The power of social media, technology and even more recent developments in gaming has created enormous opportunities to transform the user experience of many product categories. The concept of ‘socializing business’ first coined by Mailman is meant to capture the essence of this phenomenon.
So where did it begin? I think it always existed in some shape or form. As humans we are always looking to create more ‘sociability’ in our life, it’s just that up until the last decade it’s traditionally been restricted to a ‘real life’ person-to-person experience. However now with the development of technology (most notably the cell phone), social media and human insights lending to gaming, incentives, and more this trend in socialization has transformed.
Social media has certainly created the most significant form of socialization for any brands. The fact a customer can now ‘share’ their experience easily to their peers alone helps to create a ripple to persuade others like them to the same. But are enough companies recognizing this? How many brands have actually stopped in their tracks, sat down and asked themselves ‘How can we create more sociability with a brand?’ There are many features a brand can trial through the web; to mention a few:
- Share things
- Rate things
- Discuss things
- Compare things
- Compete on things
Technology offers all of the above and more. There is one thing for certain – taxes & cell phones. Everyone has it and more frequently now; everyone has smart phones with access to the web. Applications (now in the millions) have transformed the cell phone from a tool to an entertainment hub. So how can your brand or experience leverage from the accessibility the cell phone offers? It doesn’t end there - mobile tablets are now adding a completely new expectation from a user perspective. Tablets are easy to navigate, fast, much more accessible and have increased the amount of consumption in online media by at least 15% (by all reports). So what can you do with it?
- Sell things anytime (on the go)
- Track locations
- Applications (add value)
- Visual & Entertainment features
We can’t forget the type of consumer we’re embracing. They’re wired up, impatient, smart, self absorbed but most importantly they almost always want to share. It’s only a matter of playing to these customer cues and responding. The challenge is in keeping your brand or product relevant and ‘in demand’. This is not going to let up either, as time passes the generation following will become even more ‘socialized’ just as their own parents were - It’s the only world they’ve experienced.
Now what? The world is yours. You can either embrace what the new world offers or die a slow lonely death as either competitors embrace the trends OR worse – new players enter fast and crush everyone before you can count your losses. Look at this as a blessing, a new way of looking at your business. Ask yourself – ‘If I could start again, what would my business look like today?’ You may be surprised with what emerges.