Going Viral in the Era of Consumers | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 02, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:27 PM, April 23, 2015

INNOVATION

Going Viral in the Era of Consumers

Do you know how the global companies dominated the market in a different Era?  Do you know how the sources of competitive advantages have changed over time? As a fresher or a young entrepreneur, you need to know what will work best for your company. What should be your approach while formulating product and service roadmap for your startups? 

In every era, great marketers dominated the world with their innovative strategies. In the era of manufacturing (1900 to 1960) Ford, GE, P&G and Sony dominated the market; in the era of distribution (1961-1990) Walmart, Toyota, UPS dominated the scene. Then came the era of information (1991-2010): Dell, Google, and Microsoft are the players; and finally came the era of customer (2010 and beyond).
This is the first installment of my series on “Innovation” in which I'll be discussing how innovative strategies have changed over time and now focusing on just customers, and how companies are going viral with excellence in customer service.

One of the eyeglass makers in India is providing the option to the customers to upload their picture and then try on different glasses virtually just to see how they look. A salon in USA called “Gabriel Logan” is now offering virtual personal stylist for their consumers. On the company website of the salon, their clients first upload their pictures; they can try different looks, hair colours, makeup even before visiting the venue. This is how great companies across the globe are stepping into the next era – the era of excellence in customer service, through service-centric innovative strategies.

Another example would be Airtel's mCommerce Short Code. Through a single short code, Airtel Bangladesh was able to connect all mobile financial service (MFS) providers/ banking partners, and customers can easily dial *400# code to get to the menu offered by the MFS partners. Customers do not have to remember every single short-code of each MFS partner; they can just remember one single code *400#. Recently Airtel Bangladesh won the Mobile Money Global Award for this innovative approach towards customer service excellence in the Collaboration Commendation category.

The latest example would be “MeerKat”, a live video streaming app connected to Twitter account. The beauty of this service is that while you are broadcasting video tweets; your connections will not only be able to watch the video in real time but also will be able to respond to, like, share your tweet. This is a great opportunity for marketers to showcase their new products and services. According to Fortune, Meerkat made it to the top 100 social network apps in the US in the first two weeks since its launch. 

In this era of customers, companies are shifting their focus. They are working constantly to make their customers more empowered and active.

In the next installments, I'll discuss the innovative strategies of Amazon, Alibaba, Air Asia and how they are dominating the market with their innovation in the era of customer service excellence.  

The writer is a professional with over 11 years of experience in mobile banking and digital marketing and is currently the Head of mCommerce Operations at Airtel Bangladesh Ltd.

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