Evolution towards Ecosystems of Services

Published : 11/6/2017 17:46:16
Categories : GoingDigital OPEN

In the 1960s, in order to sell a product, businesses focused on creating needs through advertising.Now, 60 years later, companies seek to understand consumers’ needs so as to respond to them with a real value proposition. Eleazar Santos, Director of Good Rebels, explains this idea in reference to the series "Mad Men".


New Channels, New Ears

Digital transformation implies new channels that give rise to new products and services, which, in turn, give rise to new business models.For example, when it comes to watching TV, consumers no longer do so through a one-way relationship with the TV screen in a family environment, but through their mobile device, with a personalised content, wherever they have an Internet connection.On the other hand, brands no longer exclusively try to address them directly, but also through third parties, the so-called influencers.


More than a Product, It’s an Experience

And most importantly, not only are customers recipients, but they also give their opinion, often instantly.This two-way communication model enables companies to better understand customers’ needs, to adapt the product or service to their personal likes and provide them with a better experience.Many new products are made to learn as you go and offer not only a function, but going beyond this, also provide an experience.Eleazar Santos explains the case of the sports footwear brand Asics: it no longer exclusively sells trainers; it also offers customers the opportunity to become part of a sporting community, keeping track of daily performance, calculating new goals...


New Players

When talking about the process of complete transformation, Eleazar Santos differentiates between two types of companies, taking the example of electricity companies:

a)  Incumbents: those that enjoy and take advantage of a closed oligopoly and do not customise their services, taking for granted the loyalty of their customers.

b)   Insurgents: those that provide an exceptional service for their users, communicating in a friendly tone, offering customised deals, and rewarding fidelity.

Regarding this second type of company, Eleazar introduces the concept of "disruption", citing Airbnb as an exemplary case, which, in addition to being a platform offering accommodation, knows how to offer its customers what they are looking for on their trips, namely local experiences.The growth of companies like Airbnb encourages the creation of new companies that complement their services, thereby generating what is known as a "business ecosystem".


Products that Learn by Doing

Through numerous examples, Eleazar Santos makes it clear that we are no longer concerned about providing a product, but about offering a service.In the automotive sector, he highlights some successful start-ups, such as Car2Go, Ecooltra or MyTaxi.According to Eleazar, “millennials don't want to own things; they want models of use or service".

Furthermore, it’s also about being "omnichannel", about connecting online with offline, getting to know and interpreting the likes and needs of consumers.To illustrate this point, he presents the case of the acquisition of Whole Foods supermarkets by Amazon.

With all these changes, not only economic but also social, it is important that companies learn to get to know their users, to connect with them and share unique experiences of value.