Power to the People
The consumer is now more powerful than the brand. This is a message that Simon Manchipp, co-founder of Someone, has written about in Creative Review’s “Design Industry Predictions for 2012” and I found what he was saying very compelling.
He is right, we are no longer interested in the experts who recommend we use a certain type of tooth paste or painkiller; the power is back to the people! Blogs, reviews and ratings are now the power behind the brand, without working with the consumer, the brand is dead...this might be slightly over dramatic, but to a certain extent it is true!
Brands can no longer work by themselves and they need to work with the consumer mostly through digital, whether it is Twitter, specific review based websites, or the stars a certain product is given on Amazon. Why is it that we no longer are interested in what the experts think or what the advert claims about brands? Trust.
We no longer trust the people with the ‘power’ whether that be a dentist in an advert or a local politician. We have found another source of trust in each other, the fellow consumer. This is because the product has let us down, the iPod’s battery is rubbish and the toothpaste doesn’t make our teeth whiter within a week - the brands aren’t as good as they seem.
It isn’t enough anymore to have a brand that oozes class and dependability, you must have this and a product that matches. In the days before the internet people were taken in by the brand and the product was secondary, now if the product fails in even the smallest way everyone will know about it. Instantly.
On the BBC News a couple of mornings ago they were talking about Trip Advisor and how much power it has over hotels - one bad review and you are out of business. Even if the majority of the reviews are positive; one “Owner was grumpy, loo got blocked and my baked beans weren’t organic” and your B&B is a goner.
The brand must now work with the product and the people to gain the power... it’s even got a catchy ring to it!