the flag provides a constant positive reminder you are there. #brandchat

bernierjohn: @brandchat BBConnect is a feed of cnversations happening, so if you want to engage in a convo, it will be shared with all #brandchat

tnehren: @tmonhollon I don’t think BB is doing it to track employee’s use of time on clock, but monitor internal brand sentiment #brandchat

andrewmueller: @bernierjohn what happens if the BB doesn’t like the way someone engages but they are within guidelines? Sensoring may B an issue #brandchat

bernierjohn: @brandchat we hv guidelines, but are taking the approach that wisdom will come frm experience. Be yourself, be helpul, be human. #brandchat

andrewmueller: @Brad42Fish Doesn’t really matter, it’s not forced down their throats, but all searchable and there to be found if wanted #brandchat

bernierjohn: @andrewmueller not really, that’s someone who wrks for us, so we accept it. He’ll hear it from his peers… #brandchat

andrewmueller: @McCourtRealtor All someone has to do to begin a topic is to tweet to the BB connect acount and a response would begin the thread #brandchat

nrohrbach: @DavidSandusky it’s a lot different in retail, Huge difference b/w selling your company and brand A vs brand B in store #brandchat

bernierjohn: @tnehren better use of down time too…it’s also a powerful “geo-local” tool. #brandchat

neilmckenzphoto: Q2: BBConnect really caught my eye! What a great way to reinforce the corp culture and tell the world that BB listens! #brandchat

brandchat: @bernierjohn U may hv answered this + it got lost in shuffle. Can customers start topics or only employees on BBconnect? #brandchat

McCourtRealtor: @neilmckenzphoto I was impressed + had never heard of it and I’m a BestBuy shopper galore! #brandchat

andrewmueller: @bernierjohn great! You are all learning together and setting an example for others – should blog about this learning exp too. #brandchat

neilmckenzphoto: Q2: The BBConnect seems to really fit in with their ad depiciting a customer calling from a Walmart to get prod expertise. #brandchat

bernierjohn: BBConnect is a feed of cnversations happening, so if you want to engage in a convo, it will be shared with all #brandchat

johnreddish: @neilmckenzphoto the call from the WallMart store is deliciously good marketing. #brandchat

andrewmueller: @brandchat All someone has to do to begin a topic is to tweet to the BB connect acount and a response would begin the thread #brandchat

brandchat: @bernierjohn How long has BBconnect existed + how R u measuring its success? Internally + externally? #brandchat

bernierjohn: Most employees said the Wal-Mart spot was a long time coming. They area fierce competitor, no doubt. #brandchat

bernierjohn: @brandchat In it’s current form, not long. Measurement right now will be employee engagement, and user feedback. #brandchat

andrewmueller: @nrohrbach do you think that employee should remain an employee? No, but if the gripe is legit the company has failed anyway #brandchat

Q3: What’s UR definition of co-branding + recommendations?

IMAGEidentity: I think the credit card industry in the late 90’s #brandchat

Brad42Fish: Co-branding works when the two brands make sense together. #brandchat

johnreddish: @getresults – Co-branding is “guilt by assn” & can B great thing. If mutually reinforcing, do it and do it often. #brandchat

IMAGEidentity: Cobranding was hot when I was in that industry #brandchat

neilmckenzphoto: Q3: Are you in effect “co-branding” by the customers you have served? #brandchat

nrohrbach: @andrewmueller I’d certainly accept & learn from my failure, but I don’t think broadcasting it to the masses is the right move #brandchat

bernierjohn: @brandchat Retailers are notorious for co-branding, and BBY’s not perfect. Got 2 show why we are the place to get the “thing”. #brandchat

Brad42Fish: Teh biggest challenge of cobranding is not getting so tied to the other brand that you can’t stand on your own. #brandchat

IMAGEidentity: I saw many brands tarnished by Banks making customers mad. #brandchat

DavidSandusky: co-branding: don’t know what that means. co-marketing I get, brand would be experienced w/one of the COs #brandchat

johnreddish: @nrohrbach empathy sells lots of products/services. They love UR humanity and buy more, if they feel it’s genuine. #brandchat

mariaduron: Rt @RogersFord@neilmckenzphoto It is impt 2 communicate corp culture 2 every1 + thru every1 + ppl want 2 b listented 2 ALWAYS. #brandchat

DavidSandusky: Q3 during merger, one brand always wins. co-marketing yes, co-brand, no #brandchat

bernierjohn: Q3: Who do you think gets the blame if a product sold via co-branding goes bad, a retailer, or MFGR? #brandchat

McCourtRealtor: @bernierjohn I agree – U R the place where I get my things. So, why don’t I know of this bbconnect? Do U comm. in store? #brandchat

pmarckworth: RT @Brad42Fish: The biggest challenge of cobranding is not getting so tied to the other brand that you cant stand on your own. #brandchat

brandchat: RT @bernierjohn Q3: Who do you think gets the blame if a product sold via co-branding goes bad, a retailer, or MFGR? #brandchat

johnreddish: @DavidSandusky Yes, most joint initiatives shoud probably be considered a “co-marketing” effort, not a “co-branded.” #brandchat

neilmckenzphoto: @davidsandusky Like Chase and Washington Mutual or whatever the name of that company was. #brandchat

Brad42Fish: Interesting deliniation between co-branding and co-marketing. #brandchat

mariaduron: @DavidSandusky I agree, David. Always 1 brand lands on top. Seeing it happen w/sears + kmart now. #brandchat

bernierjohn: @McCourtRealtor very, very new initiative. The egg just hatched. You will see comms aimed at “@twelpforce” awareness soon. #brandchat

neilmckenzphoto: Q3: @bernierjohn Blame goes to both and more to whomever is closest. #brandchat

