I received an object lesson yesterday in best practices for branding.
In my "Digital Books in Social Media" (http://nonhumancommunications.blogspot.com/2009/02/we-need-widget-how-readerco-creators.html ) article series I mentioned that we are using the Gigya widget ( http://www.gigya.com/public/Content/Widget.aspx )to let people share the the comic strips, scrapbook pages, and other creations they make with our Comicater annotation/illustration tag-it-up/mash up tools.
Specifically, I wrote that Gigya wasn't meeting our needs and that we are exploring the creation of our own widget to advance our project to bring digital books into social media.
Soon after, on Twitter.com, I received a Direct Message from somebody in Gigya management, who wanted to follow up to find out more. I replied that I would be happy to chat on the phone.
I was pleasantly surprised yesterday to receive a telephone call from Rooly Eliezerov, President & Co-founder of Gigya. He wanted to hear about our experience straight from the horse's mouth.
He listened VERY PATIENTLY while I went into all kinds of unneccessary details about our project.
Understandable, he said, that as a fellow entrepreneur I would be excited to talk about my start-up project.
What a pleasure to talk to a fellow HUMAN being in this business context!
Mr. Eliezerov listened carefully to the details of what we want to do with Gigya, then let me know that they have resolved the issues that concerned us, in a revision due soon.
He also spent a generous amount of time looking at our site at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com. And he patiently explained the Gigya strategy of giving users free tools as a way to build revenues, when I asked about the Gigya business model.
Result: I've gone from being a reluctant user of Gigya's service to evangelizing them.
Rooly Eliezerov is a start-up company leader who seems to understand at a deep level, the brand-building power of simple human contact & being a good listener to a customer who hadn't yet found the solution he needs from this brand.
In recent weeks, I've been concerned about how we would meet our particular challenges and find the resources to build a widget to suit our specific needs. Because of this phone conversation, I'm no longer worrying about this issue, and can focus elsewhere.
I've been a publishing entrepreneur since the early 1990s, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I covered the high tech industry as a successful freelance journalist for some years prior to launching Morph's Outpost on the Digital Frontier, the first technical magazine for interactive multimedia desgners and developers in 1993 (http://MorphsOutpost.com).
I can count on one hand the number of times that I've been this impressed by a start-up's efforts to reach out to customers. That's why I've taken the time and trouble to tell this story and let people on Twitter know about it.
Thank you, Rooly Eliezerov & Gigya.