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21/12/2007 by

Is H&M Really Bashing Their UGC Community?

With my friend Stephan Fellinger I have been doing interactieve marketing workshops for many years. It’s a delight to help with brand marketers ignite their digital brand revolution. But Stephan and I keep each other sharp as a razor too.

Last course he told a shocking but true story about Hennes & Mauritz, the fashion brand that has embraced e-commerce. In april 2005 the 18 year old Dutch Frits Kranenborg started the H&M Hyve at Dutch dominated social network Hyves (5.000.000 members).


This user created H&M Hyve (simply the best!) has today 149.472 members!!! It’s one of the largest communities in Holland. In NRC Next, a Dutch Daily Newspaper Frits stated he has never ever heard from H&M?!

When H&M was asked:”why don’t you participate in this community or reward these loyal members?” the H&M spokes person stated:”No we don’t do much with it. We think participating will cost to much time and we will not be able to steer te discussion”. Further the spokes person declared:”At your own website you can control everything, not in a community like this”.

Also H&M states:”We don’t think we can interview these members, we already have our own customer panels”. Frits has placed a link to this NRC Next article where H&M Hyve members can read the H&M statements. Why doesn’t H&M tap into this great UGC community?

Isn’t this community marketing and engaging consumers from the stone age? Can’t H&M fire it’s brand manager and hire a social media marketer? If I would have been brand manager at H&M, I would have hired Frits immediately!! What happens if the community will turn against H&M and 150.000 consumers stop shopping at H&M for a month or 3? Can companies be too busy to reward 150.000 loyal members? Share us your thoughts on H&M’s approach?


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Igor Beuker

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