The We First Blog.

Changing the corporate giving game: Charity Miles app

July 5, 2012 Comments

Every month a raft of new apps appear to make your life easier. Fortunately, apps also appear to make the lives of others easier. And Charity Miles stands out for the way it makes giving seamless in one’s life. Here’s how it works.

1. The app allows an active person to choose which one of nine charities it wants to support, ranging from Habitat For Humanity to Feeding America the UN World Food Programme.

2. The athlete sets their iPhone on GPS to allow them to be tracked as they participate in their activity. Walkers and runners get 25 cents a mile, while bikers get 10 cents a mile that will go to their specified charity.

3. When they are done with their activity, they agree to be “sponsored” and their miles will be covered by a sponsor of Charity Miles.

4. A message can then be automated or edited to express to those on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook what the athlete accomplished along with a sponsor message.

This marriage of healthy activity is perfectly suited to employee volunteer programs and  empowers employees to build their brand’s reputation by promoting their own efforts. With giving seamlessly integrated into lifestyle or activity, the potential for scaling contribution is huge, to the benefit of those involved and the lives of those they change.

You can find the app on iTunes here and on Android.


How to use social media in ways no one else imagined

July 2, 2012 Comments

That’s the thing about what’s new or the latest. You think that just by embracing it you’re doing enough to keep up with the market. But sadly, as the half life of social technology shrinks, the need to stand out even within the context of the latest and greatest is increasingly the only way to earn and keep attention on your brand.

That’s why I love this artful use of Pinterest by perennial news-maker, Uniqlo. Somehow they managed to co-opt social media itself to make your participation part of their design aesthetic, rather than the other way round. By doing so they reinforce their compelling brand image as a design thought leader that is unconventional, street-wise, and one step ahead of the latest and greatest social technology.

So before we get transfixed by the unblinking eyes of the latest shiny squirrel, play with it a bit and discover how to say something unique about ourselves. To that end, here’s three questions to ask yourself:

1. How can a social network be re-purposed to communicate your brand purpose, rather than merely serve as a platform as they define it?

2. How can you introduce content or a sensibility that is outside the parameters set by that social network to ensure you stand out?

3. How does your brand claim ownership of a proposition that always puts you ahead of the competition no matter what technology comes along?

Head-scratchers to be sure, but the answers lead to eye-catching solutions for your brand.




Why social media means customer service can make or break your brand

June 24, 2012 Comments

Customer service is often the lesser cousin to self-congratulatory brand marketing, and for a long time customers have simply endured this situation as they were effectively powerless to do anything about it. But no more. Increasing customer frustration is being match by growing pressure on brands to service the customers they have says the newly released 2012 American Express® Global Customer Service Barometer.

Not surprisingly, social media is instrumental in this shift. Consumers are using social media are wielding growing influence, telling more people about their service experiences, good and bad.

Here are some of the key facts from the report that dramatize how customer service can make or break tour brand as a function of what it inspire customers to say about you across their social media channels:

  • Customers say they’d spend 21% more with companies who deliver great service,  compared to 13% on average.
  • More than eight in ten consumers have bailed on a purchase because of a poor service experience compared to 55% overall.
  • On average social media users will tell 42 people about their good experiences, compared to 15 people overall.

When it comes to specific complaints, consumer sentiment is equally declarative. When asked what would most cause consumers to switch brands, the responses were:

    • Rudeness: 33%
    • Passing the buck: 26%
    • Waiting: 10%
    • Constant follow-ups: 10%

As damning as this seems, it also represents a clear description of areas in which your brand can exceed its competitors using social media. In return, customers will use their own channels to champion their positive experiences.

The net takeaway of the Report is that social media is polarizing the impact of customer service in your business. The better your service, the greater the benefits. The worse it is, the more it’s shared. So while it seems self-evident  to say that a company should be committed to genuinely serve its customers (especially since it’s far cheaper to keep a customer than win a new one or convert a critic), social media is reminding us that this is a must if you want to succeed in the social business marketplace.

You can download the full report here.




Good Works! Your practical guide to corporate good initiatives

June 20, 2012 0 Comments

It’s rare to find a book that is equal parts inspiring and practical. Good Works! by Phillip Kotler, David Hessekiel, and Nancy Lee is that rare read that shows you just how much is possible as an individual and a …

Read more

The expanding Social TV landscape and where your brand fits in

June 18, 2012 2 Comments

A few weeks ago I shared an infographic of the social media landscape so that we can all consider our place and future in it. The impact of that inforgraphic is compounded when you consider the explosion of the Social …

Read more

Huge thanks on our one year anniversary

June 14, 2012 0 Comments

At the risk of sounding like an old man, it’s amazing how time flies. It’s a year to the day that We First, the book, came out, and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support …

Read more

Why consumers will trump advertisers (and why Facebook has it right)

June 11, 2012 1 Comments

The recent Facebook/GM arm wrestle just prior to the Facebook IPO raised an important issue as to whether Facebook should reformat its advertising to suit marketers or continue to let users drive its advertising. I believe Facebook has it right …

Read more

The key to transformative customer service

June 6, 2012 0 Comments

It is fitting that perhaps the most distilled articulation of the key to successful customer service should come from Mahatma Gandhi himself, as an extension of the life of service (in a larger sense) that he led. There is little …

Read more


Recent Tweets

About Simon

About Simon Mainwaring

Simon Mainwaring is the founder of We First, a leading brand consultancy that provides purpose-driven strategy, content, and training that empowers companies to lead business, shape culture, and better our world.