Since the global financial crisis, smaller companies that connect locally with customers — providing more personalized service and demonstrating values that resonate within their local communities — are now more esteemed, more readily trusted than the old-style giants.
If you grew up as I did in the ’60s and ’70s, your view of the world was populated with big companies that held an extremely prominent place in society and in your life. They were your family’s employers, the backbone of the economy, the makers of the products you trusted. From the Ford Motor Company to Kraft Foods, from ITT to U.S. Steel, these companies were deeply respected.
They were also impersonal, monolithic and made their decisions opaquely. Their brand personalities were very similar: sober, trustworthy, male-dominated, responsible and rich. They were substantial, serious men in three-piece suits. Even as recently as a decade ago, the large companies — like Google — were the most highly respected in the United States, with scale translating directly into trust and esteem. But, when I try to imagine their style working today, I just can’t see it.
To sum up, the bigger you are, the less trusted you are, and companies that have the best reputations are smaller, or they have found a way to connect more personally — or “act small.” It’s in embracing this change of relationship that modern companies are reorganizing themselves, not only to better embody corporate values, but to create more value for the customer, the marketplace and society.
Read more at San Francisco Chronicle.