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Great post Daina! This is an excellent retrospective on how the word consumer came to be the de facto Marketing term used to describe people. I've struggled with eliminating this term from my own vocabulary, and I'm looking forward to your Participant post to see how you propose we tackle the task of eliminating 'consumer' from the Marketing vernacular. I believe that as our society continues to evolve, 'consuming' will be less of a driving force in our lives. The effects of over-consumption can be seen everywhere, but it feels like there are signs of this changing, or at least the awareness of its potential pitfalls increasing. There is a great site/video called The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard where she highlights this topic. If you haven't seen it, you would probably enjoy it: http://www.storyofstuff.com/ Thanks for the reminder of the origins of the Consumer. I'm really looking forward to hearing more about your thoughts on the Participant - this really resonates with me!
Excellent points Stowe. I admire the eloquence with which you framed this post. This topic really resonates with me, although I have never articulated my point of view on this as well as you have here. I believe that what we are seeing with all of these new social tools is really the start of a new way of conducting business. The whole game has changed, not just the marketing and communications, or even customer service fields. The constant feedback loop can and should introduce a whole new way of relating to the market. Customer service is nice, but smart companies will use the intelligence that's available to them to make quick changes (including product changes when appropriate), not just try to make people happy with what they are producing today. The whole business process is becoming more fluid, and successful businesses must adapt and relate to their employees, customers, vendors, etc. in a more personal way. I liked the point you made about a new hybrid being devised intentionally that brings the best of the old systems together with the new social models - this is a critical point. The companies that embrace this concept and work from a place of intention (not reaction) will be the big winners in the future. Thanks for the inspiration!
Toggle Commented Nov 17, 2009 on The Rise Of Networks, The End Of Process at /Message
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Great post Rich. I'm tempted to get all philosophical about price vs. value and our obsession with getting more for less, regardless of what it means to the rest of society, but that's a WHOLE other can of worms, so I'll try to be brief. ;) What this made me think of was that price alone can't be the whole story, and I believe some people put value ahead of price. Value might be getting that recommendation from an associate at the store, or just being acknowledged with a smile. I've read some quotes recently from Best Buy's CEO discussing how price is not the only thing that customers care about. Knowledgeable, helpful staff means something too. Best Buy has made it a point to focus in this area, where they can clearly outshine WalMart. I guess it's too soon to know for sure if this is sustainable. I'd like to think that there is an elevation of consciousness underway and we'll see a return to a more deliberate and thoughtful approach to where we direct our currency. What do you think? Too much to hope for? ;)
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