We are in this transition phase from the traditional marketplace through the digital marketplace to a social business marketplace. I think we will look back in a few years and we will not be able to remember a marketplace in which customers did not have multiple channels to communicate with companies and employees.
I think brands, if they truly want to capitalize on the social business marketplace, need to be more purposefully engaged. It is not because it is well intended, but because it is well received.”
In the sense that brands and companies will always be self-interested. That is natural. It is unrealistic to expect them to change. At the same time, if they reach out to their customer community into their employee base on the basis of stuff that is meaningful to them, whatever those core values are then you get a happier employee group. You will get customers who like what you are doing and like to have you in their life. We are at a point now with the internet where we are all inundated with so much information that really our filter system is meaning. We are all looking for meaning in our lives. What brands are going to be more meaningful to us than the next? At the same time, new technology is being put in the hands of customers out there where they can scan a barcode and look at the social impact of a product when making a buying decision in the shopping aisle. It is not just connecting to them on an emotional level. This translates to their actual purchases in the shopping aisle. I believe the future of profit is purpose because consumers will be your best brand advocates if you do something that is meaningful to them. Then they will amplify your message. They will be effectively your free advertiser in a sense.
If you ignore their interests, if you do not listen, if you do not seek to resolve their expectation that they want brands to make a positive contribution in the world; then you should not be surprised when they either go to another brand or they are not your advocate in a way that you would like them to be.