The development of the Internet has changed the fundamentals of modern business. Not since the invention of Gutenberg's press has there been such a dramatic shift in our ability to disseminate information across vast spaces so quickly and easily. This has led to two major changes that businesses must confront in order to survive: the consumer's new demand for better customer service, and the employee's new expectations for the work environment. In Consumer Evolution, Charles Grantham and Judith Carr explain how the Internet has affected the minds of customers and of employees and effectively changed the rules of business.
Companies no longer drive the interactions that lead to profitability. Instead, customers now choose the time and place of business interactions, deciding whether they take place in person, on the Internet, or both. Meanwhile, the new wired mentality of the informed modern worker demands that organizations develop adaptable, nonhierarchical, and highly networked corporate cultures. In essence, employees demand workplaces that provide them with higher social capital. Organizations that fail to comprehend the new social psychology--and fail to take account of these two major shifts--will lose competitive advantage in an era in which change is the only constant.
Consumer Evolution offers nine effective business strategies that take these psychological changes into account. Over the length of nine concise chapters, it presents vital insight into the constantly changing buying patterns of consumers and lays the foundation for a competitive strategy in an environment in which customer relationship management has become a driving business force. Managers will find expert advice for developing branding and advertising programs that connect them more closely to their customers while also discovering fresh business strategies for maintaining market position, exploiting the business cycle, competing globally, and defining customer need.
Psychological issues in the workplace are covered in detail to help executives understand the people who comprise their organizations. Concrete strategies are provided for maximizing organizational technology, simplifying operational structure, and dealing with the demands of the new distributed workplace.
Consumer Evolution presents managers with the key to understanding the new psychology of markets, customers, and employees while giving them the tools to develop and implement a sustainable competitive advantage based on the new rules of business.
"Consumer Evolution is a lucid, insightful guide to the massive economic and cultural changes that are reshaping business in the twenty-first century. Grantham and Carr sketch the big picture and its practical implications with equal ease. The result is a remarkably accessible, well-organized, and practical guide to business in the post- dot.com, post-9/11 age."
-- Dylan Tweney, Business 2.0, columnist and author
"Now that the hype has abated, we can begin to work on those critical elements that must be added to or modified in our management strategies. While global in reach, the internet is a personal thing. Consumer Evolution looks at how these personal aspects must be considered in our strategies and practices."
--Bruce J. Rogow, Fellow, Differentis Consulting, London, UK
"Grantham and Carr do an excellent job of linking the changed psychology of the marketplace to new strategies which businesses must implement. A must-read for any executive who is trying to think outside the box, and draw outside the lines. CIO's will find this especially helpful as they integrate their systems with others in marketing, human resources, and finance."
--Deems Davis, CIO, Combined Specialty Group, AON Insurance
"Finally a book on 'strategy' that is not telling us to be revolutionaries to survive in the 'new' economy. Instead, Grantham and Carr recognize the importance of economic, business, and cultural cycles and show us the importance of understanding where we are in each of those cycles with different frequencies. Business success belongs to those organizations positioning themselves with the strategies best aligned with each of those cycles.
Successful strategies start with the right people having appropriate knowledge, supported by focused processes, employing appropriate technologies, designing performance-supporting structures. Grantham and Carr focus on people and their interaction with processes, technology, and structure.
This is a refreshing book striking a delicate balance between scholarly analysis and eminently practical advice. A must-read by business leaders, particularly those tired of the hype accompanying the 'new' economy and the 'dot.com' bust."
-- G?rald de Kerchove, PdK Consulting, former CFO, Fair, Isaac and Co.
"Drs. Grantham and Carr remind us of a crucial truth: the Internet and the global economy operate best only when business leaders remember that today's customers and employees demand meaningful responsiveness and personal connectedness in business relationships.
Grantham and Carr have their fingers on the pulse of what makes today's businesses work: the sophisticated interplay of technology and the human needs of employees and customers."
--Dr. Steve Flannes, Psychologist, coauthor, People Skills for Project Managers