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Philosophies, Strategies and Value Creation

ethics word cloud

There is a lot of debate whether consumerism has gone too far. The distribution of wealth is to the super, super,  rich. The high street has been decimated and taken over by chain shops and restaurants. These continually buy each other out until it is in the hands of super companies. In the book The New Capitalist Manifesto, Wallmart was referred to as “the Deathstar of companies”. It was reviled and held up as being responsible for killing town centres and turning the locals from merchants to into employees. Stealing their independence and producing more low paid shelf stacker and cashier McJobs. An enslavement to produce higher profits that benefit a few already wealthy shareholders.

Activists fought a desperate battle to keep this greed monster away from their towns.

Wallmart is responding and tying to paint itself as helpful for delivering cheaper goods and promoting their newly acquired green credentials.

People are turning off and tuning out of advertising. To build a brand and develop a communication plan now there needs to be a philosophy. The message can no longer be solely strategic – sell, sell sell and mindless consumerism. The web makes everything more of a leveler. A user can click on negative feedback about a company two clicks away. Here niche brands can thrive as well.

Users now expect a better user experience on the web. A lot of people (myself included) now post complaints directly into Twitter and are getting a rapid response. This is becoming the first choice as users are learning they can avoid having to spend a painfully long time on the telephone trying to get hold of a real person.

Because user experience is so pervasive, developing a good user experience depends on blurring the boundaries of the web page. The user experience now has impacts on how the business sees itself. This in turn could have a positive impact for how companies need to behave if they are going to survive long term. Facebook with all of their privacy issues may pay a huge price when the next social rival site comes along and says to users “we respect you and you can own your content”.

Google has a philosophy that is driven by their principals

  1. Focus on the user and all else will follow.
  2. It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
  3. Fast is better than slow.
  4. Democracy on the web works.
  5. You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
  6. You can make money without doing evil.
  7. There’s always more information out there.
  8. The need for information crosses all borders.
  9. You can be serious without a suit.
  10. Great just isn’t good enough.

 

Umair Haque is a provocative writer and thinker, who does not believe that government is the answer. He still believes in capitalism and believes we are the answer. I quote from his book The New Capitalist Manifesto.

Constructive capitalists have an advantage in the kind of value they are able to create, not just its amount. Because higher quality value is less risky, less costly, more defensible, and more enduring, it is usually worth more to stakeholders of every kind: people, communities, society, future generations, employees, regulators, and investors alike.

I am putting this into practice and working with our clients to help them develop both a philosophy (what are the principals) and a strategy (how to implement, drive value & positive behaviour). What I offer them is a constructive advantage for the future. That is a valuable proposition.

It is also blurring the boundaries of the traditional User Experience from being “Tactical” to being “Grand Strategic”.

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