What’$ In It For Me?



I was surprised to read the news this week that Subway and Quiznos are in the throws of a lawsuit over slanderous remarks Quiznos solicited from consumers in a UGC video contest. Quiznos claims that it is not liable for the comments consumers make about its competitors. How’s that for dragging your consumer through the mudslinging?

You can read the news for yourself and see where you stand on the issue.

For me, this story raises an interesting thought: Over the course of the next few years, we will see a new generation of consumers grow up in an environment that encourages them to play a key role in the business practices of major brands. More UGC will be given airtime in major ads and used as content that fills hot new networks and drives major m&a deals. We saw the rise of YouTube, driven by the growth and popularity of its UGC and user interaction on the site, result in its aqui$ition by Google. Now, as the Super Bowl nears, we will see more companies like Doritos use consumer generated creative in its spots that push the sale of its products.

As a result, I think we’ll see more consumers grow up asking the question, “What’s in it for me?” They won’t be satisfied with the relatively small prizes they’ve been offered for compensation: 15 minutes of fame, a trip, concert tickets….They’ll look for some kind of meaningful payoff. They might even ask for a cut of the revenue generated by their content.

Imagine what would happen if a new company afforded long tail investment opportunities for its most involved and passionate consumers?


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