Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Trending Tuesday: Blippy

We've all heard of Twitter, but have you heard of the latest spin-off, Blippy? The start-up caught national media attention in late January when it launched its website. Blippy users register their credit card; for every purchase made with that card, a real-time status update is sent back to Blippy. You can see that JoeSmoch bought $20 at Starbucks or that Fred signed up for a NetFlix account. Users can "like" a purchase, similar to Facebook's "like" status, and comment on purchases made by their peers.

While the national media has largely focused on the implications for consumers, such a data security and the impact on social circles, they've overlooked the potential power for brands. Blippy users can control which brands are published in their updates and which brands are kept private. A user may publicly sign-up for Netflix and ignore the local video rental store. For the consumer, it is the ultimate image-shaping tool. For brands, it could be the ultimate brand-killer. If your brand doesn't imply status or help the consumer shape his or her image, you might just be out of luck. Worse yet, consumers will know if you are the high or low priced item on the market. Imagine if you purchased a $50 Wii game at Wal-mart, and later saw on Blippy that the same item was only $45 at GameStop. It could kill Wal-mart's low-price image in a heartbeat.

Amazon is the first retailer to limit Blippy's access to consumer data. While it isn't clear why they asked to be removed from Blippy's brand list, I suspect it is because they understand the negative impact Blippy could have on a brand. It will be interesting to see how brands handle their image on Blippy; some will surely find ways to beef up their brand, while others will surely lose a bit of status.

1 comment:

  1. I saw that on either The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. It seems really weird and completely not needed in society.