The Importance of Soft Power

Posted by Flux on 

1 January 2013


The term “Soft Power” was coined by American foreign policy expert, Josef Nye, two decades ago but has remained as a term used mostly by foreign ministries and diplomats. In diplomatic terms, countries are traditionally measured by their hard power – their economic or military might. But all foreign ministers know that what really binds international relations, is soft power: the intangibles that fall outside the job, but make the job easier.

A country’s soft power could be anything from their internationally recognised cuisine (Italy), its design aesthetic (Sweden), or just one of it’s cities, like Paris is known for fashion or simply as the city of love. America has Hollywood as well as the Big Apple, and London will get its boost of soft power as it hosts the Olympics this year. Johannesburg thrives on hard power, but Cape Town leverages her soft power more effectively.

But recently, the term soft power has taken on more relevance in the business world. The global financial crisis of 2008 proved to be a turning point in consumer mindset, and the protracted economic downturn we still find ourselves in, has ensured that civil movements like the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street have created a seismic shift in social dynamics and consumer relations.

Transparency, empathy, trust, loyalty, service, value for money and care & concern for one’s community are just some of the boxes that consumers now tick before pegging their loyalty to a brand. At the same time retailers and brands realise that customer satisfaction is no longer enough; customer loyalty is the only currency that matters – and soft power holds the key.

This presentation covers the following areas:

  • Why hard power is a diminished currency
  • The rise of the techno warriors, their curated networks and why they matter
  • Public brand sentiment: how it’s won and how it’s lost
  • Selling solutions, not pushing your product
  • How your future workforce and your future customers reacts to soft power

This trend presentation is a must for any company that operates at the frontline of consumer engagement and understands the radical power shift taking place in customer relations. The presentation will provide insights into how companies are leveraging their new-found soft power and increasing customer retention in a world of “brand sluts”.

So, ask yourself, what’s your company’s soft power?

Looking at Trends as a Business Strategy.

If you are interested in booking this presentation for your team or clients please contact Bethea Clayton on or +27764539405

Images credit: Gallo Images/ Getty Images

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