I am growing more and more aware of the fact that there are two types of companies in the world. Irrespective of the industry and irrespective of the size. And the common evaluation algorithm is their rapport with customers
On the one hand, we have companies that WANT.
On the other, we have companies that ENABLE.
Microsoft is a company that wants. Google is a company that enables. Unilever is a company that wants. Coke wants. Innocent enables. Zappos enables. Toyota enables. Ford wants.
How do I explain this? Simple. According to trendwatching.com we live in the expectation economy, where your customers expect a lot, want a lot, demand more, ask for stuff. They are laden with desires and aspirations which are always individualistic.
Your attitude, as a company, towards this kind of behavior is what defines you. You either want them to start doing certain that you think are best for them or you enable them to get what they expect, what they want, what they aspire to. Basically as a WANT company you replace their desires with yours. As an ENABLE company you take their desires and make them your business objective.
e.g. When phone companies make you pay different fees for speaking in a different network they want you to join their network and attract others, they want to gain control, they want to impose. Practically speaking the interconnection fees are not justifiable because they do not pay more for spectrum if it's T-Mobile spectrum. But they want you to only use their network.
When Nokia makes chargers that only fit their phones they want you to only buy Nokia stuff. In this logic Apple is pretty much a WANT company too. Because iTunes is proprietary, and the iPod is customizable only on Macs OR PCs but not on both.
I have recently read an amazing story in Wired's about google's Android. And here's a quote:
"Working with partners is not easy, and the operating system is just a part of it," says Scott Rockfeld, group product manager for Microsoft's Mobile Communications Business. "It seems like Google's strategy is 'Just get something out there so we can put our services on top.' Well, very quickly they're going to see that mobile operators don't want to be dumb pipes and that manufacturers want to differentiate their phones."
All of this is WANT talk. Manufacturers want, operators don't want....the question is, do we care what they want?
Now, what is my point? My point is who do you think will make a difference 20 years from now. And I don't mean that only in terms of love and brand loyalty but also in point of revenue. I cannot give a definite answer but having read the account that Wired does of Google's Android, I cannot help but think, if this works, how wonderfully free we might be - being able to compare prices instantly, to see traffic before you get there, to evaluate everything before you make a decision. And I think in a world filled with people free from the burden of not knowing WANT companies may not stand a chance.
communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.