authenticity can come from many things... product provenance peopleand there are many ways of proving authenticity
productproducts have an easy authenticity - they exist - but also how they’re made and what they do
BromptonBrompton make bikes. They’re designers and makers.
And they’re all still built in West London. they did look at Chinese manufacture, but it endedup being about the same price, and they’d lose all of their sales in China & Asia if they didn’thave this story and authenticity.
we love a good storypeople love stories, and love products and services with a story
Moleskine started production in 1994. It’s not an old brand. But they use a bit of slightlyweaselly copy to associate themselves with being 200 years old (fwiw, moleskine was thegeneric term used by artists to describe similar notebooks).
you only have a heritage if one day you start making something newbut I want to be clear: you can only have a heritage if one day you make something new
the romance of historymany stories of authenticity are a romantic view - of a product’s history
physical products have the romance of makingor the romance of making and craft: which many makers don’t realise - because it’s their dayjob and there’s little romance in the actual grind of making things day after day
provenancewhere things come from is a good, authentic story
HiutHiut Denim have a simple premise - their town is making jeans again
Historytag - the provenance of your individual object - they take photos of your jeans asthey’re being made. They also embed the story directly in the product.
Nokia always wanted to be American, or Japanese. It just couldn’t understand why it could orshould be proud of a long Finnish history.
and now, all physical products now have to be completely clear about their provenance, andtheir suppliers’ provenance
http://www.enoughproject.org/conflict-mineralsall the way back to raw materials - tin, tantalum, tungsten both cause war and enslavechildren in the Congo - blood electronics. We don’t own conﬂict-free electronics.
Internet companies shy away from being from somewhereor actually, generally try to pretend to be American, or at least from somewhere in the mid-Atlantic
it doesn’t have to be complicated... an address you can look up in Google Maps
startups proud to be from Berlin?but it could be so much more
facelessmany start-ups and small businesses are faceless
some systems give you little to work on - Ebay added seller ratings were introduced to addelements of trust - taken together with the amount of feedback and what people have written
Kickstarter gives you the same design and format for every project... It’s hard to discern whowill be good at making and producing. It’s pretty easy to ﬁnd someone to make you aconvincing video, harder to make products.
People have really lost their sense of smell as to whether the people behind a project will beable to keep their promise.
When I ﬁrst saw pebble is sounded great but I knew how hard it would be to make.
...so to see they’d got a prototype, and that they’ve done it before, that’s when I pledged mymoney.
companies companyingI feel there’s no better advertisement than seeing that a company is doing its job
even at a base level, numbers.This says millions of people have not been ﬁred for using Basecamp.
Here’s Sweden talking to New Zealand on twitter.
And they’ve had all kinds of people - Internet entrepreneurs, lesbian truckdrivers... [sincethis, there’s been some controversy as the chosen curators has spoken their opinions - butinstead of shutting them down, it’s been a case of the Internet engaging in conversation (andcriticism)]
Twitter can be adifferent way to talkwith customerspeople
FGW TwitterThis started as just one customer support representative. People started having conversationswith her.
People aren’t really expecting answers to rhetorical frustration.
first directFirst Direct have a great brand, but these responses are still slightly depersonalised.
AvivaHere’s an insurance company. Look, there’s Dave & Marv, they’re who you’re talking to.
It’s a lot harder to bean arsehole when youcan picture the personyou’re talking to
Don’t depersonalise as it growsResponse times to large customer support twitter feeds is slowing to days - the same asemail or web support. People like that Twitter support feels different to standard supportchannels.
“Well, are you proud ofwhat’s going on insideyour company? Are youproud enough to pull upthe shades and letpeople see inside?”Douglas Rushkoffhttp://cheath.co/rushkoffquote
gov.uk github?Again a disclaimer that I’m not talking on behalf of gov.uk... but most of our code is availableon github for people to see and even help develop.
But I want to talk about an even bigger project - Ford nearly got it right in 2000, maybe just abit too early. Ford wanted to give all employees a computer & internet connection - so theycould listen to real customers and even support them. If you have a brake problem, you wantto talk to the person who design the brakes, not a CS agent.
happy employeesAnd the only way you can open up like that is to have truly happy, engaged employees.
that won’t be sacked for making mistakes- that won’t be told of for talking to customers
“Every company has a social media strategy whether they know it or not.” Douglas Rushkoff http://cheath.co/rushkoffquote“You can have your dedicated social media person chasing down consumer complaints, butyour real social media strategy is how are the people who work at your company and thepeople who buy from your company and people who supply to your company, how are theytalking about you?”
radical, personal authenticityThis is a radical, personal authenticity: the same authenticity and openness that start-ups canhave, scaled massively to the largest of companies. Hard to do but offers a genuineadvantage over your competition.