big brands’ blogs

In preparing to launch my blog, I researched a lot of existing ones to get a sense of what works and what doesn’t.  As a brand person, I was particularly interested in whether or not brands themselves had blogs.  I looked at a sampling of the brands from BusinessWeek’s list of top 10 global brands — here’s what I found:

Coke has Coca-Cola Conversations, a blog moderated by Phil Mooney who has been the historian/archivist for the company for 30 years.  The blog started in January of this year and focused primarily on Coke history and trivia – recent posts include “When Coke Bottling Began” (1899, in case you’re wondering) and “Urban legends, Coca-Cola and the Pharaohs.”

There are about a million blogs about Microsoft – but none of them, it seems, are what I would consider a brand blog.  I’m told Robert Scoble became famous with his blog for the Seattle firm, so perhaps his was more of what I expected, but that was before my time in the blogosphere.  Now there’s Todd Bishop’s Microsoft blog, a Seattle reporter’s coverage of the company; Microsoft Community Blogs, which is a collection of blogs by Microsoft employees about their various products and technologies; and Microsoftblog, the Unofficial Pro Microsoft blog, written by folks who are “in Microsoft’s pocket” (their words, not mine.)

McDonald’s has opted to go the podcast route.  Most of their recent podcasts are corporate in nature (earnings announcements, analyst calls, etc.), but they have a series called “The McDonald’s You Didn’t Know” which features insider stories about the company.

The Disney Blog is a blog “by fans, for fans” of the happiest place on earth.  It clearly states it is in no way affiliated with the company but the content is pretty much a comprehensive resource for the brand.  Now 4 years old, the blog promotes new releases from Disney’s production companies, profiles Disney Imagineers (creative staffers), and comments on various experiences people have had with Disney.

All in all, I can’t say I was overly impressed with the results of my big brand blog investigation.  I wonder why companies haven’t taken advantage of what seems like a great way to engage the public with what they’re brand is all about.  Perhaps smaller, more interesting brands are more into blogs – stay tuned for that investigation.

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