July 6th, 2013

Book Review: The End of Business As Usual, by Brian Solis

Brian Solis‘s “The End of Business As Usual: Rewire The Way You Work To Succeed In The Consumer Revolution” is one of those books that I want all marketers to read. I restrained myself from highlighting the entire book and ended up with 101 highlighted passages. I am about a year and a half behind in reading it, but the lessons are not old though the data may be a bit dated.

The lesson in “The End of Business As Usual” is that consumers rule brand perceptions and they drive their networks’ perceptions of that brand in turn. Pretending these communities and conversations are not happening is no longer an option. ¬†And just being in the spaces pushing out content is not enough. Consumers know you are marketing to them and they expect you to work hard to win their affections. All you have to do is listen to what they are telling you they want.

This book covers social media, but it is not solely about social media. It is about human behavior and the shifts we are seeing in that behavior as a result of the digital technologies and communications tools available to consumers.

I reviewed my 101 highlighted passages and pulled out my favorite 13 to share with you here:

“Your brand is affected with or without your engagement. Designing experiences and strengthening them based on what’s learned through customer sharing sets the stage for adaption and improvement.”

“People also share experiences because it paints a picture of not only who they are, but who they aspire to be. When they Like a brand or tweet a purchase, it’s not just an update, it’s a form of self-expression.”

“Social media amplifies the noise. But as it is freely available to anyone to embrace, the question is how you will amplify the signal.”

“Consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Their daily habits extend beyond social networking, watching videos on YouTube, and texting. It’s how they make purchase decisions, offer referrals, and share experiences that require an open mind.”

“Connected consumers expect to be rewarded, however they’re showing that electronic badges just aren’t enough. They’re demanding discounts, special offers, and freebies to continue serving their personal endorsements across their social graphs. After all, the activity is mutually beneficial. Businesses attract customers who help spread the word and consumers feel that their presence and network are appreciated.”

“Connected consumers no longer start their online experiences by visiting destinations; they visit their streams.”

“The community is only as strong as our investment in earning the attention of connected consumers and nurturing a community that engages and provokes the sharing of information. The distance between a brand and its customers is measured by shared experiences.”

“People¬†tend to have between four and six real-life groups. For some, it’s school, church, family, sports, hobbies, and so on. And each of those groups tends to have between 2 and 10 people.”

“On Facebook, the average size of the social graph is 130. However, studies show that the vast majority of Facebook users interact regularly with just four to six people.”

“Nearly 20 percent of Millennials attended a brand-sponsored event in the past 30 days. Of those who attended, 65 percent purchased the featured product. But that’s not all. Twenty-five percent worldwide have joined seven or more brand-sponsored communities online! This influential generation is moving beyond the role of traditional consumer and assuming the role of self-ordained experts. Forty-seven percent will write about their positive experiences with companies and products online. On the flipside, 39 percent will share negative encounters.”

“Relevance, as we learn, is earned through constant participation and self-expression and for businesses, relevance is difficult to earn.”

“Context is king and is the key to earning relevance.”

“Access to information is a commodity, but the significance of the network is as valuable as the insights poured into it and the creativity it inspires.”

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Link to book on Amazon