In their new book Can’t Buy Me Like: How Authentic Customer Connections Drive Superior Results, Bob Garfield and Doug Levy note that: “This is the Relationship Era, the first period of modern commerce when your success or failure depends not on what you say, nor even on what you produce, but increasingly on who you are. And it isn’t hard to discover who you are. Just Google yourself. Take your time. It’s all there, in perpetuity.”

Here are three key observations by Garfield and Levy:

  1. “Millions of people will, of their own volition, announce to the world their affection for a brand. Not for a person, not for an artwork, not for a dessert but for a good or service. Congratulations. People care about you.”
  2. “Your brand is inextricably entwined in such relationships. If you were to type in ‘I hate Exxon,’ you’d get 2.16 million hits–not counting the ‘I hate ExxonMobil’ Facebook page. People are decreasingly listening to your messages, but that hasn’t stopped them from thinking about you and talking about you. And each of those expressions of like, dislike, ardor or disgust has an exponent attached to it, reflecting the outward ripples of social interaction.”
  3. “What used to happen in the privacy of your own boardroom, plants and C-suite is now extremely public and common currency on the Internet. People in glass houses shouldn’t do anything illegal, embarrassing, hypocritical, offensive, tasteless, vulgar, excessively greedy, or otherwise incorrect — especially when getting caught being honorable and constructive has such benefits. Perhaps by coincidence, but most likely not, this sudden vast availability of information corresponds with a societal megatrend of judging institutions not only on their offerings but on their conduct. Thus, for the first time in commercial history, there is not just moral value but asset value in being a mensch.”

Click the book image to read a longer excerpt from Fast Company.


2 Replies to “Today’s Companies Can’t Buy Customer Likes”

  1. I believe that it is extremely important for a company to not only focus on the success of their individual products but also of their brand as a whole. Customer service, packaging, marketing, etc. all comes into play when it comes to customer satisfaction. Companies have to be very careful about what statements they make and how they represent their brand in different capacities because the media can help yet can also hurt the reputation of a company in a mater of 24 hours. It doesn’t take much for one angry tweet or Facebook status to go viral. Products and services are only as good as the good word behind them and that is the hard truth.

  2. In order for a company become successful, the company should be focus overall, such as the product’s quality, customer service, advertising, how to represent the brand, and build up a good reputation. I personally think customer service is the most important. When I go to store buying things that I need, if they have a very very good customer service I would stay in the store longer, and shop there more often. Even some store have very nice quality products and good reputation, they don’t have a good customer service, I wouldn’t even want go step in the store. I just put myself in a customers position to apply to this article, it is all about build up a good relationship with your customers, they are not only the customers, they are also your friends.

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