The Power of Connectedness

Best global brands 2011

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to interview Simon Mainwaring, the author of “We First,” at Social Good Summit. If in the past, brands controlled the conversation. With social tools at people’s disposal, that is no longer the case.

Game changing: We First

The use of social tools changed how consumers view their relationships with brands. (even for those that do not fall under the category of big brands, i.e. business or people – like you and I) Because consumers now have the power to drive ‘the’ conversation.

So we talked about how connected citizens – those who are actively sharing their values via various social networks like Twitter, Facebook, etc. – choose to communicate with brands.

Some of the things that we discussed:

– The power of connected citizens.

We saw what’s happening in Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain how people are reaching out despite the state of oppression in communicating the value of what they care. In the business world, for example, citizens’ participation in Pepsi Refresh Project. This is a project, where anyone with an idea can get their initiative funded.

– How to make brands to be more social.

Simon says, that if we want to make “brand to be more social” – the impact for them is huge – because it’s like you asked them “to do the most difficult thing in the world, which is to define what they stand for.” It’s not about the technology they use, however, it’s more about finding what their “core” purpose is.

– How to help business to think beyond profit. 

“There is a shift that profit and purpose are no longer mutually exclusive. Because consumers have a voice, a platform,” Simon says. People can take their frustrations out in the open in a matter of minutes. And the next thing they know is to be on defensive-side. Consumers are thinking ‘you want us to buy your stuff? Tell us, what good have you done?

The advice for brands now to maintain that relationships they’ve built with consumers, is “to re-purpose.

Check it out.

photo: via Flickr – Interbrand group

This post originally appeared at Tinkers.

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