The Shift of Brand Equity To Sweat Equity Via Social Media

“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” – George S. Patton

Times are changing for business building and business branding.  No longer does a business need 40 years to build their image, their cherished slogans, or their customer loyalty and word of mouth advertising.  No longer do business owners need to desperately hope to get past  gatekeepers for prominent TV Executives, Radio Station Directors and Newspaper Editors.  Now, we have Social Media.

We are living in the day and age where we can personally deliver the message ourselves and the cost to build brand equity has switched to sweat equity, it’s not about dollars and cents. If you are just catching on to the the social media craze you had better buckle up, because you are about to embark on a crash course in the power of what Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV calls “word of mouth on steroids”!

Gary Vaynerchuk has a multi-faceted approach to personal branding and business and his dual identity as both business guru and wine guy has made him the “Social Media Sommelier”.  Thanks to Charles Bohannan of and his generosity, I was fortunate enough to win a ticket to  Social Media Success Summit 09 where Gary held the opening keynote speech.

During the keynote, Gary referred to the many consultations he has done for Fortune 500 companies, and states:

“This is not about dictating…businesses  want to send press releases and try to dictate and control their message, but we’re living in a day and age where nobody is in control of the message except the user,  and word of mouth is what you really want to focus on”.

Once you understand that anyone can harness their passion for a product or service and use the different tools social media provides to control word of mouth about your brand, you will see that the ‘big guys’ don’t control the playing field anymore.  It will take hard work and you’ll  have to master the learning curve of social media.  You’ll have to actively and passionately market yourself to your niche.  And, you will need to monitor the word of mouth conversations on your product and socialize with your base.

By using Twitter, Facebook or another social media platform to send out your message you are able to then have your message ‘re-tweeted’ or copied by your base.  Let’s think about this for a moment.  If you have just one big or powerful follower in your base  and they retweet your messages, not only is it going out to massive amounts of people that otherwise could cost you millions, but  imagine if it caught the eye of an Publisher or Editor and the next thing you know you are signing a 7 figure book deal!  That’s how quickly things can happen with social media.

One of the most powerful and grossly underused tools online right now is the search box on Twitter.  By searching keywords or your brand on Twitter you can instantly test the temperature of what’s being said.  You can get an instant ROI from just one search.  Others can search keywords and find you through current conversations.  The possibilities are endless if you just open your mind, think outside the box and use a little sweat equity.

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” – Theodor Seuss Geisel

Where can you see yourself soaring to using Social Media as your platform?  What is your favorite social media tool to use in marketing your brand?


  1. Jon says

    I absolutely love a quote from Dr. Seuss. It’s about time he got the recognition he deserves.

    I totally agree with you. That ‘power trip’ is going to have to be dealt with, and the sooner companies face that fact and decide to learn how to operate in the modern world, the better for all of us.

    But I don’t think it will be easy for them.

    Oh, and to answer the question: twitter, of course! See you there!

  2. Charles Bohannan says

    Nice article and summary of what we need to be mindful of with social media. It’s amazing how the whole old-media just got turned upside down with the internet! Don’t you love it?

    Thanks, too, Coree for the mention (please change from Chris to Charles). I’m so glad you are loving the Social Media Success Summit — I am too!

    Charles Bohannan’s last blog post..Social Media Success Summit 2009 Contest Winner

  3. Coree says

    @Charles. OMG!! I’m so sorry about the name! I started thinking Chris Garrett and put Chris instead of Charles. :( Can’t even tell you how many other times I have almost done this…changing right now!!

    And, YES! I do love it that the Internet has made us the Executive of our own destiny!

  4. Coree says

    @Jon: I agree, the big companies that learn to adapt and work with the shift instead of against it will be the ones that end up on top of the game. I read recently that Sony’s CEO frowns on the whole Internet idea and believes it’s going nowhere. Hmm…can you say “Apple”? Whatever happened to the Sony Walkman? 😉
    Dr. Seuss rocks!! We need thoughtful smiles!! Thanks for stopping by, Jon!

  5. Justin Knecht says

    You still need to know what you stand for, and what separates you from the rest. Social media is just another channel and it is filled with noise. No one has, or ever had complete control over their brand, but it doesn’t underscore the importance of *managing* it. Perhaps it’s even more important in a world where word of mouth can sink you just as quickly.

    Justin Knecht’s last blog post..Authenticity never goes out of style …

  6. Jeanne Berry, CPA says

    This article was very insightful about social media marketing. What is interesting is that those who have been in business for a while, me included, are reluctant to change our methods that have been ingrained into us when it comes to marketing. However, since starting my new business, Let’s Learn Bookkeeping, the social media really is the best way to go!

    • Coree says

      @Jeanne: Well, I can attest to what a great tool social media is because more than 75% of my traffic comes from some form of social media marketing! I know that it’s not always easy to begin new things, and my no means has it been “easy” to build a social profile…but, with the dedication of just an hour or so per day a business can take the steps necessary to personalize themselves to their prospects. People buy from people. If I go to Best Buy because they have the best price on a new TV but the rep is disengaged and seems too busy to care about my concerns, I will walk across the street to their competitor where they are willing to answer my questions with a smile. Social media is a smart way of building trust, making friends out of customers and growing brand image.

      Good luck to you on your new business venture! Keep me posted!!

  7. Scott Lovingood@Small Business Coach says recently ran an article on how marketing was moving from the traditional methods of paper, ads, radio and tv spots to a more digital method. Social media is simply the next step in that transition. is the article.

    Before newspapers, TV and radio, social media ruled the world. We found out things by the people we connected with and used the products they suggested. When newspapers, TV and radio were fully immersed into our society, the people lost control of the message because we did not have an efficient mechanism for distributing our suggestions.

    Now that we have social media such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, even email to some extent, we have the ability to take back the message. The internet is going to do remarkable things for how people connect but as all change brings some bumps in the road.

    • Coree says

      @Scott – I saw that article. I think we have the upper hand for now, but the big guys in journalism and old school media may catch on to the trend soon. I’ve seen other articles that have suggested that it’s already happening…so, it’s important to build your following and your brand image now before being dwarfed by the giants.

      • Scott Lovingood - Business Coach says

        Some individuals within old media may catch on but I think for the most part those who excel at the social media game will be a different group. Just as when personal computers came onto the scene, the mainframe mfgs never seemed to catch on. Some like IBM were able to revinvent themselves to still work with it, but never dominated the PC market. They left that up to others.

        I also think that the mode of communication is different in social media. It is geared more towards an interactive conversation. Large old school media are geared more towards giving a speech – not interacting.

        Talk radio would be the closest group to already having that interaction so they may be able to make the jump. It will be interesting to see.

        I do agree we need to build our reputation, brand and following while we have the early mover advantage.


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