Burberry, H&M and Macy’s Launch on Google+

Discussion
Nov 09, 2011
George Anderson

There’s a lot being said about the potential for retailers and brands to drive business through social networks. Numerous companies have opened up storefronts on Facebook, and f-commerce is seen by many as a means to develop deeper connections with consumers while driving incremental business at the same time.

Now comes news that Google’s social media answer to Facebook, Google+, is open for retailers and brands to launch pages. A number of merchants including Burberry, H&M and Macy’s have pages on Google+. As of 10:00 p.m. ET on Nov. 8, Burberry had 12,349 followers, H&M had 10,383 and Macy’s had 10,767.

According to the official Google blog, "So far Google+ has focused on connecting people with other people. But we want to make sure you can build relationships with all the things you care about—from local businesses to global brands."

Internet Retailer reports that Google is looking to gain an advantage over Facebook through a new search feature, Direct Connect, that will enable "members to search for the Google+ pages of retailers, as well as bands and movies, then add them to Circles."

Discussion Questions: How do you view Google+ as a means to build brands and banners? Is it a serious threat to Facebook and do you expect to see retailers and brands opening up storefronts on Google+?

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12 Comments on "Burberry, H&M and Macy’s Launch on Google+"


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Dick Seesel
Guest
9 years 5 months ago

Google+ has the potential to provide a powerful competitive alternative to Facebook. Google+ has the power of the Google brand name behind it, with all of the solution-oriented apps and associations that go with it. And Google is already a giant step ahead of Facebook on mobile platforms, giving Google+ yet another edge. Retailers and other marketers would be smart to develop strategies for both social networking hubs.

Dan Berthiaume
Guest
Dan Berthiaume
9 years 5 months ago

Google+ should be a great means for retailers to offer social shopping — features like circles will allow group activities that could not be accomplished on Facebook. It’s too early to say whether Google+ will ever rival Facebook’s market penetration, but it is definitely a branding platform retailers should get involved with.

Doug Stephens
Guest
Doug Stephens
9 years 5 months ago

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that within a year Google+ will go the way of Google Wave. Brands are positioning there now because it’s just best practice to establish profiles to avoid squatters but I just don’t see the network enduring.

Ed Rosenbaum
Guest
9 years 5 months ago

Facebook has the reputation of being the social medium for idle chatter among friends. Granted they are working to change the perception in order to stay relevant. Along comes Google+ offering an alternate choice that is gaining traction in the race for relevance.

Retailers are going to go where their customers are and that doesn’t mean only Facebook or Google. Just like stores in various locals, brands and banners will appear on many outlets.

Dr. Emmanuel Probst
Guest
Dr. Emmanuel Probst
9 years 5 months ago

The challenge for both social media platforms and brands is how to convert followers into clients. While F-commerce seems to be somewhat taking off, I’m of the understanding that very few brands manage to leverage Facebook as a significant sales channel. It will be interesting to see how successful Google+ will be at driving actual dollar revenue for brands.

Ryan Mathews
Guest
9 years 5 months ago
Was Facebook a serious threat to MySpace? [Hint: Not when it first launched.] Will history repeat itself? [Hint: Who honestly knows?] Is there a flaw in the way brands and branders approach social networks? [Hint: No question!] Branders keep trying to force analog logic and methodologies on a digital world. In this new space you can try and have influence as a brander but you’ve permanently lost the right to call the tune. The idea that you are, can be or even should be in control is a dangerous illusion when you are in the middle of a digital Tower of Babel. Anarchistic systems hate rules and rule makers. The Bottom Line here is simple — in social networks the people, warts and all, are in charge and not just some passive audience waiting for their next fix of digital brand broadcasting. Can social networks be “gamed”? Sure, but not without long-term reprisals but the great digital unwashed. Branders who get it, (like Marmite which staged a “vote” about whether to keep the brand’s name… Read more »
Bill Bittner
Guest
Bill Bittner
9 years 5 months ago
Full Disclosure, I have been using Google+ for a while now. It always appealed to me because they seem to be much more transparent about how they use the information they gather. Besides letting you set up “circles” of contacts (so you can keep your ski club buddies separate from your professional contacts) they also tell you who will see particular transactions or photos that you post. We all know we no longer have any anonymity but Google+ at least allows you to pretend. I think it is because of Google+ that Facebook has worked on becoming more transparent themselves. The bigger point about the Google+ expansion into business connections is the fragmentation of the Facebook market. There are only 24 hours in the day, so as consumers spread themselves out over more and more Internet markets the existing markets must lose share. Google has all the infrastructure necessary to support a huge following. The dilution of the Facebook market could be significant as users who are already on Google for searches and apps begin… Read more »
Lisa Bradner
Guest
Lisa Bradner
9 years 5 months ago

Facebook has HUGE first mover advantage in social commerce as FB is so many people’s first stop on the web. That being said, since Google can’t index Facebook, this strategy makes it possible for a Google search to point to both the retailer site and the Google+ site. If they can get to scale of users in Google+ I think Google has an opportunity to drive commerce more effectively than Facebook as FB still struggles with “I’m here to talk to my friends not to brands unless they want to offer me something cool.”

If I were Google I’d be more focused on linked Google+ to Google catalog and other products and creating the “social shopping mall” — clearly differentiated vs. Facebook and destination (and ad revenue) driven.

Brian Kelly
Guest
9 years 5 months ago

Followers do not equal customers or even legitimate prospects. BUT G+ falls into the test bucket. Sure it is a threat, just like FB was a threat to MySpace/Friendster, etc. BUT we need more time for revisions/apps and user experience. If the channel merits the investment, then brands will allocate precious resources to it.

Anne Bieler
Guest
Anne Bieler
9 years 5 months ago

With Google+ positioned to reach so many consumers, this seems an obvious move. But social media move quickly and evolve constantly, as the next best site appears.

Facebook continues to grow, but as a “marketplace” its relevance is fading as everyone joins in and other specialized sites spin off.

Google + may be the next step as it is able to respond quickly and support retailer/brand marketing efforts, but there is vast potential for social media to continue this fast pace of evolution as the community becomes more savvy and demanding.

lindy asimus
Guest
lindy asimus
9 years 5 months ago

At the moment G+ for business is not geared for large businesses with multi- employee logins, so not sure who “owns” these sites that are mentioned. The current business pages are more appropriate for single operators. Robert Scoble has written a long post outlining the problems for larger businesses with the current version.

Mike Osorio
Guest
Mike Osorio
9 years 5 months ago
Of course Google+ is a challenge to the dominance of FB. But dominance of what? I’ll use Burberry as an example. It is unclear at this point whether the 9.3 million people who ‘like’ Burberry’s FB page are likely to switch their social viewing platform to Google+ (so far only 13,382 people have). The real question is whether either site creates the propensity among these people to purchase Burberry. I use Burberry as my example because they are clearly a master of the digital space, utilizing it to connect with the brand’s legions of fans, product owners, and wanna-be owners. I believe that it is only with the type of creative genius and huge investment which a Burberry brings to the digital space that any of this has relevance at all. For those who are serious about investing money and talent into the digital space, having a real presence on both platforms (and those yet to come) will be important. So yes, Google+ is a challenge to FB. But for brands, it only matters if… Read more »
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