by Ana Patricia Carvalho

Today’s news from LinkedIn itself that Brazilian e-commerce grew 81% in April (link at the end) got me thinking about how the increasing digitization of the economy will impact the way we relate to brands and organizations.

The digitalization of social interactions has been around for a while and its impact on the way we relate to each other has been studied by numerous brilliant thinkers such as Zygmunt Bauman in Liquid Modernity.

What I address here is far less audacious and more directed to the recent acceleration of digital transformation in Brazil.

The so-called digital transformation that had been occurring in Brazil, more timidly than in other markets of the world, was turbocharged by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the need threw fears to the ground and reversed previous priorities. Crises have that power. And those who were still considering investing in e-commerce, creating chatbots, or even adopting distance learning and remote work had to run hard not to be left behind.

But what changes is not just about technology. It changes the way we relate, how we bond.

We are designed to live in relationship. We need physical contact, we seek validation in exchanges with others, we share experiences, and we feel trust when we look into each other’s eyes.

Anyone who has ever done an online transaction has probably seen the phrase I am not a robot in some form of verification that there is indeed a person behind the purchase, registration, or other transaction being made.

Beyond security validation, this in fact should always be there for brands and organizations – Brands and organizations are people who relate to people.

Tempting as it may be in times of big data and digital marketing, it would be a mistake to treat your customers, consumers, employees or partners as a set of data to be exploited.

Organizations will increasingly have to find ways to establish more human bonds with customers, employees, and society, where the intention, the purpose, is relevant and clear. People will wonder “After all what do you do for me and the world? ” or even more “What have you done for me and the world in this time of crisis?”

There is no room for tricks.

Recently a well-known fashion brand launched a mascara sale during the pandemic that was quickly perceived by the public as opportunism and had to cancel the campaign.

A text by José Carlos Teixeira Moreira about the Efficient and the Dignified comes to mind (I’m committing the heresy of quoting here some excerpts, it is well worth reading the whole thing) in which he says that the efficient one takes care that everything happens without friction and waste while the dignified one reflects the meaning and significance in the focus of customers and society, promoting the prosperity of the whole. The efficient changes with technology, but the dignifying belongs to the field of memory… or why not say to the field of the human.

#Proposal #Impact #Digital