I wanted to share a new app which I think makes a powerful statement about where the emphasis needs to be in the social business marketplace. It's called We&Co and launched in Atlanta this week. Building on Foursquare's API, We&Co shifts the emphasis from place to people by simply enabling people to say "thank you."
What's so powerful about this idea is that it starts to quantify human capital. How much do you as a consumer value a positive experience with a brand or its customer service department? How willing are you to share that with your friends? How inclined are you to let that person know that you're interaction with them was positive?
As GOOD Magazine points out, this also becomes leverage for employees who are adding value to a brand through the good work that they do. An app such as We&Co enables an employee to quantify their value to their employee, especially if they deal with customers face to face.
What I like about this app is that it's starting to add metrics to the emotional currency that drives social media. The simple act of saying "thank you" is a demonstration of gratitude in response to an experience that was meaningful to a customer or citizen. When a positive exchange between a brand and customers becomes quantifiable metrics, it encourages brand to provide better service, customer service to do a better job, and consumers to actively show their gratitude.
I say this in the context of my belief that technology is teaching us to be human again. Through simple apps such as We&Co, we're starting to demonstrate the fact that we value positive experiences. By making them measurable, it also opens the door for companies to reward their employees on a performance basis as well as connecting with customers who took the time to say thank your.
In this distrustful consumer environment, as evidenced by Edelman's Trust Barometer of 2011, the more a brand can do to demonstrate its commitment to its customers, and the easier it is for customers to reward them, the faster we can build positive and lasting relationships between brands and their customers around positive and meaningful exchanges.
Reprinted from SimonMainwaring.com
Simon Mainwaring is a branding consultant, advertising creative director, blogger, speaker, and author of the recently released We First: How Brands and Consumers Use Social Media to Build a Better World. A former Nike creative at Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, and worldwide creative director for Motorola at Ogilvy, he now consults for brands and creative companies that are re-inventing their industries and enabling positive change. Follow him at SimonMainwaring.com or on Twitter @SimonMainwaring.