Consumers are so much more than individuals who purchase a product or a service. They are much more than a source of money. And they are starting to realise that.
Initiatives like social media and crowd-sourcing are educating consumers, transforming them into investors. If a consumer likes a product or a new concept, they can assist in its success through patronage, marketing and even funding. If consumers decide they dislike something, they can do much more damage than walk away; they can take their case to a jury of millions. Proprietors may own the business, but consumers own its success.
Yet so many businesses still see the consumer as someone who walks through the door, buys a product and leaves. This isn’t about good customer service; this is about seeing lost value, daily. This is about seeing the consumer as a stakeholder.
Consumer stakeholders want the business to succeed; they recognise that if the business loses, they lose. Consumer stakeholders want to share in cohesive, symbiotic growth.