Upside Down and Inside Out
By Mortimer Singer On January 17, 2019
I've tried to find a way to explain to clients what I mean about the "new client culture" that consumers expect from all brands these days. It's hard, as often this is more of a feeling than a specific thing that one can point to.
That feeling is one of vulnerability that comes from transparency and the open source customer culture that seems to be so pervasive today.
I recently stumbled into a description that I blurted out at a meeting this week.
"You need to turn the company upside down and inside out" I told a perplexed and possibly slightly annoyed group who all but rolled their eyes at what was likely, at first blush, yet another headline with no backbone.
But if you stick with me for 2 minutes I can explain.
Upside down is a reference to calling on young minds and talent within the company to reverse mentor senior leadership on the tone of voice that comes easier to a millennial than a boomer when addressing a consumer. We've heard ad-nauseam from yours truly and others about the "shadow executive committee" at Gucci and other examples where the youth in a company are leading management into new digital and social pastures. Letting young leaders help drive strategy has to become an industry wide practice in 2019.
You can't be authentic and radically transparent if you don't let the consumer in to watch the sausage being made. They want to see a company first thing in the morning, not done up for a cocktail. Too many brands still want to hold on to the power in the relationship with the customer, but those days are over. Instagram stories and YouTube content should be widely adopted as a tool to bring people behind the scenes. The term reality show in 2018 does not have the same meaning as it did in 2008. In 2008, reality was staged, today it has to be real reality. Clients need to be able to vote on a brand through comments and feedback. If you don't let them on your own site then they will do it elsewhere. So open the closet, I'm sure the skeletons won't bite.