Influential companies: same power, new ways to reach it

by Laurent François

Jena Mc Gregor for Business Week published a good statement of what influence means today for companies:

The core characteristics of influence are unchanged, whether it’s inspiring a loyal following, spawning big ideas, or building up mammoth market share. What has changed is how players achieve it. A company’s physical assets are less important now than the force of its ideas. In the age of blogging and instant communication, consumers are less the recipients of corporate influence than powerful actors who help shape it. “We’re coming to realize a brand is not just what the manufacturer says it is,” says Shelly Lazarus, chairman and CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, “but everything that the consumer or the customer experiences.”

Reputational democracy, as some researchers say, is now at stake. In a crisis era and in our liquid modernity, you have to think in terms of horizontal allies, anticipating future moves. Like in Chess…and consider the fact that allies are not obliged to satisfy you unless you give them something in exchange: experience, moments…or more generally value for their time.

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