Excerpted from Francis Cholle’s The Intuitive Compass, Jossey-Bass
Marketing and Branding can no longer be a one-way conversation in which companies dictate to consumers. To achieve top-of-mind status with the new consumers–who are behaving more and more like community members, prosumers (professional consumers), and influencers–companies have to get into two-way conversations that begin with a mutual understanding and the delivery of a valuable service, and then move naturally to profitability and strong brand equity.
Interaction via social networks and codevelopment of products are two innovative ways the forward-thinking companies are revitalizing their marketing and branding strategies. Answering the following questions can help you understand how your company truly sees its customers.
- Do you focus on consumer simply as profit centers or as valued members of your community?
- Do you approach profit as a function of the value you bring to your community members, or do you relate profit to shareholders’ return on investment, or both?
- Are you only following trends, or are you truly innovating–are you able to be disruptively innovative?
- Are you able to create retail experiences in which your employees/sales people are evangelists rather than paid mouthpieces?
- Do you involve the consumer enough in the innovation and value creation of your company?
Answering these questions will guide you to review your relationship with your customers–what it is founded on and how it is facilitated. Once you know how your organization views its customers, it will be easier to find ways to improve the relationship you have with them and succeed further in the new economic environment.