Put your brand in their hands!

Julian Smith
Insight & Research Director, MEC Interaction

All across the world internet-enabled consumers are becoming more active participants in their digital media consumption. Aided by broadband and wireless connectivity, sophisticated content creation devices and social media publishing platforms, the connected audience is increasingly contributing, sharing and collaborating online. Whether in the form of chat-room discussions, blogs, profile pages, uploaded photos or videos there has been an explosion in the volume and prominence of online user-generated content (UGC) as consumers take advantage of the features and functions of Web 2.0.

While currently still the reserve of a relatively small percentage of the UK population this burgeoning of self-expression is starting to present both opportunities and threats to brands. While on the one hand UGC provides a rich source of unsolicited consumer sentiment that can be used to gain brand insights, on the other it presents a threat to brand reputations when the content is negative towards a brand.