Professor Stephen Brown casts a slightly more realistic eye on my apparent theme of the week:
"Don't get me wrong - I have nothing against customers. Some of my best friends are customers. Customers are a good thing, by and large, provided they're kept well downwind. Look, clearly companies can't survive without customers. The issue is how best to attract them.
The traditional marketing approach advocates servility, pandering, abasement, oily obsequiousness and what have you. We're creeps, basically. We peddle an unattractive mix of pseudo-empathy, pretend intimacy and fake friendship. I suspect most customers yearn for the days when purchasing a bar of soap didn't mean entering into a lifetime value relationship.
... The crucial change that many managers and hug-the-customer gurus have yet to grasp is that contemporary consumers are marketing savvy. They are wise to the wiles of marketers. They know the customer is king. They are fluent in Brandsperanto. I call them Generation �."
From the Austrialian Financial Review (sub. req.)