Monday, February 06, 2006

The Slippery Slope

Usually that phrase is heard in conjunction with negative trends in culture, science or as it relates to societal issues. I think it has application elsewhere. Here again is David Kline on

The consumer today is in open rebellion.

He doesn't listen to advertising anymore. He no longer trusts corporate spokespeople or their messages. In fact, according to the 7th Annual Edelman Trust survey released just last week, people now say their most credible source of information about a company and its products is “a person like me” -- a trust level in peers that has skyrocketed from only 20 percent three years ago to 68 percent today (versus a trust level for corporate CEOs that has now plummeted to only 28 percent).

This lack of trust, of course, has major bottom-line consequences. More than 80 percent of people surveyed say they would refuse to buy goods or services from a company they do not trust. And new research also shows that negative consumer comments on blogs have a direct impact on corporate brands, earnings and share prices.

In science it can be called "critical mass". Some might say it's simply the point of no return. When change happens, it won't be a slow process. It will happen almost overnight. Those who are ready for it will capitalize on their readiness, and be rewarded handsomely for it. Those who take a "wait and see" attitude, will be scrambling to keep up, and most will be left behind. Kline continues:

Indeed, the consumer now demands more of business -- and thanks to blogs and other new consumer-empowering technology and media, he can now get it. companies who meet these new expectations are rewarded. Those that don't, see their businesses punished as never before.

Can you afford that? I don't think so. Let's get ready.


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