The new avant super corporation has moved far beyond Total Quality into Continual Improvement Forever. It has also stooped to conquer. Bent into a humble subservient posture, it stands poised for the ultimate marketing genius idea:
Miserably Servile Customer Pampering.
Here's how to begin: chew the Clue. The Cluetrain Manifesto.
According to The Cluetrain Manifested by you by your company.
They're constantly searching for solid information they can share with customers and prospects via Web and FTP sites, e-mail lists, phone calls, whatever it takes.
They're not half as concerned with protecting their data as with how much information they can give away.
That's how they stay in touch, stay competitive, keep market attention from drifting to competitors. Such companies are creating a new kind of corporate identity, based not on the repetitive advertising needed to create "brand awareness," but on substantive, personalized communications.
The question is whether, as a company, you can afford to have more than an advertising-jingle persona.
Can you put yourself out there: say what you think in your own voice, present who you really are, show what you really care about? Do you have any genuine passion to share? Can you deal with such honesty? Such exposure?
Human beings are often magnificent in this regard, while companies, frankly, tend to suck. For most large corporations, even considering these questions and they're being forced to do so by both Internet and intranet is about as exciting as the offer of an experimental brain transplant.