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I stare at something said to be “new”, the new social timeline called “Pheed”, that is supposed to meet a facebook cross social link with a multimedia timeline (Twitter+Youtube+G+…). Big deal or not?

The previous innovation like “paying walls”, standing in a premium model for contents as “pay-per-view” principle is really risky, while there is so much piracy and virality, around the world in a few seconds, sweeping copyrights, patents and barriers in few clics. They bet today on a special private teasing, with celebrities, somewhat like the music world has been tumbled down with piracy and search for another revenue source, playing with “fans attraction” considering they will be able to pay for such private and exclusive contents. In this case, whatever our beliefs, what’s the deal and the size of the potential threat to other timelines?

Balancing his audience from place to place is somewhat dangerous, even if you’re a rock star…Lots of celebrities who opened a private space should ask themselves: how many of them will follow their tracks to Pheed, and the deepest needs they will follow then? But we must not throw the idea too early, because, while twitter and facebook are late in their ability to make real “money”, Pheed is so straight forward in its expectations, that we see clearly where the value is: celebrities. Where twitter created “certified accounts” but didn’t value them, Pheed seems decided to make these “stars” bankable, with a clear model: subscribing or “per view” access to exclusive contents. Fair enough, it gives what fans wait for.

Talking about design and interface, the user experience targets younger audiences of  “fans”, allowing them to request for more “exclusive contents” from their favourite stars. It’s quite a “multimedia” console, “twitter-like”, with easier access to any media you want to push: text, audio, video, picture, RSS. Talking about contents, so called provided by premium stars, we could doubt an instant on the ability of “trust” and reliance for these contents: another huge machine for promotion by majors’ marketing teams. So there’s probably teens or even younger targets, who could pay to be addicted to more relevant contents for their idols, but who pays in fact? Parents. And where’s the limit they would cross to satisfy their children?

In fact, do we still have to call Pheed another “social network/platform”, where any content is probably driven by money and influence of large marketing machines? Social means “hey, I spent more money than you with ‘idol’ one” account…Big deal so far but who cares? Another teen toy, to addict them to brand, star life and virtual world…Is it the kind of education we want for our children, where’s the lesson for life that Pheed is supposed to “display” to this catcha target?

1millionUBut beyond all, it could become a targeted cash machine, another “content channel” dedicated to closer relations between fans and stars. Where you see Youtube launching several thematical channels, you can understand social platforms as more than twits and chats, building their whole environment, like old loyalty programs with physical cards. Lead into this environment, fans may consume lots of things, including contents but goodies and more stuff from the brand. There’s no such way to link Pheed to Facebook’s fans pages…And make it the cash machine for focused and premium content? But so far, Stars’ facebook official pages and published contents are free right now…? So is there a chance it could become successful on Pheed?

I don’t finally know where is the frontier between “social” which is the way we share and chat about “things, subjects and passions”) and “paying shop” where the final goal is simply “buy” something rare and exclusive. Can it be something sustainable enough to make and keep audience, in a long period, to create a huge database that stands for anything else than “making money”?

If Pheed becomes the “twitter that likes cash”, it may find the way to revenue faster, but more targeted. Is it then a big picture or will stay a fashion fever surfing on social passion? Future will tell us…

One thing is sure: “No need for Pheed, but some will greed”

More ideas at:

http://frenchweb.fr/social-media-pourquoi-pheed-ne-sera-pas-un-succes/84388 (in French)

http://www.techwyse.com/blog/social-media-marketing/new-social-network-pheed-is-it-really-just-for-teenagers

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After ten years of two digit growth, e-business showed an awesome way for innovation, and promised another smart theme for the future with mobile web. Some smiled and some cried. New pure players found gold and the philosophical stone, brick and mortar stared as if fever was on, and some other retailers tried to play with web, finding a complementary way to mix retail and online. But before this maturity in mindset, pure players set up evil, in old traditional retail business…and drove to large layoffs in the industry. Not really sexy is it?

And the least all the e-business innovation could do, was feed another story for retail, increasing traffic, targeting, consumption, accuracy in needs and shopping and so on. It seems the time has come, with so many initiatives, web or mobile, to help retail in the “new shape” of modern business.

