IT, New Media & Software

Wednesday, 30 April 2008 19:13

Consumer Awareness challenges Big Brand status

 
{pp}The internet has armed the hard-working public with the ultimate weapon – knowledge, and it’s about to win them a battle they didn’t know they were fighting. South Africans have joined the rest of the world in what’s building up to be the century’s biggest battle: irate consumers versus the global big brands.

Over the past few decades, a lot of Big Brands have been stomping on the consumer’s right of choice just to stay in business. The last thing these perpetrators were counting on however, was being found out. Everyone dreads the thought of dealing with banks, insurance and telecommunications companies. As long as the Big Brands can hide behind their ‘cloaks of anonymity’, they need not be accountable for anything beyond the sale.

The latest news flash is that consumers are finally drawing the line at falling prey to of the advertising beast. According to trendwatching.com, this war is aptly named; ‘the transparency tyranny’. The site accurately predicted last year that with widespread access to camera and video phones: “Reviews of anything and everything will go multimedia. Everything brands do or don’t do will end up on youtube.com or a youtube-clone dedicated solely to product reviews.”

As a result, customers have been taking their trade to Joe’s Corner Store. Here they can count on quality, personal service and something money can’t buy – good, clean ethics. While Big Brands can hide behind their extravagant advertising budgets, Joe has a different kind of reputation to uphold. People know him personally, which makes him accountable for what he sells.

If their money buys them anything less than the best, they simply take their business - and that of their friends, elsewhere. “What Big Brands often don’t understand is when an individual gives you their hard earned money, they automatically give you their trust along with it.” says Jonathan Maliepaard, CEO of a local ISP and Network consulting company eNetworks, a prime example of a modern-day Joe’s.

Firms like these show that it’s possible to make a success without sacrificing ethics - even in one of the most competitive industries on the planet. ‘The secret ingredient to a successful business is good manners and a foundation built on truth. People don’t ask for much, we believe everyone just wants to be treated with respect. Contrary to pop culture, honesty does go a long way. ” says Jon.

Independent brands no longer need to hide in the wings while their large competitors hog the limelight. Consumers want to choose for themselves what tastes good, looks good and smells good. As long as companies such as eNetworks continue to dole out endless amounts of principle with their product, larger firms are better off cleaning up their act. The public is remembering the true power of strength-in-numbers and how easily it can secure them value for money.

Big Brands will have to stand up and be counted in the wake of this solidifying unity. No more hiding behind clever marketing tactics and ‘your call is important to us’ - type propaganda. The only kind of sound that will hold ground is ‘word of mouth’. Other than that, much like crime, anything less than the truth simply won’t pay.

More about trendwatching and eNetworks:
eNetworks is an Internet Service Provider and Network Consulting company, specializing in high-uptime diginet services and individually tailored networking solutions. They are certified partner of both Cisco and HP Procurve networking services as well as African distributor for the GTA range of Firewalls.

For more information about eNetworks visit www.eNetworks.co.za

Trendwatching.com is an independent trend firm, scanning the globe for the most promising consumer trends based on a free, monthly Trend Briefing which is sent to 160,000+ business professionals in more than 120 countries.
For more about Trendwatching visit: www.trendwatching.com

Contact Information
For more information contact Juanique or Jon at: 021 421 9857
0826500 468 and 082 5477 460
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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