Personalizing the Mass


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I’ve been traveling a lot, a whole lot, the last three months. I’ve been in about 10 cities and done, like, 14 speaking engagements (including webinars). In many of them, for one reason or another, I’ve been talking a lot about Gen C—the generation that knows no bounds and I’ve taken a few liberties and identified some characteristics for that generation that are all “C” worthy. (Yuk. Yuk.): Gen Cers:

1. Collaborative
2. Creative
3. Content-driven
4. Context-aware
5. Connected

Not in any particular order. But what I realized last night is that I left out what might be the most important, but is at least the most enjoyable, “C.”


Yep, coolness is one of the key of Cs (I’m rollin’ now) and you can now add this to the 5 that I already have defined. This is my official notice of the 6th “C.”

What do I mean?

For that, lets harken back to what I think is personal favorite blog entry ever, “Pardon Me Is That Laptop A Real Louis Vuitton”

(Check it out here)

In it, I mention a study that was done jointly by Intel and Turay Ultrasuede that found that 76% of the respondents wanted the technology they purchased to reflect their personal lifestyle and 73% of the respondents peeked at the style of the technology when they looked at other people’s technologies. Now the product that Turay and Intel came up based on the survey reaches heights of absurdity that the blackest of comedies doesn’t—an ultrasuede covered laptop—but the survey is important to understand.

There are results in the “real world” of finance and stock prices when coolness is taken into account too. As many of you may know, the Blackberry 8100, a.k.a “The Blackberry Pearl” has been a massive hit, even though the only carrier carrying it is T-Mobile—hardly the most business friendly of the carrier lot. But RIM itself attributes the rise in its stock 30% in late September early October as directly the result of the fantastic sales of the Pearl. In fact, when I was speaking at the NetSuite partner conference a couple of weeks ago, I saw no less than 7 Pearls in the audience, and that was at a quick glance.

Think about it for a second. What’s the real difference? It’s still a Blackberry and responds to Enterprise Server or Internet Server 2—same as any other ugly Blackberry. True it has a 1.3 megapixel camera—but it’s only an okay camera. It has an MP3 player, but, trust me, it ain’t an Ipod. But take a look at this thing, next to a Treo:

Its knockout gorgeous—high style, and sexy for a gadget.

That’s “cool.”

And that matters.

And that’s why it’s part of the now 6Cs.

Because, in the world of CRM 2.0, style and lifestyle DO matter, because personal life and work aren’t balanced, they’re integrated.

Disagree with me? Take me on. Right here. Right now.

Paul Greenberg
The 56 Group, LLC
Paul Greenberg, the president of the 56 Group, LLC, is the author of the best-selling CRM at the Speed of Light: Essential Customer Strategies for the 21st Century, 3rd edition. Greenberg is co-chairman of Rutgers University's CRM Research Center and executive vice president of the CRM Association. His blog PGreenblog won both of the only two awards ever given to CRM blogs.


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