“Unless you are building a new company from the ground up and can install caring as your businesses’ cornerstone, you have to be willing to embark on a completely cultural overhaul so that, like a local mom and pop shop, every employee is comfortable engaging in customer service, and does it authentically.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
You may not call it the “Thank You Economy,” but you know it when you see it: the local coffee shop that knows your cappuccino should be extra hot and extra-extra-strong. The mechanic that knows your car better than you do. The fruit stand at the farmer’s market that keeps the best blueberries waiting for you.
These little things make our lives more enjoyable and are expressions of an emerging trend called Local Love. Introduced at THINK 15, Local Love prevails in all the places where residents care about the community around them instead of just launching off on their morning commutes and returning to their neighborhoods at night. The local store around the corner may not have more stuff or better deals than the big retailer, but it contributes to the fabric of life that makes our neighborhoods more personal.
In his book The Thank You Economy, Gary Vaynerchuk – entrepreneur, bestselling author and speaker at THINK 14 – explains how local providers can cultivate Local Love. It starts with the notion of caring.
Local Love has global roots – in social media
Vaynerchuk, who built his celebrity on exploiting emerging media, does not focus solely on social media in The Thank You Economy. He does, however, understand the importance of social media in creating exceptional customer relationships at scale. Vaynerchuk digs into corporate concerns about ROI, corporate message control and backlash. And he offers compelling support through data and Fortune 500 examples to undermine the usual arguments against using social media and opening up the enterprise.
More importantly, he explains that social media is a “misnomer” for the new economic movement. In reality, all businesses are being humanized by social media: Twitter is the latest news channel; Yelp is the social recommendation place and Quora provides our Q&A. This cultural change is not limited to e-tailers or web-based businesses. B2B companies are as influenced by the paradigm shift as anybody else:
“Behind every B2B transaction, there is a C. The C in a B2B exchange- usually a purchasing manager, a purchasing agent or a buyer – wants the same thing as any other consumer when making buying decisions: outstanding product and service, and the reassurance that someone is thinking about how to best meet the person’s business needs.”
If you are only knee-deep in social media and evangelizing for your credit union, this book might be too advanced for you. But if you need more ammunition to make the case with the C-suite and advance your future content marketing program, you should give The Thank You Economy a look.
“Letting the consumers decide for themselves that they really want to know you, versus persuading them that they should, can make a very big difference in the relationship that ensues,” Vaynerchuk says. This is the book that shows you how.