The Future of Capitalism is…

capitalism - funding every other -ism since 4000BC

My credit card company have just doubled my credit limit. They are trying to tempt me to spend so much that I cannot pay it all off. Then they will begin to make some money from me. Instead of fronting me money at no cost to me but significant cost to the kind of customer they are trying to turn me into.

The imbecility of this business model is breathtaking but that’s not my point.

Just prior to my credit limit being raised, the bank hit me with a 35 quid fine for going slightly over my credit limit.

They can send me junk mail I do not want but they cannot send me a text message to warn me that I am close to my limit. This is the same company that stops my card because there’s a transaction that they don’t like the look of and they don’t tell me they have done this.

“Why not?” I ask.

“We just don’t.” they say.

Just as well I wasn’t 300 miles from home and needing to buy petrol. OMG…I WAS 300 MILES FROM HOME AND NEEDING TO BUY PETROL!

Fortunately for me I show this company the loyalty they deserve by having a wallet full of their competitors’ credit cards. This allows me to pay for the petrol and avoid an unpleasant discussion with the petrol attendant along the lines of “look matey I really do have a job and some money it’s just that my credit card company put themselves first eight days a week I’ll send you the money as soon as I get home what do you mean it’s company policy not to allow a non-payer to leave with his car (true) I’ve got two kids with me HOW DO I GET HOME…”

My credit card company do not connect with me in any way that I want. They take action designed to pump money out of me without giving me any additional value and they avoid taking actions that would delight me and make me more likely to be loyal.  

I cannot tell you their name but it begins with an “S” and ends with “antander”. But they are typical of their sector.

In their book Spend Shift, John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio, with access to Young & Rubicam’s massive database of consumer and brand behaviour which they have been compiling for decades, have identified what they believe to be the biggest ever shift in buyer behaviour.

They say the future of capitalism is the delivery of value and values.

Value AND values…

I get a little bit of value from my credit card company and I get a slap in the face from their values. It’s the slap in the face I remember.

Value and values…this dovetails into some scribbling from author Simon Sinek who says that “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do what you do and they buy what you believe in.”

And it’s when you can articulate why you do what you do and what you believe in, that you connect with those who get it. And this connection makes you part of their world, their community, what Seth Godin would call their tribe.

And when your tribe accepts your value and sees your values as a reflection of their own you will have a sustainable business. No sales skills required. No handling objections needed. No running closing routines on people. That’s called manipulation.  

And I see this every day in my own business. I bang on about personal productivity and mindset and those that understand the values and share the beliefs get the value I have to give.

Those that don’t – they cannot be turned. And it’s futile to try.

So it’s worth asking yourself –

  • Why do I do what I do?
  • What do I believe in?

And get it on your homepage. Front and centre. I am preaching something I haven’t done yet. But I will. And soon.

Then your tribe will recognise you as one of them. And your customer will give you their quid because they see you as being the most closely aligned to their values and beliefs.

This is the future of capitalism and it’s a good thing too.

4 Responses to The Future of Capitalism is…

  1. Robert Sloss September 17, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    The future of capitalism in the case of the banks looks remarkably like the past. I see it a bit more simplistically in that it is a return to viewing me as a customer and not a sales target.

    As a customer they ask ME what I want from them and design their offer around that, as a sales target they decide on the offer and push it at me. This second sales target model started about 25 years ago and reached its zenith with sub prime mortgages (or no proof mortgages in the naughties). The other model was practiced before then.

    • Mark Nugent September 17, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

      I think a major difficulty the retail banks have is that they are addicted to the “free banking” model, or, as it is more properly known, the “let’s give a valuable service free-of-charge to those of our customers who can afford to pay for it requiring us to fleece those of our customers who are less fortunate” model. This leads the banks to be undervalued by the minority and despised by the majority. Total idiocy.

  2. clare September 17, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    Have you ever tried to invoke your right to align your values? I have recently tried to change banks to one who more adequately represents me …. I have given up after many hurdles. Its designed that way …. I am inspired to go back and try again.

    • Mark Nugent September 17, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

      Hi Clare – I have changed banks once – total nightmare. However cutting a credit card in half and posting it back to them is actually quite fun!

Leave a Reply