Written by Dan Israel, Strategy Lead, Mobile Center of Excellence, Atlanta & Perry Chan, Creative Director, Experience Innovation, New York

In the past, businesses centrally controlled the brand message and the customer experience. But a transformation is now taking place in the marketplace driven by four major trends: transparency, synchronization, optimization and the rise of digital

platforms. These result in, we believe, a new type of economy: The Economy of One. This new economy operates by very different rules — an increasingly active, enabled consumer, and a higher level of expectation in the role of brands and the tools they provide.

Radical Transparency of Data

Real-time Synchronization

Responsive Optimization

Digital Platforms

Trend 1:
Radical Transparency of Data

Trend 2:
Real-time Synchronization

Trend 3:
Responsive Optimization

Trend 4:
Digital Platforms

The ability for consumers to discover, combine and recombine data with or without the brand’s consent has resulted in transparent access to data. This is leading to disruptive innovation across industries; entire value chains are being revealed and rearranged.
Example: The music industry struggles as consumers discover and share music socially and in “bite-sized,” single tracks. Transparency is enabling bands and venues to set pricing and availability directly.

Consumer behavior has changed. Customers now conduct “bite-sized” engagements that start on one touchpoint, continue on another and may end somewhere else. Implicit in this customer journey is the need for all data to be synchronized in real time. Brands that create cloudbased solutions for these new customer journeys will have an advantage over others.
Example: The Amazon Kindle uses cloud-based data, allowing users to switch between mobile, tablet and PC platforms, while being updated in real time to the current page or author highlights.

Along with real-time synchronization comes an expectation for data to be rendered appropriately on any and every touchpoint where interaction occurs. But delivering this experience is quite challenging; thousands of content elements must be optimized for context, screen size and device type.
Example: Many media firms leverage responsive design techniques and built-in apps to deliver richer experiences on different touchpoints. ABC News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and many others optimize their tablet experiences to include video, while their smartphone experiences remain more text focused.

Digital platforms are everywhere. And with social tools, analytics, low cost and a high degree of scalability, these platforms now drive new consumer behavior— competition through social reputation, disruption and disintermediation of traditional players, and simple tools to find, evaluate and sell products.
Example: eBay’s storefront, Etsy and Airbnb are all leading this trend. Airbnb is particularly strong, based on their passionate user base and quality of the user experience. Their platform offers a breadth of services: a personalized calendar, social platform, massive scale and full financial integration.


Introducing the Economy of One
Characteristics of the Economy of One:
• It refers to the consumer who is empowered as a producer, influencer and a purchaser. • Customers operate in a multi-touchpoint world, often beginning with the smartphone. The consumer has a greater impact on a brand than just the initial action of buying a product or service. • Never before have consumers been able to generate a “network effect” as they can today - now, consumers can reach a huge audience with lightening-like speed and impact brands, either positively or negatively. • Consumer behavior has shifted to “bite-sized” engagements on multiple touchpoints. These touchpoints often become the primary mechanism of interaction in the long-term relationship with the brand..
Radical Transparency of Data
Real-time Synchronization

Let me contribute more than just reviews and comments • Let me analyze, organize and manipulate information about me, your brand, your product, your service and more • Help me understand who is my most important customer

Responsive Optimization

Digital Platforms

Make my life easier, better and simpler • Anticipate what I want • Provide tools to let other people discover my content • Enable me to (re)combine existing products • Let me share my content to accelerate discovery

Enhance our networks together • Make me look smart and make me look relevant to my networks • Make me feel included

The Economy of One
Customer Journey

Shape the experience around me, not you • Acknowledge and act on the feedback of me and my network • Let me influence those considering my products • Deliver a relevant experience and information at the right time in the right context • Empower associates so they can better assist me

Nurture our relationship beyond selling to me • Let me engage on my terms • Let me pick up the experience where I left off, be it on a PC, mobile device, tablet or other emerging device • Enable me to communicate with my best customers • Help me connect with other influencers

Offer me everything I am entitled to—the best prices, terms and points • Make it easy for me to buy, re-order and ship • Integrate my financial life and be cognizant of my purchasing ability • Let me sell my stuff without massive fees and expenses • Let me optimize the purchase through any device for my customers

• Consider rolling out products and services that provide new transparency and access between customers, as well as to customers • Implement cloud-based storage and synchronization of data across touchpoints • Reshape your product or services to accommodate “bite-sized” engagements through multiple touchpoints 46 • Consider partnering and amplifying the voices of your best customers (e.g., Vail’s EpicMix) • Leverage responsive design or other techniques to offer your products through all your customers’ preferred touchpoints