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"Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all. How do we define this lively darting about with words, of hitting them back and forth, this sort of brief smile of ideas which should be conversation?" Guy de Maupassant

Monday, January 8, 2007

Everyone seems to be talking about it.  Nice to see these perspectives in the context of brands and products.  I read this at Brandchannel today:

SelfLead - the emergence of the sovereign citizen - by Ray Podder.


"What if anything and everything you owned, knew, thought, created or used was negotiable at any point in time? What if you could sell off your junk, get compensated for your opinions, or lend, borrow and bet without the need for banks or governments? What if your creative product had a larger audience than corporate networks? What if your lone dissident voice couldnít be silenced even by the rich and powerful?"

"At first, it may seem strange to think that you could be on the same level playing field as a multinational corporation, but just consider how business and customers co-exist in networked spaces. As of now, we both get our basic queries and network trend data from the same place. Pending the Net Neutrality power struggle and censorship issues of the moment, the deeper resources of the Internet will likely become available to everyone as well. Given the probability of that reality and the other factors previously mentioned what do we do to use this shift to our advantage both as individuals and as companies?

Enable the empowered. Marketing is no longer about messages. Itís about motivation. If you want to motivate the new sovereignty, reach them by the tools they will use to refine their participation power. That means be available as choices for personalization on start-page like environments where choosing your brand of service is a self-defining action. For example, if you deliver travel services, then the new sovereign citizen is both your traveler and your travel agent. If you sell art then the new sovereign citizen is your art promoter, using your art in experiential ways to define their personal spaces."

And here's another paper found at Brandchannel from Dec 2006 - How To Crash The Consumer-Controlled Party.  And Not Get Thrown Out .... (pdf file)

1:06:21 PM    comment []  trackback []

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What should marketers be looking at in 2007?

TRANSUMERS from GENERATION C(ASH) living transient, connected, participative lifestyles, showing off their STATUS SKILLS, experiencing TRYVERTISING, masters of their YOUNIVERSE, indulging in TWINSUMER ventures, within the TRANSPARENCY TYRANNY of the GLOBAL BRAIN moving ever closer to CROWD CLOUT.

(Images from the trendwatching website). Go there to find out more on status, transparency and consumer power, the online revolution, more adventurous consumption, and a shift from consumption to participation.

Some excerpts:

"GENERATION C(ONTENT) is joining GENERATION C(ASH). If consumers produce the content, if they are the content, and that content brings in money for aggregating brands, then revenue and profit-sharing is going to be one of 2007's main themes in the online space. It's not like brands will have a choice: talented consumers are going to be too sought after to remain satisfied with thank you notes. Get ready for an avalanche of revenue sharing deals, reward schemes and sumptuous gifts aimed at luring creative consumers."

"TRANSUMERS are consumers driven by experiences instead of the 'fixed', by entertainment, by discovery, by fighting boredom, who increasingly live a transient lifestyle, freeing themselves from the hassles of permanent ownership and possessions. The fixed is replaced by an obsession with the here and now, an ever-shorter satisfaction span, and a lust to collect as many experiences and stories as possible.* Hey, the past is, well, over, and the future is uncertain, so all that remains is the present, living for the 'now'."

"(Oh, and just wait for TRANSUMERS to be amongst the first to accept if not desire virtual goods. After all, the more time they spend online, the less need they have for expensive, fixed, hardly ever used physical goods. But we're getting carried away here...)"

"emerging TWINSUMER trend: consumers looking for the best of the best, the first of the first, the most relevant of the relevant increasingly don't connect to 'just any other consumer' anymore, they are hooking up with (and listening to) their taste 'twins'; fellow consumers somewhere in the world who think, react, enjoy and consume the way they do."

"Now, through an onslaught of new collaborative filtering software, millions of new personal profiles, exclusive communities and what have you, the TWINSUMER phenomenon is turning millions of reviews, ratings and recommendations into truly valuable results fitting one person's very particular preferences or even lifestyle. Whether it's a one-off TWINSUMER union or an ongoing relationship. TWINSUMER therefore isn't about access to reviewings or ratings or even trust in general (those are fast becoming hygiene), but about relevance."

"At the core of all consumer trends is the new consumer, who creates his or her own playground, own comfort zone, own universe. It's the 'empowered' and 'better informed' and 'switched on' consumer combined into something profound, something we've dubbed MASTER OF THE YOUNIVERSE. At the core is control: psychologists don't agree on much, except for the belief that human beings want to be in charge of their own destiny. Or at least have the illusion of being in charge.

"And because they can now get this control in entirely new ways, aided by an online, low cost, creativity-hugging revolution that's still in its infancy, young and old (but particularly young) consumers now weave webs of unrivaled connectivity and relish instant knowledge gratification. They exercise total control over creative collections, including their own creative assets, assume different identities in cyberspace at a whim, wallow in DIY / Customization / Personalization / Co-Creation to make companies deliver whatever and whenever, on their own terms".

"Remember the promises of flawless matching of supply and demand, and limitless consumer power, when the web burst onto the scene a dozen years ago? While the last few years didn't disappoint (consumers are already enjoying near-full transparency of prices and, in categories like travel and music, near-full transparency of opinions as well), 2007 could be the year in which TRANSPARENCY TYRANNY really starts scaring the shit out of non-performing brands."

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11:30:37 AM    comment []  trackback []