More from that Tom Peters interview with David B. Wolfe…

Check this exchange. Peters says…

But I think somewhat related to this, in the end, brands only survive through collaboration between companies and customers.

DW: Yes.

Can you talk about what that means?

DW: Sure. That is why Starbucks was able to become the international giant that it became with almost no advertising. Because of the customers and the company collaborating in building the brand and giving it meaning.

How? In what way did we Starbucks customers � I go there every day, more than once a day � collaborate?

DW: By your responses. Starbucks never did any conventional research. They didn’t do focus groups, they didn’t do quantitative surveys. Which is quite similar to the way Nike developed. Phil Knight hates research. But he, and later his people, went around to athletic meets and they just sort of breathed the air the customers were breathing. And Howard Schultz, Starbucks, did the same thing. So it wasn’t that the consumers and Schultz’s people sat down around a table and planned; it’s that Schultz put himself and his people in proximity with the consumers and observed them, and followed their lead.

Maybe, just maybe, instead of trying to “out-market” the marketers, we need to go where the people are, breathe the air they breathe, and invest our lives in helping them become what God intended for them to be.