Are Customers Forcing Companies To Change Industry? - UK

I have often blogged about my view that great content is where the telecoms and Internet Service Providers are now focused. If you have seen any of my earlier blogs on this subject then you will know that I believe that customers are becoming much less interested in details of the network, like download speeds, and are focusing on what they can get from the network they are using.

I was thinking about this a little more because it seems to me that many companies are doing more than just blurring the boundaries of where they operate – some appear to be jumping into entirely new business areas and industries.

Think about these disparate industries for a moment; retail, payments, hardware devices, Internet infrastructure, drones, and entertainment. It sounds like an enormous collection of activities from very different industries, but Amazon is engaged in all these activities.

How about hardware devices, media, communications, software, wearables, retail, and payments? I would suggest that Apple is engaged in all these activities. What about telecoms, connected health systems, entertainment, the cloud, the connected home? Telstra is doing all of this.

So there appears to be a bigger and more far-reaching change. As society becomes more digital and the way that customers interact with brands changes, their expectations change and companies adopt new ways of interacting – and new services. in many cases the services appear to be from entirely unrelated industries to the core business.

Look at the tech companies wanting to get into the automotive sector, banks trying to be considered as utilities, and retailers wanting to be manufacturers. The changing customer relationship is forcing big companies to rethink what they do and to sometimes become quite different in how they behave and what they offer to the market.

Anyone who has attended business school knows that the previously dominant phone company Nokia originally manufactured Wellington boots. Examples of big companies entirely shifting industry used to be quite rare, but I think that in the modern business environment we are seeing a much more fluid environment and this is being driven by customer expectations.

What do you think? Are my earlier observations about the telcos becoming media players really being played out across many other industries? Leave a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn.

Photo by Thomas Hawk licensed under Creative Commons.

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