Watch Your Back

Learning the Truth about Your Brand

It’s human nature to be interested in what others have to say about ourselves. We wonder if they think we’re funny, or we wonder if we are coming on too strong. The ultimate goal behind this is that we want to be liked. This idea is the same for businesses. Businesses want to please the masses, but they can’t if they don’t know what they should emphasize.

Luckily, blogs and discussion boards provide businesses with the chance to see what consumers are saying about their products or movements. The internet allows people with the opportunity to speak their mind freely, without the fear of speaking face to face. If the comments are good, then the business can stress the positive qualities in their marketing campaigns. If the comments are bad, then the business can work towards fixing the issues.

Deciphering Unbranded Blogs

Many individuals post their own blogs featuring a specific business, product, or nonprofit. These blogs are not endorsed by the company themselves, but still act as a great tool when attempting to better understand their target market. Below is a list of blogs featuring posts about TED Talks, a company I have discussed several times in my past articles. Each blog discusses TED from a different perspective.

Hubspot Blog

The first blog comes from Hubspot titled “15 Phenomenal TED Talks You Need to Watch Today.” The author, Ginny Soskey, expresses her opinion of TED Talks that relate very well to inbound marketing. She selected fifteen different videos and writes a short paragraph to explain why they were chosen.

At the end of her blog, Soskey reaches out to her audience and asks what Talks they would recommend. Many comment in favor of her posts, while others post about their feelings towards TED. They call the Talks inspirational, knowledgeable, and fun. The messages left are a wonderful asset for TED to use when aiming more content at their target market.

The Eating Academy

This next blog follows the same concept of the previous blog, although it is on a more personal level. The blog is called “My 10 Favorite TED Talks,” and author Peter Attia starts the post out by explaining to his audience why he created the post. He explains that although TED has little to do with the normal content he provides, he still wanted to share something that he felt would benefit his friends and family.

Attia begins by telling the story of his first interaction with TED. He explains their rich history, while simultaneously expressing his enjoyable experience with them. Attia writes a little message for each video he posted explaining why he found it so impactful. Readers comment in his discussion below, and Attia thanks everyone for sharing their views.

Harvard Business Review

Carmine Gallo is the author behind the blog titled “What I learned Watching 150 Hours of Ted Talks.” In her blog, Gallo discusses a list of what she feels is necessary to make a powerful speech. She stresses the importance of using emotion, being novel, and emphasizing the visual. Gallo also tags TED Talks that she feels expresses her points so that readers can better understand her reasoning.

The discussions for this blog were one of the first that featured comments mocking TED Talks and those they inspire. One commenter explains how they feel inspired for five minutes, then they go on with their life as usual. Another expresses that the secret to a great TED Talk is by humoring the audience. One commenter even mocks Harvard by asking if it really took them 150 hours to discover the secret to a great Talk is by not being boring.


Clay Sutton is the voice behind the post “The New Age of Branding.” In his post, Sutton discusses his experience at a TEDx event held in UNC-CH. TEDx events are independently held events that are affiliated with TED, and they each share the same theme of ideas worth spreading. Sutton informs the audience of his yearly attendance and how he feels rejuvenated after every trip.

Sutton chooses to comment on behalf one Talk in particular. The Talk was done by Naimul Huq, who uses analytical data for branding purposes. Sutton explains how she believes social media can be informative when attempting to brand a company. He also dives into how the Talk expresses the importance of platform communication.


The last blog comes from author Tyler Tafelsky and is titled “Top TED Talks.” In the case of Tafelsky, he provides viewers an entire post dedicated to each of the Talks he feels is important. There is a lot of depth covered in the talk; Tafelsky details the events of the talk and then expresses his own opinion on the topic.

Tafelsky’s commenters usually express thanks for his posts. Some comments inform Tafelsky of their thanks for posting, while some provide their own links to their favorite Talks. One thing that does stand out is that the blog features links to other businesses. So, it would seem as though Tafelsky is attempting to use TED as a way to promote another business.

Watch Your Back

As you can see, it is very important to know what is being said about your business. It is very helpful to hear what your target market is saying on neutral ground. This allows companies to grow their brands easier and more effectively than ever before. One thing is for sure, companies have a lot to thank for these independent bloggers.


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