Ford’s Jim Farley on the importance of putting your brand in the hands of customers

During Blogworld Expo in Los Angeles, I was given the opportunity to interview Jim Farley, Ford’s Group Vice President, Global Marketing, Sales and Service live on stage. The discussion was focused on a powerful theme, putting your brand in the hands of customers. Certainly for any business, large and small, the idea of empowering customers to shape and steer your brand can be perceived as both frightening and dangerous. But here, Farley brings a refreshing perspective on why businesses, including Ford, need to engage customers in a more human and genuine manner. He looks beyond marketing to bring executives, employees and customers together in building a stronger brand, more relevant products and services, and investing in meaningful relationships to ultimately create a remarkable business…a business that matters beyond its goods.

The Pivot Story Arc

During the planning of the upcoming Pivot Conference, I’ve been asked many questions about what it is, what it isn’t, and why the need for another conference. Most importantly, I’ve been asked more often than not, “What is our story?” I think that’s a great question. So, I took a moment to write the story for the Pivot Conference and while I was sharing it with the team, I thought that I would also share it with you here. Why? First, for those considering the event, it may help answer your questions. Second,  as your business continues to explore new media, this story arc could serve as an outline for internal planning and development. Hopefully some of the free research we published will also help you.

SF Events – Laughing Squid: Decade 2 Tonight

Scott Beale, primary tentacle at Laughing Squid, will fuse tech, culture and community tonight at the highly anticipated Laughing Squid: Decade 2 at Mighty in SF. There will be three main areas, the big room inside, a smaller side room (chill lounge area) and the outside area.

This is a must-attend event.

Countdown to PodCamp West

Have plans this weekend? Now you do.

PodCamp West is a must-attend (oh and free) event this weekend that will cover all things related to podcasting and video blogging. Whether you’re a beginner, curious or an advanced practitioner, PodCamp West is designed to help everyone, at every level, share and learn.

It’s a two-day event, starting at 12 and running until 6.

Oh, but wait, I almost forgot, there are also two parties hosted by Vic Podcaster and the PodCamp West team.

PodCampWest Unites Podcasters, Video Bloggers, Bloggers in San Francisco

The first Podcamp on the West coast will be held in San Francisco on November 18-19, 2006 at the historic Swedish American Hall. Inspired by PodCamp Boston, PodCampWest San Francisco will connect individuals, businesses and institutions interested in new media.

Podcamp San Francisco is an UnConference in the tradition of BarCamp. PodCampWest is free to attend for the community.

The event will attract influential Bloggers, Audio and Video Podcasting pioneers, content creators and distributors, mainstream media, enthusiasts, businesses, hobbyists, musicians, marketers, PR pros, and people who generally want to understand more about the new media space.

Web 2.0 “Bubble Free” Bar Crawl in San Francisco on Nov. 10th.

Bubble-Free Web 2.0 Bar Crawl

My good friend Greg Narain and I are hosting a “network free” and “bubble free” bar crawl in San Francisco on 11/10.

The Crawl will take place on November 10th, 2006 at 6pm.

Here are the details:

The Bubble-Free Bar Crawl is a celebration of our sacrifice. This event is for everyone toiling late at night to launch their own startup and take a piece of the pie. Most importantly, it’s a time for you to bring all those who are supporting you out for a good time and a thank you.

Web 2.3 and Beyond, What’s Really Next?

Chris Heuer, host and event organizer of Web 2point2, has requested that participants write blog posts to facilitate topics for the board to consider for the Main Talks or the “How To” sessions. Here’s another idea:

As more and more events spring up and parties become the new business mixers, we can’t help but scream, “the bubble is back.”

Tags, Tag Beacons, Naming Conventions

Since Chris Heuer, host and event organizer of Web 2point2, has requested that participants write blog posts to facilitate topics for the board to consider for the Main Talks or the “How To” sessions, I thought I’d keep the ideas flowing.

I’d like to see a discussion of new opportunities for Tags outside of Technorati.

Greg Narain of BlueWhale Labs and Social Roots and I were speaking about the idea of Tag Beacons recently during the Webguild Web 2.0 event and how they could benefit conference organizers during pre- and post- show blogosphere coverage.

ABOUT ME

Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. His new book, What's the Future of Business (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. Prior to End of Business, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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