Consumers 2.0: How organisations Can Cope And Thrive

Generation C is as described here is connected, communicating, content-centric, computerized, community-oriented, always clicking. As a rule, they were born after 1990 and lived their adolescent years after 2000. It’s the first generation that has never known any reality other than that defined and enabled by the Internet, mobile devices, and social networking.

Add to Generation C the characteristics of the New Consumer (as defined by Lewis and Bridger) who seeks authenticity, is individualistic, independent, well-informed and distrustful of anything that does not ring true. (This advocates C2C marketing where the organisation is the platform and enabler for its influencers and ambassadors).

From the technology and devices point of view, we’re heading towards ubiquity, anything, everywhere at any time. Combining the three brings forth a massive amount of extra information, processing and opportunities that will challenge organisations to be adaptive and agile not only to respond adequately on the short term, but also for the long term, to pragmatically learn continuously what’s working and what’s not working.

Having a second look at the definition of Generation C, it’s not only the challenge but also (part of) the solution through co-creation. Sense-checking with consumers along side the marketing process, continuously adjust -for instance- products and services based on their perceived value and need to solve a problem. After having engaged them in the production process, the same set of people can serve as highly loyal ambassadors. In a co-launch this means an increased effectiveness and more importantly a uniquely shaped perception/approach of the brand and product based on the positioning-perception dynamic.

This leads us back to the definition of the New Consumer, co-creation enables unique, relevant and authentic experiences on micro-level, a fine balance and intertwining of the business and consumer/customer.

Consumers will become more and more demanding, be it technological- or behavioural wise. Involve them in order to cope but also thrive in the competitive landscape by making use of both internal and external unique advantages.

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