What’s noteworthy is the emphasis on ALL of our heads – my side, your side and the other guy’s side. One of the reasons having a conversation with all of our ‘guys’ is so essential is that we think we know more than we do. Accordingly, we don’t genuinely invite response or listen to comments. Opinion too often trumps knowledge. We surround ourselves with insiders who validate our opinions, and pretty soon opinion becomes truth (or some halfway approximation thereof).
The problem with living in a world of half truths is that it blinds us. We’re so caught up in the purity and goodness of our missions (as we see them), that we miss the black swans that can have a huge impact on our very survival. We concentrate on things we already know and fail to consider what we don’t know. In this manner we fail to estimate, and therefore seize on, opportunities. We miss the boat, the plane and the train.
Speaking of trains… if you’re not yet hooked into the Cluetrain Manifesto, it’s time to take a look. The bottom line is that the train of discerning consumers has left the station, is travelling full speed ahead, and markets are getting smarter, faster. We must get smarter too. We must embrace the realities that never in history have so many had the chance to know what so many others are thinking on such a wide range of subjects.
We’re in a new business, using old techniques, and a lot of us are blowing it with our implementation of so-called social strategies. We blast stuff out there; then don’t follow through with any reinforcement of our brand value. Since the promise we make to consumers is meaningless absent a meaningful relationship with our target audience, it is imperative that we offer more than access to information. We must offer closure.
constituents. Dunkin’ strives to be the voice of their customers, and understands “we are our customer.” Our fans have knowledge. The real thing, and not the stuff we “knowledge manage.” It drives their voices; it’s what they most like to talk about. The brand is not just what we say it is. It’s not even just one thing. Sometimes, it really is about the village.