What Happened in the Music Industry Will Happen To You

March 1, 2010

By 2000, the music industry was under siege by renegade customers. Here’s how new businesses and new business models emerged in response to customers’ behaviors. The music industry was the canary in the proverbial coal mine. As music studios resisted, customers changed the ways they interacted with and valued digital goods. These same customer requirements have already impacted many other industries. To respond proactively, you need to anticipate these renegade customer behaviors and provide new win/win business models.

(An excerpt from The Customer Revolution, published in March 2001)

What happens when customers actually take control of an industry and reshape it? The recent transformation of the worldwide music industry provides a good example. What can we learn from the music industry that would apply to other industries coming under siege as customers take control? Here are some thoughts that may be useful for companies in any industry:

  • Notice how customers use your products and services, then figure out how to make it easier for them to do so. Adjust your practices and pricing to support the ways in which customers want to use your products.
  • Watch the renegades and early adopters carefully. They’ll lead the way and show you how your business practices will be changing shortly.
  • Once you discover what customers may be doing with your products and services in a clumsy or slightly difficult way, figure out how you can streamline that process for them, thus gaining their loyalty and allegiance in exchange for increased convenience.
  • Customers want to take ownership and control over the products and services they purchase and use. By offering them services that make it easy for them to better manage their assets, you’ll build closer relationships with them.
  • Many customers also want to “strut their stuff.” Think about how your products and services can make your customers look good. Give them ways to amplify that experience.

... the report continues...

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