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27.1.06

Globalization for the people 

In the 1990s, we were all optimistic about —and in my case, it was about how the could populations. Every one could become a critic of a bad product, with an ability to reach the company directly. Emails could be sent for free—a idea at the time.
   Only that some companies weren’t listening.
   The theory only works when companies devote people to read the emails. Some did. Then, however, they needed to have the clout to get those messages up the chain to . Few did.
   So in 2006, where we continue to face a large rich–poor gap, where do we head?
    seems to make a regular mistake of throwing the baby out with the bath water when one path doesn’t work.
   But many of the ideas submitted in Beyond Branding and elsewhere still work. Some of the best ideas came in ’s Brand New Justice, which I heartily endorsed when I first read it.
   All these ideas given to us by many of the world’s experts failed because they only looked good on charts, but had no real connection to the they summarized in numerical form. These experts all spoke in —to hide their incompetence or disconnect. So why do we continue to treat this branch of with such reverence, worshipping it more than religions themselves—and, indeed, fudging the plain meanings of helping people with so many equations that even the idea of God seems easier to explain?
   In business, I still believe remain the only interface between organization and . And if that interface can be refined, then that “united world” idea can still happen.
   Right now, brands are so successful the world is in danger of global . I have mentioned many times that in , one French combine owns Just Juice, Eta, Griffin’s and Fresh-up—four brands considered by most Kiwis to be domestically owned. Oligopolies are one area where the are right: they can form monopoly powers, raise prices and make life hard for consumers. Just look at how much you are paying for gasoline. And I still have not heard from after it sold me Citrus Tree orange juice that had gone off in 2005.
   They do not need to listen to consumers because they have the power to do as they please. Their brands are so strong that people will consider buying from them without question in so many cases: , , and the others which have been subject to ’s criticisms.
   What if brands had the expertise and polish of first-world ones? Simon submitted this and I even tried to get a forum under way, though I never launched the latter with enough oomph to make a big change. Nor are there enough people in remote villages with web access, another obstacle in the path to moral globalization—so we need people who can take the idea to the people, like Safia Minney of People Tree. But I hope this can still happen: a forum where third-world can get information from first-world , for free. Comments and volunteers welcome—we already have a few Medingeites signed up. Redressing the balance. Brands are proven to command on pricing, so let’s give that premium to poorer nations. Create enough competition to the oligopolies that they have no choice but to listen to consumers for ideas, and more.
   That way, each . The balance is already shifting in the consumers’ favour—email exposing misdeeds are now common—but whether they affect in the long term is open to question.
   I still say raising the of poorer countries and closing the gap will still allow each , first-, second- or third-world, to become richer through . We just need to stop worshipping the economists and look at the real world: are the people in a better state, or are they in a perpetual race to the bottom with falling ? And can they develop brands which can command premiums, so their communities become richer and they do not need to rely on the mega-retailers such as Wal-mart who continue to drive their prices down?
   I’m not asking for the branders to be worshipped, mainly because (as some high-profile authors have shown) most do not have a darn clue of what they are talking about. Or they couch things in 1950s’ sales’ maximization terms, taking us back to the -is-supreme idea that landed us into this mess in the first place. But for the most part, those with a agenda generally have a workable, practical, method for working us out of the abyss. We have to. We built our first-world, private-sector clients using those methods. Now we should apply them, using our own time, to show we aren’t manipulative, -hugging cronies.
   The guts of the forum are here, but it needs some TLC—and monitoring to prevent spammers from posting porn and gambling links. Assistance welcome.

Del.icio.us tags: globalization | globalism | branding | brands | humanitarianism | unity | economics | global economy
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.


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