Let’s take a snapshot of the awesome changes and opportunities that could be offered to retail, with mobile innovations. Several parts of the value chain can be shifted as:

  • the battle for information: ability to check any product, scan online and find your personal shop, with relevance, perspicacity
  • the battle for loyalty with the incredible passion for virtual wallets, saving points from consuming, winning vouchers enforcing the loyalty of customers, from an online sign up to a loyalty program. A smart way to increase consumption in retail, directly from web sessions
  • the battle for promotion and traffic, boosted with the geolocalization of both, customer and offer, enhanced the purpose debate and lead customers back to retail
  • the incredible dilemma for choice, is turned into a game with the social shopping sessions that make fun with comparing, chatting and targeting together, for a focused “buying raid” to the most relevant retailer of the place
  • the whole noise before, while and after the buying act, that makes “buying” an event in itself: dealing with fashionistas, bloggers, influencers is a full win-win combination for pure pleasure

Right now, some players cope with the whole thing with talent, relevance and friendiness. I would suggest to take a look at some of them, while they are known to drive traffic and give back to retail what the Internet has probably hijacked for a moment. Check at sites like:

  • Shopsocially, Addoway, Blippy or Buy.com
  • Pikaba, Givvy, Shopcade, Shopwithit or Buyosphere
  • myShopanion

They bring new innovation in the sale surface, allowing customers to:

  • try before buy
  • socializing between other customers and vendors
  • while walking on sale surface, ability to know best promotions, comparing and prices, close around the shop
  • sometimes consulting a screen instead of using vendor’s service: more educated, self-skilled and well informed, the social media environment allows to bring more transparency to the whole chain
  • get in touch with crafts, completing the online experience of “colors” and chatting with vendors about products, new arrivals and “fitting”: social calls social. Sales and retail are definitely a social experience, moreover than online, probably more transactional than relational in fact.
  • Share, talk and guide until the good choice (place+price+promotion+offer): the experience, experienced by others

No need to say that screen invaded us more in the house than in retail first, but then the whole chain of “screening” is played before, while and getting to retailers’ places. The long tail for learning social media empowers all the actors for this new kind of capturing attention, figures and profiles, and raising loyalty in the end.

“Revenge” could be done if retailers integrate more and up, the screens and online features, in their communication strategy to bring new services and convince (at least), own customers to shift so. But means that vendors are trained and prepared to let these new tools sometimes help, sometimes replace few parts of their jobs. Diversity functions with humans and I guess with the hybrid ability to cope with machines too, bringing on the best for all and synergy back in between retail and web.

One thing is sure is that, despite equipment, we need to think and imagine all the best experiences for customer, and do it in our times. And our times are definitely wired, connected and social. As one said, “customer may be a media” now…

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Don’t look at me this way and probably because of you. Not the way that Marketing is a dead function, useless or released away, but the fact it all has changed…To be more focused on where, I’ve started a short list of assumptions that show in which range things have changed. You love or hate Marketing would not change that datas shifted in many parts, exploding audience, collaboration and brand footprint in the web marketplace. But let’s figure out how…:

