Listening, Give It A Try

Throughout this chapter they discussed the importance of listening to the groundswell and how it can change your organization for the better. The groundswell holds a large amount of power due to the countless individuals who openly communicate their feelings towards certain products and services. Through social media an organization’s reputation could be strengthened or weakened depending on consumers thoughts and experiences. When an organization decides to properly listen to the groundswell opportunities of improvement and innovation can arise leading to higher customer satisfaction.

In the text they talk about how “your brand is what your customers say it is” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p.78). This is a great example of how organizations can either become successful or a disaster depending on consumer’s reactions. If you want to ensure you have a strong brand you need to be able to meet your target markets needs and be constantly updating your product to stay relevant in todays continuously changing market, this can be done through listening. There are two main strategies that can be used to help organizations focus their listening tactics. The first is to set up a private community where focus groups can take place and direct insight can be provided. The second is to begin brand monitoring; this is where organizations hire a company to collect data by scanning social media websites and developing reports on their findings. This strategy is the most beneficial when the Social Technographics Profile indicates that 15 percent or more of your consumers are both Creators and Critics (Li & Bernoff, 2011). Creators and Critics are essential to listen to when gathering information on your organization. They give a strong public personal opinion, which allows other consumers to join in on the conversation and voice their own approval or concerns about an organization and their products and services. This is where a large amount of market research is generated.

When interested in a product I personally will turn to social media to see the reviews and blogs wrote by consumers about their experience with the organization and the product. I mainly do this when I am looking to buy something online and am unsure about the reliability of the company. By reading other consumers feedback I can get a good sense of who the organization is and the quality of their products. Although there is usually negative feedback posted as well it is easy to decipher what organizations to trust through comments left by fellow consumers. The groundswell is a great tool for consumers to utilize but also an easy way for organizations to gain insight on customer satisfaction.

By listening to the public an organization can start too experience a great amount of change. All feedback provided by the groundswell can be analyzed allowing for educated decisions to made. This will allow changes to be made that are best suited to creating customer satisfaction and a competitive advantage within the market. Organizations have the ability to take advantage of the groundswell and use it for their benefit. It provides them with the opportunity to thoroughly understand their target market and better meet the needs of their consumers.


Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Massachusettes: Harvard Business Review Press.


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