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Accelerating the karma wheel: Craig Davis launches Brandkarma.com

31-March-2010
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Accelerating the karma wheel: Craig Davis launches Brandkarma.com

Taking forward the philosophy of ‘what goes around comes around’, Craig Davis, CCO, Publicis Mojo, in an effort to accelerate that karma wheel, has launched ‘brandkarma.com’, a site aimed at being a social media-driven watchdog of brands like Toyota, Pepsi, Google and many more.

Members can visit the website at www.brandkarma.com and sign up to get the latest news on the world’s biggest brands and can then use the site to rate them on a variety of categories – from customer experience to eco-friendliness.

The site shows how a particular brand is valued in different aspects through the image of a flower with five petals. These five petals focus on how the brand treats its customers, employees, investors, suppliers and the planet.

Users can enter comments on one of the five areas and grade the brand with a colour from bad (red) to good (green). The colours are then reflected in the relevant flower petal, depending on the number of responses.

“The idea is to keep brands honest,” explained Davis, adding, “Brands are massively influential. With Brandkarma, we’re trying to create a new, more expansive and enlightened conversation around brands. How do they treat their customers, their employees, suppliers, investors and the environment?”

Speaking on the core objective of the website, he said, “Brandkarma is designed to aggregate and represent our collective wisdom. It will never be perfect, but it should be an important indicator and great character reference for brands.”

It’s been a personal project and Davis has been working on it for a while. According to him, it was the world’s first brand-centric social media platform and was now in a public beta phase, so anyone was welcome to join the conversation.

Davis claimed that this platform brought together three rapidly escalating truths:

1. More and more people understand that their purchase decisions have consequences.
2. Most people want to do the right thing, if only they knew what that was.
3. People increasingly trust each other - family, friends, colleagues and complete strangers - to inform their decisions more than governments, business leaders and advertising.

He further said, “We thought that we could pull those things together by creating a social media platform that had a mission – ‘to help everyone make better brand choices and influence brand behaviour for good’. If it starts to inform purchase decisions, it just might accelerate brand owners toward ethical and sustainable business practice. That’s why the first thing we say on the site is, ‘Choose good brands. Change brands for good’.”

Brandkarma.com being a public forum, Davis believes that brand owners could be very interested in learning from Brandkarma. According to him, its rich, real-time information could help create better brands. He said, “Our responsibility is to ensure that it represents user opinions with integrity and that people aren’t gaming the system.”

Brandkarma.com started with the public beta phase five days ago and is headquartered out of Sydney. The site is created with a high level of media connectivity and every active user has the potential to be a powerful media producer themselves via Facebook, Twitter, email, Digg, etc.

On a lighter note, when asked how he would manage the two – Publicis Mojo and being the creator of Brandkarma, he quipped, “My wife is very understanding!”

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