Closing the circle

I’m reading Groundswell at the moment, and call it coincidental but I’ve had a couple of very positive experiences with brands this week that I’d like to share. One was Symantec, the people behind Norton Anti-Virus. Despite renewing my anti-virus protection a while ago, my computer kept notifying me that it was unprotected. Numerous attempts to fix the issue on my own were of no avail. Finally, last weekend I decided to use Norton’s online chat facility to talk to a support representative. Now, my experience with support representatives in the past (in general – not specifically with this brand), has not been very pleasant, so I wasn’t hoping for much. But my problem was resolved professionally, politely and speedily in much less time that I thought it would take. I was very pleasantly surprised, not to mention relieved. I won’t have second thoughts about renewing it next time.

And then the kind folks at We Are Social. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may remember that I was offered a free Pizza Express blogger lunch a while back. Due to a postal strike, the vouchers they sent me didn’t arrive on time, but they ensured a fresh set was sent directly to the restaurant on the day I’d chosen. Today, when the long-overdue vouchers finally arrived, they kindly said I could keep them. 

Social media might be a bit overwhelming at times, but one thing is for sure: a brand who uses the medium the right way makes consumers’ lives better. The focus shifts back to the consumer, from a few decades ago when all the power was with the brand (Think Mad Men). The truth is that brands wouldn’t really exist without consumers – so the circle has come back where it started. And that’s the way it should be.

Pizza Express Leggera Blogger Lunches

Via We Are Social, I heard about a new initiative that Pizza Express has just launched to spread news of the Leggera, their new kind of pizza which has a hole in the middle filled with salad. That is, in addition to their Facebook application that allows you to invite your friends to a Leggera lunch, where you can get a ‘2 Leggera Pizzas for £10’ voucher.

It is their September Leggera Blogger Lunch campaign, where in the month of September, bloggers will be able to tag other bloggers they would like to meet and invite them to a free lunch in a blog post. Before anyone thinks I’m selling my soul for a free lunch (there IS such a thing as a free lunch – sorry, I HAD to make that pun!), these are the two reasons I’m blogging about this:

1. The last time I went to Pizza Express I really liked their food. 

2. They are making an effort to be social and useful at the same time. It’s the anti-thesis of Whopper Sacrifice in a good way, even if it’s not a typical branded utility.

I’m rather intrigued – so here I go, tagging Priyanka, Grumblemouse and Sam, all of whom I haven’t seen in a while. What do you say, guys?