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Trend Brief: Product-Service Ecosystems

July 2013
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In the most recent trend brief, FutureVision explores how product-service ecosystems work together to provide value to the consumer. Tomorrow’s companies are challenged to sell more than simple products; value will be determined by the ability to connect digital experience to product performance. Easy-to-use, effective products that fit into consumers’ tech-powered lifestyles will be the hallmark of tomorrow’s business leaders. Gone is the standalone product, replaced by a network of connected devices that work together to improve the consumer experience.

Consumers now expect much more than quality devices – they demand a quality experience. Their interest has shifted from the device itself to what the device enables them to do. Brands can capitalize on this trend by offering not only advanced technology via products but also services designed to enhance the experiences these products provide.

Highlighted in the most recent Trend Brief:

A New Mobile Store Of Value

The personalization of mobile devices helped create the “always-on” consumer. By providing secure extensions for discovery, transaction, and loyalty, smartphones have become physical extensions of a user’s identity. With consumers accumulating substantial libraries of digital media and personal data, there are opportunities to leverage this new store of mobile value. The deep investment also creates an incentive for staying with one system.

The Shift To Service

We can now find and own anything we want, at any time. Because of this, consumers no longer simply value ownership of physical goods; instead, consumers are increasingly valuing the services and experiences a business can provide. Innovative businesses have started experimenting with new transaction models and relationships with consumers, selling the notion of time or promoting ownership through sharing rather than pushing a single sale.

Physical Products, Digital Services

Hardware has achieved new significance as the gateway to virtual content. Digitally infused products extend the capabilities of hardware, blurring the line between products and services. This new breed of connected products is finding utility by providing minimally intrusive digital information, allowing consumers to check in without checking out.

The Networked Home

Increasingly, our homes and appliances are becoming smart — connected, controlled, and programmed through our mobile devices. The home is becoming a centralized network, with our mobile devices enabling new forms of device interaction and automation. Equipped with an array of sensor technologies, these smart appliances can learn about us and our space, adapting to our habits to provide optimal service and maximum benefits.

Designing For Digital Experiences

To create a more holistic experience between brands, products, and services, companies are re-aligning internal workflows to be more collaborative. By emphasizing cross-functional teams, championing constant experimentation, and utilizing feedback, companies will be able to create experiences that reach consumers across all possible touch points. New products should be designed to deliver services that reinforce a brand’s promise.

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