How connecting with the groundswell transform your company?

Looking for an answer? You got it!!!


So far we learned that one of the benefits of engaging in groundswell is that the organization becomes very well connected with their customers which enables them to stay in touch with their demands. In order to achieve this transformation there are three critical elements:

  1. Step by step: one should realize that such a shift requires time and practice. As well as, building a repertoire of shared success. Doing thing slowly will give employees a chance to modify their concept of how things should be done.
  2. Plan and vision: creating a clear vision of where you want the company to be results in strong foundation to start from. The, the company could start moving to next level of groundswell thinking.
  3. Executive support: for your efforts to be seen and considered in the organization, you should have a strategy of selling someone in the upper management on groundswell thinking.

At this point, it may sound easy to you to lock in the customers at the center of your organization. But let me prove you wrong with the following real life examples!


Unilever (Dove): to let go of controlling the brand message and wining over the groundswell, Dove climbed the steps one by one. First, they took a big risk of changing the message and the way they delivered it to consumers. After doing research on the new message, they chose traditional channels like TV and outdoor ads to advertise it. Next step was to work with NBC reality television show “The Apprentice” where teams created ads for a new Dove product. As a result, the product generated strong sales. Stepping forward, Dove created a set of Web- based videos to lunch a new product line. Full-fledged television, print, and online portal campaigns were used to raise awareness of the company’s website. The next step was to build executive support. This was done by the media director of all Unilever brands who provided the executive support to spread ideas of innovative ways to integrate digital technologies into media plans.

That was a successful story of connecting to groundswell, however, it’s not all about successful stories. In many cases, companies fail to realize that even if they have a clear vision of what the company needs to do, getting the company to embrace the groundswell does not happen with a day.

Other companies had to go through hell as they were transforming the groundswell thinking!

Dell: it took Dell a crisis or two to get the process started. It wasn’t an easy one!! The key strategy that saved Dell was the fact that they mastered one thing at a time, starting with listening.  They went from listening to blog, to solving bloggers’ issues, to blogging themselves, to IdeaStorm and that’s how they saved themselves. Of course, they would have not done it without obtaining the executive push and cover. Top level gave the support needed to break down departmental silos and change processes to get things done. Last but not least, Dell had to admit its flaws to achieve their vision. In other words, the blog started getting value only when Dell started to deal with their issues such as the flaming notebook.

Tip of the day:

If you are planning to take your company to next level of using groundswell, there are 5 tips you should keep in mind:



Google (n.d). Social connection. [Image]. Retrieved from

Google (n.d). Social power. [Image]. Retrieved from

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. massachusetts, boston, united states of america: forrester research, inc


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