Stop Building a Brand and Be Yourself

From yesterday’s Wall Street Journal…

Consumers are spending more time online to communicate with friends, read the news and browse items they’re interested in buying. But marketers are still struggling to find the most effective way to cozy up to a consumer via social media.

Published Credit: Adrienne Grunwald for The Wall Street Journal

According to new shopper marketing research from WPP Geometry Global, 40% of Internet users across the world don’t see any point in “friending” a brand online. In the U.S. and the U.K., that figure rises to 55% and 63%, respectively. In emerging markets, consumers were more open to it. In India, by contrast, that figure is 31%. The study was based on more than 9,000 interviews with Internet users above the age of 15 in a dozen countries.

Still, while consumers may not want to friend a brand just for the sake of doing so, there’s evidence that they want to engage with a brand online so long as they get something out of it. For example, the majority of shoppers in the study said they are open to receiving an ad or promotion from a brand on their mobile device that’s tied to their location.

About half of respondents in the study said they are interested in brands sharing other users’ brand or product experiences with them and 42% said they want brands to help them make better product choices. About a quarter of the study’s respondents check product reviews in social networks on their mobile phones.

According to Geometry, which was formed last year from the merger of WPP units G2, OgilvyAction and JWTAction, 40% of respondents in the study said it was important for them that brands let them choose how and when to communicate with them. More than half of consumers want to interact with brands to solve service issues and 37% want brands to respond to their comments and feedback, whether positive or negative.

“There is not a real rejection of brands using social channels to communicate with [consumers],” said Cesar Montes, Geometry’s chief strategy officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “The rejection is about brands using social as if they were my friends in the typical way that Facebook users would use [social].”

This article originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

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Why Dianne Whitmire Sells More Cars Than All Those Boys

dianne whitmire carson toyota

In the world of men, most of us are well-dressed neanderthals who see EVERYTHING  as ZERO SUM.  Someone has to win and someone has to lose.

And that’s why Dianne Whitmire loves us.

Because as a human being who has actually evolved, Dianne Whitmire does not suffer from the Amygdala Hijack.  She does not go into caveman fight or flight mode when you sit across from her to work out a deal on a new car.

She actually thinks to herself…how can I come up with a solution that will benefit both of us?

Notice I didn’t say how much she cared about you, or wanted to be your partner in this endeavor or that she just really really wanted to help you.  EVERYONE IS RUNNING AROUND CLAIMING TO DO THAT. And it’s complete bullshit.

We all act out of self-interest.  You think Dianne is in the car business so she can eat tuna out of a can in a one-bedroom condo and never visit her Marine Sgt son stationed in Hawaii?


Dianne Whitmire is a capitalist.  But she’s not a prick capitalist.  She’s a creative capitalist.

She finds a way to make it work.  She seeks resolution to complex issues.  She resonds…quickly.  She thinks about YOU.  And she makes things happen.

She has managed to sell 12 vehicles in a single day.  She will work thirty straight days without almost any rest, selling cars night and day.  We estimate  that she probably sells more fuel efficient cars than any other woman on planet earth.

And it comes down to one thing and one thing only. She is not a he.

If she was a guy she would be begging me to write this post instead of telling me to take it down because it embarrasses her. If she was a guy she would get herself featured in magazine profiles and in the Guinness World Book of Records like that tool Joe Girard.

Only a freaking guy would want to see himself in the Guinness World Book of Records for doing what he’s hired to do.

Dianne doesn’t want any accolades.  She doesn’t want recognition.  She just wants to kick ass for herself AND for you.

The power of AND is a beautiful thing.

It’s a woman thing.

Like mother AND child.

Women just get cooperation better than us guys.  It’s in their DNA.  And we need to praise and thank the women who are gutsy enough to jump into a man’s game and teach them how to do the right thing.

You make it work for yourself AND the customer.

Even a guy can understand that.



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