The economy has shifted from a factory-based, production-driven, capability-driven model to a consumer-driven model that requires more innovative and flexible branding. Speed to market has become a formidable competitive edge. For example, if a customer cannot find a desired product at the local grocer and asks the grocer to order it, the customer has just customized her shopping experience, and changed her grocer’s inventory plan, to boot. Eventually, the store might stock the product on a regular basis to meet growing demand.
Note that demand is traveling backwards: from the consumer to the retailer to distributor to packer to producer. The grocer is no longer setting demand, nor is the producer. The customer is.
Customers demand customized brand experiences. Perhaps the term “customer” has finally laid claim to the full meaning it should have possessed all along.
Marketing, sales, and revenue models have shifted in the past couple of decades. The advertising model is struggling; the public relations model is thriving. The pull-through effect, for example, is often the result of brand awareness, which glowing publicity can help generate.
Years ago, public relations were considered secondary to advertising. PR people existed to reinforce advertising; they essentially looked for crafty ways to communicate the brand’s slogan or tagline. But today’s brands are built with publicity and maintained with advertising, not the other way around. What other people say about your brand is far more powerful than what you say about it.
In the old economy, we trolled familiar revenue streams for profits. In the new economy, we generate multiple revenue streams (ideally, as many of them passive and running on autopilot as possible) and we use technology and innovative thinking to do it.