In 2015 Uber, the world’s largest taxi company owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media network creates no content. Alibaba, the world’s most valuable retailer has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider owns no real estate.
What do all of these business models have in common? Connectivity. These brands provide a connection between individuals who need a product or service with those willing to provide it. They each created a business model that essentially didn’t exist before. They are all valued in the billions. And they’re all being pursued by dozens of startups who want a piece of the pie.
One of Facebook’s newest ventures? The creation of roughly 1,000 huge solar-powered drones that will deliver Internet service to the five billion of so citizens of earth they have yet to reach. The cost may be astronomical. And what will this provide? More connectivity. And also of course, more people who can view Facebook ads – which is where they make their revenue.
Everyone knows the Internet has changed the face of business forever. But as it evolves, it also creates unforeseen opportunity. Today the race is on for the most effective and far-reaching methods of connecting with potential customers. There are sure to be dozens of new connectivity business models in very specific categories in the months to come.
So the real question for your brand today is: How do you provide a better connection between your business and your customers? How can you enable them to instantly get the information they need from you – whether that pertains to a new purchase or customer service? And additionally, how do you connect them to each other – so they can have the kind of community that’s much more likely to stay loyal to your brand?
It’s worth exploring, and investing in. Because the reality is, if you don’t, someone will create a new business model that takes away your customers in droves. Just ask a traditional cab driver who lives in almost any city in the world today.