Well, folks, on the magic date of 6/6/06, an article in the Wall Street Journal was published about how Tesco PLC, Britain’s largest retailer has signed up 12 million people to participate in their clubcard membership. But that’s not amazing. The amazing part of this deal (and the devil didn’t have a hand in this) was that smart consumers began to see the value in providing a little personal information in exchange for discounts and personalized offers from the retailer Tesco. We’re not talking about consumers giving out their social security or credit card information in exchange for a $1 off coupon on a magazine subscription; we’re talking your average demographics – age, gender and income. Tesco asked for this information to enable them to better connect with their customers and make for a better shopping experience. Because Tesco took that leap of faith and truly began to connect with their customers, Tesco’s market share in groceries has grown to almost 31%!! That’s nearly double the share of their closest competitor, Wal-Mart’s Asda chain.
MySpace and Facebook are two huge social networking sites (in April, they were the 5th and 76th most visited websites respectively), in which when you are registering they ask that you provide some personal information. They do this in order for you to meet up with new friends that share the same interests, hobbies, schools, gaming, foods, movies, entertainment and everything else under the sun. As Tesco, MySpace and Facebook have demonstrated, sharing information is a matter of personal choice. If there is personal value and trust in a product, then people will share information in order to get something in return – they will "give to receive." Because of the strides that these companies have made in keeping their consumers engaged and involved, we can truly say that these Giants will continue to crush their competitors and leave a smile on their customer’s faces.