Can't Buy Me Like

Author: Bob Garfield

Today's brands face an apparent choice between two evils: continue betting on their increasingly ineffective advertising or put blind faith in the supposedly mystical power of social media, where "likes" stand in for transactions and a mass audience is maddeningly elusive. There has to be a better way...

Maybe money can't buy you love. But in today's world, where people have become desensi­tized by ad campaigns and marketing slogans, money can't even buy you like.

That's because we've entered the Relationship Era, where the only path for businesses seeking long-term success is to create authentic customer relationships. Not through hip social media promo­tions, viral videos or blizzards of micro-targeted online ads.

So where do authentic customer relationships come from? Honesty. Transparency. Shared values. A purpose beyond profit. Sure you still need a high-quality product or service, but now that people can easily find everything that's ever been said about your brand, you can't manipu­late, persuade, flatter or entertain them into loyalty. You have to treat them like human beings.

Blending powerful new research, fascinating exam­ples and practical advice, Garfield and Levy show how any company can thrive in the Relationship Era.