Can product manufacturers have relationships with consumers?

As a brand conscious consumer myself, I see that many manufacturers are trying different techniques to gain my attention via online ads, invites to interaction as well as blatantly trying to sell me stuff.  A colleague said it best – “its like you meeting someone for the first time and asking them to marry you”.  I understand that this is the age of instant connectivity and this technology is here to stay, but this requires a courtship, a mutually beneficial proposition, and an ever lasting relationship. Loyalty and rewards still have a place in commerce but the real value of a buyer and seller relationship is in the mutuality of the relationship where the seller and the consumer are equally satisfied. This is easier said than done when it comes to originators or the product or service.

I happen to like a particular brand of eye-ware because the brand tends to satisfies my desires for quality, design and value.  Should I be able to go to that brand’s digital domain and purchase the product directly versus going through brick & mortar or an eye-ware online re-seller? YES! But there are several complications in this simple answer.

As a product manufacturer, I must decide if I would like to be in the business of selling and servicing. I then need to be good at both, product innovation and supply chain. Even if I decide that I would like to be good at both, what do you I do during this state of change where majority of my sales occur at retailers.

Am I prepared to have an organization and a value culture that can change with the changing dynamics of the business strategy? How do I incentivize my employees with this juxtaposition?

Imagine if your preferred facial tissue brand knew so much about you that it took the liberty to engage with you. How would you feel? Is this ok? Think about this and I will continue ….more to come. Bye for now.