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Customer Experience

September 25th, 2009

Inspiring megatrends for 2030

The character of business in year 2030 is shaping up now, as three trends assume more compelling roles in business today.

We see these drivers of business not merely as short term fads, but as real megatrends that will dominate the conduct of business 25 years from now.

1. The experience economy

We are gradually but definitely leaving the old economy-the industrial and the information age- but a new trend is emerging.  We used to be attracted to those factors that appeal to our mind. However, we are now more concerned with factors that appeal to the heart. When we buy mobile phones, we take the fact that it allows us to communicate easily for granted. We now choose to buy the phone which appeals to our senses in terms of style, color, shape, and more importantly, for the signals it sends about us. Does the phone show our sense of propriety, our preferred color, our preference to organize our lives in the palm of our hands? The mobile phone is becoming an all important part of our self-image.

The same is true with watches.  All watches have to be precise in telling time; that’s the only function of a watch, and so we take that for granted.  But what makes us prefer one watch brand or design over another?  We take into consideration the signals and impressions that the watch tells others about us. Function is no longer a consideration; it is taken for granted.  Instead, we buy with our hearts, with our emotions.

The world is generally getting richer. In Europe, GDP grows 25-30% every 10 years; in Latin America, the economic growth rate is higher. This means that people  can afford to buy products not just for their function. The upscale brands bring life to the experience economy because they add emotional value on top of the monetary value.  The function is the basic story.  However, the “better” story, the added value, increases the price. A Rolex watch, for instance, with its basic story, really need not be expensive.  But it is does cost more than most other watches, not because it is more precise, but because of the added value it provides-the many other details that it relates about its owner.

In management, the experience economy is reflected in Value-Based Management(VBM).  We take core values and mission statements more seriously.  Leadership is becoming  more than just control and just giving orders. Management too is now becoming a participant in the experience economy, maybe, not so much today, but soon.

These are all examples from the market place. If you want scientific information, visit www.worldvaluessurvey.org. This survey concludes that most countries are heading towards post-materialistic values.

2. Individualization

Or moving from uniformity to diversity.  The old consumer said: “I want to be normal.”  The modern consumer says: “I want to be special.”  The cost advantages of mass production has prevented the consumer trend of individualization from blooming. This is changing, however.  With “soft tooling”, car manufacturers can produce different cars on the same assembly line.  Also, soon to be available at a shop near you is “Build-a-bear”. You choose the eyes, ears, colour, fur, and name-and you get a birth certificate-to create your very own special teddy bear. The concept is already a huge success in many countries, and illustrates the trend towards individualization very clearly.  We want personalized products, no longer mass produced ones.

The next technological breakthrough is on its way - the FAB, or rapid prototyping, and also known as solid freeform fabrication.  If you have a computer that can draw your product-say, a lamp or a cup-then the FAB will “print” it in three dimensions to create your personal product, designed by yourself.  It is currently too expensive for private use, but the prediction is 1000 US dollars in 10 years time. In the meantime, you can order your FAB products on line by email. It is happening right now.

3. The “amaproffs”

Amateurs working professionally.  This is third trend that’s rapidly taking off as more and more people gain access to the internet daily. Amateurs are becoming self-proclaimed professionals and gurus as they share their knowledge and knowhow without even thinking about profit.

A clear example is Linux, the open source software,  which is currently giving Microsoft a run for its money.  Open is a collaboration of IT practitioners who share their own experiences to improve the product for everyone to use  for free.  Another example is E-bay, the online auction “house”.  Auctions were once dominated by Christie’s and other specialized houses.  But now thousands of auctions are automatically conducted online by practically anyone to sell practically anything,  competing successfully with the brick-and-mortar auction houses.  Then also are the thousands of bloggers, who compete directly with the mass media as they report the smallest of news for the whole world to learn about.  Online blogging will change the market place in a future not too far away.

Three megatrends.  The future of business is taking shape now.


About the Author

Rolf Jensen

Rolf Jensen, Chief Imagination Officer at Dream Company Inc., was born in Denmark in 1942. His passion is the future of the market place – how to unveil the secrets of the future, to look through the door to the next room. He did this in 1999 – The Dream Society was one of the very first books on the experience economy. Not all business books from 1999 have met the future but this book has and has been translated into 10 languages. Several books by Rolf Jensen on storytelling, the experience economy and journeys into the future have followed since.

Researcher and Entertainer
Rolf Jensen is an experienced speaker, and all of his presentations are delivered with a dedication that matches Rolf Jensen's passion for exploring the future of the market place. Companies and organizations all over the world have engaged Rolf Jensen to speak - from Malaysia to Canada, and from Lapland to Italy. As a lecturer Rolf Jensen has a multifarious approach; being in part the researcher with two decades of experience in studying, researching and analyzing; in part the witty and humorous entertainer who might be persuaded to mount an elephant; in part also the agent provocateur who will ask you questions that prompt you to pause and reflect; and finally the inspirational lecturer who interconnects well-known elements in a surprising manner. 

Dream company Dream Company was founded on April 2, 2022 – 196 years after the world famous Danish storyteller, Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday. It is a small enterprise with three employees and its name “Dream Company” manifests that the dream and the company are two sides of the same equation. Increasingly, it is becoming crucial that we integrate the emotional aspects with business life and work. We make our living as processors and mediators of impressions, which is why the firm is located smack in the middle of Copenhagen’s bustling city centre, surrounded by fine hotels, superb restaurants and exciting boutiques.






 
 

 

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