By Ray King
As employee-owned leading UK retail business John Lewis approaches its 150th birthday, new research by .wiki has revealed that consumers find the company to be the most collaborative leading brand online in the UK. In fact, findings revealed John Lewis to be more collaborative online than other household names whose businesses revolve around digital propositions, including Google and Apple.
New top level domain, .wiki, which has been launched to facilitate dynamic collaboration on the web and carried out the research in conjunction with YouGov, also highlighted a wider concern among UK and US consumers regarding their opportunity to proactively collaborate with their favourite brands. The results, based on the views of UK 2,455 and 1,220 US respondents, revealed that half of consumers (51 per cent in US and 49 per cent in UK) say they have little to no opportunity to collaborate with their favourite brands over the Internet.
In response to this, .wiki’s new figures also revealed that consumers on both sides of the Atlantic react more favourably to those companies that offer their customers greater opportunity to interact with them online. Around half of consumers in both markets (52 per cent in US, 48 per cent in UK) hold a better perception of brands that allow their customer base to collaborate with them on the Internet.
Beyond John Lewis, UK consumers recognised Google as the second most collaborative brand online, followed by Apple and Marks & Spencer.
It’s great that UK consumers have crowned John Lewis as the most collaborative leading brand in the UK online, a further cause for celebration beyond their birthday. Consumers and businesses alike have long recognised the power and potential that the Internet has to improve the products and services businesses offer, creating a better two-way dialogue between customers and their favourite brands. In reality, this research shows that most consumers feel that the opportunity to collaborate with most companies they love still doesn’t yet exist.
.wiki’s research results also explored what businesses could do better to collaborate with UK and US customers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, consumers would above all like more input into the promotions and offers brands offer, with 36 per cent of UK and 38 per cent of US consumers wanting this. Furthermore, 15 per cent of UK and 22 per cent of US consumers would like to collaborate over the future technologies that their favourite brands offer. Additionally, 14 per cent of UK and 18 per cent of US consumers would like to collaborate over product usage guidance online.
Further to these results, over a quarter (28 per cent) of Americans and Brits said they would contribute to a branded wiki page if they could make a difference to an organization, brand, service or community that they feel passionately about. Celebrating the power of wikis to bring people and businesses together, .wiki is a new domain extension designed to help individuals and businesses create, host and maintain wikis on the Internet.
Setting up an external wiki is one of the most progressive ways to use the technology and a good first step for businesses to mitigate any concern among audiences about lack of consumer collaboration and enables customers to feel they have an input into the destiny of their favourite companies. Our research shows that when customers have an issue with the direction their favourite brands are taking, they lack the ability to offer their input as to how best resolve it. Where the Internet is the greatest knowledge resource ever created, .wiki offers businesses a new innovative crowd-sourcing mechanism to improve business performance based on what their customers want.
.wiki domain names are available exclusively to trademark holders until 5th May. On 26th May, the general public will be able to register .wiki domain names through nearly 200 domain name registrars.
About the author
Ray King is CEO at Top Level Design.
.wiki and TLDesign commissioned YouGov Plc to run the research featured in this release. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,455 adults in UK and 1,220 adults in US. Fieldwork was undertaken between 11th and 14th April 2014. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK and US adults (aged 18+).
.wiki is one of the first examples of the largest ever expansion to Internet identifiers. A new top level domain, or TLD, it is the suffix at the end of a web address, such as .com or .co.uk. It is one of the only platform specific new domains, and its name clearly implies that the website in question will be hosting a wiki. Wikis are well-known collaborative spaces where users can edit and create shared resources in a democratic fashion; the technology is used across small, medium, and Fortune 500 companies and it is the backing technology for the well-known Wikipedia. The .wiki registry already has agreements in place with nearly 200 registrars to retail .wiki domain names, which will be available to the general public on May 26th, and is currently available to trademark holders and motivated buyers. The .wiki TLD is owned by Top Level Design LLC, more can be found at www.nic.wiki and http://tldesign.co/.