"I thought of that concept years ago."
"What they really should do is... "
"Why can't they just... "
"If I were them I would have... "
All of the above statements or postulations I have been guilty of sharing. The challenge with sharing an opinion in a forum like social media is that we the audience rarely have meaningful perspective or investment beyond that of a typical consumer. We do not know their financials. We don't know their forecasts. We don't know their strategic focus. We don't know their operational challenges. We don't know their staffing considerations. We aren't as invested in their business and we certainly aren't as invested in their bottom line.
And when it comes to concepting and product development, thinking of it first doesn't get you a trophy unless you had the focus, drive and commitment to bring it to market first and better. You can't call shotgun on innovation.
We as a community must learn to self-police destructive or overly speculative conversations. And brands as businesses must learn how to listen and participate without handing over their business to the least informed and least invested.
Over the past couple of years we have seen a number of brands struggle with how to balance their community feedback with their marketing directives - rebranding, product transitions, repackaging etc. It's never easy to hear your most vocal customers blast your transition. But as nearly every Facebook redesign has shown, when you do the right thing, people will come around.
Here's to the conversation.