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How brands and customers can be looked at in a ego network

This small article discusses why triangles appear in social scenarios surrounding a brand. The article begins by talking about when we go to bars or places to eat, we return to that place not only for the food or drinks but also for the social aspect. For instance, we go to a sports bar for its food, drinks, and TV but the only reason we keep returning to that bar is because of the positive social experiences we had there. This makes sense because if a waitress at a restaurant made you feel uncomfortable, then you might not come back to that place again. However, if you had a great time with your friends than you may want to continue to experience that feeling in that location.

The article gives a timeline of the kind of relationships brands had with its customers. In the beginning, it shows that brands have a directed edge towards customers, implying that people would have no way to communicate with the brand. This might have been the case when social media did not exist. In the next stage, the article shows that brands and their customers have edges pointing to each other. This means that people are able to interact with the brand in ways such as commenting on their FaceBook page, etc. In the last stage, in addition to edges pointing to both brands and its users, the customers would now be able to interact with each other. The article concludes that this is the best form of brand and customer social structure because it creates a community around a brand. When you have a brand around a community, it makes sense that people will return to that brand for more than just the services they provide. They will be coming for the added social network formed around the brand.

This article very much relates to the idea of an ego network and the strong triadic closure property. In this case of customers and brand, the ego is the brand and its nodes are the customers who have relations with each other. Because the brand had two links to customers, the strong triadic closure property states that they will have some kind of link that closes them. Although the edges are not stated as strong or weak, we can infer that it is either strong or weak, in both cases the strong triadic closure property is still intact as it is not violated. One thought that comes to mind when seeing an ego network is what its clustering coefficient can tell us. Perhaps, in this brand-customers structure, it can tell us how successful a brand’s community is based on how closely the customers are linked together. Such data can even be used to weed out businesses that are falling behind and may notation a solution to those who are: increase the social network surrounding a brand.



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