Two decades ago, the phrase “the internet” joined us in our households, our places of work, even our schools – it was otherwise known as the World Wide Web. Then, it referred to the place you go to exchange information and perhaps communicate with others. Since then, going online has morphed into a daily habit, even seeming a necessity. And with it, the phrase “the internet” changed too. “The internet” now known as a black hole of information, also often refers to people online sharing their opinions and used more as a term for the collective online public thanks to social media.
So, knowing your customer is powerful, but how about the collective online community? Consider when actions and opinions move from individual to collective whole – “the internet.”
“The Internet” impacts brands, too. For example, it (or should I say they) recently provided free advertising to Starbucks and Adidas – both intentionally and unintentionally adding to the many things “the internet” has collectively thought and done over the years.
A 26-year-old film student sent Adidas ad execs an idea – twice – and they didn’t bite. While the ad itself may not have been quite right for them, “the internet” disagrees. Now that the YouTube video is trending with over 10 million hits, will “the internet” impact Adidas’ response?
A few years ago, I ordered a shaken iced tea from Starbucks – they asked for my name, which I gave, and a few minutes later, I picked up my drink at the counter with “Jo(e?)” scribbled on the cup. What did I do next? Smile, then post it to social media so my friends could have a chuckle too. While it hasn’t been confirmed by Starbucks, some have come up with a theory behind why this is happening.