Don’t you find that you like web sites that talk directly to you, that gradually build a relationship with you? Chances are you trust such web sites more as well. It’s the same in shops. Retailers that create a relationship with you, rather than just treat you as some transporter of cash for them are more likely to get your attention and respect. A shop that doesn’t care of you is a shop you don’t really care for. If you’re an employer it’s similar for your staff; if you create good, positive relationships with staff, you tend to get better performance and productivity levels. So, it was good to see in Revolution magazine recently that Nigel Marwick from Wolff Olins was saying similar things. Indeed he said, “an electronic interface may never be human, but it can still feel like a brand that cares about what it’s customers want. Whether the boundary between firms and consumers is electronic or human, surely it’s going to be the firms that manage to create real, not artificial, relationships with their customers who will be successful long-term.” Absolutely.