Thursday, January 8, 2009

Rapport – White Label Social Networking For Your Brand

[Published by Michael Watkins for technation on Nov 18th 2008]

Sydney company Cognitive Development have built one of the first white-label social networking platforms to focus on the sometimes forgotten Australian SME Tech scene. Named Rapport, the product allows companies with tighter budgets to capitalize on the social media movement by offering a pre-packaged but highly customizable social networking system for their brand or company.

“Our aim was to create a powerful marketing tool using social networking technology so that companies restricted by time or money can compete with their bigger competitors, particularly in a time of possible recession,” said Cognitive Development co-founder Stuart Inskip.

The reason it is so cheap relies on the fact that customers don’t have to pay for the entire development cost of the network. They use the existing Rapport architecture, then pick and choose which features they want within it. In cutting out development cost’s, it drastically drops the overall price of building a company focused social network.

This product could not come at a better time for SME’s struggling to get their brand out into a swamped and increasingly expensive market place.

The fact that a Sydney Based Company has been created to solely focus on social media for the Australian SME sector is a strong sign that the social media space in Australia is maturing and gaining commercial importance.

The cool thing is that each network can be tailored to fit the business it is being built for be it, Bars and Clubs, Open Learning, Retail or Fan Groups. In doing this it offers companies the chance to get maximum value out of their marketing and business objectives at a very competitive rate.

I am yet to see what the interface will look like or how it will act. A guess would be that it is something similar to Ning, but aimed at a more narrow, commercially focused demographic.

Rapport will definitely fill a niche for companies looking to capitalize on social networking within the baby-boomer or late Gen X demographics.

What will be interesting however is how companies focused on the Gen Y audience will use the Rapport platform to pull that demographic away from the big social networks like facebook. This audience is now so deeply entrenched within these social network that it will may prove a hard obstacle to achieve. If these SME’s don’t have an incredibly enticing value proposition for this generation, the jump maybe too difficult to make.

No comments:

Post a Comment