In our work with leading brands over the past decade, across the commercial, non-profit and public sectors, there has been a discernible cultural and economic shift as people redefine their relationship to the organisations and institutions with which they interact. They are seeking:

Infographic illustrating the elements of the networked and socially-aware economy

Human-ness: As organisations have grown in size and become more and more de-personalised, people are wanting more human interactions and a personal response. They are looking for solutions that are human-scale, ones that they can relate to.

Authenticity: From greenwashing to the GFC, the market’s trust has been eroded. People are looking for organisations to say what they mean and mean what they say, to hear real voices, free from spin. And they expect increasing levels of transparency.

Responsibility: Global warming, looming limits to natural resource consumption, pollution and waste; respect for human dignity with fair wages and conditions — people want to support organisations that take these issues seriously. Not just tacked on as part of an ancillary CSR initiative, but integrated into the organisation’s core strategy.

Co-creation: People are taking a more active role in developing the products and services that they use. And if they don’t find what they’re looking for, they will often create it themselves. In many cases, these new services are “creatively destructive”, disrupting existing industries and creating new market leaders.

These shifts are accelerating, empowered by social networks and the technologies that underpin them. This networked economy radically reduces the transaction costs of organising and enables an unprecedented scaling of peer-to-peer connections, significantly impacting existing business models and value chain organisation.

At Zumio, we describe these shifts collectively as the networked and socially-aware economy. It is an economy that is currently not well served, representing a significant opportunity for organisations with a strategic focus on shared value, enabling them to capitalise on these largely untapped market drivers.