Reports from the Knowledge Labs about our recent findings, research topics, and interviews with lifestyle leaders who are creating their own futures.

How to stimulate your own powers of foresight. Consider the following thought provokers. Ask yourself, in these categories what are the brand new trends and forces? Which are the ones growing in importance? Which current forces are loosing their steam? Which have peaked or are reversing themselves? Which are the "wildcards" about to disrupt us in the future? POLITICAL AND TECHNICAL thought for food: Electronics, Materials, Energy, Fossil, Nuclear, Alternative, Other, Manufacturing (techniques), Agriculture, Machinery and Equipment, Distribution, Transportation (Urban, Mass, Personal, Surface, Sea, Subsurface, Space), Communication (Printed, Spoken, Interactive, Media), Computers (Information, Knowledge, Storage & Retrieval, Design, Network Resources), Post-Cold War, Third World, Conflict (Local, Regional, Global), Arms Limitation, Undeclared Wars, Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Governments (More/Less Power and Larger or Smaller Scale), Taxes, Isms: Nationalism, Regionalism, Protectionism, Populism, Cartels, Multinational Corporations, Balance of Trade, Third Party Payments, Regulations (OSHA, etc.) Environmental Impact, U.S. Prestige Abroad. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC Food for thought: Labor Movements, Unemployment / Employment Cycles, Recession, Employment Patterns, Work Hours / Schedules, Fringe Benefits, Management Approaches, Accounting Policies, Productivity, Energy Costs, Balance of Payments, Inflation, Taxes, Rates of Real Growth, Distribution of Wealth, Capital Availability and Costs, Reliability of Forecasts, Raw Materials, Availability and Costs, Global versus National Economy, Market versus Planned Economies, Generations: Y, X, Boomers, Elderly, Urban vs. Rural Lifestyles, Affluent vs. Poor, Neighborhoods and Communities, Planned or Organic Growth. Got Knowledge?

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The Journal of 2020 Foresight
Saturday, September 02, 2006  

Ultimate in Personalization: Staged Experiences to Transform Customers

Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

By Steve Howard, CKO
The Knowledge Labs

Table of Contents
Chapter One: Basecamp
Chapter Two: The Ridge
Chapter Three: The Outpost
Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

"And always remember: The Indians and Chinese are not racing us to the bottom. They are racing us to the top -- and that is a good thing! They want higher standards of living, not sweatshops; they want brand names, not junk; they want to trade their motor scooters for cars and their pens and pencils for computers. And the more they do that, the higher they climb, the more room is created at the top -- because the more they have, the more they spend, the more diverse product markets become, and the more niches for specialization are created as well."

Thomas Friedman, “The World is Flat”

DOUBLE NICKEL RANCH. In the future, according to Pine and Gilmore, even experiences will become a commodity when customized uniquely to the customer who will pay a premium to the most differentiated competitor who can transform -- provide the highest form of relevance -- that customer.

Journal of 2020 Foresight: Where will it end? And, like my kids would ask on vacation, are we there yet?

Explorer: In much the same way that organizations grow through transitional and transformational phases, individual customers do too.

J2020F: What does that mean?

Explorer: We’ll go into more detail later, but think about the process as a metamorphosis from one life stage to another. It may be event-triggered or an adult development maturation process.

J2020F: So a coach or mentor assists the person who changes or matures? Like taking an amateur tennis player to the next level -- on the professional tour?

Explorer: Yes. The “customers” develop into a more fully functioning and lasting version of themselves. While a staged experience, like a play or a trip through Main Street in Disneyland or Disneyworld, may be entertaining, educational or provide an escape, its effect is temporary.

J2020F: O.K. And?

Explorer: Thus, the staged experience can be commoditized when customers become transformed. But, not every company is as far along as the theory would have you believe – as the answer to the second part of your question – the one your vacationing kids ask.

J2020F: So, then where are we today in this march from commodity to customization and commoditization?

Explorer: Most product manufacturing industries experience shrinking margins unless they shift to outsourced contractors, use software to link and synchronize their off-shore supply chain and look for strategies to combat the commoditization threats from service providers.

J2020F: What are they doing about it?

Explorer: Their reinvention talent tribes are working through the adjustments required to mass customize their offerings to resemble a more personalized service.

J2020F: So, there is a strategy that can be effective for them?

Explorer: Yes, they succeed when they master the interplay between dynamic and stable product and process changes.

Got Knowledge?
Copyright ©2002 - 2006 Aarnaes Howard Associates. All rights reserved worldwide.

7:23 AM

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