Need for Speed

Most of the brands are still reluctant to give a voice to their consumers. Not talking about giving them too much power on what the company is proposing, but to understand the simple possibility to make feedbacks to what the brand is saying, proposing or creating. For brands, as much as for people, feedback is the essence of getting better. Both – the act of giving and taking it – is the first step in becoming smarter, more mindful about the connection between our environment and our behavior. This is exactly what the brands desperately need to move on. They have to stick to a certain reality.

The example that Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter are taking in their book ‘Triggers: Changing Behavior Change that Last’ is really interesting because everybody can understand it. The want to consider the importance of the feedbacks that are delivered to the car drivers (we all understand the metaphor with possible brand navigators) receive and how it can affect their aptitude to change. So you’re driving down a country road and a sign is telling you to slow down as you’re approaching a village. The sign is just a warning, not a command to slow down, so you maintain your speed. Even when you get finally to the village, your speed stays the same as you were driving since 2 hours and you don’t think even too much about making any change – I can definitely make a link with brands doing the same old thing because change is always painful and considered sometimes useless, even some warnings coming from the market, the competitors or the consumers might not be taken too seriously. A lot of things can try to solve speeding but nothing was really working until the understanding that feedback is making a huge difference. You all know those radar speed displays that are saying ‘Your speed is…’ equipped with sensor displays. And then, you know that, immediately, you take the information and you adjust your speed to the situation. This is proven.


This system works on a well-known behavioural concept, which is called feedback loop. A feedback loop is built around 4 stages: evidence, relevance, consequence and action. And now you understand why the speed device works so well. The driver gets data about their speed in real time (evidence), the information reaches their attention and they can evaluate their actual understanding of the situation (relevance), they understand what they can risk or being exposed to (consequence) so they change their behaviour (action).

Why the brands should be any different in the way they get information from the consumers? That’s why it’s important for them to get this up-to-date feedback from the real world to adapt their decisions and make the right choice. Unless you’re Ferrari and speed is not really an issue.

Bill Gates


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