  • connect to customers: i think it’s in the title…If you didn’t see the fact that customers want to be considered as a real people, with advice, voice and opinion, and not as number or a cash machine!
  • stop deafness: listening new insights and voices for brands shapes marketing of products and services…from the outside of the company
  • ability to make marketing accountable, with one of the “three dimensional” skills of CMO: quantitative methodic
  • staring at “where” are customers are (and “fish where the fish are”)
  • a temptation to make marketing a C-level role to strategic level
  • starting the socialization of customers with SCRM where systems are not owned by companies but fully controlled by customers
  • achieving the shift between manufacturing culture to consuming culture, with social stones
  • be “there”, after all: where are really the customers (the difficulty is the mobile era that boost the necessity of being ubiquitous for the brands)
  • “messages are bi-directional and morphing”, because brands must listen and stare at what’s going on now, from the valuable opinions all around social web
  • customers have a voice and know now, how to use it: being too much deaf would produce deaf services and products for empty market
  • “the monologue has passed away”. Try to sort of the noise confusion and get the smartest ideas from out of the box…
  • “embrace the challenge of new medias”: the abilities to “talk” to customers boosted in a multi-directional shape means using the tools where they talk, listen and take informations. The new platforms for audience…
  • reinvent marketers curiosity: more than ever curiosity is the most efficient skill to “open world” communities, and makes you “breath the trends”
  • “fail can become an option” for learning, experiment and grow the value purpose. Shorter cycles, decisions and experience samples and protos
  • customers, but employees, partners, audience, suppliers…do marketing for you too. Let’s party with them, and grow communities!
  • “like” the likers: be aside all who make effort to click and send love to you
  • identify virtual tellers and workers who shape their own opinion of your brand
  • know and learn or grow your new skills as: creativity, design but dealing with figures and datas. And if you hire, don’t hire a marketer but an artist, social inspired.
  • “marketing is experience”: make us free for customers and create the CEM for your brand (Customer Experience Management)
  • “marketing is experiences”: allow customers to share fails, tests, samples and experiences, even make them build their own with your brand/products. You can’t even imagine how fertile, collaborative and addict are your silent fans…and btw, they will shout it on the web!
  • “the customer is not an idiot, he’s your boss” ; live with it or die!
  • the new management paradigm: push/pull balance with innovation, customers, market. Marketing as a regulator, “community manager” more than the brand dictate

All lot of reason why marketing we knew has changed and is probably dead, for brands that didn’t realize it. The sum of research on the subject is huge, but always turned from the companies that stare markets, without really engaging with the customers, or doing it their way, but not on the control of who buys: the customer. Think of how you can be patient and demanding as a customer, but beyond your simple need: being considered. A best seller know as “cluetrain manifesto” lead us, 10 years ago, the frame of what’s now, concrete and operational. For those who didn’t read it, you’ll find a totally actual subject in these assumptions, with customers who were already fed up and felt upset of “bad” practices.

Renewal is king and the necessary “central” function, protected from “one to many” is dead. The fact is now to put it in the center of the debate: social platforms, everywhere, anytime of the consumer’s life, to improve experience, collaboration and efficiency, dealing with “markets” not as targets but “doers” and influencers.

Products, services, sales propositions, all are on the shelves, but on the “social shelves”, driven to success or death. It’s up to you to decide how you deal with it and which marketing you deserve. Or decide to set up, now, for your teams…

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Yes it reminds me the famous title “I love Paris” covered by so many artists (Sinatra, Fidgerald…), written by Cole Porter in 1953, and Google could make it his new hymn, to prove and show his gratitude to France. Few days after a sparkling opening of their new Googleplex in Paris, they decide to gear up their settlements in France, for all French happiness, starting by President Sarkozy himself, who visited the new European HQ. Through his European presence, covering in France with “LeWeb” wide conference and its opening, Eric Schmidt had smart opportunities to enforce and insist on French American relation, strong, passionned and built since several years, through cooperation, respect and culture integration. There’s no mystery between the two countries, rythmed by the brotherhood relations between President Obama and President Sarkozy, who gave so many proofs of collaboration, mutual respect and strong position facing the recent crisis.

Dealing with its agenda, Eric Schmidt had a short talk with fellows of French-American Foundation, on 7th of december, with many people from different horizons. A smart and warm seance with french students, entrepreneurs, citizens, allowing the audience sharing thoughts, opinions and questions with Google’s chairman. We spent a cute but short time, enjoying the sense of humour of someone who deals with lots of challenges every day, straight to the point. He underlined and justified the choice of France as a new European and Middle-east settlement because of culture, talented and skilled people and that special taste of something sometimes called “arrogance”, that keeps French alive and probably unique. As a French citizen, I can confirm but prefer a “passion” side of this character

Mr Schmidt delivered some clues about how Google cope with the main issues he has to deal with: data privacy, creation protection, EU lawyers at Brussels ongoing affairs, mobile potential and some of the new big features, Google’s working on. He agreed with the fact they made some mistakes and must be very humble about the privacy: the “don’t be evil” quote from the ages might be a straight forward obsession, to get back to trust and loyalty. Musing all these subjects with all the following statements with:

