We come across lots of businesses at Undercurrent who express an interest in being more like a start-up. It’s hardly surprising. It seems like every week there is another new success story about a lean team of smart and highly passionate Ivy League grads or hipsters. They’ll develop an amazing digital product out of a shared work space, grow an inordinate demand for it, secure investment, and sell it for millions (well, some do at least). What business wouldn’t want to recreate similar growth and success? The difficult question, is how?
In 80 days from now, athletes from 171 different countries will be in the UK to compete in front of a global audience at the London 2012 Olympic Games. I’m not the biggest sports fan you’ll ever meet, but I find the Games utterly awe inspiring. To be an Olympian requires a level of commitment, focus and drive unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. They devote their lives to training their body and mind, perfecting their skill and ability, and maintaining a phenomenal level of physical fitness.
One way to take the temperature of an entire sector’s digital maturity is at a trade show. All the major players turn out to showcase the latest developments and ideas in both their brand and product. Over the course of the next week we’re likely to read and hear about the most recent advancements in the automotive world, as the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) opens its doors today (April 4th) to an audience of eager press.
The promise of the internet was to bring brands closer to their customers, deepening relationships and allowing both to understand each other better through dialogue. The first markets, Doc Searls and David Weinberger remind us in the book The Cluetrain Manifesto, were places where “supply met demand with a firm handshake.” Producer and consumer relationships blossomed through regular interaction, mutual understanding and trust.
The internet is the networked market of the digital age, yet few brands truly succeed in building customer relationships there, principally because many see the internet as an opportunity to market at their customers, rather than as a market place where they can get to know them better. There are three key areas brands should pay attention to in developing this firm handshake online. Read more