csra5

Past Issues

Themes

Strategic Opportunities

E-commerce Tools for Digital Transformation

Join Discussions

I invite your voice in these conversations on other blogs:

Knowledge Economy Products and The Future of Manufacturing

Knowledge Economy Products[UPDATED] Several profound market forces are preparing the ascendancy of Knowledge Economy products, which result from collaboration among designers, artists, engineers, customers and firms. This represents one of the Knowledge Economy’s most exciting-yet-disruptive elements: “products” will cease to be dominated by monolithic factories that mass produce virtually all items that people use and consume. Moreover, people have an inherent joy when they can make things for themselves, their friends and their families—and a dramatic new wave of creativity and innovation is imminent. To help you wrap your mind around Knowledge Economy products, this post will recall what happened to mass media and entertainment industries.

Knowledge Economy products are conceived, designed, prototyped and fabricated in the Social Channel. Best practices in open source, Agile development, design and Web development will unleash continuous innovation at a scale and pace we’ve never seen before. Knowledge and innovation will be free in the Knowledge Economy because all supporting processes will become an order of magnitude faster and cheaper. Firms and brands that do not recognize and respond quickly enough will become irrelevant.

Most brands can […]

Bank Branch Disruption Enables Unusual Opportunity

Branch disruption enables unusual opportunity for bank executives who consider transforming their relationships with clients. More generally, retail banking provides an excellent example of an Industrial Economy industry whose services are facing commoditization and weakening profits due to the waning of the Productized Channel of Value. In 2013, bank branch networks are under intense scrutiny because they are expensive, and client visits have been falling steadily for several years as e-banking and m-banking adoption have accelerated. Astute banks will use branches to transform their client relationships by leveraging the Social Channel. Here’s how they will do it.

[…]

The Social Channel of Value [Executive Summary]

The Social Channel of Value explains our era’s drivers of economic transformation and how leaders can use them to strengthen their careers, organizations and communities. Profound shifts in human beings’ means of production restructure society and business because they alter the amount of “value” human work can create as well as the type of “products” that encapsulate people’s work. Individuals and organizations that notice, observe and understand these shifts early on can improve their relevance and competitiveness. Many of those that do not respond quickly enough go down with the ship.

Since the Social Channel is so important, I have published the Social Channel Trilogy, which is summarized here. Find even more information on the Social Channel home page.

[…]

The Global Social Channel: How to Compete Globally

Social Channel Three: Using the Social Channel to Defend Native Markets and Penetrate Foreign Markets

The global Social Channel will reintroduce “home court advantage” to national brands because those that use social business to compete globally by collaborating with users will have the cultural advantage; “foreign” firms may have better product features for the money, but they will not match home brands’ cultural fluency. Personalized service and attention are culturally specific, and deep cultural fluency directly correlates to intimacy. However, brands can only develop the home court advantage by practicing social business at an advanced level. Most have a long way to go and, meanwhile, they will get hammered when they persist in competing on product features in the Productized Channel of Value.

The blade cuts both ways: the home court advantage will make exporting to emerging markets much more difficult in the years ahead. The Social Channel will raise the bar because users in all markets will increasingly expect brands to relate to them and to solicit their input and advice. Brands will have to invest significantly in developing in-market social business […]

The Social Channel of Value

Social Channel Two: Understanding the Social Channel of Value by Examining Its Precedents

The Social Channel of ValueMeet the Social Channel of Value, the new arena where brands compete for user (customer, client) attention and loyalty. Product features are losing their ability to differentiate because they are copied so easily. Moreover, the Social Channel of Value will transform human decision-making, organizations and institutions because it digitizes sociality, a core human trait, and its power will dwarf the power of the product and the brand. CEOs, CMOs and CPOs have a very rare social business opportunity to harness the Social Channel ahead of competitors and remake their markets. These are strong statements, but bear with me and I think you’ll appreciate why I’ve made them.

