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January 25, 2013


Competition between companies in the “Sustainable” and “Reluctant” relationship quadrants

by Lindsey Fay

We read an article in Brand Management entitled “Ignore the Human Element … This is the Dawn of the Relationship Era”. The article advises companies to form a relationship with its consumers or risk losing out. There is a matrix, referred to as the “Brand Sustainability Map”, which divides relationships up into four relationship quadrants: emotional (upper left), sustainable (upper right), limited (lower left) and reluctant (lower right). The article suggests that those companies located in the “sustainable relationship” quadrant will be the “big winners” now and in the future. It points out that if “I love Apple” is typed into a Google search bar, it will get 3.27 million hits. What about “I hate Exxon”? 2.16 million hits. From my point of view, Apple sits up in the “sustainable relationship” quadrant, while Exxon Mobile is down in the “reluctant  relationship” quadrant.

I found this Bloomberg article interesting because it shows that a company that is not in the “sustainable” quadrant can still be a big winner because of an obvious reason (that the “Human Element” article doesn’t want to admit) — consumer reliance on a product/service that is offered by a company in the “reluctant” quadrant.

1 Comment Post a comment
  1. laf2ku
    Jan 27 2013

    Here’s a follow up to my blog about competition between companies in “reluctant” and “sustainable” relationships with consumers. It explains Apple stock and why it isn’t performing as well as it used to. The authors believe it’s because Apple isn’t offering an earnings-per-share target for the quarter each quarter. Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer even addresses this change by stating that, “Going forward, we plan to provide a range of guidance that reflects our belief of what we are likely to achieve.” Well, it sounds like what Apple is likely to achieve doesn’t involve soaring stock prices.


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