Fans of Apple, Google, other hot brands, now have a social network of their own

"Brands have a dramatic power on people." Eran Gefen, the creator of MyBrandz told WalletPop in a phone interview, explaining why his new social network for brand lovers is enjoying early success. "People love brands as people love movie stars," Gefen said. At the end of the day, he said, it isn't consumerism that attracts brand lovers and fanboys to a product so much as an emotional connection to brands and the values they express.

MyBrandz is a new site (currently in beta) which exists solely to allow users to share their love for brands. This isn't an official location for any of the brands, but there are already many users signed up to profess their love for hot brands like Lego, Apple, Google and more. As part of the social network, users can share their brand obsession in the form of news stories, pictures of their collections, even fan videos.

When you log into MyBrandz for the first time you are asked to choose eight brands that you love. so that it is easier for the social network to find friends that have similar brand affiliations. After you choose your favorites, you are met with the Brands Map, an interactive listing of which brands are hot at the current moment.

To kick off the MyBrandz Social Network, the company stopped in San Francisco and offered free tattoos to anyone willing to get their favorite brand permanently inked on their skin. More than 130 individuals registered for a free brand tattoo, with Starbucks leading the way as the most requested brand tat -- an interesting winner, since the company prohibits visual tattoos on its baristas.

In addition to professing your love for a brand, the biggest brand lovers can win a share of stock in the company that they love the most. MyBrandz has already awarded a share of Google stock, worth nearly $600, and plans to continue handing out shares to the users who post the best content to a brand's page.

For me, using MyBrandz isn't about idolizing a brand, it's just a place I can go to learn about who else uses products I like, gather new information, and watch a funny video of a cat playing with an iPad. MyBrandz is free to join and can connect directly with Facebook if you don't want another login to remember.

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