The success of most companies is dependent on their reputation in the market place. So who should control the “company name”?

Company Control

Years ago “the good name of the company” was under the control of the higher up corporate individuals. Radio, television, print and other advertising promoted their products. The marketing information flow was primarily in one direction, from the company to the consumer. Whoever controlled the outflow of information, controlled the image of the company, or the “Company Name.”

Consumer Control

As communication technology has improved, consumers have become better able to communicate with each other about the brands they buy and the companies they buy from. The more they communicate, the more they learn from each other. This has shifted control of the “company name” into the hands of the consumer. This loss of control has presented a problem for the company that does not have happy customers.

Two Way Communication

Today, with social media, consumers are better able then ever before to share experiences, good and bad, about the products and services they buy. But the company can use this two way communication to it’s advantage. Through social media the company is better able to monitor and participate in these communications. The key information a company needs is knowledge of what it’s customer wants. And who better to get that from than the customer.

Learn What The Customer Wants

Blogs, Facebook and other social media allow companies to find out what their customers want. Tools are available that tell you when your company’s name has been mentioned. Programs like TweetDeck allow me to see when and where someone mentions my name or my company name.

As companies respond to customer needs, they make changes to the items they provide. As their goods and services change, so changes their company and their company name, and all for the better.

A. G. Lafley, CEO of Proctor and Gamble in a keynote address at an advertising industry conference stated:

…consumers are beginning in a very real sense to own our brands and participate in their creation. We need to learn to begin to let go.

Consumer control of the company name, if managed properly, is a good thing! The keys to gaining this control is to find out what the customer wants and then to provide the customer more than is expected.