So I hauled myself out of bed this morning and really did not have the energy to to much more than make a coffee and read the articles and news feeds that keep my mind fresh. This has been a tough week, I battled through a short term viral infection that almost took me out and have me curled up in the fetal position (thank you Neo Citron) and then yesterday I battled 19-25 kids in two games of LaserQuest for what seemed like an eternity. I could really feel my age bubbling through the top as I was winded and exhausted after the game during my daughter’s birthday party.
But then I stumble across an article promoting a new book “The End of Business as Usual”. The Promotional YouTube Video was well thought out and really hit home.
Now I looked through the article, jumped over to the website and then thought long and hard about what drew me to read this in first place…DIGITAL DARWINISM. The time for the revolutionary ideas are gone and it really is time for business to look to how they can remain relevant in a world that seems to have the attention span of a gnat. Is there a company that is immune to the fundamental shifts in buying habits and are they able to adapt, adjust and survive?
The economy is hanging on with just its finger tips and no foot hold right now and as our digital habits and social experiences drive traffic and dollars away from the brick and mortar world of Malls, Superstores and Outlets it becomes the challenge of all business’s retail, marketing and wholesale to refocus what and how they interact with their customers and their potential customers. In the video above you hear of the fate of Blockbuster…yes I jumped on board and purchased 15-20 new DVDs and Blu Rays but have not used my card there since the Internet got fast enough to stream the same quality direct to my desktop or to my TV through a game console or custom “app”. Blockbuster did not die because it did not have a good product or had good employees, it died because society made a fundamental shift in how it wants to interact with its movies and online services like NetFlix killed Blockbuster just like “Video killed the Radio Star”.
Now the interesting thing about looking at the Digital Evolution, just like when we look at Evolution within biology…there are times that a rapidly changing organism like in this case NetFlix enters the EcoSystem becomes very disruptive but when they are unable to adapt and change in a way that can sustain their growth and satisfy both customer demand and customer service…there becomes a void in that same EcoSystem as the Hunter becomes the Hunted. NetFlix has been very successful but when they recently announced that they would be splitting off what had made them the Top of the Digital Media Food Chain and having their Online Streaming service and their new (once integral piece) Qwickster that will overhaul their mail drop DVD service has angered the sleeping giant that is the Consumer.
Will NetFlix go the way of Blockbuster and shut its digital doors forever? When a wrong turn happens for a business, is there ever a real way for it to save face and win back the customers it lost? This is not a Monopoly kind of Business EcoSystem and there are hundreds of hungry competitors nipping at its heals just hoping to take over even a small portion of its market share. For me…I left NetFlix not because of poor support or even the price…I left NetFlix and returned to Cable TV because their streaming video options absolutely suck here in Canada and rather than fight our CRTC (Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission) for the right to go head to head and provide Canadian Clients with first run content…it just is not worth any amount to run my TV through the Game Console. Is cable costing me more…ABSOLUTELY but 3 months in and it is worth every penny we are spending…I am no longer captain Tech Support and the amount that I download is about 2% of what it used to be (and this despite the fact that I have 50 Times the speed???).
Well my word to all companies and all brands out there. The Future is Now…listen to your customer…get Social with them and not just for the battle of the # of Likes you get on Facebook or the number of Followers you have on Twitter. Really engage your customers and potential customers and get ahead of the Digital Evolution that is hitting us like a Mack Truck running at full throttle!
Chris J Powell