Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m of two minds about this issue.” It means he or she can see both sides of the argument. However, this idiom confirms a deeper truth about the way we think, and, more importantly, the way our two minds can be in conflict with each other.
We all have two ways of thinking: Irrationally and Rationally. As you might surmise, they don’t always agree with each other. We use both types every day. However, for the most part, we behave irrationally more often than rationally.
Short term rental website airbnb, plagued by claims that its hosts discriminate against minorities, announced policies last week designed to put those problems to rest.
As I wrote a few months ago, this has not been a good year for airbnb. First there was a Harvard study showing that guests with African-American names were 16 percent less likely to successfully book a rental on the website. Guests began complaining of discrimination on social media, a North Carolina host was banned from the site after making racist remarks, and a federal discrimination lawsuit was filed.
Airbnb’s woes are typical for a young company that’s growing quickly – especially a company that uses the sharing economy to do old things in new ways. Uber, for example, avoids discrimination by keeping things anonymous, but it has come under fire for its labor practices and tipping policies. As these companies grow, the policies that worked at their founding need adjustment.
Q: What has two Million phony accounts, 5,300 fired employees, a fine of $185 million and a retiring leader enjoying $124 million in stock and options after retirement?
A: Wells Fargo Bank, the latest bank to suffer the scrutiny of the truth and forced to answer for taking advantage of its customers’ trust.
Carrie Tolstedt, unit leader of Wells Fargo’s community banking division, is set to retire at the end of this year after 27 years of service. The announcement of her retirement in July, less than two months ago, painted her with the “dear friend” brush included the phrase “standard-bearer for our culture.” She departs with over $124 million in stock and options.
Michael Lowenstein, Ph.D., CMC Thought Leadership Principal, Beyond Philosophy
For any offline or online social word-of-mouth initiative to be impactful with key stakeholders, financially and otherwise, there must first be full realization of what it can and can’t do, and what it is and what it isn’t.
Based on broad WOM program experience with b2b and b2c clients around the world, I’ve developed four general ‘rules’ for accomplishing this:
1. Be authentic, transparent, and honest. Saying that today’s consumers and employees are ‘savvy’ is only scratching the surface of their awareness, sophistication, and levels of discrimination in identifying what is real and what is fake. Informal communication programs can work, if and because both stakeholder groups feel they are getting information and advice from individuals and entities they know and trust. Messaging and positioning statements provided by companies must be upfront and credible because, if they are not (or perceived as not), the backlash results of negative word-of-mouth can be significant.
When you ask a person why they bought something, they can always tell you straightaway. It might not be the reason, but it’s the reason they give.
Is the person lying? Except for rare exceptions (politicians, criminals, celebrities learning too late that Twitter and Booze don’t mix), not at all. Many times people don’t know the real reason they did something.
People are not rational beings. They are emotional, or irrational, and these emotions influence their behavior, including (and especially) their buying behavior.
Apple is changing. They are paying loads more taxes in Ireland. The new iPhone doesn’t have a headphone jack (or nearly as much excitement as previous iPhone launches). Moreover, the Apple Store is no more!
You read that right. In late August, Apple announced that the word “store” would be removed from the name of its retail locations. Quite frankly, this move is much bigger news for their Customer Experience than the release of the iPhone 7.
The Core of Apple Retail Experience Challenges
Apple is responding to the sentiment that the stores aren’t delivering the same experience they were in the past. Five years ago, going to the Apple store was about playing with new cool stuff. However, with less new stuff to play with in recent years, the store experience had begun to lose its unique quality. Dropping the word store is an effort to regain that excitement in the retail space.