We live in a world today dictated by the brand, where consumers have unprecedented access to the products and companies they use and previously unheard-of freedom to vocalize their opinions. The explosion of social media has given rise to true brand engagement; what was once a one-way conversation of brands using their bullhorns to sell products has become a dialogue where customers can truly engage and communicate with companies. The passion of the consumer, be it reverent or vitriolic, is on display like never before, and at PGi we are obsessed with the “how’s” and “why’s” behind consumers falling in love with the products they use every day.
In the film A Beautiful Mind, a biopic based on the life of game theorist John Nash, there is a famous scene where Nash, portrayed by Russell Crowe, makes a discovery at a bar when his friends are all interested in the same girl. Instead of “every man for himself,” Nash proposes that cooperation is the only way they can all benefit; if every man pursues the same girl, they’ll inevitably block one another and ruin their chances. But if they ignore the blond and all pursue different girls, making the best decision for both the individual and the group, they’ll all arrive at the so-called “best” payoff.
It’s no secret that all parties involved in a purchasing decision are motivated by individual ambition; the buyer is trying to fulfill a need as efficiently as possible and the seller is trying to make the most money they can. That’s simply business. There is a constant struggle between cooperation and competition in business, between the pursuit of individual ambition (for both brands and consumers) and the desire to work together for mutual benefit.
However, today’s climate of openness and engagement with consumers means that companies cannot blindly pursue their own ambitions and ignore the actions and decisions of their customers. The social platforms created by the Internet provide an outlet for consumers to voice their angst, but more importantly, they afford you and your company an unprecedented level of access to your users, their needs and their feedback.
At PGi, we believe in cooperation and in taking our customer’s needs into account, rather than simply pursuing our own: a beautiful equilibrium. We engage with our users on social media and have provided customer communities for both iMeet® and GlobalMeet® where the users of our products can tell us how we should improve them.
By working together, by valuing our customers’ feedback and giving them a variety of means to communicate their needs, wants, loves and hates with us, we can craft truly engaging user experiences that we—and our users—can truly fall in love with. For example, when we created the iPad® version of iMeet, the user interface was drastically different than the desktop version to fully take advantage of the unique interaction afforded by a touch-driven interface. The reaction to the redesign was so overwhelmingly positive that we made the decision to bring the tablet UI to the desktop version; a cooperative decision made with our customers’ input that created for them a better meeting experience and for us a more engaging (and therefore easier to sell) product.
In order to craft truly engaging user experiences that your consumers can fall in love with in today’s dialogue-driving marketing and selling environment, cooperation—not competition—is king. After all, it would be easy for PGi to dictate to you what your collaboration needs are; but who knows them better than you do?
To learn more about collaboration between businesses, employees and users, download PGi’s free eBook “The Future of Business Collaboration.”