Social Power debuted today to give consumers a louder voice.
This “interactive resolution platform” is intended to address the everyday issues of consumers. You post an issue or something you would like to see happen — such as “supermarkets should offer all food about to expire at a 50 percent discount,” “Ticketmaster’s absurd service shares should be reduced or eliminated,” or “I want Chipotle to deliver.” You then share these issues on social media to attract support to your cause. When there is enough support, Social Power will use it as leverage to affect change. Members of the staff will set to work to make the resolutions a reality.
“Currently, consumers have little to no voice relative to companies and organizations regarding the products and services they consume,” said founder and president Daniel Gleich said to VentureBeat. “There is no platform for consumers and companies to work together to resolve consumer issues. Social Power serves the interests of both consumers and companies by creating a conversation around these issues and resolving the issues for the benefit of both constituencies.”
Most companies have customer support services, social media sites, and/or third-party “listening platforms” like Radian6 or Tracx. These are more useful for specific, individual issues rather than banding people together. Bascially, Social Power crowdfunds sentiment, rather than money, to show a brand that a request has weight. Gleich said that there is a power imbalance between consumers and organizations, and his goal is to turn the tables on corporate America and give the people a chance to express their needs.
Social Power focuses on consumer issues rather than social-good like Change.org. Change.org operates a powerful petition platform that rallies people together to transform communities and create meaningful change. Social Power’s approach is similar — but it’s more about encouraging Starbucks to make the ice for iced coffees out of coffee.
The plan is to monetize by taking “resolution facilitation fees” and affiliate commissions from companies as well as through sponsored resolutions that companies can use for marketing. However, I am skeptical about whether Social Power can build a large enough following to make brands pay attention and whether using employees to carry out these resolutions will be effective or scaleable.
Social Power is based in New York City. The company is bootstrapped and has seven employees.