I recently had the pleasure to attend a keynote given by Seth Godin and as always, it was excellent. But this time something he said resonated in a stronger way and keep “titillating” me as I headed back to our New York office although I cannot discount the fact that it might also have been down to my fifth cup of coffee swallowed in less than 2 hours …
We all know by now that revolution is upon us, digitalization is transforming entire industries and the model of producing the average product to please the masses, thus allowing processes to be industrialized, reducing costs and therefore creating “value” for shareholders whilst overlooking what is going on behind the scene, is pretty much gone. If you are not convinced, just look around you and you will see that the behemoths of the fast food/ready food industry are struggling (or at least their oldest offering) while the locally sourced/organic products sales are booming, or the explosion of the fintech industry swallowing the old banking industry piece by piece … There are thousands of start up trying to “communitize” on this (by opposition to “capitalize” in the industrial era).
Meanwhile, we also cannot have an economy based on one person – one product, even if we push back the limit of 3D printing to its maximum, as creativity isn’t available through a switch on/off button, at least as far as I am concerned… There must be some type of common ground. I would add that as a person although I like to feel important, unique and treated as such when buying a service or a product, that doesn’t mean that I always want to stick out from the crowd … Seth Godin in his publication “Tribes” highlights the Harley Davidson example… They do not sell motorcycles; they are building up a tribe around core values and lead them, by opposition to a classic manufacturer… Who has a Suzuki logo tattooed on his/her left shoulder? I am part of a tribe, I feel special as my special needs are addressed via an offering flexible enough so I feel unique but I am also part of a larger group, bounding, feeling that I am part of something bigger…
Of course, it is easier to do with some offering than others, as the common ground in one case is more prominent than others. So what is the common ground on which to build whatever you want to offer that will make it noticeable but manageable? How big should this common ground be so that it stills lets people feel special and not lost within the masses? How this common ground changes in time, shape or form? What are the values that you would like to share?
And how the hell do you find out all of this?
A good mixture of qualitative and quantitative market research will address most of the points above but with a strong limit, it will only be at a given time… And let’s face it, we all change (ah this famous band that I used to love but that I don’t follow anymore as they became too commercial… or is it I who had a switch in my values?). Yes we may change at a different speed (which is relative to personal influences, open-mindness, emotions, culture etc.) but in the end we all do. So how to address this in the long run?
Working for Krealinks, a groundbreaking community solution provider, I am sure you see me coming from one mile away J. Yes I believe that empowering a community to identify the common ground, sharing the values that are important and even better co creating your next offering is a key step. You will identify the common ground and quantify it, and more importantly, involve your tribe in the process (and by tribe, I mean people in and out of your organization) and over a significant period of time. All the key ingredients to develop not an average product but an outstanding one that will be noticeable and appeal not to the masses but to your “tribe-in-the-making”, the latter spreading the word as your tribe grows, sharing their change of heart on the go so you might adjust/tweek or revamp your offering and keep the good vibe going…
(by Christophe Lebourhis US Manager)
If you would like to learn more about our community solutions in the US, please contact:
c.lebourhis@Krealinks.com or any one of our experts using the contact form available in this blog.