Can LinkedIn Survive Conan O’Brien?



Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 24 hours, you know that Conan is now on LinkedIn. And if you’re a practitioner or a student of marketing, you can see that an amazing natural experiment in branding just got started.

Up until now, LinkedIn has been a serious business brand, catering to job-seekers, business development types and others who are earnest about their professions. The vast majority of the time, the community of members has self-edited, leaving the cat gifs to Facebook and Tumblr and choosing to contribute career and insdustry-related articles and opinions.

Conan may have changed all that.

Not because of his satirical introductory post (which, by the way, had garnered him over 40,000 followers before 9am on Monday). Rather, it’s because his post has spawned extremely unbusinesslike reactions and conversations, which are all taking place openly on LinkedIn.

Ad hominem, primary-level grammar, personal insults—for the first time we can remember, they’re all on display on a platform where we’d become accustomed to a more professional level of care and decorum.

This could all be a tempest in a teapot, and its dynamics naturally won’t spill over and affect other posts, members or groups on the site. Or, LinkedIn’s community managers—or the community itself—may work actively to isolate this incident. Either of these outcomes would tell us something about the strength of LinkedIn’s business brand and culture, and their ability to withstand undesirable change.

Or, this could mark a new, coarser future for LinkedIn, where its brand starts to stand less for real business and more for a business-flavored version of Facebook.

Either way, we’ll be watching with interest. When we can peel ourselves away from the cat gifs, that is.

Now It’s Your Turn
Corporate Culture, Trends
BrandCulture’s Key Takeaways From Mobile World Congress 2019

As we wrote at the end of February, each year we ensure to attend certain international conferences and events with the intention of staying on top of changes in the market, seeing what organizations are doing with their branding and meeting up with current and potential clients and partners. Among our most important trend-watching events […]

Learn More
Corporate Culture
What’s the Digital Culture of Your Organization?

The digital transformation revolution has left few organizations untouched. The vague term is interpreted differently depending on to whom you’re talking, but a general consensus leads us to a definition of the integration of digital technologies into the everyday mechanics of how organizations operate, supplanting previously manual processes. A basic example is transitioning financial transactions […]

Learn More
Corporate Culture, Employee Engagement
Advancing Employee Experience (EX) Through Design Thinking at Work Rebooted

The Work Rebooted conference currently underway in San Francisco aims to examine the future of the workplace (did you know that the future of work is not in the future, but The Future is Now?). BrandCulture led an interactive workshop and immersive Design Thinking session to challenge preconceptions about employee experience and innovate new ways […]

Learn More
Brands, Corporate Culture
Mobile World Congress 2019.
What’s On BrandCulture’s Radar?

Each year BrandCulture makes a point of attending select conferences and events. We choose our “can’t miss” venues for a number of different reasons, but overall we want  to check out innovations in branding and company expression, stay abreast of emerging developments and push ahead of evolutions in the market — and also meet with […]

Learn More

Ready to talk about how your brand and culture can do more for your business?

Let's talk