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The End of Business as Usual Rewire the Way You Work to Succeed in the Consumer Revolution - GetAbstract

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The End of Business as Usual by Brian Solis is available on GetAbstract for those who need the key takeaways but don't have the time to read the entire book.

Takeaways:
The digital revolution is radically transformative for businesses. These changes are not just technological. They directly affect consumer behavior. Companies that cannot adapt to these changes face obsolescence. Businesses used to define their brands. Today, “connected consumers” define them. Companies must connect with consumers on a personal basis. They must treat consumers as valued partners, not just as sales targets.
To build relationships and win sales, companies need to create satisfying experiences for their connected consumers. The way people connect online activates distribution chains that rival any broadcast network. To earn the trust of connected customers, businesses must engage them online in a positive way. You must appeal to customers’ emotions. Through such engagement, businesses stay relevant and build a robust future.

What You Will Learn
1) What strategies will help you exploit the nature, extent and impact of the digital revolution; 2) What influence “connected consumers” wield; and 3) How organizations can engage them effectively.

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The End of Business as Usual Rewire the Way You Work to Succeed in the Consumer Revolution - GetAbstract

  1. 1. To purchase personal subscriptions or corporate solutions, visit our website at www.getAbstract.com, send an email to info@getabstract.com, or call us at our US office (1-877-778-6627) or at our Swiss office (+41-41-367-5151). getAbstract is an Internet-based knowledge rating service and publisher of book abstracts. getAbstract maintains complete editorial responsibility for all parts of this abstract. getAbstract acknowledges the copyrights of authors and publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this abstract may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, photocopying or otherwise – without prior written permission of getAbstract Ltd. (Switzerland). 1 of 5 The End of Business as Usual Rewire the Way You Work to Succeed in the Consumer Revolution Brian Solis Wiley © 2011 320 pages [@]   Rating 8 Applicability 7 Innovation 8 Style 8   Focus Leadership & Management Strategy Sales & Marketing Finance Human Resources IT, Production & Logistics Career & Self-Development Small Business Economics & Politics Industries Global Business Concepts & Trends Take-Aways • The digital revolution is radically transformative for businesses. • These changes are not just technological. They directly affect consumer behavior. • Companies that cannot adapt to these changes face obsolescence. • Businesses used to define their brands. Today, “connected consumers” define them. • Companies must connect with consumers on a personal basis. They must treat consumers as valued partners, not just as sales targets. • To build relationships and win sales, companies need to create satisfying experiences for their connected consumers. • The way people connect online activates distribution chains that rival any broadcast network. • To earn the trust of connected customers, businesses must engage them online in a positive way. • You must appeal to customers’ emotions. • Through such engagement, businesses stay relevant and build a robust future.
  2. 2. The End of Business as Usual                                                                                                                                                        getAbstract © 2017 2 of 5 getabstract Relevancegetabstract getabstract What You Will Learn In this summary, you will learn:r1) What strategies will help you exploit the nature, extent and impact of the digital revolution; 2) What influence “connected consumers” wield; and 3) How organizations can engage them effectively. getabstract Review Before the Internet and social media, consumers who didn’t like a store told a few friends, sent an angry letter or just never bought there again. Businesses had the power. Today, unhappy shoppers complain on social media and potentially can do great harm. Companies must wake up to the power of connected consumers. One top US airline describes itself as “customer-centric,” but a word cloud depicting its customers’ online conversations in a graphic shows the most popular terms include: “worst, fail, hate, delay, waiting, awful, cancelled and nightmare.” That can be ruinous. Companies must engage proactively with their online audiences, and their audience’s audiences, to protect their reputations. Best-selling author, digital analyst and futurist Brian Solis explains how. His comprehensive report helps new and veteran corporate leaders understand the digital revolution, and suggests tactics for exploiting this radical transformation. getAbstract recommends Solis’s far-reaching overview to executives and entrepreneurs looking to leverage social media and the web. getabstract getabstract Summarygetabstract getabstract getabstract “News no longer breaks, it tweets – demonstrating the efficiency, momentum and influence of the human network.” getabstract getabstract “The medium is no longer just the message. Now, the medium is the platform, and people now represent both the medium and the message.” getabstract “Digital Darwinism” The telephone company’s local business directory, the “Yellow Pages,” was once essential for local companies. But Craigslist, Fourscore, Angie’s List and Yelp took most of its business. Blockbuster, Tower Records, Borders and Circuit City dominated their markets but lost the digital war. Each succumbed to digital Darwinism – the radical evolution of consumer preferences and performance. The tools are ubiquitous: computers, smartphones, webcams and tablets. More than five billion people now connect via cellphones. Two billion people utilize the Internet. Power has shifted from brands to “connected consumers,” who have become an information network. Facebook Facebook, the popular social network, has a huge presence on the Internet. In 2010, Facebook was the “top-visited website” and its name was the top Internet search term. Each month, Facebook users spend more than 700 billion minutes connecting with other people. “Checking Facebook has become an indispensable ritual for the social and connected.” Facebook is ubiquitous online. More than 2.5 million websites integrate with its social network. Companies must engage with consumers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other popular social networks. Millennials The “Golden Triangle of technology” – “mobile, social and real-time” – now defines daily life. Millennials – people born “between the mid-1970s and the late 1990s” – are the vanguard of this sweeping digital change. Millennials live online, develop fierce brand loyalties and connect constantly with their peers. More relevantly, 86% “share their brand preference online.”
