That was the title of the very interesting after dinner speech at the Digital Leadership Dinner given by The Marketing Society on Tuesday evening.
Read a summary here and listen to a snapshot from speaker John Grant, author and co-founder of Ecoinomy here
My own view from a marketing perspective, is that even with many marketing models where we believe that we are moving towards true democracy we are still just painting Benign Dictatorship in a different colour.
The recent example of Subway for example allowing customers to choose between a variety of new sandwiches for the new product launch is limited democracy. They were given a choice from a selection from Subway.
If we are looking to see how widespread democracy through crowd sourcing is, the take a look at over 1000 crowdsorcing and crowdfunding sites listed here .
Of course it depends on how we define democracy. If we believe that all brands should be run by consumers, then quite frankly I'm not sure there is a future in that. But if we believe that democratic barnds are ones that allow consumers a say in new product development including suggesting new products and services ( eg Starbucks) , or allow consumes to openly cast a vote on how good a product or service is ( eg Amazon ) then I'm a believer!