See through brands
At long last we as consumers have finally arrived at the point that the research industry forecasted years ago. We have become empowered. We are increasingly seeing blinding spotlights being shone on inferior products and services through consumer blogs, community minded journalists and a media obsessed with ethical behavior.
Changing rapidly is the number of channels through which brands and consumers converse. Social media communicates in a fashion which feels personal yet it can connect with a large number of people. Angry customers need to be responded to swiftly and explicitly. This doesn't mean your brand has to bow down to every whim that comes along but it does need to speak with a clear voice taking a position and being transparent. We have begun to witness the ferocious Twitter storms, which attack brands like a kind of cyber graffiti, defacing the foundation, which has often taken years to build.
Defending your brand, is best done from the outside in. To experience the customer's view of you. So few of us take time to experience the product or service we offer in the customer's shoes. We assume too many things and often fear insights from our customers. The new spirit of protest will unhinge companies unless they are pro active and converse with customers.