The new trendbriefing is all about the tyranny of transparency:

„Old economy fog is clearing: no longer can incompetence, below-par performance, ignored global standards, anti-social & anti-eco behavior, or opaque pricing be obscured. In its place has come a transparent, fully informed marketplace, where producers have no excuse left to underperform. TRANSPARENCY TYRANNY for some, TRANSPARENCY TRIUMPH for others.“

Opinion portals, blogs, review sites, forums, video sites, etc. etc. The modern consumer has every means to publish his or her opinion about everything – and every consumer can also find opinions on everything. And it’s only going to get worse over time, says that report. The amount might, as they write, outnumber the fake reviews written by the brands themselves leading to greater „honesty“ and „trust“.

But it also means that users will need ever better and more intelligent filters to find anything useful – especially something useful for THEM. Since the reviews might be written by users with a completely different taste for things. Other fields of danger are company internal things being spread, of course.
Yet, I don’t feel sorry for these companies. If they have things to hide, then it’s a threat for them.

At the same time, it is a huge chance for companies. Of course, people will also spread good news, so there will be a lot more word of mouth going around.

But the main factor is in the fields of market research: It has become so easy and inexpensive to find out, what consumers are really thinking about products and services! The more diverse the landscape of reviews, videos, soundbites or photos, the better results of an „online conversation research“ can get. I recommend to everyone to go „egosurfing“ – either for your own name, or for your company, your brand.

So don’t try to solve the problem of transparency, grab the opportunity of endless free consumer insights!