Many people talk about the increased need for customer and employee transparency, or about the fact that people do not trust what companies have to say “anymore.” But are those really new? Or are they being hyped up by consultants who are trying to create the next hype-wave to ride on?
if you look at the most recent brain research, it would show that this trait has been with us forever. If the brain is hardwired to detect “errors,” and when it finds them it turns our brain into a 2 year old child’s brain who will resist anything coming from that source – then we should have been rejecting and mistrusting all “marketing hype” ever since it existed. People have always expected “error-free” (=true) messages! There is nothing new here, we are hardwired for it.
Maybe what happens is that with the exponential increase of phony sounding marketing messages, more people have started focusing on associating them with BS and have developed new subconscious neural pathways or mental maps to discard them all. Or maybe the messages have just become more phony and exaggerated in companies’ quests to differentiate themselves within an increasingly cluttered marketplace.
And maybe the fact that some studies show that an increasing number of people distrust companies can be explained by the fact that it has become more socially acceptable and definitely more doable for consumers to fight back and publicly expose the “marketing untruths,” – thus changing the collective (un)consciousness which associates corporate messages with mistrust or untruth. Or maybe it is just a cyclical anomaly, and two years from now we will be back up.
Another important consequence of all this is in the area of word of mouth recommendations and consumer generated content. As more and more companies start to “manage” that channel, often times without full disclosure, more and more “errors” will seep into the word of mouth recommendations – over time causing the effectiveness and trustworthiness of word of mouth to erode as well.
One thing is for sure – the customer has more ways to retaliate against a company than ever before – making the “customer is increasingly in charge” statement a true statement.