— blending the mix

Could tools like Brandiki spell the end of the genuinely social web?

I’ve been (un)fortunate enough to be exposed to Brandiki whose promotional video is below. And, I’m totally unsure what to make of it. One one hand, it is the most exciting and comprehensive way of empowering customers to become advocates. On the other, it has the potential to be more damaging to brands than anything we have seen before.

1st Clicks on Brandiki.com from BrandFolium on Vimeo.

Sign-up, pick your brand, decide what you are going to say about that brand, give it a score on how you feel about that brand today and see it all appear on the social web. But is this truly un-prompted opinion? Not at all.

So you wake up on the right side of the bed and decide today that you like Brand X…and you decide to post something nice about them. Say though, you are eating your breakfast and you see your ipad cover (or whatever!) hasn’t turned up yet…you login to Brandiki and decide to write something negative about them. So do your friends, and their friend’s friend’s…and then people who don’t even know who the company is. They haven’t done anything wrong but from nothing, a brand’s reputation is on the verge of being destroyed. And yes, this can work in the positive as well as the negative, and don’t get me wrong, I’m always happy to see innovation but only where that innovation helps people communicate totally organically and without influence – to be a true conveyor of an individual’s thoughts.

But, for the very same reasons that I totally agree with the ASA regulations being brought in to promote enforce disclosure, the incentivised giving of a thought or opinion in this way has to be wrong. There are many bandwagons out there, and Brandiki has the potential to be one of the most damaging, irrelevant of whether this is good or bad.

What do you think? Is this a way to manipulate reputation or simply an easy way to helping people voice their opinions?

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