Internal Groundswell Benefits Touch on Many Objectives

Throughout this entire blog I talked about the effectiveness of the Groundswell on customers. But customers are not the only ones that determine the success of the company. Employees are the ones that drive the connection with customers and their happiness and overall satisfaction with the company is key for the success of the overall company.

The Groundswell talks about listening, talking, energizing, supporting and embracing customers, but Chapter 12 talks applying this things internally to create this connections organizations strive for with customers, but rather with employees.

Lululemon is a company with a really strong culture and from what I know about them they are already implementing some of these things.

  • Listening to employees can turn to problem solving, so managers will know what needs to change for employees to be successful.
  • Talking allows for everyone to be on the same page.
  • Energizing encourages employees to be enthusiastic when it comes to their job and providing benefits that will actually make people want to work there. Lulu offers tons of benefits this includes clothing discounts, Yoga classes and when you go for an interview is usually at a restaurant or Café where an inviting friendly environment is created.

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  • Supporting and Embracing allows for employees to value the company and support what they do and embrace it by making the corporate culture part of their life style. This can be seen in Lulu employees by the stories they share in the Lulu website about their job and how lulu has impacted their life.

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It is clear that Lulu is using some Groundswell techniques to “spark employees communications” (Li, Bernoff, 2011p. 248 and overall interest. Though the Groundswell is important “no matter what you’re after, in the internal groundswell, the secret to striving is culture” (Li, Bernoff, 2011p. 248). By creating a strong culture internally and externally people will be attracted to the business because they stand for something!

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References

Li, C., Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business

School Publishing

Techniques For Energizing Enthusiasts

Lululemon as a brand can be considered very passionate when portraying their culture and what they stand for to the public. This means that most customers share these values overall creating very enthusiastic customers. This can be beneficial to the brand because it creates worth of mouth by people who actually care adding to the overall value of the brand.

The Groundswell talks about three techniques for connecting with brands enthusiast (Li, Bernoff, 2011, p. 134), which I believe Lululemon has done a great job doing.

  1. “Tap into customers’ enthusiasm with ratings and reviews” (Li, Bernoff, 2011, p. 134): As mentioned before in my blog entry “Support Versus Groundswell Support” Lulu has a great website that allows for feedback to be given in regard of their products, this is available to the general public and when customers are encountering problems or negative feedback Lulu employees are fast to reply and take into consideration arising problems.

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  1. “Create a Community to energize your customers” (Li, Bernoff, 2011, p. 134): Lulu has a blog that is divided into different interests that relate to their products, within this blog enthusiasts can share their experiences with other Lulu enthusiast overall energizing customers.

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  1. “Participate in and energizing online communities of your brand enthusiasts” (Li, Bernoff, 2011, p. 134): this can be seen being done by Lulu when vising all their social media websites, this can be found explained in detail earlier in my blog under “Support Versus Groundswell Support”. In this websites they share with customers the latest news and keep in contact with Lulu enthusiast measured by the amount of followers, likes, shares and retweets.

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References 

Li, C., Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business

School Publishing

Twitter

Twitter has become a huge trend in society today, and according to the Groundswell “People who don’t use Twitter tend to write it off” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 197). Twitter limits updates to a 140 characters only! This might seem a little limited but the power of the “hashtag” in todays society its endless. Twitter operates under an ecosystem that benefits the groundswell in many aspects. Under this ecosystem there are various elements that include Followers, Hashtags and Searches, Mentions and Retweets, Links, List and Apps and Tools (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 197). Followers are what make up your Twitter networks. When using Twitter anyone can follow you and you can gain followers either by connecting other social networks or people taking interest in your profile or any updates with interesting hashtags. Hashtags and Searches are all public therefore making them searchable, there are certain trends with specific hastags that categorize under “trending topics” which is what its important and has the attention of the Twitter world (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 199). Mentions and Retweets are people reposting your updates and mentioning your twitter name to allow the world to promote your twitter. Links on Twitter literally allows you to link any articles, pictures, blogs or information available on the internet. Lists were created in 2010, which allowed people to create list of people you follow, which can be shared with the entire world of twitter (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 200).

Twitter has endless amounts of objectives that can be reached by utilizing this technology specially when relating to the Groundswells. One objective the book talks about is “Talking to Twitter”. Business can share what’s going on and create trending topics that promote the overall business (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 205).

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“Energizing with Twitter” is another objective that can be accomplished by using this social media. Energizing mean trying to encourage people to like the company’s product by listening to them and allowing them to know that they are being heard. Which come along with “Supporting With Twitter” by again answering questions and utilizing social media to value customers (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 206).

