The Business of Thank You

I said in the last Blog post that 96% of the fortune 500 companies lost market share last year. The last time that happened was in the 40s and 50s as a new form of marketing began to take hold. Television. Some companies adapted and some went extinct but for the last 70 years we have basically had the same marketing atmosphere and change is going to be really hard for most businesses.

What we are witnessing is the largest shift in the way information is transferred since the invention of the printing press. I feel sure there were people then that fretted about the “fake news” that virtually anyone could mass produce. Research American history around the time of the Revolution. Lot’s of misinformation was disseminated to the public. I also imagine there were people who were upset that there kids were in there room reading rather than talking to the rest of the family. I just bet that some parent somewhere lamented the good ole days when there were only a few books and kids went outside to play.

The more things change the more they stay the same. Marketing is much more finite than we might believe. The truth is that most people want to do business with someone they know or at the least feel like they know. Coca-Cola is familiar. It seems American. We love it. It has it’s own identity.

Your Grandfather built his butcher shop or shoe store by building relationships. He was on the Church Board, or the Lion’s Club. He went to the football games even if he didn’t have a son playing. He was visible. Mostly, he did things for the community before they did business with him. He built value first. That is what we must do.

Social Media gives you the same thing but on a larger scale. It gives your business the chance to have a personality, to participate, to add value. What we really have become is a thank you economy, read the book The Thank You Economy by Gary Vanerchuck.

This is nothing new. We just forgot how to be neighbors. That market share that the fortune 500 lost last year did not just evaporate. It largely went to mom and pop style retailers all over the world.

You can’t help but notice these new innovative businesses like Warby Parker. Warby Parker sells prescription eye-wear online for only $100 a pair and they also give glasses to a person in poverty for every pair you buy. It seems so many new businesses now have a socially conscience element to what they do.

The world hasn’t really changed. It has come full circle. Marketing isn’t going to be easy anymore. No more buying up time on TV and selling like clockwork. It will mean building a relationship like your Granddad did. To me, that seems like a good thing.


Stafford Shurden is a marketing and business coach and has been in business for himself for 20 years. He also owns 1933 Restaurant, Shurden Farms, and Stafford Media. You can email Stafford at 


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