consumer control

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Who has the responsibility?

Voltaire said it first: With great power comes great responsibility. Others prefer a more-recent attribution, citing Peter Parker's Uncle Ben in Spiderman.

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Not so fast -

So, as the ad industry continues to talk about how the consumer is in control, they also spend a great deal of time trying to figure how to take away that control from them. How's this for a quote:

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Really, You Do Control the Message

Earlier today, Giuseppe Pacheco Tweeted "You No Longer Control Your Company’s Brand" with a link to You No Longer Control Your Company's Brand | Spin Sucks. BTW, I responded to Giuseppe right away with a link to one of my earlier posts about this topic and I follow him, so I usually like his links.

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No Pictures Please

I was reminded of this issue by C.B. Whittemore's post on our recent retail walkabout at Levi's Customer Retail Experience. During our visit to the Levi's store, C.B. asked about taking a picture of their new Curves display and we were told that we couldn't take photos in the store.

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Brands as Sausage Factories

Much has been said about the legislative process that yielded America's health bill this week, and most of the conversation has been about the opinions, expectations, and fears voiced in, well, the conversation. We've just had our first behind-the-scenes glimpse into how the government makes sausage, and we didn't like it one bit. Watching also impeded it getting made, or at least getting it made well.

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Real Time Brand Management

On March 13, a Virgin America flight from Los Angeles to New York was diverted from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Stewart airport in Newburgh, N.Y., due to severe weather, and the passengers and crew waited in the plane on the tarmac for over four hours. The crew was anxious, babies were crying, mothers were anxious, and the passengers were unruly — to the point that one woman was taken off the plane by police. The entire ordeal was documented by David Martin, the CEO of, on his company’s iPhone social-media application.
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Customer Service 2.0: Transparency, Tribes, and Talent

I confess that I have a warm spot in my heart for customer service operations. It is probably because I met my wife of 29.5 years Eileen Marie when she and I were on the customer service phones at the Polaroid Corporation. As an old phone jockey, it is apparent to me that the world of customer service is transforming.

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The 5 Reasons You're Failing in Social Media

1. You really don't want to engage directly with customers, employees, etc.—you just want them to hear what you have to say.

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Customers Are Talking: Here Comes “Broadcast Shopping”

This week Doc Searls posted on an idea called “Personal RFP.” In this model, people wishing to buy a product would be able to put together an open “request for proposal” – essentially, a specification for what they want to buy, including budget, and solicit bids from suppliers wanting to sell it to them. [Nothing even approximately like this exists today, except perhaps Priceline, the reverse-auction travel broker, which is full of compromises to the Personal RFP model.]

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Marketing Messages Are Simply Another Bee in the Hive

Cynthia Kurtz starts off a recent blog post with a provocative statement: “Telling a story is not always the best way to tell a story.”

She continues:

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