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 References 

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

Support Versus Groundswell Support

Support is a huge part of customer satisfaction, without support customers might not be able to build a connection between the company and themselves. Traditional support doesn’t come so easy for companies because the cost to maintain support can be high, specially if you need people to run an maintain the supporting aspect of the company. Chapter 8 talks about 2 trends that companies were using to provide support previous the dependance of technology.

The first trend the Groundswell talks about is the “Self-service revolution” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 158), which provides online resources so people can utilize this means to help themselves. The second trend was “outsourcing” which meant moving support calls overseas (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 158).These two trends tend to be outdated in todays society because everyone dreads reading a page of instructions and if this is not available making a call its just as bad or probably worst, specially with the waiting times and the inconsistancy such calls can bring. Today the online world provides more efficient ways to communicate with customers, such technologies include wikis, blogs and social media. Which is what the Groundswells is all about.

Through out this blog I been talking about Lululemon and overall as a company they have been doing a really good job in implementing these technologies in their overall business. Under each product there is space for reviews and questions online shoppers have in regards of the product. Not only customers provide feedback but as well experts provide their feedback and respond to customer inquiries.

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Lululemon also utilizes social media support customers by answering their request, promoting their products and the overall culture Lululemon stands for.

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Facebook

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 Twitter

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Instagram

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Youtube

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Pinterest

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By supporting customers Lululemon gains a competitive advantage in the industry that portrays how much Lululemon actually values customers. By utilizing all these technologies Lululemon also build a competitive advantage in the industry because they are growing with technology and at the same time collecting valuable information that allows for the company to better products and overall services.

LAst picture to use

References 

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

Tips for Successful Blogging

Blogging has become such a trend for society today; it allows people to express themselves without limits. Of course companies are taking advantage of this technology because of the various benefits it brings. It might seem like an easy task, but for companies using blogging its not just about expressing their opinion. Its really about engaging customers and creating valuable connections that will ensure the companies overall success.

Chapter 6 offers various tips for successful blogging and like talked about before in my previous blog post in order to ensure the success of joining the “blogosphere” companies should start with people and objectives from the POST method. Once you know your people and objective than blogging can commence though the book provides 10 tips that will help ensure blogging success

The first tip is Start by Listening, this allows for companies to really understand what they are getting into. By having an idea of what’s out there companies will have a better chance of placing themselves in the “blogosphere”. Things to do in this step will include looking at your competition and overall industry, as well what is your target market saying and if they are saying anything.

The second tip is Determine a Goal for the Blog this will allow companies to develop a vision on what the blog will look like and it will give readers a better understanding on what the blog is all about.

The third tip is Estimate the ROI this will allow everyone to see the overall benefit of a blog and in a way it will allow for measurements of success to be put into place. The fourth tip is to Develop a Plan this will create coordinates in the sense of who is writing the blog. Blogs can have various authors or only one person can be responsible for the writing, depending on your business this should be delegated. Rehearse is the fifth tip, which will allow the writer to see their capability and in a way realize if they are up to the task, like the book says “if you cant write five practice post, you’re not ready for the big leagues” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p.116). Tip number six is to Develop and Editorial Process this will include who needs to review the blog post before being posted, a backup writer if there is one sole writer and if there are various people writing the blog when should their parts be done. This step is key “blogosphere” survival.

Design the Blog and its Connection to Your Site and Developing a Marketing Plan so People can Find the Blog are tip seven and eight which kind of belong together. When designing a blog it should really represent you company because this blog will be part of it. When taking a closer look at this tip, things like where your blog is going to be feature should be consider which comes along with tip eight because this will determine where and how you will let your customers know about the blog going public.

Tip nine is Remember, Blogging is More than Writing, this is true because in a way you are expressing your opinion but at the same time you are trying to stay relevant with the industry, customer demand and overall “blogosphere”.

Final Advice: Be Honest is the last tip, keeping it real shows customers who you truly are, therefore portraying honesty as one of your companies value.

Today most companies are using blogs to engage the public with their business; it allows companies to express themselves in a different way than just pushing product to their public. Lululemon has a blog that is written by the entire Lululemon team. In this blog they promote their culture of living a healthy life style, by sharing inspirational stories. This blog is public and can be found in the Lululemon website, it allows for people to comment and share stories via Twitter and Facebook – Here have a look!

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References 

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

POST

The Groundswell includes a four step planning process that is known as POST. This planning process is the foundation of the overall groundswell way of thinking. As a business implementing groundswell POST should be one of the first steps when developing a groundswell strategy. POST is an acronym for People, Objectives, Strategy and Technology; under each word there are questions that make up the four steps in the process.

