What’s the Future of Business: 20 Updated WTF Lessons for a Hybrid World – Brian Solis

What's the Future of Business (WTF) by Brian Solis, Photo credit: Guy Spier (Instagram), author of Education of a value investor

After all this time, I'm not sure how I missed this. My friend Juan Carlos Giraldo is published a compilation of 20 highlights after re-reading, What's the Future of Business (WTF): Changing the way companies create experiences.

Over the past few weeks, I've been hearing about returning digital and business leaders WTF or those encountering it for the very first time.

Everything makes me smile!

Here's a fun fact, WTF was not on my road map for books to write. Follows End of business as usualShannon Vargo, my editor at Wiley, and I worked on X: The experience when business meets design. Shannon pointed out that the leap between the books was quite significant. She suggested an e-book that would act as a bridge between them. I paused writing Xand continued to create WTF. We decided to experiment with the concepts of experience design explored in the design of the book itself. This led to the release of a hard copy.

Here is the development…

End of business: A new customer is emerging and here is how your business and your leadership needs to change.

WTF: Let's explore the new digital and mobile first customer journeys to reimagine the ‘cluster funnel' and create something more dynamic, personal and intuitive.

X: Experience design in a hybrid world is the next frontier. How to design unforgettable, personal and meaningful experiences that reinvigorate customer relationships in a new world.

WTF's Research-based exploration of the new journey and the moment of truth was so significant that the book went on to become a print title. My friends at Mekanism designed the book (as well as X), and here we are…

Here's another fun fact. WTF and X are designed to emulate mobile apps on paper for a more intuitive reading experience. The book's lessons are designed in the reader's UX to function as a meta-experience. We call them analog apps.

20 updated WTF lessons for a hybrid world

In no particular order:

1: The Future of Business is about relevance and the ability to understand how technology affects decision-making and behavior. The recognition of new opportunities and the ability to strategically adapt to them becomes a competitive advantage.

2: Humility is a gift and it is needed in business now more than ever.

3: Just because a company adopts new technology does not mean it creates meaningful, productive or measurable experiences.

4: Customer focus starts with recognizing that customer experiences are owned by customers. That's why I refer to CX as “customer experience.”

5: Experiences are the new “relationship”.

6: As people research, read reviews, tweets and blog posts, ask and answer questions in communities, watch videos and simply learn from the experiences of others, these moments of truth require study and definition. Think, “TikTok made me buy it.”

7: The best brands consistently win in this increasingly important “Ultimate Moment of Truth.” When a customer experiences the product, from purchase, to unpacking/use, to service and everything in between, feel these experiences. When they share these experiences with others, the next potential customer may follow their lead…to or away from you. Your customer's experience and what they say when you're not in the room shouldn't be a surprise. You need to design it for what you want them to experience and share.

8: 79% of consumers say they use a smartphone to make decisions. Additionally, 70% of customers look at product reviews before making a purchase.

9: You may think that because you have strong SEO and a social presence on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, that you are doing what you need to do. But chances are your customers will discover solutions in ways and places where you might not show up. You need to link keywords and phrases to places, content and people that customers discover when they search and consider new solutions and results.

10: People will talk, so give them something to talk about. That's the opportunity you have if you focus on creating memorable and shareable experiences.

11: Digital influence is expanding beyond the boundaries of digital screens, influencing business decisions online and offline, especially in this new hybrid world.

12: Engagement is as much art as science. Understanding the behavior of your connected consumer requires an internship in the social sciences – from digital anthropology and psychology to sociology and ethnography”.

13: Good products and services contribute to loyalty. Great commitment inspires opinion formation. Underestimating experiences says it all about how you value customers. You reap what you sow. Shared experiences, good or bad, are what you earn or deserve. Design for the experiences you want people to feel, remember and share.

14: The power of peer-to-peer influence has perhaps its greatest power. Peer-driven word of mouth has always had a powerful cause-and-effect relationship. Now influence is everywhere and it manifests itself in all forms of content, on all platforms.

15: Social media is more about sociology and psychology than technology.

16L The brands that survive this era of financial disruption will be the ones best able to evolve because they recognize the need and opportunity to do so, ahead of their competitors. This is the right side of digital Darwinism.

17: The primary function of UX is the development of an architecture that creates delightful, emotional and sensory experiences at every touch point, not just the design, but the experience itself.

18: Disruptive technologies are the ongoing innovations that emerge without the expectation of introducing a new capability or solution that creates a market and value network at the expense of an existing market and value network.

19: Remember that growth and value creation are at the top of the priority list for most CEOs. As you seek to innovate and transform and secure new resources, represent the voice of the customer and speak the language of the C-Suite.

20: Disruptive innovation represents a change in behavior and value creation.

BONUS CHAPTER: A special surprise for WTF readers

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