The role of the customer has evolved where the act of co-production plays a more dominant role than in the previous era. This has been a slow journey that went through evolutionary cycles of change. It will be impossible to describe this journey in simple terms where you define a simple set of rules of this multi-dimensional evolution. But there are some signs…

This story starts after the industrial era – evidence that modern businesses are shaped around productivity and new business models. Productivity results in automation and business model innovation results in contemporary revenue models.
Business Models are described in “first order” and “second order” business models:
– The first order model is the easy model to define and the economic customer is well defined and becomes the focus of most business activity.
– The second order business model relies on the participative customer to drive economic value through a different set of customers.

Google makes money by having participative customers use their community for free. Well largely for free, services like Google Earth, Sketchup, Documents, Business have a “free option” and various payment options where you get additional services (a combination of first and second order models). Economic customers on the other hand pay to have access to participative customers – and this is where the advertising revenue model intersects with the services revenue model/s.
Neopets allow access to its vast gaming site to kids for free and then allow large brand organizations to create games. They sold immersive advertising models to companies that include General Mills, McDonalds. Mattel, Wrigley, Heinz, M&M Mars, Disney, Campbell Soup, Hershey, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, Kraft Foods/Nabisco, Frito-Lay, and Lego, along with several entertainment clients.

sellabandSellaband is a community site where a number of players share in the revenue that’s generated. Your efforts as a participative customer are rewarded economically. There are relationships formed to enhance the spread of customer networks. Sellaband and Amazon has a relationship that’s quite interesting.

…to be continued…

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