This morning I have been taking a look at UBar a new online community developed by Phones4U. It has created the community to get better quality feedback from its customers on its products and services and of course to market to potential customers.

My first impression is it has been designed rather well, and it’s quite easy and fun to use, as you click on the relevant images to choose your answer for each question. It also doesn’t take itself too seriously with questions like: What is your marital status? To which I had to choose the option “married with kids please save me”.

It asks the user a number of personal questions such as “What are your three favourite music artists?” and “When is your birthday?” – so no doubt it will be sending users a clever personalised mailer on their birthday.

It also has a second element which integrates with Facebook, Twitter and MySpace etc etc.

On the site it states:

“You are our eyes, ears, and our passion to drive innovation into the world of mobile phones.

We also know people love winning new toys, so we have plenty of monthly prizes in return for your opinions.

At the end of the day, we want you to be happy.”

An article on Brand Republic reports:

“uBar members will be regularly invited to participate in various research topics and surveys, including testing new mobile phones, products or marketing concepts and ideas. Monthly prizes will be given as a thank you for uBar members’ feedback and opinions.

The socially interactive platform also allows them to engage in dialogue with other uBar members, socialise, share opinions and find out about new handsets and all things mobile related.”

I haven’t been through all of the individual elements but initially I think this is a brave but clever move from Phones4U. If this community does add value to the end user and its customers, I am sure it will take off and become very useful for the company. I just hope it has fully committed to this cause and this isn’t simply a fad which it will lose interest in after six-twelve months. What do you think of this it – a clever move or a waste of money?

About Chris Norton

Chris Norton is the founder of Prohibition and an award winning communications consultant with more than twenty years’ experience. He was a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University and has had a varied PR career having worked both in-house and in a number of large consultancies. He is an Integrated PR and social media blogger and writes on a wide variety of blogs across a huge amount of topics from digital marketing, social media marketing right through to technology and crisis management.