At Open we identify and examine customer issues. At DNA we deliver on that thinking.

"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." - Albert Einstein

Commercial Intimacy

Not That Long Ago This Was an Oxymoron

Noel Brown April 2011

To be commercial and also to build intimacy – a rich experience, a trusting relationship, one that is always on and always with you – yeah right. A nice notion but for most businesses this was a pipedream, and the cost didn’t really seem that easy to justify the effort. Alongside that, for most customers it was too suffocating – and required a commitment many were less than keen to sign up to.

We have been around the brand marketing design scene for a long time now and we’ve seen a lot of change.  Recently we have been reflecting on that experience and projecting forward. We believe there is a clear pattern and an inevitable trend.

We are moving inexorably toward a future where it will be possible to engage with each and every individual customer in a unique and meaningful way. We have called this future state Commercial Intimacy. This trend has a long history and in some ways is moving back to the preindustrial state where all commerce was local, personal and intimate. Mass production leading to the corporation and mass marketing, on to niche marketing and, we believe ultimately back to something personal.

Rapidly advancing technology is what will make Commercial Intimacy possible. En masse it will be a very 21st century, social media generation version of the personal, but nevertheless personal.  Whilst technology will enable it, radical demographic change (generational, ethnic and social) will provide the ready audience. The state of the New Zealand economy, increasing global competition and the need to compete will provide the need.
We believe examples of this trend are all around us, signposts include:

  • The volume of personal data being collected
  • The way that is being used to personalise offers
  • Increasing opportunity to serve yourself via internet sales channels
  • How loyalty schemes are developing
  • The increasing commercial use of social  media

To operate effectively in this way many organisations will have to radically change the way they are organised in order to truly understand their customers and to serve them in a cohesive joined up and consistent way.

We believe that commercial intimacy – the approach to the viable niche of one – is the context within which we need to operate and provide value to our clients. We believe the foundation for that will be understanding the trend, keeping up to date with the latest developments and using that knowledge to make sense of the day to day challenges facing us and our clients.

Open is our mechanism for understanding Commercial Intimacy as it develops – together with you.


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