The Marketing Power of “We”

We have a new president. Regardless of how any of us voted, the 2008 election heralded the advent of a new, though decades old, style of marketing.

It’s not the power of the self-centered I.

It’s not the authoritarian talkdown of You.

It’s the power of community found in We. And we haven’t heard it much since World War II.

The generation assuming control lives by We and isn’t impressed by narcissistic business-speak. The B.S. detectors run hot and heavy in acolytes of We. If corporate ethics scandals, unchecked consumerism, and the bogeyman-making mythos of the anticapitalists of the last decade have taught the upcoming generation anything, it’s “Don’t drink the Kool-Aid.”

Audiences for the message don’t want to hear I. Nor do they want corporations to lord their products and services over them, so forget You.

We are the generation….”

We are the ones we have been waiting for.”

“Change we can believe in.”

Does your company understand the power of We ?

In the community of We, no space exists for messages like “Our company is there for you.” Saying means nothing; doing means the world. Companies can’t impress clients with cheap talk. What works is to deliver so that clients speak the message themselves: “They were there for us.”

The world of We also eliminates skeletons in the closet. Transparency rules. Any message that reads like a snowjob will melt under the critical examination of the new generation. Putting the downside—the portion of the product or service most likely to set off the B.S. detector—in the spotlight appeals to We, especially when the weakness itself can disarm objections.

For many, We is a strange, new world. Does your company know how to speak its language?

We do.