The Power is Shifting Away From Corporations

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The world order is changing. In the David and Goliath struggle between an individual consumer and the large faceless corporation, the consumer has always come off a poor second, as the corporation has access to all the resources which out gun any individual. Enter the internet. With the birth of Youtube, facebook, twitter et al. the rules are changing, and we are witnessing a power shift between companies and the consumer. Gone are the days when people could be treated poorly by companies as they now have a voice they can use to reach the masses that inflict enormous harm on a company. A perfect example of this is the great song “United Breaks Guitars” (The video here : http://www.beyondphilosophyusa.com/video/) by Dave Carroll.

The background is that for over a year Dave Carroll, a musician, tried to get compensation from United for breaking his ‘Taylor’ Guitar. It is no surprise to most of us he was unsuccessful so he decided to write a song about it, and what a great song it is.

On Thursday I was in the office twittering I came across the link. At that point it had had 350,000 hits. Two hours later, 450,000, today Monday 13th July, as I write this blog it has reached 2,496,000!

It was picked up by CNN, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpQNWNN_HS4

Then we have this statement by David Carroll saying United is now paying some compensation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_X-Qoh__mw&feature=related

We can all relate to Dave’s situation and empathise with him as we have all been victim of this type of treatment from companies. With the new weapon of social media consumers are shifting the power in their favour.

We work with many companies on developing their Social media strategies as this is an important part of their Customer Experience. In our experience most organisations are ill prepared for this shift. We typically find their senior management is not of the generation that read blogs, twitters or use facebook and this form of communication is alien to them. In our view it is critical to have a clearly defined Social media strategy in place and to educate senior executives in this space otherwise they are in distinct danger of suffering the same brand damage that United have.

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