This week’s topic is about how to listen to the groundswell and help determine what your brand identity is among your consumers.  Companies listen to their customers, but in a different way than we might think.  They spend a lot of money to do so, and call it market research.  In chapter 5 of Groundswell, authors Bernoff and Li, explain that it is very important for a company to know what advantages it may gain by brand monitoring and/or setting up a private community (p.79, 2011).

A private community is an ongoing online focus group that allows the host to observe what consumers are saying about its brand.  The community could be populated by using technographic profiles that were explained in my previous blog post.  By accepting a small gift card or reward, participants would agree to spend around an hour a week on the forum discussing their interactions with the brand. This provides insight for the company on how its participants behave and interact with its product in a natural way (Li & Barnoff, p.80, 2011).

Brand monitoring is basically putting one’s ear to the ground and seeing what people everywhere are saying about a product (Li & Barnoff, p.89, 2011).  This could be simple, such as performing Google searches associated with the company’s products, or complex by hiring a company such as MotiveQuest to monitor the brand’s online buzz.  A snapshot of the website in figure 1, displays a simple construction and example of how to acquire their services (, 2016).


Figure 1:  LRW MotiveQuest Website

Screen Shot 2017-02-12 at 1.54.10 PM.png

(, 2016)

Both of these strategies are meant to provide useful feedback such as positive or negative consumer opinions associated with a brand and its image.  Because of the groundswell, this has become easier to access and the resources are always available (Li & Barnoff, 2011).


Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business School.

LRW MotiveQuest. (2016). Too Much Data, Not Enough Insight. Retrieved from LRWMOTIVEQUEST:



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