James Surowiecki's column in The New York last week, Twilight of the Brands, seemed to suggest that brands are dying. He argued that the usefulness of brands as decreased given that "consumers are supremely well informed and far more likely to investigate the real value of products than to rely on logos."
A couple months ago, I wrote a post called The 15 Senses of a Great Customer Experience. The last of the 15 senses that I wrote about was the sixth sense: It doesn't hurt to be able to perceive those things that are not seen or immediately apparent. That intuition is something that will allow you to delight your customers.
Headline writers have known for years that rankings articles like “Top 10″ lists generate clicks. University administrators have simultaneously dismissed USNews college rankings as inaccurate and irrelevant while still striving to improve their school’s own ranking.
At the beginning of the 20th century, most people lived as if it were the middle ages. Almost half of the US population was employed in agriculture. Life expectancy was less than 50 years. Indoor plumbing was rare, as was telephone use. There were very few cars and no airplanes.
In the second half of the 90s I was involved in consulting in the area of shared services. Being a sidekick I got to witness the sales pitch. What was the sales pitch? No human beings. Everything in the back office was subject to business rules. The business rules could be codified, programmed and back office work could be automated. No human necessary. Nirvana: 24/7/365 nirvana of efficiency guaranteed to deliver the same outcome each and every time.