  • the importance of being in France for a long time. Periods of doubt and untrustancy disappeared and i’ts time to build something stronger with the French ecosystem (schools, startups, VCs, engineering…). Trusting in the ideas system and relevancy, but saying there’s obviously a problem with “financing” ideas…in France
  • the challenge of globalization, where in fact they are with the sheer nature of the web itself. Passing through a nearly joke with “politics often act local while problems become global”
  • the increasing view and facts with mobile and smartphones that boost all the web uses and underlining apps. No, Google doesn’t plan to be a full carrier for mobile…but there’s an advanced work with the Nexus and so much more…
  • the fact that a company like Google changes the world, because “technology change expectations”. Consumer becomes much more clever, accurate and addicted to more services. the way it “changes” the world…
  • the cycles gear up now: increasing difficulty to see long term expectations and trouble relations with VCs and financial sources
  • the necessity of keeping that “don’t be evil” faith, beyond buzz and threats: building trust means protect from all, privacy and engagement from community
  • the digital fence and opportunity: freezing some industries but opening wide fields for innovation
  • the hard file with the “Hadopi” French exception, in a whole, plugged, wired and online world: protect the creation in a WWW more opened than ever…and punish pirats but not the tools that put, rank and organize the links to contents…“autocrats dream to turn off the internet, he said”
  • his three keys to success (personaly like it): Ideas, Team, Quick delivering
  • a shortlink to new ambitions with art and museum: Google Art Project

I spent a smart moment with a tremendous manager. One who can rock the world and lead great innovation, passion and engagement. One who could ignite the taste for entrepreneurship, leading business and mentor a whole industry, in the tracks of enlightning the way we do business. Thanks to French American Foundation for having organized this relevant session, I think I’m not the only one “liked” it.

That made my day for sure, in the way I love America, since earliest stages. Of course because of my cousin, Sean (who is a great jazz musician, a complete talented “entertainer”) and his father who died in 2008, Jimmy, who played and brought the blue note in Paris in the 50’s, and played with the best. For me, it’s definitely a family and love affair with America

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Jim Collins’s best seller “Good to Great” never finished to bring us all the details necessary to a perfect evolution of a modern company. Understanding that good is in fact, not so good at all, and finally a disadvantage, time has come to raise the level of competitivity of a corporation. Good is not good enough and need to enhance the conscious, but can be enough for lots of people, avoiding them to ask for excellence and greatness. That’s why Jim Collins drove a long years study, discovering and confronting “good” and “great” companies, to understand behaviors and differences of strategies, leading to change. I’d like to share a quick report of the principles keys, shaping the framework of results given by many interviews, meetings and talks with several executives and CEO. Interesting to see how structure, understanding and method can change the way we lead the business dance after digesting these different results.

1) Right people: any adventure you start, you have to play with good guys, right guys in fact; having right resources means not spending lots of money in motivations tools or process, by having DNA motivated guys to follow you, anytime you want.

2) Level 5 leaders: those who you want to follow by heavy weather too, in any situation against all transformations. Charism, good sense and ethic and far beyond basic business goals. Respectable, humble and close to executive, strong and straight decisions and last but not least: consistent. A kind of CEO you don’t forget, to pilot the business bus.

3) Brutal facts: they are for sure, and hide your face in the sand doesn’t make any sense. The best option is to face the reality with structure, skills and imagination. The more you consider it, the more you know your environment and know how to cope with it. a great and fantastic ability, buried into level 5 leaders core competencies, needed to right understanding of what’s going on…

4) Culture of Discipline: when you stare any modern and dynamic entity or try to explain the efficiency of a large corporation, there’s anything but discipline. If you have right people on the bus (see 1), you’ll get essence of discipline and motivation inside. Discipline includes organization, report, know all about your own responsability toward each other, a main competency for working in teams and large projects human groups. Army, as a comparison, can show a perfect model of efficiency of discipline when you have to cope with thousands of people on a whole operation to succeed. And if anyone knows his role in the larger project, the bus drives fast, surely and to achievement of initial goals.