The first step focuses on the People element of the strategy; simply this step focuses on “What are your customers ready for?” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 67), this means that specific organizations must have a general understanding in regards of their customers and what they are doing with technology. This can be seen as complicated task but given the development of technology there is various ways companies can find out what their target market is doing in regards of the Internet. One technology utilize by the groundswell is The Social Technographics Profile that divides target markets to different groups involved in the groundswell. I spoke about Social Technographics earlier in my blog under Chapter 3, look back to further understand the concept!

Objectives are the next step witch focuses on the question of “What are your goals?” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 67) when implementing groundswell. There are various objectives groundswell can help organizations achieve, but it is a smart idea for organizations to focus in one objective that really portrays who they are targeting. The main objectives the groundswell talks about include listening to better understand customers. This goal works best with companies that are trying to integrate people’s insight in their product in regards of marketing and development purposes. An example can be seen by Maple Leaf adding “Natural Selection” products for mothers that were concern about their kids having added preservatives to their food. Talking is the next objective this allows groundswell to be utilizes to spread their message about a company. This can be seen being done by companies everywhere, specially on Instagram because it’s a quick way to reach people by just sharing a picture. Energizing pushes word of mouth from customers enthusiastic enough about a product, this can be seen by promoting companies when releasing an event like recently in Edmonton the event of Red Bull Crashed Ice took over the news feed of Edmontonians promoting the event. Supporting is the second last objective that promotes customers to support one another. Lastly the last objective is Embracing the presence of customers by integrating their opinions to help better or design the products companies are creating.

Strategy is the next step of the POST method, which focuses the question of “How do you want your relationship with customers to change” (Li & Bernoff, 2011 p.68) once the groundswell is implemented. This can include things like how involved do you want the customers to be in regards of your business and the overall marketing of it. Technology is the last step of POST and it focuses on the question of “What application should you build?” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p.68). Though in order for this step to be possible people, objective and strategies have to be defined because essentially this will decide the type of technology the company should be using. These technologies can include blogs, wikis and social networks.

I been talking about Lululemon throughout my blog if lulu was to implement POST here is what I think it would look like:

People

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Objectives

Talking

Supporting

Strategy

Get customers more involved by using social media!

Technology

YouTube

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

References

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

Listening to the Groundswell

Chapter 5 in the Groundswell book focuses on the importance of listening to customers, because customers determine your brand and who you are as a company. I believe this is very true, no matter how hard a company tries to portray an identity, customer that represent it are the ones that will determine the image they are portraying. Making listing very important, some other reasons also include:

  • “Find what your brand stands for”
  • “Understand how buzz is shifting”
  • “Save research money; increase research responsiveness”
  • “Find the sources of influence in your market”
  • “Manage PR crisis”
  • “Generated new product and marketing ideas” (Bernoff, 2011, 86).

All these reasons relate to one another, if we think of Lululemon, their brand stands for a healthy life style not everyone that wears Lululemon live a healthy life style but its mostly used by those people that try to maintain somewhat active. Now more than ever a healthy life style is a trend. All the sudden everyone has the urge to “meal prep”, “lift”, “squat” & do hot yoga making stylish athletic apparel necessary! Allowing Lululemon to focus on what’s a must for living a healthy lifestyle! Lululemon has also increase their activity on social media websites, their Facebook page encourages customers to ask questions that are answered by Lululemons staff, this its also seen on Twitter and Instagram. Which shows that Lululemons listens because they consider everyone representing their brand valuable.

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Its hard to let the public know that companies are listening, but believing whatever you are saying about a company today is not being monitored, its just incorrect. Companies don’t call it listening they call it “market research” (Bernoff, 2011, p. 79) and according to Groundswell there are two listening strategies that could be utilize by companies:

  1. Set up your own private community: Which is described as focus group that provides “natural interaction in a setting where you can listen in” (Bernoff, 2011, 82). Basically a company sets up a page where people can freely blog about a certain product for an amount of time, this site is private to those participants and the company that’s doing the research.
  2. Begin brand monitoring: which can be done by hiring an external company that is responsible “to listen to the Internet – blogs, discussion forums, Twitter”( Bernoff, 2011, 83) and report back to those companies that hired them with valuable information that could help them determine what customers are saying.

Customer research or listening can be seen as vital, it might not be obvious to the public but it is clear that companies are starting to utilize it for their own benefit.

Bernoff, J., Li, C. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by

Social Technologies.   Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Review Press.