22squared, a marketing agency in Atlanta, GA and Tampa, FL, believes a brand should act more like a helpful friend than a persuasive marketer.

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How do you feel about the intersection of friendship and marketing? I know that a lot people weren’t happy when Facebook Beacon started telling their friends what they were buying from other sites, and I also know that nobody wants their friends to go salesman on them (like with Cutco knives); however, word of mouth marketing remains one of the most effective vehicles to reach people with a message. That’s because we still seem to trust our friends the most when it comes to making purchasing decisions. But can brands become our friends? According to 22squared, a marketing agency based out of Atlanta, GA and Tampa, FL, “consumers want brands that act more like helpful friends than persuasive marketers.” I think that’s right, but it still sounds a little weird to me. Maybe we should look at Facebook again for the answer. Plenty of people are “Fans” of brands (like ours), which is very much like being Facebook Friends with them.

What’s the Big Deal About 484?

I don’t know where they got the name 22squared, but Google tells me that 22 squared = 484. I’m not sure what to make of that, so let’s get back to talking about how 22squared thinks that “the consumer is your friend.” They’ve actually developed a metric to judge how friendly brands are. You can calculate it like this:

Strength of Relationship + Number of Advocates + Maturity of Relationship = Friendship Factor %

I’m not sure where you get the inputs from, but if you click “The Work” link on 22squared’s Home page (I can’t link because it’s in Flash) and click through the pages, you’ll see the scores of many well recognized brands. Usually you need to divide by something to get a percentage, so I don’t know what this is all about, but I’d love to hear the science behind it. I wonder what One Day, One Job’s Friendship Factor % is. I’d like to think that we’re a pretty friendly brand.

Anyway, if I want to keep your friendship, I need to get to the jobs. Right now, 22squared’s Jobs page (which I can link to) only has one job opening posted. It’s for a Flash Developer in their Atlanta, GA office. Considering what a nice job they’ve done with their own site’s Flash (even if you can’t link to anything and it’s not search engine optimized), I bet this is a pretty cool job. If you don’t have Flash skills, don’t worry. 22squared also lists an HR contact (signe.garnitz@22squared.com) to whom you can send a resume and cover letter – presumably for unlisted positions. 22squared offers internships in Account Management, Media, Creative, Brand Planning, Digital/Interactive (Creative and Media), Broadcast Production, Studio, Information Technology, and Human Resources, so those might be areas that they also hire at the entry level. I can’t promise anything, but it’s worth checking out.

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How do you feel about brands as friends?

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One response to “22squared”

  1. Brandon Murphy says:

    Thanks for the interest and curiosity, Willy. Here’s a slideshare that goes into a little more depth on what we call, “The Friendship Model.” http://tr.im/BFriendly As you pointed out, the entire goal of our approach is to build and ignite brand advocacy. As for our name, 22squared represents the average number of friends one makes throughout their life. It was a little research project we did when comparing of person-2-person relationships to brand-2-person relationships.

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