It’s 2013 – the wheels are in motion, the train is gaining steam – and reality is starting to set in for those in the world of business. Welcome to The New 20%.

What is The New 20%?

They are the brands that will be meaningful enough to exist tomorrow. Despite the fact that most execs and entrepreneurs believe their companies are at the top of the charts, the reality is that the public wouldn’t care if 70% of today’s brands ceased to exist tomorrow.

According to a recent study by Havas Media, consumers only care about the existence of < 20% of the brands, as the majority fail to bring anything real and meaningful to them.

For some, this may come as a bit of a shock. You certainly wouldn’t garner this type of sentiment by scouring the Linked-IN profiles of the hordes of self-proclaimed entrepreneurs and businessmen out there. Nor would you be able to tell by flicking on the business channels and watching CEOs gloat about quarterly profits in times of such turmoil. From an outsider’s view, it seems that many businesses are back on track following the 2008 crisis.

And yet, the people – the ones who buy the product, support the companies and sustain the economy – could care less if 70% of companies cease to exist.

And why not. 70% + of what’s out there is missing the mark – badly.

How come?

Because businesses are not listening ; they are out of touch.

The majority of companies continue to remain myopically focused on profitability – at the expense of basically all other factors.

But times are changing and the pushback has begun.

In their mission to find something more meaningful and build a deeper connection with brands, consumers are beginning to search out new alternatives and build communities around those companies they care about most.

A new agile crop of customer-centric companies are blossoming up through the cracks and weaving their customers’ expectations and conversations into the very fabric that the brand is made of, rather than dictating how they ‘should be’ perceived.

“Brands must foster interconnectedness and collaboration, it must show that their activity is interconnected with those who invest their time in the brand” (paraphrased from video).

Ultimately, the only way to achieve this is by building trust. To build trust in today’s world, you need to be a legit company whose interests are aligned with those of society and be willing to engage with consumers at all levels to develop a dialogue that goes beyond simple pleasantries.

The New 20% are driving the dialogue, the other 80% are on the edge of a cliff.

What is your business doing to stay on right side of the divide?


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