Bracing Your Brand

Internet business and marketing with Robert Kingston


The Wii console has developed a strong brand image with it's innovative interface.Recently I began a small site for the Wii console. With an awesome domain name,, I decided to put it to good use and make a nice full featured Wii fan site. BUT was I in for a surprise?

Having seen a lot of companies put out “fan site kits”, I naturally assumed that Nintendo would feverishly throw one up as well. Afterall, they had gone through the trouble of creating such an awesome product and a marketing campaign to suit… except they offered me no help whatsoever in helping them build a consistent brand image.

In the long run, Nintendo have made my job much more difficult. Now I’m going to have to design a logo — from scratch — by myself and guess the colour schemes which would fit their desired brand image. Now, if my advocacy of their brand wasn’t enough to lose already, they had also forgone the cost in defining a particular (and consistent) brand image for the Wii.

From such a large corporation, you’d expect to see at least some support for the community out there - especially seeing as around 51% of marketers in the US last year were looking to use a blog in some way or another (well, according to a Forrester Research White paper released over a year ago) . Combine this with the fact that blogs are a form of social media - you’re going to have to participate and facilitate the discussion of thousands of bloggers. What could be any better than getting tonnes of exposure from free, user generated content?

I think you catch my drift.

Anyway here are 5 Reasons Why A Company Should Encourage Fansites With “Fankits”.

  1. Build A special kind of relationship with customers - When someone develops a site about you, they’re reaching out to form a special kind of relationship with your brand. If you beat them back, from easily developing a website for you, you risk the relationship you could build with this customer.
  2. Find out what people are saying about your products - Problems, bugs and mishaps. If you have a lot of people writing about your brand, you’ll no doubt come across posts and comments, bashing your brand. Save these mis-treated souls and you may win over a new advocate. Studies are showing that people become more brand loyal after their problems are fixed seamlessly and appropriately.
  3. Create and Deliver a consistent brand image across thousands of websites - Now, I don’t mean that you need 1 stock standard web template to give to your customers - no way! I think that some simple graphics, tips and advice on creating the perfect fan site would be ideal to keep a consistent message and spread it throughout the blogosphere would be more than enough.
  4. Reach The Longtail - All the rave at Mplanet 2006 was centered around social media and the longtail. If you have 1000 fans writing about you online, chances are they’ll be writing about you from 1000 fresh perspectives and those will dominate the search engines for you.
  5. Find out who your most dedicated customers are - Despite all this talk about the longtail, experts believe that customers (moreso than ever) are looking to go with a brand which they can associate with. So, perhaps if you treat your most dedicated and influential customers to updates, exclusive news and freebies, they may lend you a hand in stimulating more brand loyal customers.

So Nintendo, if you’re reading this now (probably not by the sounds of it) go and make a nice fansite kit for me!

Posted by Robert Kingston on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007 at 9:03 am. Category: Miscellaneous, Social Media. Comment Feed: RSS 2.0. Leave a Comment below, or a trackback from your site.

5 Responses to “Help Your Brand Loyal Advocates, Help You”

  1. Robert that was an awesome post. Any person in business no matter what industry they are in need to read these 5 reasons.



  2. Thanks Amanda. This is something I feel very strongly about too.

    Robert Kingston

  3. Hmm - interesting points. I would have thought that a general fankit would leave yourself open to having your brand misused. Maybe that’s why they avoid it? If you’re uber pedantic about every aspect of your brand, I can imagine being a bit reluctant to give people access to the assets and potentially misusing them. Admittedly I don’t know much about fankits though, so I could be missing something here :D

    I can see your point though!!


  4. That’s true. Either way though, I think if people would like to misuse your brand, they’ll find a way.

    At least with fan kits you have a slither of control over the way people work with your brand. For instance - if you would like to show your logo on only a black background - only give people the necessary tools to use the logo in that way.

    Keeping your brand in tact is definitely something you should consider though! Thanks for your comment…

    Robert Kingston

  5. To Nintendo’s defense, I believe they have a popular enough product that they can create enough fans for.

    They should keep their marketing efforts on signing up good developers to make good games, since that’s ultimately the driving force for people to buy the console.


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