Branding manipulation

Branding can mean something. It can be a way to summarize what you are, what you stand for. However, branding is too often used to make gullible people believe anything. Much branding is a form of psychological trickery, emotional manipulation, magic. Nike is now running a campaign with Colin Kaepernick. The cause is good. But… Read More »

Trust corrupts. Ultimate trust corrupts absolutely

Trust and power are siblings. They have the power to do good. However, like ultimate power, ultimate trust corrupts ultimately. The Internet can be a check on trust. It allows us to compare, validate, confirm, verify. The best societies trust but verify. India, Mexico, UAE and South Africa had the highest trust in CEOs, according… Read More »

Complexity and networks favor teams

The Internet is a network. It’s not a hierarchy. In fact, the DNA of the Internet is a distributed network that has no hierarchy, has no center-point. On the Internet, there is no one definitive way to get to anywhere. The best way at any given moment depends on the exact circumstances of that given… Read More »

Collaborating with the enemy

“Instinctive cooperativeness is the very hallmark of humanity and what sets us apart from other animals,” Matt Ridley wrote in The Origins of Virtue. However, he also stated that, “It is a rule of evolution to which we are far from immune that the more cooperative societies are, the more violent the battles between them.”… Read More »

Keeping digital teams happy versus keeping customers happy

I remember presenting to a digital team about how their website was massively too big, with thousands of pages of low quality, often out-of-date content. Metadata and general findability was terrible. There were apps hanging around that had never functioned properly. Everything was a big mess; a really terrible customer experience. I was listened to… Read More »

Toxic branding and how to counteract it

Branding has become synonymous with graft, deceit, manipulation, fake news. A friend of mine, Felipe, is a Brazilian doctor. “Coca Cola is horrible,” he told me recently. “Everyone in Coca Cola knows it’s horrible. Everyone in the TV industry knows it’s horrible. But they make money off each other, and that’s all that matters. We… Read More »

Sometimes chasing volume does make sense

There are digital business models which do require an obsession with volume. These business models capture attention and then sell that attention to advertisers. Attention, of course, is an extremely valuable resource today. “Facebook moderators were instructed not to remove extreme, abusive or graphic content from the platform even when it violated the company’s guidelines,… Read More »

Cult of volume destroys customer experience

“We don’t want to make it easy for people to find stuff, because we want people to stay on our site.” So said George Bell then CEO of search engine Excite, back around 1998. This is how so many traditional managers think. It’s the cult of volume. The obsession with more. Success is about more… Read More »

Support and service is the digital brand

When I think of SMTP.COM, I don’t think about their logo, their corporate colors, their tone, their mission statement or their advertising. Instead, I think of great service. It’s so amazing to find great service today. So amazing to find a company that actually cares about its customers. I just got an email from Alex,… Read More »

Qualitative research: the third essential customer research input

Qualitative research, involving talking to customers in groups or individually can add depth to an understanding of customer behavior and psychology. However, it needs to be framed by quantitative and observational research because, for a variety of reasons, customers can mislead. Some years ago, Norwegians hospitals did a Top Tasks analysis to understand what were… Read More »