8Realizing a New Vision for Building Community and Loyalty

Loyalty cannot be blueprinted. It cannot be produced on an assembly line.

In fact, it cannot be manufactured at all, for its origin is the human heart—the center of self-respect and human dignity. It is a force which leaps into being only when conditions are exactly right for it—and it is a force very sensitive to betrayal.

—Maurice R. Franks

When we first started this little experiment in social digital, the idea was to build more transparency. How wonderful this experiment will be because it will for the very first time give customers a direct voice in real time. There's nothing more democratic than that, right? We used to spend our time—8-, 16-week studies—doing segmentation work with multivariate and conjoined analysis to try to understand who the best customers in our market were, what they wanted, and the nature of their demand.

But when social hit, there was this idea that you would have a continuous view into that, and customers would tell you what they wanted—they would be proactive. You wouldn't have to go hire a bunch of people that look like your target market and spend time in a market research center doing interviews or panel discussions. You could, for the very first time, get the word direct from the horse's mouth, sift through that, and hopefully find transparent truth in it. And not only that, but be able to interact and engage with those individuals in real time.

Trust to me was an implicit, if ...

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