Blurring The Lines

06/24/2004

Have you heard about Generation C? Nope, it’s not the next demographic niche but a concept from Trendwatching.com.
C = Consumer Developed Content.
“Instead of asking consumers to watch, to listen, to play, to passively consume, the race is on to get them to create, to produce, and to participate.”

Reminded me of what John Seely Brown talked about several years ago. (By the way JBS' views are innovative and well...brilliant.) Stay with me on this one Diva, like the the first wobble in your new Bruno Magli is worth the walk, this is worth your read. First, consider the Internet as a medium that has both reach and reciprocity.
For example:
-Broadcast technology - tremendous reach but no reciprocity
-Phone calls - limited reach, one on one, but a lot of reciprocity

Now think about the Internet as a medium that allows for both fluid vs. fixed boundaries and one in which consumption and production become blurred. For example, when you bought those new shoes you might have donated your old Pradas to the charity box at the store. Or in a marketing example, a customer may leave behind a recommendation or testimonial.

One of the best examples, of course, would be our friends at amazon.com.
-Began as…a fast way to consume books 24-7…>
-Led to…customers producing recommendations which built a strong online community...>
-Etablished...affiliate programs which created a new concept in sales...>
-Developed...a review and recommendation systems which constructed more communities ……>
-Which led to more customer recommendations and more communities and more content for the website the company (amazon.com) did not produce.
Which blurred the lines between who was creating the "product"....amazon.com or the customer.

Impact On Marketing
-Redefines the concept of the relationship between customer and brand
-Blurs the lines between brand…customer…product..service…brand…customer
-Results are stronger relationships between customer and brand
Of course, corporate blogs are a great strategy!

Trendwatching.com ideas on how to profit from GENERATION C
- Make sure you not only provide consumers with the means to create and distribute content (from USD 999 professional cameras to the free global distribution network that is the internet), but also acknowledge deep human needs for control and for exposure.
-Get your customers involved with the design of your goods and services
-Have your customers deliver input on your processes (perhaps a focus group)
-Allow your customers to customize and personalize your offerings

And above all, never underestimate how much creativity is hidden deep down in all of them!

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Comments

Re: Amazon's personalization success...not really as effective as reports are showing. The gold box, which is supposed to offer visitors a 'deal' on a particular product from one of Amazon's partner stores, is woefully inadequate at identifying customer preference. Now, I like Amazon as much as the next person, but...when I asked C/S why they were offering to sell me a mitre saw from the gold box (I don't even know WHAT a mitre saw is!) I was told the gold box doesn't chart customer preference. It merely offers merchandise from partner stores to keep them happy. This is a clear indication that Amazon is not aware of what I really want...only of what I read.

Posted by: Yvonne DiVita on Jun 29, 2004 10:23:49 AM

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