The New Art of Conversation

I’m in planning mode for several clients now, and McKinsey’s much discussed “customer decision journey” is dominating my thoughts. This theory holds that consumers hold a portfolio of brands, evaluate other brands constantly based on peer influencers and decide periodically which brands to add, discard or replace.

The customer decision journey replaces the old purchase funnel, rightfully acknowledging that spouses, children and friends influence our decisions more than advertising, public relations or social media.

It is worth acknowledging that consumers have denied the influence of advertising on their decisions since the beginning of market research. Nevertheless, Gallop’s poll paints a clear picture.

Peer influence and referral have never been more influential than before.

This dynamic is made all the more powerful by technology’s ability to offer everyone a voice, a megaphone and an audience. So what’s a marketer to do?

Start a conversation. Be bold and give consumers something to discuss.

Amidst all the noise about cyber Monday, Patagonia did just that.

There has been disagreement in marketing circles about Patagonia’s strategy. Some have questioned whether or not the approach was sanctimonious.

I love that the company has taken a stand against excess consumerism. Even better is the fact the company started a conversation about Patagonia. No doubt people are consuming less. So why not increase loyalty from current customers and attract new ones with likeminded values?

This entry was written by Kevin Smith, posted on December 7, 2011 at 7:30 am, filed under Branding, Consumer Behavior, Offerings, Social Consciousness, Social Media, Trend: Considerism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

One Response to “The New Art of Conversation”

  1. Kerry Kane
    Posted on December 7, 2011 | Permalink

    Well spoken, Mr. Smith. The Patagonia campaign increased my own loyalty, because they made a bold statement to demonstrate we share the same values. I didn’t buy on Cyber Monday, but I did a week later (insert emoticon here).