Why Criticize? (A free lesson in consumer-centric marketing)

May 2, 2007 9:20 am 0 comments

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This is pretty much a repeat of a previous post titled “How well do you take criticism”

Sometimes we write something on Green & White and the company reps come back and complain that I’ve written something bad about them, and how that is a bad thing.

Maybe this is the old-school way in which brand managers all over the world continue to think: they work hard to get to a point where they can influence brands, work hard to build a new “killer strategy” that they think will change the world, that as soon as someone points out a flaw in that perfect strategy their approach is to deny and shun and ban. Sound familiar?

Wake up! We live in a new world order, where “people” hold the power to influence the future of brands and companies.

Kotler’s theories are now being replaced by consumer-centric (“edge-centric”) marketing theories. One of the leading consultants in new-age marketing is Seth Godin, who puts it aptly:

“This is what I tell all brand managers who are so confident in the power of their brand: No one cares about you! No one cares about who you are …”

In light of all of this, since Green & White also aims to educate managers on how the world has changed, I’ll offer a free lesson in consumer-centric marketing.

Lesson 1: Your consumers want to love your product, its you who’s stopping them

I am a consumer who is empowered with the ability to reach over 4000 professionals through G&W. That sounds like a dangerous man, but here’s the catch: I want to love your company and product.

I want to spread the word virally to my friends and family if you’re a teleco, I want to buy a new connection for my parents and spend the time to teach them about YOU.

Here is the best part: I’ll do it for free, you don’t have to pay me, but just recognize and listen to me as a person who loves you.

So what’s stopping me? You keep making mistakes. You keep launching products that I do not want, at prices that I wouldn’t like, with support that is less than expected, with messages that I dont believe, and you keep gloating about how terrible I am because I dont believe in your brand.

Worst of all, you do not listen to me — the consumer — when I am telling you precisely what I need to see from you in order to love you again.

You expect me to be a sheep, but the world is different now. I’m not a sheep, Mr. Brand Manager. I’m Green.

Unless you start to listen to me — the consumer — and take care of what I need to see from you, I would consider it my responsibility as a fan of your company to tell you actively how to improve. Shun me, deny my voice, and ban me, and I — the consumer — could consciously go around telling people not to use your product.

No one cares about you, or your brand — make us care, and make us continue to care.

Conclusions on Consumer-Centric Marketing

This is more than just listening to feedback. Your customers truly want to spread the word for you, but you have to make products and services that make them want to consciously spend the time to do so.

Ask me if you want to make your consumers spread positive PR virally about your products.

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