Imagine: entrepreneuring in 2030. Still 20 years to go, quite far ahead. 20 years ago, nobody had a PC, let alone a cell phone. 12 years ago we still used “greenpoints” for mobile calls. 5 years ago, we were trying the first forms of WAP. 2.5 years ago, Facebook was founded. Is it possible to look into the future? And if yes, how will we be using innovation in 20 years?
We are all sure about a shift in the way entrepreneuring will take place. In 20 years, we will innovate quadratic faster than we do now. By then, innovation has become a “commodity”. Anno 2030 we won’t talk about innovation that much anymore, because what is currently a challenge for approximately 90% of the organisations (the other 10% are not even thinking about innovation), will be standardized in 2030. Without innovation, a company won’t exist. Just like safety on the floor 20 years ago. So, in 20 years, a company can’t be proud of the fact that they are innovative; if you don’t you simply don’t exist. So, what will be competing factors in 2030?
In the figure below, you’ll find a schematic perspective on positioning in 2030, using 2 views: price and innovation. To build a bridge between these factors and innovation, I added the target group definitions of Rogers. And the second figure, we’ll see the result of slow shift that will take place in the next 20 years: we can’t compete on innovation.
Most of you won’t believe me now. And you’re most likely right for the next few years. Because of social media and comparative sites, it will be easier for consumers to check quality, trustworthiness and price. And of course, they will go for the most lucrative combination. Lots of researchers are therefore concluding that customer loyalty will disappear. Customers seem to become less sensitive to brands and even with creative and challenging techniques it becomes harder to create a high retention.
However, the opposite is the case. Where everybody thinks that customer loyalty disappears, I believe sincerely that it will be the key to successful entrepreneurship in 20 years. Currently, organisations position themselves on quality, thrustworthiness and price, in 20 years they will use different aspects. But they will keep positioning themselves. Most likely, they will themselves at great service, customer participation and transparency. And all together, this will lead to customer loyalty.
- Service: service – or: customer value – will play more and more a critical factor in decisions. If the quality, creativity and price are all good, what other aspects will influence the decision of the customer? On all aspects that coming together with the product: service, speed, completeness, et cetera. Customers expect service to be 100%, and you will have to make that happen or you’ll lose the battle.
- Customer participation: In 2030, your customers will be part of your community. They will be part of your enterprise. Co-creation 2.0: your customers start entrepreneuring, you are producing. They will create, you will execute. They experience, you adapt. They tell you how to run your company, you will thank them for that.
Transparancy: participating customer snot only want tob e part of your organisation, they als act in it. Therefore, they expect you to be complete transparent. This means that want to get updated about (strategic) decisions, the (informal) organization structures and internal communication. In other words: personal and accessible.
Though 2030 still seems far ahead, some companies are already on track. A good example is Lego. If you can’t win the battle on price, intellectual property rights or quality, you’ll have to find another way:
Obviously, this traject will not be easy. Talking about ‘customer participation’ and ‘transparancy’, you’ll find out that customer will start to play a shifting role in our markets. If the co-develop and co-create, will they be co-owners? And who has the right on intellectual property then? Will IP even exist by then? More about this topic soon.
If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.”
William Arthur Tard (1921-1994)