Ducatista (singular) or Ducatisti (plural) are passionate about their brand of choice, motorcycles like the Diavel and Diavel Carbon. That's why Ducati North America is one of the first brands to kick the tires on Contain, a new "white label" social community platform for brands.
In a similar vein to Communispace, for example, Contain is helping created branded communities for those brand marketers who are finding uber-sites like Facebook and Twitter too cluttered and one-size-fits-all. The name refers to its goal: to help focus and stimulate conversations among brand enthusiasts and target social content in the process.
Designed and developed by digital agency Fi (Contain’s parent company), the platform was developed in 2007 as a blog/social laboratory for Fi called Propod which served the agency’s global clients.
In 2010 Burton Snowboards became the launch customer under what was then know as then "kontain," creating a community for dealers, riders and fans of all stripes. The rationale: its “users were far more likely to contribute and visit the branded community daily due to the barrier of entry to share content with like minded fans vs. the generic friend base on other popular mainstream networks.”
The Irish government and Porsche are the latest Contain clients. “There’s no doubt that millions of people and thousands of brands are talking on Facebook and Twitter," Contain CEO David Martin told brandchannel. "Yes, the scope of reach is massive on those sites. But quantity doesn’t necessarily mean quality, so what you essentially get is lots of loud and unfiltered noise that doesn’t always make sense to each person liking or following the conversation. So those 'communities' don’t always act or feel like 'communities.'"
Contain's benefits to brand marketers are articulated as threefold:
• Brands get a real say and control in the design of their social community, whereas they'd be held to several restrictions from both Facebook and Twitter
• Brands can advertise within their Contain community (in-community advertising = increased web traffic, online + offline sales and ROI among their true purchasers/audience)
• Brands can minimize the risk of negative publicity among consumers, media, stakeholders, etc.
“We narrowed our focus to achieve one result: Creating conversations that feel more personal, connected and motivated by a community’s tastes, preferences and lifestyles. You may not have 1 million followers on your Contain community in 3 days, but what you will have are conversations that feed off each other and spark exciting dialogues with fellow loyalists and brand lovers,” Martin says.
Contain, he adds, aims to provide a virtual pit stop for the socially-media-fatigued. “Like everything, social media is always evolving. Before Facebook and Twitter came along, there were no really valuable social conversations taking place. But their popularity has also caused a lot of irritation and skepticism that they’re pushing quantity over quality."
“In the next few years, you just might see the social media landscape flip on its head in favor of less cluttered and more meaningful social connections," he adds. "That’s where Contain wants to be.”