  3. 3. The End of Business as Usual                                                                                                                                                        getAbstract © 2017 3 of 5 getabstract “In social media, we are the stars of our own reality show and our audience, like any audience, must be cultivated. As such, your ‘15 minutes’ are yours to define.” getabstract getabstract “Controlling the moment is so last decade. It’s now up to the host – or in the world of business, the brand, leader or champion – to create moments that are nothing short of engaging.” getabstract getabstract “You can’t be customer- centric if you don’t know who your customers are and what it is they value.” getabstract getabstract “Whether consumers are online or offline, technology is evolving faster than the majority of businesses or consumers can adapt or assimilate.” getabstract Meeting this challenge requires profound, deep-seated internal change. The change in your organization may be adaptive, innovative, or both, but probably won’t be easy. Embracing this change is more than necessary: Evolution demands it. Price Comparisons To demonstrate the digital revolution’s radical commercial implications, consider price-comparison apps and their dramatic impact on the retail marketplace and individual retailers. The Wall Street Journal recently ran a story it headlined “Phone-Wielding Shoppers Strike Fear Into Retailers.” It reported on a young man, Tri Tang – a marketer and connected consumer – who was shopping at Best Buy for a gift for his girlfriend. He found something he liked for $184.85. Tang scanned the product’s bar code into his Android phone’s price- comparison app, TheFind. He quickly found the same item available through Amazon for $106.75, with no tax and no charge for shipping. He did what anyone would do. Thanks to the edge that digital technology provides, millions of consumers like Tang make such easy choices all the time. As a millennial, Tang represents the new wave of connected consumers. IDC Retail Insights reports that nearly 45% of connected consumers use smartphones to compare prices. As Tang demonstrates, “mobile is the new point of purchase” in “m-commerce.” Retailers can’t watch passively as connected consumers rely on smartphones – often while standing in their stores – to find better prices online and order the same goods for less money. Many stores recently jumped on the social media bandwagon. Research shows that more than 50% of retailers now use social media, which is increasingly important in the shopping cycle. Connected Consumers Influence Other Connected Consumers The way shoppers connect via the Internet extends their influence over other consumers’ planned purchases. To become part of this process, companies must engage customers and enhance their shopping and purchasing experiences. Classically, companies focus on “boosting sales, reducing costs, increasing margins, operationalizing around efficiencies,” and so on. But these activities are immaterial to consumers, online and offline. What they are interested in – and demand – is that companies concretely demonstrate that they care about their customers. This must become every company’s primary orientation. Failure to engage with your consumers in the digital age threatens your organization with commercial obsolescence and eventual extinction. Zappos Zappos, the famous shoe e-tailer and online commercial powerhouse, exemplifies what it means to really care about customers. Zappos has proven to be an estimable change agent. The company adapted brilliantly to radical technical changes and transformative consumer behavior. In 2003, Zappos remade itself from a mere Internet shoe company to an exemplar of online service. At the time, Zappos depended on drop shipping and, therefore, it seldom stocked many of the shoes and brands its website offered. This policy put Zappos at the mercy of shoe manufacturers’ and distributors’ whims and scheduling.
  4. 4. The End of Business as Usual                                                                                                                                                        getAbstract © 2017 4 of 5 getabstract “The essence of evolution and the ability to outpace digital Darwinism lie in the ability to embrace change.” getabstract getabstract “Businesses have long known that a happy customer tells a few people, but an unhappy customer tells many, many more.” getabstract getabstract “The human network reveals new touchpoints that when unlocked, allow for deeper, more personal connections that inspire sharing and interaction.” getabstract getabstract “Any organization that focuses on operations, margins and efficiencies over customer experiences will hasten the erosion of market relevance.” getabstract These companies often shipped Zappos’s shoe orders late. Due to numerous customer complaints, Zappos stopped drop shipping and began to stock every single shoe it sold online. That shift gave Zappos full control over its inventory and when it shipped shoes out to its customers. This move also enabled Zappos to deliver on its foundational promise of “exceptional customer service.” To illustrate the bravery of Zappos’s new policy and the effectiveness of its customer outreach: Drop shipping once represented 25% of all Zappos sales. In 2003 – the year it gave up drop shipping – Zappos’s sales doubled. By the end of 2004, Zappos’s increased emphasis