Wired guanxi: The way we will all soon live

Melanie Howard
Future Foundation

Smart online brands realise that click-and-go needs to be replaced with a more humanised online experience.

One of globalisation's great glories is the opening of Western thought to newly revealed histories and fresh intellectual influences – an ever larger bazaar of competitive ideas.

This is as true for the way we do politics as it can be for the way we run markets. Consider how the theory of soft power – a notion conceived in the academic world of geopolitical analysis – has spread from international relations and into marketing praxis. This is the idea that whatever cold, hard power you objectively hold, you will make greater profit (however defined) if you frontload into your relationships all that makes you attractive, all your human hinterland, all your nice stuff. Wanting to open investment opportunities in South America? Do not send a trade delegation. Send One Direction instead. I trivialise and paraphrase but you get the idea.