Brands make us love them. Nobody loves Facebook; they just use Facebook. And if the platform is going to survive this PR nightmare, it needs people to feel a legitimate and emotional connection to it. It can’t just count on consumers using Facebook because it’s convenient; they need people to love using Facebook. It needs a bit of Barnum. Facebook -- as a platform, as a brand, as whatever you want it to be -- is already about “making the world a better place by connecting people.” That’s a powerful message that consumers can get behind. And since Facebook hasn’t spent time telling us a powerful narrative about the good side of connecting people, we’re primed to believe and to become easily swayed by the bad side. It needs to invest time and effort into making people love them. It’s time for Facebook to change the narrative and turn its story into something positive. He needs to create a future-looking brand story, one that makes Facebook feel important and inspirational -- and imperative.
Facebook needs to stop acting like a platform and start acting like a brand.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Mark Zuckerberg has not had a good week. A two-year long PR crisis has come to a head, and Facebook is facing some serious backlash. So the question is, how can Facebook win back the hearts — and more importantly the trust — of millions?
As it stands right now, Facebook staunchly believes itself to be a platform — but what it really needs to be is a brand. Brands fight for our business, and they do so by fighting for our attention. And as a result, brands have personality. Brands make us love them. And that’s the action Zuckerberg needs to take.
Think about the companies we all love: Apple, Amazon, Tesla. These brands have purpose, they have meaning — they have created relationships with their consumers. And that relationship is what keeps the public loyal, even in the face of a communications hiccup. (And yes, we are all aware that playing a questionable role in a major election is more than a hiccup … but still.)
Apple is an omnipresent brand, but it is by no means a perfect brand. It’s publicly confirmed it slows down batteries of older models. Yet here we are, still carrying our iPhones, looking for chargers. Because at this point, going non-Apple just really isn’t an option.
That’s the beauty of “brand.” It breeds loyalty. It has longevity. It attracts love.
Brands tell a story. They make the consumer feel things. They forge a personal connection. But, Facebook has always focused on the service, not on the emotion. And yes, its product is functional, but that doesn’t mean it has to eschew the connection. No service is more functional than Amazon, but its brand is full of connection. Just look at its Super Bowl commercials. They were fun, heartwarming, engaging — and they were also a great PR effort for Jeff Bezos. The ads humanize a utilitarian brand, creating affinity and loyalty among consumers.
Steve Jobs was the inspirational,…