This is kind of bad form, but I think it’s relevant. After writing the previous post this morning, I went out for lunch and had a further thought (right in the middle of a delicious panini). I posted this as a comment on “Corante”:http://www.corante.com/brandshift/archives/2005/03/22/behind_the_curtain.php and am cross posting it here too.
I think “we” or “they” is subjective at the individual level. If we turn the focus from the company to the consumer (of products, ideas, politics, etc), we get a better sense of what makes the we/they difference.
Blogs and other forms of self-publishing foretell the need to change the traditional one:many communication model to a one:one model. Relationships become vastly more important. Why? We’re marketing weary, and, as Ms Rice said “nothing pleases them [us] more than to see another talking head fall.” I’m happy to see an anonymous head roll, but far less thrilled when someone I respect or trust goes down. I’m willing to cut that person a fair bit of slack.
Relationships exist between PEOPLE. Blogs are inherently human; even GM’s blog has a lot of ‘touch’. People trust people much more than they trust organizations. If I trust you, I’ll let a mistake slip (once). Mistakes are human, after all…
Blogs will affect organizations in two major ways: they will (and do) affect opinions by directly competing with the org’s mindshare (see my blog, www.peterflaschner.com for a lovely little infograph), and by bringing a human face to the org. I wonder what this will do to brands? What will happen when my relationship is with Bob Lutz instead of GM? What happens when Lutz moves on?