Revolutionary Measures

Journeying to the uncomfortable zone

The world of business used to be a simpler place. Companies worked in a linear fashion, creating products and services and then marketing and selling them to consumers. Most organisations had a single business model and customers were very much at the end of the chain.no-straight-lines-home

The rise of the internet, greater communication and social media has changed all of this. Rather than being driven by brands, consumers have now taken back power and are in the driving seat. Don’t like the service you’ve received? Social media provides a megaphone to broadcast your concerns. Dislike the attitude or activities of a major brand? Use the power of the internet to force them to change. The #FBrape campaign succeeded in forcing Facebook to change how it dealt with gender-based hate speech on the network, both by demonstrating the scale of anger (60,000 tweets and 5,000 emails in less than a week) and by lobbying advertisers to remove their adverts from the network.

And the new world order goes much further than this. Companies need to tap into this complexity to co-create with their customers rather than continue in the top down, industrial mindset that we’ve known for so long. That’s the view of visionary thinker and Cambridge-based author Alan Moore, who talked through his book No Straight Lines at last week’s CamCreative.

Alan sees five key areas for companies that are being disrupted to focus on as they move into the uncomfortable zone of today’s business reality. They are:

1              Ambiguity
The non-linear world is complex and unclear. Rather than fearing the unknown companies need to unleash their curiosity to see how they can change.

2              Adaptiveness
As Wittgenstein said “the limits of our language are the limits of our world”, so everyone (companies and individuals) needs the knowledge, skills and tools to formulate what they want and how they can request it.

3              Open
We’re not in a monoculture anymore. Companies in all industries need to open up to work with their customers and other partners to design and deliver the products and services they want. Crowdfunding is the perfect example of how this delivers results, as is Lego’s Cuusoo site where builders post designs of new models. If it gets enough support from the community the design is turned into a fully-fledged product, with the inventor receiving a royalty.

4              Participatory cultures and tools
Humans are not machines and we want to make meaning in our lives, participating in the world around us and providing input into things close to our heart. The rise of fan fiction demonstrates this, with people actively extending the stories that they love. Rather than reaching for the lawyers, creative companies need to work with enthusiasts to benefit everyone.

5              Craftsmanship
The old model of build it and it will sell is broken. Companies need to continually update and adapt their products, listening to feedback without fear of failure.

6              Epic
The new world order can have a transformational impact on your business and the lives of us all. Companies need to embrace this and deliver an epic response to meet the needs of the world around them.

Whatever your business, marketers and creatives need to understand and react to the changing world, making it more relevant to everyone. There’s a lot more in No Straight Lines, which can be accessed online for the price of a tweet or bought in paperback or Kindle editions – it is well worth a read.

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July 3, 2013 - Posted by | Cambridge, Creative, Marketing | , , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. Didn’t spot you there. It was a good talk overall.

    Comment by simone | July 3, 2013 | Reply

  2. […] strengths and extended itself very naturally to the film and online spaces (witness its CUUSOO site where the community votes on potential new models). Consequently people have flocked to the movie and a sequel is already in the […]

    Pingback by Lego – the marketing « Revolutionary Measures | February 12, 2014 | Reply


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