Brands are conversations. There is a shared ownership of powerful brands between companies and their customers. Even more so in the digital age. Therefore, to us, it is absurd that in the course of brand stewardship, customers don't have a seat at the table.
Organizations often find it difficult to be ‘always listening’ and have that reflected in brand decisions. Often when larger, more salient brands get prioritized for attention and market research budgets, smaller brands tend to fall by the wayside.
To overcome this challenge, we have pioneered the idea of by invitation, branded private online communities for brands. When a brand engages its customers in the spirit of true friendship (shows its vulnerabilities), and asks for their help to learn, grow and become better – consumers often willingly help without seeking rewards.
This creates a powerful social contract between brands and its fans. They are then willing to speak their minds, and help craft the future of the brand, as long as the brand is willing to listen, respond and act. In short, be a human brand.
Importantly, organizations can now take decisions informed by customer insight at the speed of business rather than the way slower pace of traditional market research.