As reported in by Michael Short for The Zone

…Chris Sanderson of the Future Laboratory talks of ”the turbulent teens”. We are, they say, entering a time of unusual volatility, driven primarily by mobile technology and demographics.

”We coined the expression to describe a decade in which change is the norm, rather than the exception. That’s coming at us from all different angles . . .

”We sense that all of this turbulence is going to cause these trends to behave like teenagers. So, one minute you swing and the next minute you swing back the other way.”

But there’s a beacon. ”All our research has shown that the more engaged, the more involved we feel, the more we can then talk about our experience, the more we tend to remain loyal to that brand.”

”If you’re in a period of transformation, revolution even, where things are just moving so quick, a solution from a business perspective is to be absolutely rock solid . . .

”So, when you start using metaphoric language to describe potential business strategy, either your philosophy is written in stone and is unchanging – you present the same thing you’ve always presented because people will come to you because you represent security, stability – or you’ve got to be as flexible or kind of fluctuating as the consumer. You’ve got to anticipate and appreciate their mood swings and their desire to be able to tip onto the next things.”

For those who opt for agility, Sanderson has come up with a mantra: ”betapreneurialism”. Actually, it’s a cute, clever word for the classical notion of winning by constantly testing ideas and methods. Ditch the 100-page business plan and just do it.

”We saw the continued growth of small, young businesses that were just having a go, trying things in the face of often intense competition from much bigger, established brands . . .

”It is not about being an underground movement and trying to bring down the doors of capitalism. It is about a generation of people who are very pro-commerce; they are very engaged with commerce. But, what we’ve seen is a freeing-up or removal of the traditional structures that define commerce.”

”Whilst people have always been able to stand on the street corner and sell something, the combination of the digital world and access to digital technology shifts the way that we think about traditional constructs of business and the organised process of what it meant to be in business.”

Where Sanderson is trying to give some fresh value, though, is by helping people understand what this means for retailers and their customers. The potential watershed is the power of the computer so many of us carry around in our pockets, and the ability for retailers to know exactly where you are at any moment, should you allow them… continue to article and interview transcript

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