[Rubbermaid's Jim Deitzel, a lethally generous guy]
A few days ago, I asked for feedback on my next book. Should it be about Braided Journalism or Lethal Generosity, two concepts that I discuss in Twitterville? The response was not huge, but it was overwhelmingly in favor of Lethal Generosity.
Far be it for me to go against the wisdom of my own crowd. While I do not need to make any decision in this area for several months, I am going to start thinking through this subject and most important, I need to find examples--lots and lots of examples, from viewers like you of Lethal Generosity.
Let me explain; Lethal Generosity is the business strategy of doing as much good for your customer as possible, thereby screwing your competitor who has to either follow your lead or ignore programs that serve them.
I mentioned three such examples in Twitterville:
- When Jeremiah Owyang was at Hitachi Data Systems, he started the Data Storage wiki for all members of the data storage community. The purpose was to openly share ideas, information and recommendations that would be helpful to customers. Jeremiah invited competitors to join in because that best served customer interests. If a competitor joined, then they were following the HDS lead. If they stayed out of wiki participation then they were turning their backs on a conversation dominated by and serving existing and potential customers. Universally, the wiki became known as the Hitachi wiki and Hitachi became the perceived thought leader.
- Rubbermaid, Jim Deitzel just joined Twitter at first to point to other social media content they were producing, but soon discovered that there were numerous professional organizers hanging out on Twitter as well. These were the rare folk who had passion about Rubbermaid's bins, racks, dividers and dish strainers. So he began using Twitter as a way to help these people form a Global Neighborhood on Twitter. He played a key role in organizing it into a community where it shared information. Further, he arranged for Rubbermaid to give these organizers product discounts for which they had not previously been eligible. Now if a competitor wants to join in they will have to join a community that is being de facto led by Rubbermaid. Or they can continue to keep out of the conversation.
- When Molson Canada, learned that the Toronto Transit Authority was short $85,000 it needed to have public transit run all night on New Year's Eve 2009, Fergus Devins kicked in $20,000 and called upon the Toronto business community to kick in to save the program and support "responsible drinking." He specifically called upon arch-rival Labatts to follow the Molson's lead. If Labatts failed to follow would it be supporting "irresponsible drinking?" Labatts joined the Molson lead. Toronto citizens obviously benefited. But so did Molson.
That's it. That's my entire repertoire of Lethal Generosity case studies, and I I used all three in my last book. So n I need about 100 new ones. The three elements I'm looking for:
1. A company must demonstrate an action that directly and indisputably benefits the community;
2. The action preempts a competitor in a way that goes to reputation;
3. Social media is involved [preferred but not required].
Do you have a story for me? I am going to do the next book pretty much the way I did Twitterville. I will ask the social media community for ideas, case studies. I will post notes of many of them on this blog and I will acknowledge anyone who contributes in the next book.
I also would appreciate any and all thoughts about Lethal Generosity. Share with me here or in Twitterville.