reThinking Business

ReThinking Business

    The image of this cover could be interpreted as a frame, a box, a mirror, or a portal and conduit for creative connections. We ascribe meaning to situations based upon our guideposts and growth stage as well as the challenges we face in moving forward.

Which is why frameworks are more useful than prescriptions.

    A couple of days ago, we talked about reThinking Business in the age of the Social Customer at Social IRL. It was a very rich and rewarding experience with many senior professionals from brands and agencies in the room.

    Tony Faustino pulled together five takeaways from the session and included the quick video shot with Eric Mellin and Robert Madison at Spiral16. Below I included the highlights based on Tony's excellent write-up.

Rethinking Business in the Age of the Social Consumer 

1. Understand and Determine the Organizational Focus 

Start With Your Organizational Focus.  You have to pick the organizational capability or competence that will drive and differentiate your company's brand and business outcomes:

  • Apple: Innovation
  • Virgin: People
  • Procter & Gamble: Research and Development 
  • Coca Cola: Distribution

Organizational focus impacted each company's share price. The data shows how executing that focus is linked to long-term financial performance.

2. Focus on Your Brand Promise

My definition of brand:

"The sum of promises, promises kept,

and the unbounded expectations market."

Delivering and Executing the Brand Promise are Crucial.  Why?  The stock price represents public trust / confidence in your brand.  And, that public trust / public confidence determines the discount or premium to "trade" with individual consumers.  Higher consumer trust / confidence means a higher premium for your company's goods and services.

Or, it can reflect a lack of trust / confidence.  See the stock price performance of Yahoo, Microsoft, or Eastman Kodak.

3. Prioritize and Focus on the Differentiating Brand Asset(s) Driving Your Consumer Trades

Brand Assets are Your Unique Consumer Trade Currency. The digital age redefines the brand assets most valuable to individual consumers before, during, and after the point-of-sale. The Internet's real-time speed coupled with one or more of following brand assets is a killer combination:

  • Reputation
  • Knowledge / Information / Data
  • Relationships
  • Influence

Ticketmaster Prioritized Knowledge / Information / Data.   Therefore, organizations need to pick the brand asset they will focus on for their unique trades with individual consumers.  For example, Ticketmaster focused on knowledge / information / data to better inform consumer decisions (i.e., local-centric information, fan reviews, personal buying history suggestions, etc.) by making that brand asset easy to share (i.e., Fan Reviews are easily shared with a single-click via Twitter or Facebook).

Financial Outcome:  Each "share of information" results in a $5 increase in incremental revenue.

4. The Unmet Social Media Opportunity: Empowering Individual Consumer Filters and Feedback Loops 

Consumer Filters, Feedback and Intent.  Intent means:

  1. Providing the right information at the right time when someone is making a decision (and that decision may or may not be a "buying decision")
  2. The consumer's perception of value inherent with the brand promise
  3. How the consumer defines the "wisdom of the trade" (i.e., was the time spent gathering information / data a worthwhile investment)

Therefore, influencing how the consumer defines the "wisdom of the trade" is vitally important. This is why brands need to focus on consumer "filters" and "feedback loops":

Consumer Filters:

  • Culture
  • Language
  • Values
  • Beliefs
  • Attitudes
  • Expectations
  • Intentions

Consumer Feedback Loops:

  • Evidence
  • Relevance
  • Consequence
  • Action

5. Ford Motor Company Case Study in Leveraging Brand Assets, Filters and Feedback Loops 

The Ford Case Study.  Brands need to do more in making individual consumers more influential.  We still don't do enough here.  

The process for making consumers more influential can be systematically achieved (e.g., there is a process):

* First, prioritize, and focus on the business problems most vital to your organization.

    Example: When Scott Monty became head of social media for Ford Motor Company, he focused on corporate reputation.  This brand asset choice was particularly important when the entire auto industry came under fire for receiving government bail-outs.  

Ford leveraged social media to permeate the strategic position that it was the only domestic automaker who chose not to receive receive government financing.  

* Second, after addressing #1, pivot your social media marketing strategy to focus on consumer filters and feedback loops that can grow a product / service:

Increase the Influence and Reputation of Your Influencers

*Third, continue actively demonstrating "we're listening, we're listening, we're listening."

Below is a six-minute video interview by the team at Spiral16.


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