Coming back to the subject of companies need to be both smart and humble to open up to their customers. Dare to have an open discussion and let them have a chance to feedback. Now a big brand has joined the race – the ever so closed Wal-Mart. This is big for a such a giant company, 5,000 stores, 1.2 million workers and annual sales of nearly $400 billion. Ok, so the corporate blog are not new as we know, but this is somewhat different – Check Out (checkoutblog.com) as it is called, is not relying on the traditional “management” level for the stories, it is written by a small staff (experts at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club) of bloggers which is then commented by the consumer – here is the cool part – (largely) unedited. Now this is both gutsy and brilliant. The largest tailer/e-tailer has understood the opportunity.
“Wal-Mart says the Web site helps buyers solicit quick feedback from consumers on the merchandise”
“We are real people, and that gets lost in the to and fro of business”,
“It puts real personality out there in a real conversation.” - Nick Agarwal, a Wal-Mart communications official.
A few quotes form an article from a newtimes.com on the subject (above) and also a outcast from the About section (below)
This is a blog, simply, about a team of experts at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club who have really cool jobs working with gadgets, games, sustainability and more. Even better, these jobs are centered around helping people save money and live better.
Finally, in terms of blogging, we like the advice Robert Scoble gave back in 2003 when he wrote his version of a “Corporate Weblog Manifesto.”
Strongly believe that is will be more and more common as we catch up to full web 2.0 transparency. Now this will open doors and is defiantly a case to run with when convincing… Will benefit both sides as well – Wal-Mart get good feedback on their stock of product and the consumer get valuable reviews/comments while shopping and get the chance to comment. Once this take off this need to be managed in a smart way, lets hope they stay on track with the potential of the information. Now while on that subject, another good example of using customer feedback to you advantage is Circuit City which has a very good integration of review content.
Will now enjoy following this as we go along.