Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Sometimes There's an Actual Person Making the Products We Buy
Posted on March 8th 2014
Once upon a time, before the Industrial Revolution, before malls, before mass media and advertising, we knew who made the stuff we bought. Well maybe we didn’t but our grandparents and great grandparents did. They were on first name terms with the the baker, the butcher, the cobbler, the tailor even the furniture maker.
The folks who who touched, cooked, sewed, designed, built and assembled the products purchased by past generations weren’t hidden behind brands, packaging and advertising campaigns.
Believe it or not in those days they also had these archaic institutions known as full-service gas stations where cheerful men greeted motorists by their first name before filling their tanks, washing their windows and checking their oil.
The relationships consumers had with brands, product makers and manufacturers then was quite different than the one we have with Amazon now. Or with the kid behind the counter at the Mobil Mart.
Sure some of us buy artisan bread, chat with the meat cutter behind the counter at Whole Foods, or even have a personal mechanic rather than dropping the car off at the dealer. But most of us don’t. And even if we do we’re too busy multi-tasking, checking our phones, and posting updates to actually have a conversation with the person who makes the food we eat, the clothes we wear or the vehicles we drive.
Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the convenience, availability and price advantages of mass produced products. And I’m thrilled if I never have to talk to a human being in a bank. But sometimes knowing the people who make our stuff makes that stuff all the more special.
So today I stopped by Seven Cycles in Watertown, where I’m having the frame for my new “retirement from Mullen bicycle” fabricated. Long term employee Karl Borne gave me a tour of the shop. He explained Seven’s custom frame-building process — from speccing the titanium and carbon, bending the chain stays, maintaining tolerances, welding the frame, integrating the carbon, completing assembly — and introduced me to Tim Delaney, the craftsman, or better yet artist, who is doing the actual welding.
I was pleased to see that Tim looked just as I hoped he would. Seasoned. Experienced. Focused. And that everyone there took pride in what they made and how they made it.
It left me with an even better feeling about a brand I already love. And it will most certainly make my new bicycle ride better. Somehow I’m not sure that even the best website or brochure or ad campaign could ever do that.