So greed is good? All evidence to the contrary! If you want an answer just take a look at the stock market high jinks, the world finances, spin that would challenge a ‘Whirlpool’ washing machine. As one of marketing’s geriatrics I’ve seen most of it before so it worries me less than it might have. What’s different this time is that people are genuinely looking at things differently. Our c onsumer research senses a new mood, something we haven’t seen before and it’s not just an Australian thing.

The election of a black president in the USA is indicative of people’s attempt to find a new and more value centric ideal. Obama is more than a black icon. He is intelligent and gifted, and for anyone astute enough to read and understand the US political system, it is obvious that there is a very different mood permeating American families.

It is further evidenced, by the mood of consumers here in our land of OZ. I do not hear the whisperings of discontent about misleading advertising, hidden messages or mis-communication. A certain quiet and discerning analysis is seeping through our consumer markets and customers are proving that they have always been smart enough to recognise the ‘bad guys’. It seems in pre-meltdown days it didn’t matter so much – but now it’s changed and in a big way. Transparency has always been an issue for marketers. At Jack in the box we’ve encouraged it and lost a few accounts because we were ‘arrogant’ enough to tell clients that we didn’t agree. The financial ‘so called’ meltdown, has changed all that. Now there’s a fight to get to the front and be ‘The good guy’.

It’s obvious really after years of exploitation that consumers have had enough and unless you’re prepared to ‘fess up’, tell all and forget telling porkies you’re pretty much dead in the water as a product, service, brand or organisation.Consumers want the facts. No BS, just the facts. They want it straight and they want it without fear or favour and if you toss them a line, they’ll find you out and put you to the sword without mercy. You see today it’s the consumer’s turn. The commodity is no longer in demand, it’s the customers with the money, the need and the desire who are short on the ground.

The ‘good guys’ have always been there, promising nothing but the truth and while the other gang has been systematically plundering the shelf, the gg’s have been biding their time, telling their story. Now it’s pay off and in a time of uncertainty the gg’s will survive and prosper and the others will fade away and may even die.

It’s not just about what you say or what you don’t say, it’s about the slight of hand, like placing your advertising content in full view of a vulnerable audience or placing the lollies at ‘child level’. Subtle sub-defuse no longer works and I for one, say “Halleluiah”.
Passion and care are back in truck loads and we’re talking about the genuine stuff, not the pink and yellow balloons that accompany the wife’s gift after you’ve forgotten your anniversary. Real customer benefits are back, and the extra 30% more beans per can that really turn out to be watered down sauce are ‘yesterday’s strategies’.

If you want to succeed in the next decade and beyond, forget the double speak, dismiss the smart arse promotions and transparently place yourself before the people. If you live the dream and keep your word, the consumer will recognise you, accept you and buy from you.
Hands up the ‘good guys’