Brand Watch: SXSW 2012

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From its humble roots in 1992 as a regional festival for musicians in Austin Texas, South by South West, now twenty years old, has emerged as a mixed platform for independent directors and musicians by embracing emerging media and developing culture. In that way, the brand of South by South West, SXSW, as it is widely known has matriculated into something more than just music festival, it is a breeding ground of thought, a taste maker’s test market for trendsetting, culture reforming ideas and products.

SXSW is where smart, young products meet smart, young consumers.

Hanson, John Mayer and James Blunt are the musical often touted stories of SXSW, by finding eventual fame from pre-conference obscurity. From a branding perspective, these are the pillars of why SXSW remains musically relevant. The conference breaks good musicians by giving them a stage, good movies by giving them responsive audiences.

What most people do not know are the tech stories.  In 2006, SXSW featured a keynote panel of Wikipedia Founder, Jimmy Wales and Craigslist founder Craig Newmark. In 2007, Twitter notably gained a good deal of early traction and buzz and SXSW Interactive.  In 2008, Mark Zuckerberg participated in a keynote interview with tech journalist Sarah Lacy.  SXSW has even precipitated the launch of Foursquare.

SXSBW has done more for the tech industry than most tech niche specific conventions.

The brand of SXSW has grown tremendously. It has been said that attendance alone has strained network providers such as AT&T due to heavy iPhone usage. In 2009, The Hurt Locker held its US premier at the conference. Conan O’Brien even stops in to promote his new concepts.

Currently, SXSW is more than music or tech or film. It is a promise of emerging artists, revolutionary products and genius-level ideas. That promise permeates the conference at every level.

In 20 years, SXSW has broke records, birthed spin-offs and grew million dollar companies.

That’s brand power.

– Deeon

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Social Media Week: Whos Got Kred?

This week 347 Design headed to the New York headquarters of Social Media Week. Owned and operated by Crowdcentric Media, a New York based strategy firm, Social Media Week brought together almost 75,000 attendees in its twelve-city span and almost 500,000 viewers through online and mobile connections through the SMW Live Stream Page. With Global Partners Nokia, Oglivy and Constant Contact, the activity and panel based platform brought together some of the brightest and best in social media, marketing and education.

The Rogues Gallery was impressive. Paul Adams, the Global Brand Experience Manager of Facebook, Guihem Fouetillou, Fabio Coelho, the lest went on and on. Our team was standing on the shoulders of Giants. The most interesting of them, however, wasn’t a person, but a social media scoring system, Kred.

Kred, the latest product from start PeopleBrowser was in full use during the week.  Non-aggressive in its presence, the scoring system highlighted, in real-time, the influencers present in a room. Our introduction to the product came via an actual Influencers panel discussion, where we presented with two types of engagers, those who both influence and outreach.

Taking into account elements such as how often your tweets are retweeted and how many replies you generate, it gives a numerical score to your ability to inspire others.

Brand Managers- you can keep track of those who you influence by keeping them in communities to track.

Kred will not only be a competitor or sister program to Klout, but something much more, in our opinion.

It may answer that tricky question of social media ROI.

Why?

Because if you can track how you influence the influencers, you track how you influence the world.