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Travel industry business models

Growing Your Digital Business Model?

CustomerExamples Are Everywhere

Quick: name an industry that was seriously disrupted by the internet?

You probably don't have to think long about it: media and entertainment, retail, travel, etc. - the more you thought about it, the more examples you could come up with, right?

Now, take that familiar connectivity technology, and add in the current menu of heady business model ingredients currently at hand: social, analytics, mobility, cloud, apps, content, etc.

Obviously, the potential for disruption is much greater, isn't it?

That aggregated disruptive potential isn't lost on many entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.Ecosystem Not should it be lost on the leaders found within many more traditional organizations. A new transformation is at hand: what role will you play?

I break my customer interactions into three rough buckets.

  1. Those that are unaware that something substantial is going on, and are largely unengaged.
  2. Those that are quite aware that something substantial is going on, and have started to make many of the right investments in leadership, organization and supporting technology.
  3. Those that are clearly rocking it better than their peers.

It's this last group that's drawing my attention these days. What makes them different? What's their secret sauce?

Fertile_groundIn addition to many of the formal structural elements I've enumerated in past posts, there seems to be something more: a context, a culture, a way of thinking about things at hand.

They have succeeded in creating the fertile ground on which to grow their new business model.

Common Attributes

So, without further delay, here's my quick list of cultural attributes that seem to always be at hand when I observe proficiency at transitioning to a digital business model.

  • An intense, passionate and empathetic focus on the end customer.

DisurptionThere's always lip service to be paid about understanding the needs of your customer, and then there's the deeper reality: going beyond the analyst reports and survey results towards a broad pattern of direct customer empathy across much of the organization.

Since I tend to spend a lot of time with IT leadership types, its especially refreshing when I hear that sort of talk track from a part of the organization not especially known for customer empathy.

When considering any digital business model, the whole goal is to re-invent the value proposition for your end customer in a digital world, and not simply re-package physical experiences using technology. And, naturally, having a deep and nuanced understanding of what these people really want and need is a huge boon in this task.

  • An intense, passionate and empathetic focus on all the people who help deliver the value proposition to the end customer.

In any B2B or B2C model, there will be many classes of stakeholders who directly or indirectly contributed to the end customer experience.

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