Search marketing and your brand

"Memo to brands: fear the wiki," states Sandeep Krishnamurthy frantically. I don't agree.

Krishnamurthy's point is that when you search your brand, one of the top results is the Wikipedia entry. And Wikipedia, given its aim to be the online user-generated point of reference encyclopedia, might say something you don't want to hear about your brand. After carefully crafting your image, turn of phrase and vivid brand personality, the supposed objectivity and authority that Wikipedia exudes can "muddy" your brand's waters.

Well, yes, of course the brand waters are muddied. You might create your brand, but you don't own it. Your customers, clients and the public at large do. Say, for example, you put a lot of work into a new wordmark, colour choice, motto. But your customer service people don't stay on message when they answer the phone. What is your brand then? "Nice logo, shame about the folks on the phone."
That's your brand.

Your brand's Wikipedia entry can be an excellent research tool. It can tell you what matters about your goings-on in the world. Read it, engage with it. And work on fixing what Wikipedia says is broken through a combination of pro-active communications and changes to the fundamentals.

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