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It’s a very fine line: companies can attract their customers by personally engaging with them – but when they go too far, they trespass this thin line, and it can backfire, since consumers perceive this as threatening. We still live in a ‘digital wild west’ world, and companies are finding this out the hard way. 
The industry will take responsibility to establish and drive a set of commonly agreed principles to raise and maintain the level of trust with consumers. The goal is to have consumers view the industry as a responsible user and steward of consumer data and insights – thus forming the common foundation from which the digitally enabled value exchange can be optimized by individual companies. This should protect its ability to create mutual value in digital consumer engagement.
How can this be realised? 
  • By broad and collective action, leveraging an ecosystem of governmental bodies, industry bodies, companies (retailer and manufacturers) and consumers. 
  • By establishing easy-to-implement, non-competitive guidelines. 
  • By common agreements on data protection and disposition and by putting focus on factors like simplicity, consumer centricity, consistency and continuous consumer relevance and value.
The Consumer Goods Forum, supported by Capgemini, has launched the “Consumer Engagement Principles” initiative, which has been approved by the Board of The Forum, to address these issues.
The publicly available ‘Consumer Engagement Principles’ outline-report addresses how the industry can work together to create a set of “Consumer Engagement Principles” – or guidelines – to help businesses navigate the ever complex and evolving data landscape and how industry collaboration can help restore consumer trust.
This initiative is calling for more influencers and industry players to take part of this ecosystem. If you are interested, please contact me at or Ruediger Hagedorn at The Forum on

Kees Jacobs
Digital Proposition Lead
Capgemini Digital Customer Experience