Brad42Fish: The chalenge of separating co-marketing from co-branding is that your marketing becomes a part of your brand. #brandchat

pmarckworth: @neilmckenzphoto Chase bought WAMU – a buyout, not a co-anything. WAMU is gone. #brandchat

McCourtRealtor: @bernierjohn Oooooo, luv being there 4 new hatchlings! Was curious. Really like the instore experiencen + hoping 2 c it in SM #brandchat

tmonhollon: @Brad42Fish Is co-branding more apt when a company’s own brands are affiliated together, co-marketing is different co’s promos? #brandchat

johnreddish: @bernierjohn when the customer gets a “failed experience” everyone suffers. #brandchat

DavidSandusky: @Brad42Fish if two brand share identical values and experience, it is one, market that #brandchat

bernierjohn: @McCourtRealtor all we can promise is you will get our best effort, but our employees passions shld be evident. #brandchat

Brad42Fish: If you become a part of another brand, or if they become a part of yours…can be good, can be sticky. #brandchat

DrFernKazlow: @mariaduron @davidsandusky Co-branding- 1 lands on top or both can be damaged. Won’t win equally. Co-marketing can work.. #brandchat

johnreddish: @Brad42Fish Absolutely, customers seldom differentiate between co-mkt and co-branded. It’s their total experience that counts. #brandchat

johnreddish: RT @Brad42Fish: If you become a part of another brand, or if they become a part of yours…can be good, can be sticky. #brandchat

andrewmueller: @bernierjohn so from there someone from BB could reply and a convo started? #brandchat

andrewmueller: There is no such thing as Co-branding, Co-marketing yes but your “brand” is always distinct! #brandchat

DavidSandusky: Q3 mfg product does not live up to brand promise, retail and mngr both fail-work together! #brandchat

DrFernKazlow: Agree about co-marketing. How do you share a brand- a personality, being the solution to their problem. #brandchat

johnreddish: @brandchat Q3 – customer in slightly different position w dealers v licensees, but experience is overriding issue. #brandchat

Q4: Discount Tire also jumps in on using Twitter for communicating their brand http://bit.ly/W6X2Q Thoughts?

andrewmueller: @Brad42Fish yes! the co-marketing effort, companies, and products associated, affect your brand #brandchat

IMAGEidentity: Everything you do effects the brand so co-brand or co-marketing has the potential to make or break a brand. #brandchat

bernierjohn: yes, the convo is actually happening on twitter. BBCnnect functions like friendfeed, basically. #brandchat

PaulFlanigan: @bernierjohn MFGR = product, RTLR = Experience. RTLR should know the customer lifestyle needs, thus be the filter. #brandchat

DrFernKazlow: I think we are “lumping” dif situations together & hard 2 generalize. There r mergers, co-marketing efforts, hostil takeovrs… #brandchat

brandchat: RT @bernierjohn @McCourtRealtor all we can promise is you will get our best effort, but our employees passions shld be evident. #brandchat

neilmckenzphoto: Q4: Have used Discount Tires for years, they rock! I have recommended them and now I can use twitter to do so – and get a thanks #brandchat

johnreddish: @andrewmueller can get muddled – depending on integration of the two – such as Eddie Bauer editions of cars #brandchat

bernierjohn: @PaulFlanigan does a failed product contribute to a failed experience? #brandchat

mariaduron: Transparency is the key to convos in SM! Appreciate that BestBuy embraces same philosphy. Can only promise 2 do best. #brandchat

pmarckworth: @andrewmueller encompasses wide range of mkting activity involving use of 2 brands from Co-Branding: The Science of Alliance” #brandchat

andrewmueller: @johnreddish Eddie Bauer remains a distinct “brand” that is affected by every product it puts its “mark” on #brandchat

DrFernKazlow: @pmarckworth @andremueller Is Alliance branding – I don’t think so. Think its marketing or alliance… #brandchat

johnreddish: @andrewmueller but it, like other licensors, can be tarnished by licensee actions. Yes, the “affect” can be significant. #brandchat

Pitch, Plugs, C2A, etc.

McCourtRealtor: PITCH: Send positive thoughts statements, quotes+questions about the real estate industry our way, pls. Thanks brandchatters! #brandchat

neilmckenzphoto: Pitch: Using my adv/mrktg moxy with expert photography skills to create great business and personal brand images. #brandchat

DrFernKazlow: Pitch: Time to Get Big(ger)! Talk to me about taking your biz, branding, and your life to to the next level! #brandchat

pmarckworth: thanks everyone PITCH: I’m a consultant who transforms how businesses communicate ideas through their brand. #brandchat

mariaduron: Branditos + excellent chat 2day. Thx so much 2 @neilmckenzphoto 4 inviting@bernierjohn 2 2days chat. Hope 2 c u 4 future chats! #brandchat

nrohrbach: Pitch: Turning ideas into successful businesses. Launching collaborative online tool 4 SMB & individs http://www.ideaanglers.com #brandchat

DavidSandusky: @neilmckenzphoto and people like your blog on Your Brand Forums! http://bit.ly/LMUYq (expand) #brandchat

brandchat: PITCH: Pls join our Facebook group, http://tinyurl.com/brandchat-FB (expand) Would really like 2 get our FB Vanity URL + need fans! 🙂 #brandchat

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