Since I talked about energizing the groundswell in my last post about the Groundswell, I am choosing to discuss the chapter about listening to the groundswell this time. I think listening in any situation is incredibly important so I am very glad to share my opinions on this chapter.
The most important lesson in this chapter is to listen to your customers. This chapter explains a company's branding does not belong to the company, it belongs to the customers. This is because whatever the customers think and say goes as long as enough of them are going along with it and spreading the word.
Take Toyota and Wendy's from one of my previous posts for example. When Toyota had its crisis, the company attempted to fix it by recalling all of the defective cars. They were not honest and many lives were lost over this.
Toyota's customers talked and socialized in the groundswell which left Toyota with a hurt reputation and a negative brand. Toyota has since been working to bounce back from this.
Wendy's on the other hand handled their crisis beautifully by targeting the problem. They were able to control the opinion of their customers and their brand did not suffer as horribly as it could have. Businesses that are making the transition into the groundswell need to learn how to listen to their customers and provide them with what they ask for because when it comes down to it, customers do have the upper hand.
Market research is the number one way to listen to an audience. There are two specific ways to do this, a "focus group" and brand monitoring. In my opinion, brand monitoring would be the easiest. A company is hired to listen to everything that is being discussed on the internet about the company. This information is then analyzed.
While writing this blog I saw a commercial for Lay's potato chips. The commercial advertised four different flavors of potato chips that are very unique from anything ever done before. For example one was mango salsa and one was cappuccino.
This commercial offered a website where one can go to vote on which potato chip they would like to see in stores. This is a phenomenal example of a company listening to their audience. When on this website you are prompted to log into your social media site. This is good for their market research.
If you would like to vote on a potato chip flavor, the website is www.dousaflavor.com.