on customer service led to a 600% expansion in sales. By 2008, Zappos’s sales reached $1 billion. In 2009, Zappos upped the ante on its customer-service efforts, focusing on an unprecedented concept for the business world: happiness. “Customer service is about making customers happy, company culture is about making employees happy, so let’s just simplify it and at the same time, amplify our vision for our customers, employees, vendors and peers,” said Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. Zappos’s happiness orientation – which means engaging positively with people inside the company and outside of it – turned out to be a brilliant business strategy: In 2009, Amazon paid a whopping $928 million for the company. Ben & Jerry’s The renowned ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s is adapting its operations and activities to the new digital realities and exploiting them to enhance its brand. Ben & Jerry’s recently developed the Moo Vision iPhone app. When customers place their phones next to the lids of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream containers, they immediately see virtual 3D dioramas that depict the family farms which supply the company with the ingredients for its ice cream. Once customers view four dioramas, Ben & Jerry’s rewards them with free wallpaper – an innovative and successful engagement strategy. Audiences of Audiences Consumer experiences define the success of companies. As social media become increasingly popular, consumers share their experiences with their social networks or “graphs.” These networks connect with other networks, forming audiences that each have their own separate audiences of connected customers. Connected consumers organize their social networks into “nicheworks” – “networks within networks.” Along with interest graphs – online representations of peoples’ interests – nicheworks “represent the future of social networking and business relevance.” Connected consumers control the information that moves across online and mobile networks. “The brand or its clever messaging, attractive promotions or creative gimmicks” don’t determine the intrinsic value of the brand’s information. The way companies characterize information about themselves and their products or services isn’t what matters most. Instead, what matters most is how connected consumers characterize that information and what they share with others. Engagement Companies must learn about their connected consumers: what they care about, what they want and don’t want, and how to engage them. The success of adaptive companies’
  5. 5. The End of Business as Usual                                                                                                                                                        getAbstract © 2017 5 of 5 getabstract “We are at the convergence of platforms and people and this democratization of information is about to undergo incredible advancement.” getabstract getabstract “The mission of adaptive business is to design experiences that deliver tangible value in return for the attention, endorsement and resulting activity data of the connected customer.” getabstract getabstract “Do I know you? Oh yes, you’re friends with their friends who are friends with those who are friends of mine.” getabstract online interactions – or touchpoints – with customers depends on creating magical moments. Engagement is where and when companies and customers encounter and experience each other – and the more enchanting the experience, the better. This involves online conversations, comments, Internet replies, phone messages and email responses to customers’ questions and concerns. Engagement calls for learning consumers’ needs and meeting them by moving from consideration of customers’ problems to taking action to fix them. Engagement takes place before the company sells a product or service, during the sale and long after the transaction. Engagement involves creating compelling online content and delivering it with a human touch. Coupons and other triggers that promote sales create engagement. Engagement requires tangible and intangible value, and demands continual improvement of your products and services. Engagement means unlocking “customer touchpoints” – answering connected customers’ all-important question: “What’s in it for me?” Engagement starts with proactive online listening. Put a senior executive in charge of this crucial function. Besides online listening, this leader will have three primary functions: 1. Enable the company to learn from the new level of business intelligence that it can derive from listening to connected consumers online. 2. Communicate “consumer recognition and empathy.” 3. Collaborate to achieve innovation. Engagement involves emotion; appeal to audience emotions based on “right brain-directed involvement, validation and empowerment.” Make your audience like they are involved with you and that their involvement is rewarding. Engagement also depends on “digital sociology and psychology” expertise. It requires the online delivery of value and useful information that fits the context of your company’s interaction with its consumers. To make this work, you must banish silos from your organization and unify your departments to work as a single entity both inside your doors and in your interactions with consumers. Change, Then Change Some More Evolution has no end game. Your company must adapt and change according to the latest digital realities, which always are a moving target. Agile transformation depends on understanding where your company stands now and where it needs to be in the future. This depends on your vision and abilities as a change catalyst, to inspire and motivate others, shape consumer experiences, and continually design and update your business’s digital relevance. Your organization cannot “brand, market or message” its “way to relevance.” That’s not the way things work anymore. You must establish a trusted relationship with connected consumers. getabstract getabstract About the Authorgetabstract getabstract Digital analyst and futurist Brian Solis reports on disruptive technology and its impact on business and society. His bestsellers include What’s the Future of Business?

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