As can be expected from his writing, this one is a very useful piece in analyzing what might be in store for the future of brands.
It is his opinion that brand power shifts with relative scarcity – so when “quality” products were scarce, the brand power resided with the product manufacturers. When quality became a commodity and shelf-space became a scarcity, the brand power shifted to retailers. And now that we have e-tailers and unlimited shelf-space, the brand power is shifting again…but where to?
The new scarcity is of course our attention! We only have so much time to find what we need. So he argues that what’s happening to brands now is even more fundamental than what happened in the last shift – we are in the midst of moving from product-centric brands to customer-centric brands. And creating customer-centric brands will require a new type of marketing – one which he described in his book Net Worth and which he calls collaboration marketing.
So I guess the customer is really in the power seat now…