5) the everlasting fashion dreams of “techs”: driven by IT, web 2.0 and web invasion, we think IT drives the world on its own. But none of it. IT makes things possible, but doesn’t create things, ideas, process and management. It forces us to change, revisit our old concepts, and shows us new possibilities. Web bubble increased the idea of “everything is possible”, without any improvement on HOW…we shall do it. If tech makes us dreaming, it seems “only” an accelerator and requires to have clear mind and strategy about how drive the company to success: business keys and positions to take. Techs are definitely not magic wand…

6) Faith? Everything in life needs faith. Faith for what you do, try, want, dream. If you stop having faith for what you believe, do or breathe, you won’t be excellent…You’ll miss the essential core of masterpieces. Spiritural side of your projects is important too, to feel the sheer face of problems, solutions and leadership. Any leader (religious, prophet, economic, politic…) has his own hidden side of unknown. But having faith always-on aside makes them more powerful and insightful for future.

7) the ongoing process of turning wheel (sometimes it even flies…!): when putting so much efforts and energy to get all those elements together, you don’t want to stop the movement. Getting part and involved in a whole shift for change, your old side is over. You nurtured a complex global machine, with each part in a single function, delivering value to the whole process. The inertia that has been generated can’t (must not) be stopped without throwing away all the efforts made so far. Too many changes in business navigation and you’re gonna lose teams and direction…You only make one good impression: the one you are, when you’re driving the change with leadership, success, method and charism.

This is the way for sure, to raise a “build-to-last” company, those one resist to crisis, transformation or turnover threats. Those who  will face competition with serenity

I made my mind forever with this book. I agree with these simple concepts because for one time they are fully real and concrete. Company lead seems complicated because we make (and keep) it complicated, to build barriers for our own interest and not for collective and social improvement. And as I started, talking about Jim Collins’ thoughts, “companies can’t find the way to greatness because they are good. And they consider them as good enough, not to change anything…”. A human mistake, because we’re only human, with egos and limits…

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I am a customer. You are. We are. But if we sometimes have unstoppable pulse for something to buy. And if it’s possible that’s probably because we learned HOW to buy…Think it’s no sense? I mean, there’s probably a path for us to learn how to make better shopping,  You’re now wondering how we stand for this and where we come from, to consider there’s a “school for buying”, kind of “step-by-step” education with knowledge, behavior and techs.

See for example, social shopping, as it’s easier to get something valuable from anybody before buying anything, the contact and influence abilities have explosed with social web and communities. Living a valuable experience leads you to want to speak of it and share it with “friends”. But living a disaster in a shopping act, drives to danger as well. We can say that, facing these new behaviors, we get more aware of our sensibility, in a relation, standing for a buying decision. And we do, brands and professional shoppers must stand for a new way of convincing consumers.

 

 

1) for a good sale, now how to make you “bought”:

How incredible it can be, doing a good sale starts as you may be desirable, and slowly being bought “pulled” than pushed by salesmen. Customer has to get value, beyond the simple buying act and be aware of giving money to acquire use and pleasure. Increasing passion for consuming, means for a brand being in an “always-on” growing experience, that gives customers a kind of addictive lesson: clues, rewards, games, viral behaviors…all shapes of masterclass can be driven to get customers in a breathless stand. Doing so, giving you an exclusive advantage taking and keeping the attention of your potential customers to come again. Customers that may come to buy again and learn how to make a better choice, buying act and say it to lots of potential non customers. The learning process is so started, enabled and accepted, by the fact customers wait for a regular conversation (offer push, informations, promotions…). They can so share all this whole “nurturing” process with friends and closest contacts.

2) the jungle of knowledge and information:

We used to live in a “modern and urban” jungle: noises, trouble, movements, all that can scramble messages and sheer essence of information: “giving pieces of knowledge to improve awareness”. Boost of media, mobility and our addiction to information (being secured as being someone who “knows”) keeps us apart from core information in fact. I just only regret this huge amount of information troubles the ability anyone has to judge something relevant. And maybe the next goal is to “know better” than really “know more”. Web, crawlers, indexation and sort, RSS and bookmarking can help to make the real difference. Comparisons sites only adress the “how much” side of buying act, and even comments, forums or moderation can sometimes be “tricked” as well. The DNA of social shopping is an interesting side of what could help us to cope with the forest of offers we stand…or not.

