Last week news broke that Lithium Technologies was to acquire 'Klout', a business that focuses on analyzing who is influential in social media, and a term more synonymous with digital savvy marketers -- for a fee reported to be at least $100 million. It is no surprise that technology and vanity = money. Note: I like what Klout is doing, but more on that later.
Both humans and brands in this day and age are largely vain and egotistical beings, spending considerable amounts of time improving our collective online appearance and worrying about what others think of us. The rampant rise of social media, proliferation of online personas and image crafting has no doubt only fueled these flames. But when does vanity become ego and ego become egotistical? When do brands cross a line? And are new media 'ego-metrics' of influence actually useful to your business? The answer, I believe, lies below:
Vanity Marketing and Ego-metrics
For years now marketers have used vanity as a brand-building tactic in comparison to traditional product marketing. The focus here was on the individual. Combine this with the aspirational qualities of said brand and this manifests into an altogether more enlightening, experiential brand appeal. You no longer owned a product, you became a brand.