I Like the iPhone, therefore I like Apple, therefore I am less likely to think AT&T sucks. That is my more or less conscious thought process on the whole likeability concept. If your company has built a good reputation, that has transfered onto your brand and your customers will be more accommodating with you -- they will cut you some slack. So much work has been done to humanize brands, we should not be surprised at all if a well liked brand also has a stronger conversational index with customers.
This is behavior unbecoming of a CEO no matter the size of the company. This foolishness makes me want to question Mackey's character and judgment. Even when he was outed, Mackey didn't think his actions were wrong. Instead of admitting he made a mistake, Mackey defended his kinky business behavior by saying the FTC is out to embarrass him and that he got his jollies from debating all things Whole Foods-related on the message board.
And yet, people in the blogosphere also cut him some considerable slack. You can see it even in a couple of comments to John's post. Why? Because he had a blog, he was involved, he talked with people like a regular person. It's kind of ironic to read his last post before the outing -- on the social responsibility of business and specifically on putting customers ahead of investors.
No, I'm not saying that having a blog or engaging in social media is an excuse for engaging in rogue behavior. What I'm saying is that when your brand has a better reputation, your customers are more keen on being positive and constructive with you. Yes reputation is also coming from better products and service experiences, it can also be aspirational from the brand message.
This is the topic of today's post at Fast Company expert blogs, my post number 52, one year of blogging at the online magazine once a week. If your brand has a good reputation, your customers are more likely to want to have a conversation with you. The conversational index is reputation-driven. That is also true for blogs.