The Client, The Fan and The Ugly One
“How new service platforms are remodeling the behavior of consumers and brands’ communication”
In the last decade, we invested a lot of efforts and science on business to find solutions that could break the intermediate system or economic monopolies.
That reflected on many technology companies that substituted middlemen and created a new niche of technology management for themselves. A good example of that is Airbnb. The company aims to take the place of hotels and travel agencies with the function of connecting directly the realty’s owner with the person who wants to travel. The company also ends up interfering on real estate offices. Some people see that as a new model, that adapts the service to the demand, which is the big innovation behind the business.
In this group there are many other apps that manage the demand, the SaaS (as Uber, iFood, Rappi, etc). They expanded the user qualifications as someone that creates a bond with their service provider, getting to the point where we have a specific area dedicated to the study of that post-sale relationship called Customer Success.
That new status quo of the service market indicates that the commercial relationships evolved to a little beyond the dynamics of target audience setting, brand identity and fan bases. The interdependence of agents in the consumer relationships are growing more each day, in a time when many technologies circumvent brand loyalty when making purchase decisions.
Why would clients choose your brand if on the app there is only the item with the best price at the moment? Why is the client going to choose your colorful package if on alexa he can ask for “cookies” and the algorithm already picks the brand for him? Will screens and visual identities get obsolete?
Many questions to an uncertain future.
The only certain thing to brands is that they are in a big crossroad of image and communication to adapt their new products to those new service logics. However, some paths can be taken to define communication strategies.
There are in between relation dynamics between those consumers beyond the client journey designed in detail by your UX team using wonderful tools. Those people are, on many levels, connected to one another, exchanging experiences and perceptions and registering that in a bigger or smaller frequency on the lines that they communicate on. Each service has, beyond it’s capacity of acting, a demand for communication. This community exchanges direct and indirect information about necessities and possibilities.
And that is a good starting point.
It would be like saying that, when creating a more specific type of service, Airbnb also created a group of people that recognized themselves as people who needed that service. They started doing reviews and getting close to other people who also recognized themselves as needing the service. The speed and reach of connection made it a lot more simple and quick to find people with the same tastes. Plus, the level of specification of demand promoted by SaaS is very high. Then, voila, you have a community of users. This concept is very recognized in technology to define the option for development tools, but the advance of independence services allows us to apply that to the general public.
It’s inside of those communities where they exchange information, debate and decide about brands, create references, empower content curators and news between them.
Netflix does an excellent communication job, but it doesn’t keep a watch over the Youtube channels or twitter profiles that comment, analyze and recommend it’s content, even though those things impact directly on demand, permanence and customer success.
To understand and act about communities is a strategic step for any brand to understand how to navigate in a fluid and hyperconnected environment, that’s why we are going to topic in many texts starting from now.