Originally posted some time in 2009. Reposted because this is a personal manifesto that’s truer and truer every day. And yes, obnoxious pedants, truer is a word. – dp (writing 6.30.2011)
Ah, the good old days. You come up with a product, gloss it up with some graphics, and then pick one of a handful of communications channels and pummel the entire United States until they staggered out like zombies to buy it.
Even if it was absolute crap, it’d still sell well for at least six months because your media buys effectively kept any negative response to the product out of the main consumer rags. Low rated in Consumer Reports? Who cares, only engineers and science teachers subscribe to that.
That was back when the producer owned the Showroom. They controlled how the customer could view, use, review, and consume the product. Didn’t work? Didn’t matter. We made it. You bought it. And you liked it (or not).
Well, guess what: The Showroom’s been torn down. All hail the Barroom.
It’s loud, messy and way too anonymous. The drunk regaling you from the corner of the bar may actually be a highly paid mole placed by the competitor to assassinate your company’s character. Or it might be the scariest person in the world: a dissatisfied customer. And who wants to deal with them?
A company that wants to survive, that’s who.
You can wish it away, but it’s way too late. The genie’s out of the bottle, felt the cool breeze of real empowerment, and she ain’t going back. She pwns the Barroom, and it’s always open for bitchin.’
Are you prepared to deal with her? Don’t worry. If you’re not, your competitor is.
The Barroom is here to stay. Deal with it.
Literally, deal with it.