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consumer influence

It seems that every day we get told that there is a digital revolution afoot, and in the advertising industry, the nature of this revolution certainly changes depending on who is trying to sell what to you.

The advertising-hive-mind is now making noise around the idea of bring back one:one value, through fancy digital tools.  So I thought it was time to wriggle free from the shackles of cynicism and take a big-picture look into what ‘value’ revolution might actually be going on in the consumer landscape and the product shifts that may need to accompany it.

Basing this exploration on leading business thinkers, seemed to be a good idea for getting broader perspectives; so I’ve explored a key concept from the erudite Shoshanna Zuboff around how we can create value for consumers in our contemporary space.

The thoughts in the below presentation are based on applying her notes on a broader economic topic to our digital consumer context.

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This intended as a bit of a memes 101, originally written for a senior management man who wasn’t quite sure what all the fuss was about.  So this little article was born, because everyone deserves to understand our little meme friends.

A meme can be any idea that gains popularity, and it’s a slightly different take on what the traditional marketing guys may label as “buzz” or “hype” as it’s (usually) user-generated content that acts in a dialogue with the complex inter-textual network of a peer group or hyperlocal community. The most visible “memes” usually take form of appropriated images with captions: perhaps it’s to make a pithy comment on issues, express pet annoyances or just done for a laugh… some are quite layered and clever, others are not. There is not one main source for image memes. Anyone who has something (or nothing) to say can make one. And anything can become a “mainstream” meme.

image: meme - High Expectations Asian Father

High Expectations Asian Father

Most memes don’t explain themselves very well — you have to know how to read them, and you most likely have to look at several examples before you “get” the joke or the internal language. However, memes are increasingly entering mainstream dialogues and take many forms. Christina Xu and Christian Twang started ROFLCon in 2008, a deep dive conference into internet culture. They’re unofficially considered by many to be the official internet-meme mum and dad, the ones who started it all.  But, that’s the beauty of memes, they can’t really be owned by anyone.  They are live beasts that constantly evolve and by their nature are uncontrollable and roam free…. Read More

So a few weeks later I’ve managed to change jobs, book a wedding venue and reopen the Nike Case study series. With exams starting next week, I’m hoping for a prolific next 5 days with lots of writing and thinking and not much TV, couch or Fiancé (or as I like to call it, the Devil’s trinity of procrastination) I’ve managed to wrangle a week of study time between jobs and have dutifully set myself up in a suburban library, as far away from the Devil’s trinity as possible. So without further ado…

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When we’re looking at Nike’s developments over the past decade, innovation and consumer influence over the marketing mix and key product developments have changed dramatically. As Yoo et.al. (2009) point out, digital technology has radically reduced the communication cost for remote collaboration and coordination. While this has implications for all global companies, and how their international supply chains operate, it also changes the ball game for how consumers can interact with the company and what innovations are possible.

Stefan Olander, the company’s director of digital content notes, ‘‘In the past, the product was the end point of the consumer experience. Now it is the starting point.’’ The digital space has opened up infinite avenues for both continuous and dynamically continuous innovation, propelled by both consumer and the brand. A great example of Nike engaging in this space is the Nike + innovation.

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