Introducing the Board of Customers

starbucks.gifIn response to Howard Schulz’s (Starbucks’ owner) memo citing his concern over the direction Starbucks is headed, John Moore, a former long-time marketer at Starbucks, enlists the ‘Starbucks Board of Customers’ (i.e. readers of Moore’s blog and Starbucks customers) to propose which changes the company must make to maintain (reclaim?) its integrity. This is a must-read! Apart from the Starbucks-focus, the principle of a Board of Customers is so interesting. This way of thinking takes so called dialogue marketing out of the lab and into the street. Right where it belongs… So, take my advice: download the PDF from ChangeThis. And read it!

Transparency: Tiranny or Triumph?

ftalk.gifTrendwatching.com is coining ‘Transparency Tyranny’ as one of the top 5 trends for 2007. In fact, this trend is going on while the Internet is growing to be the platform for people to share experiences on products they bought (Askanowner, Kieskeurig and likewise), travels they made (Flyertalk, Igougo and Tripadvisor) and places they eat (Iens).
The question Tiranny or Triumph will be answered depending on the side where you are on: as a company who doesn’t care about what customers’ involvement will do for your brand, you will consider transparency as a tyranny. As a customer you will embrace this transparency as a triumph that you are likely willing to participate in, because of the beauty it brings (being well informed, not going to spend money on inferior products/services). But wait! There are companies that actually understand what is happening and that DO take care of their brands: these type of companies are learning today that Transparency in fact might lead to Triumph on their marketplace. At least there is something along where they can actually make a difference!