3) profiling and getting clues:

Modern shopping is discovering how to be discovered. Checking footsteps of every move and buy. Being profiled to get more advantages of being a customer. Then your walk is finding clues delivering you more knowledge about what you really like, how you really live and why you are buying things you buy. Getting these clues, is according to be naked and low your defenses about curiosity, and some faces of your private life. Answering surveys, getting vouchers and use it will increase your participation and the road to your tastes. The best shop in the world will give you the following promotions after considering your full profile and buy after buy, you enhance your ability to choose more and better: an achievement in your buyer’s job…Experience is enlightning your passed path and allows you to drive better. Give a little of yourself, piece after piece…to reveal you in the light of your buyer’s profile: all you need is participate, give truth and transparency, because if so, you’ll have a bright payback. The scale of auto-learning…levelling your own experience and awareness for consuming.

4) stairway to heaven: the moment of truth:

You did go up for this intoxicating moment and like it: you ask for more. I said addictive, you know, you see?

Brands that can manage all these process softly, with an incredible experience of service, are not really intrusive, but just like your best friend…personal shopper? best trend setter? You reborn: relearning how to buy, you become more aware of promotions, messages and delight of leading the truth. Brands that treat customers well like old friends, may have loyalty and return…wallets are opening more easily to tip over on temptation. Even the marketing expenses are more valuable and relevant, as they are in fact “relation expenses” on long term relations. Imagine if you may be able to offer training sessions for all your customers…on your products and the way they MUST be used in real life for them: could we draw you back your toy?

5) the pleasure is contagious: already learned, already buzzed:

Lots of social toys have bloomed like angst…to be localized. Foursquare, Plyce, Tellmewhere, Gowalla and other Facebook places are nothing but accurate tools of modern social shopping: discovering places, check in, share view and comments (and then read others’ comments) and get some promotions on retail places (McDo, Starbucks…do this now). The chain has been designed to hold: as you progress in your expectations, you’re dying to say it, you buzz anywhere you can to be the influencer to come, the “friend everyone dreams of” for the best tip. Blooms of social platforms further, you can draw lots of audiences and become a special agent for brands (tip: for companies who missed the train, do something for us…they are supposed to be your best salesmen…). As you pay money to spread your messages and communication strategy, buzz is not really free…Being trusted by bulk means being trusty and really who you say you are: service and customer oriented. And fully personify the whole process to get the best of it.

6) raising the level of awareness: shopper’s experience educates the crowd

Building the flying wheel to breakthrough situation is now an ongoing process, that stands as a funny way to enroll people. Used to better consumption, educated so far to profiled promotions that save time and money, and targeted offers you can share, you are a better “student”, a better customer…And you want to share with others this status for you. You start to call your best friends, neighbours, parents to be a close influencer. You make them play, participate to mailing lists, subscribe them to private sales, invit them to shop with you. A kind of silent job, brands shall not ignore to care with their best outside talents. The more you attract, the more you like the game you’re in. Doing so, you learn how to be a personal consultant for best tips, good affairs and relevant sales. Your whole experience grows inside you as it spreads outside, just around you. I guess this shows you different and visible for others to come.

Now you’re ready to make your own courses, training session and buying lessons. While you’ve been targeted, focused and marketed as your own, you are able to give it back for crowd. Not that you’re ready to open a shop, because you’re best as a shopper than as a seller. Sure, you’ve been educated, you passed your exam of “advised customer”. Now you can open your wallet with serenity and take pleasure with it. And spread the word everywhere.

 

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Don’t run to imagine your next product or service, maybe it already exists. And maybe the next big picture is about “experience”, more than delivering…While brands always search to surprise customers, dealing with trend and fashion, there’s probably much more important elsewhere…Not really elsewhere but in another register…sensation, feelings…experience. And if you start to think about being more “sensorial” in your approach?

