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From telling to talking, with Coca-Cola

19 Nov

In the New York Times, a fascinating sign of the times!

Coca-Cola is revamping its main website, and turning in into something much more like a magazine – called Coca-Cola Journey – than a corporate business website.

So, this is a move very clearly in touch with the zeitgeist, this is about sharing the ‘story’, creating real-time dialogue and conversation, a long way of course, from the old-school approach of tell and sell that characterises many (most?) corporate sites.

But, as the article says, the challenge is, exactly whose story? For every corporate one, there’s usually an alternative point of view that is also seeking an outlet. To what extent will it be heard and hosted on this site or is that a bridge too far?

To check out the new site….


Buying bread the web way!

19 Nov
Image representing Google Analytics as depicte...

Image via CrunchBase

Great fun ad from Google Analytics about the common customer experience pitfalls on the web, where the cashier plays the role of the typical point of sale interaction.

While this is about online experiences, a lot of this applies equally to phone too.

The serious point? Humanity – the fact that ALL business is essentially about people doing business with people- has to trump process and systems.

Awesome Flawsome! 12 consumer trends for 2012

16 Nov

While some of this may be at the ‘Lady Gaga’ end of the trends spectrum, this is a lively and engaging view from of some key consumer trends for 2012.

I particularly like the cultural challenge that lies in “Flawsome”, which is about “brands that are honest about their flaws, that show some empathy, generosity, humility, flexibility, maturity, humour and dare we say it, some character and humanity”. 

It’s fascinating to see big name brands grapple with Flawsome; BP, Barclays, RBS, Netflicks, Toyota, the list could go on….

A CEO’s guide to social media

16 Nov

Useful article from Fast Company blogger, Michael Scissons (Syncapse) seeking to answer five typical CEO level questions about social media, with some perspectives on how to organise for success, and integrate.

In a nutshell, “companies that want success will need to move past thinking about social media as solely a marketing discipline, and mandate a presence from other departments in a Social Media Centre for Excellence”.

So, as with most things in business these days, a multi-disciplinary approach is key, starting with the recognition that, for customers, it only works when it all works.

The rise of the cross-channel user experience (and the challenge for business)

16 Nov

Good article in UX matters, on user experience design, the starting premise of which is that “seamless cross-channel experiences are the way of the future, as technology fades into the background and the personal, physical, and social context determine the methods we use to interact with information”.

It goes on to illustrate this with examples from different sectors, and of course, as you might expect, the biggest challenge in delivering will lie within the organisation, as complex, multi-entry, chaotic, non-linear experiences will challenge the old function-driven organisational model and ‘command and control’ approach to customer management.

Interesting times ahead, indeed.

The psychology that drives how we shop and buy – infographic

16 Nov

This is a great infographic from on the six universal heuristics (rules of thumb) that rule how we shop, applied to the new world of social commerce.

It covers ‘social proof’ – who we turn to for validation and when we need to decide -, the role of authority – who we regard as ‘experts’ – and my favourite, Reciprocity: “we have an innate desire to repay favours in order to maintain social fairness whether those favours were invited or not”.

Some clear implications for the world of business – not only do we see peer-to-peer advice and support growing rapidly as the old ‘authorities’ are weakened by failures in trust, but we also see companies experimenting with ‘generosity’, in other words, giving in order to get, via (horrible phrase!) Random acts of Kindness.

Flo, the progressive girl – a social media strategy

14 Nov
Flo (Progressive Insurance)

Flo (Progressive Insurance) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fascinating video from Virtual Banking last year about Progressive Insurance’s Facebook strategy, and the creation of Flo, the Progressive girl.

Apparently, when the video was made, they had 500,000 fans on, which is a big number for anyone, least of all for an insurer.

Interesting to hear that the good/bad comment balance is 80/20 or so, and as the presenter says, when bad comments are posted, other customers fight back and tell them off.

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