The Social Channel is the Knowledge Economy‘s analog to the Industrial Economy’s assembly line, which led to today’s brands and mass-produced products. Where the assembly line made fabrication ten times more efficient, digital social technologies will boost human communication and sociality by an order of magnitude. The “Social Channel of Value” shows how product and service features will lose […]

Building Post-Product Relationships in the Social Channel

Social Channel One: Building Post-Product Relationships with Customers is how to Build Brands

The Social Channel of ValuePioneering brands are building post-product customer relationships in the social channel because they realize that product features are copied easily and serve as weak differentiators, which leads to pervasive commoditization. Moreover, people’s preferences for individualized information dealt mass media a lethal blow, and products firms will have a similar fate. Here’s why products will become extinct and how to guide your brand in building post-product customer relationships and profits.

I have predicted for years that mass customization would be the fate of “products,” and social business is bearing this out in spades, so here I’ll delve into how impersonal “products” will be rejected by customers in 5-15 years. More important, CMOs and brand stewards who appreciate this transformation will enjoy unusual advantage, and smart ones will prepare for it now. Brands that don’t get it will simply perish, and no one will even notice except their producers and vendors. Just think about the local papers and TV stations you have known.

This is Part One of […]

How Nonprofits & NGOs Can Press Their Home Court Advantage in Social Business

I have written often about various facets of social business disruption, which usually causes organizations angst because they have to learn to change how they do things. On a happier note, nonprofits and NGOs, long accustomed to being (relatively) disadvantaged do-gooders grateful for commercial bodies’ largesse, actually have more of an advantage in social business than commercial firms (“brands”).

In this context, government usually lies between nonprofits and brands because it’s not commercially focused (advantage), but it rarely considers individuals in meaningful ways (disadvantage). Here I’ll lay out the rationale for these claims before giving some practical pointers for unlocking social business potential by understanding the social good of your business. Brands and governments, you can learn from this, too.

[…]

Book Review: Monopoly Rules/How to Find, Capture and Control the Most Lucrative Markets in any Business

Situational Monopoly Is a 21st Century Profit Maker—Debunking Strategy Sacred Cows

monopolyrulesSince the 1990s, I have advised clients in many industries on using disruptive technology to change the rules, and one of the themes that has constantly recurred is companies’ decreasing ability to maintain high profits from product businesses. Products are not as profitable as they used to be. In the Industrial Economy, product life cycles were long because communication was infrequent and poor compared to today, which prolonged ignorance and novelty and product life cycles. It took years for fashions to cross the Atlantic, through the 1980s. Now fashions emerge simultaneously no matter where they originate. Today, novelty is consumed with alacrity, erasing differentiation and price premiums.

To reference one statistic, in 2011 two billion people access the Internet, one third of the global population. They have access to infinite amounts of information and relationships. They share information about using products and services to create value in terms of their situations, and other people find them and interact. When people interact, they make each other smarter, fast. They expose product shortcomings […]

Social Business Summit Keynote—Stan Rapp, Engauge

Social Business Engagement Summit Keynote—Stan Rapp, EngaugeSocial Business Engagement Summit Keynote—Stan Rapp, Engauge kicked off the first day of Alterian’s 2010 User Conference, Engaging Times Summit. He picked up David’s theme but drilled down into the history of (mostly direct) marketing to explain how powerful the transformation will be.

We now have the most narcissistic consumer ever, they want total engagement, personal connection. Marketing priorities are all wrong: marketers invest in TV and print for which they get low returns while they underinvest in social media. Mass media is dying. Their leaders don’t understand social media (“one to one to every one”), so they can’t create appropriate strategy. New technologies like iPad, mobile, geolocation need strategy. […]

Enterprise Adoption of Social Business 2010—Three Technologies to Watch

In this second installment of the Midyear Update, I’ll outline three social technologies that are potential game-changers, and give general guidance for what you can do to evaluate their relevance to your business this year. I’ll decipher them and explain why you need to care about how Geosocial applications are transforming retail, how “federated identity” enables customers to log in to Web 2.0 sites with their Google, Facebook or Twitter credentials and how Web 3.0 slipped in the back door while most executives weren’t looking. [update: the third installment gets personal]

[…]