In a famous outpost called “the experience economy” in Harvard Business Review, some guys (Pines/Gilmore) compared business as a “stage” and work scene, a theatre. Business like a movie? The only difference is that everybody is an actor, sometimes consumer, sometimes not, but anyway, trying to get some sense with brands. Sense means “a reason to buy” or a “willingness to be caught”. Beyond innovation, brands must reinvent the way they do business, throwing away the natives and early concepts of “mix marketing”, as mainstream tools, where consumers are not trapped anymore. In fact, it’s really easy to “create, brand, promote and deliver” a product and service, with teams, money and resources…(tip: it should, I must admit sometimes you run nut with several offers and customer services but…). But revealing a sheer experience, the one who everybody is gonna be fool of and spreading the buzz all over the world, say that we talk of more scarcity, isn’it?

That’s what now brands spend their times, caring about anything is around service and product to wrap the whole offer in an unforgettable shot. And yes, probably social web gear up the movement as it facilitates the “opinion” circulation all over online tribunes…And we see that all these opinions take part of the “whole experience” of a brand delivering. See how good or bad advises are posted each day, just only on foursquare for example, on places you have to visit or…avoid.

Zappos’ delivering happiness concept seems to be central and in DNA of this company. They don’t just “deliver”, they make you “feel”, that something happens…I know it can be a cloud vision, but it adds a kind of huge “goodwill” and friendness to the brand. And probably rise the loyalty and the virality of the shopper…(and finally can we still and only say “shopper” to these “skills” or company object?). Because the difficulty stands on “defining the role that the brand plays and how it takes place in a global value chain and needs awareness”: we see that it can be resumed only to deliver a service or a good. It’s about delivering “memorable and engaging experiences”, and I would say “sustainable” to customers. And saying these simple few words is a matter of complete transformation in companies. If company wishes to do so, everybody is responsible to achieve such a thing: from calls, accouting, to supply, sales and IT. It becomes the main “strategic intent” of companies, through they are going to play their marketing leverages, serving the value purpose. Customers in fact are not outside anymore…they are the blood and the guts of every employee, whose can feel in each of their actions, the “why” and the reason-to-work as a daily behavior.

Experiencing such situations is governed by the sheer pleasure: surprise, care, use and pride. In fact, it’s not a job, it’s a cause! Any company should drive his business according to the only fact, they serve a “cause” (yes even if there’s a reward and we don’t talk about not for profit). So the “design of experience” is central and finds a footprint in everything in relation with the product or the service: packaging, baselines, design, guide, helpdesk, accessories, delivering, after sales, loyalty care, surveys…In fact, any product or service comes with an experience and it’s the role of marketing to improve it and develop the “sensory experience”, to rise value, yes for company but also to hold a valuable experience for customer. The one they won’t forget and spread the new everywhere. The one that really builds a strong loyalty, envy and customization.

Considering this, any company or brand should now build a whole “customer experience strategy” to enhance loyalty and shift to value. And this means involve every function or person inside the company. Company that would build no products, no service but “experience” and customers…If we stare at memorable brands (Apple, Dell, Zappos, Amazon,…), we can surely say that they built a strong community around them, who spread the word and takes place as a whole experience marketplace. We probably assist to a change in CRM concepts as Brian Solis said, like sCRM, enhancing the experience effect into the global offer. CRM to “CEM” (Customer Experience Management), that can create a new angle to see customers, serve them and make them central and ambassador of the brand. Being “central” means that customers are in the same office than you, they take coffee or break with you, go to lunch, and work on the same topics.

You see now? Design for customers by customers, one experiencing what he wants to buy. What social web did, covering posts, opinions and facts written by customers themselves, targeting brands, is now a real shift for companies. Preparing, designing and customer mindsetting is part of the next “profiling” to shape a better “experience”, to deliver and raise customer loyalty. This experience value could be “the willingness to pay, for ‘feelings’, using a product or a service”: which difference would you be ready to pay to feel a memorable experience? If we can mesure and give a value to “experience”, then companies can build a P&L and focus resources to transform their whole relation strategy. I think it will really and definitely make a difference, a kind of skip out of the box, an step forward innovation for leading mindset and customers fan. Let’s imagine about the next pushing button of Facebook’s badges…”I experienced”.

 

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