Is organizing a trip with friends to Paris: he does it on Facebook, via an app of the French railways. No text messages back and forth and criss-crossing phone calls: everyone directly participates in the travel plans, including the purchase of tickets.
Following the proposal of Fair Trade, has involved other blogger moms in customizing children’s shoes made of fair trade cotton: she has turned into a designer, involving her own network of relationships.
A Brazilian, knew that Halls wasn’t going to make his favorite flavor, green grape, any more. Together with thousands of other people, organized online, after a few months he managed to change the manufacturer’s mind.
In London, is doing her shopping. Or, at least that is what the big retailers think. Karin has already done her shopping at home, comparing the reviews of products and what her friends have bought recently: she uses her Smartphone simply to check off purchases that have already been decided elsewhere.
Will have to rent a car during the Olympic Games, but unfortunately all the rental companies are sold out. Except The Car Club, which connects people who have vehicles that aren’t being used with others who need a rental car for a few days. The car will be the one that belongs to John.
Write your story as a smart consumer.
The smarter consumer The twenty-first century is the era of smarter consumers. The consumer today has an unimaginable choice: a supercomputer in their pocket that allows them to get what they want, and at the best price. People are getting smarter because they are becoming the objects they use, and this is beginning to be valid for virtually anything. Consumers today have more freedom: to avoid, accept and interact with a commercial offer, to take part in an idea and improve it. The smart consumer pays attention to the issue of environmental sustainability and social solidarity in the production of goods or services. For this reason, the smart consumer is already in danger of extinction, replaced by the new version, the 2.0 consumer or the eco-smart consumer.
10 editorial The Smarter Customer
by Kevin Roberts
«It is the brand that enters the heart of the public, not vice versa. It is the biggest market there is, and it is what the consumer wants. It is the cell phone that becomes the navigator for your life»
14 scenarios Smart consumption and collaborative genes
by Federico Rampini
I AM, THEREFORE, I CONSUME — The motto of the smart consumer is “I consume certain goods and not others depending on what I am and what I believe in.”
«In America, a lot of attention was focused on measuring the return of ‘classic’ consumption (with the triumph of low-cost consumption) as an indicator of an economic recovery. Is this the beginning of the end of the crisis? Or is it just a confirmation that the families with tighter and tighter budgets have to be at each other's throats to get the products on sale? […] If ‘frugal consumption’ can undermine even the most commercial of all holidays, the crisis has actually been good for something: the entrance into our daily lives of the idea that we live in an ‘Age of Access,’ in which the important thing is to be able to use things, not accumulate them».
18 in-depth The termite revolution
by Gianluca Diegoli
“Like termites, silently, microscopically but continuously, people are changing the way they choose merchandise, of how it is produced, designed and, above all, used. They are transforming (gnawing from within) the eco-system that we call ‘consumption.’ New business models and trends based on collaboration, sustainability and the sharing of intelligence, the knowledge and efficient use of things, are changing the consumers and their relationship with the manufacturer and product.”
26 scenarios Global marketing and the new markets after the great crisis
32 contexts The harsh law of marketing
by Remo Lucchi The flop of the Nano car and the rise of the Jaguar and Land Rover luxury brands. In recent years the right or incorrect choices in marketing strategy has determined has the successes and failures of the Indian group Tata, in a moment of epochal change at its top ranks: Ratan Tata, the charismatic patriarch, has decided to retire and has chosen his successor ...
How have the expectations of consumers/citizens changed? Brand-name products - and the supply system in general - have undoubtedly represented the reliable partner for the well-being project of Western families in the past decades. But since the Eighties onward, this relationship has been gradually weakening.
54 interview with martin angioni Amazon: this is the catalogue
by Luca Morena
38 in-depth Eco-Smart: the consumer of tomorrow
by Renato Mannheimer
«The new mass of the Chinese middleclass society will increase from the current 150 million people to 400 million in 2020. This considerable mass of new consumers is a great opportunity»
in-depth The secularization of the West and the contemporary consumer
by Pino Buongiorno
by Stefano Micelli In the last twenty years, the world has experienced a gradual homogenization of consumption: the new markets of emerging economies have adopted tastes and preferences that are very similar to those of the Western world. Will this trend continue even after the “great crisis” and the profound economic changes of recent years, or will the international demand begin to take new paths of differentiation that companies will have to necessarily take into account?
Critical consumption, conscious, responsible, sustainable, “green,” fair, inclusive, ecological, ethical, organic ... New forms of consumption in sight? Rather, a new customer has appeared. A consumer who is less naive and more jaded, less gullible and more informed, more demanding and less needy, less malleable and more determined. And more intelligent. Smarter, in fact. And who has already begun to influence the trends of consumption.
An interview with Martin Angioni, country manager of Amazon Italy, an economist with a passion for philosophical hermeneutics: he is the person destined to lead the first strong impact of an online multinational firm regarding the consumption habits of Italians. “The realistic ambition is to become the ultimate catalog authority, making a complete inventory in the coming years of everything that is produced. Amazon will become the most exhaustive catalog of most of the products that surround us.”
60 contexts Digitale Mon Amour
by Daniela Mecenate From payments by mobile phone to e-commerce: the Italian and European challenge for a market and businesses that are more digital has yet to be explored. And is interwoven with the ambitious projects of Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda.
«The digital market is a lucrative business which in Italy, in 2010, reached 11 billion euros, an increase of 13% with respect to 2009. A market of consumers without the need for a physical place at which to buy and which experts believe could even conquer as many as 33 million Italians in the next five years» 003
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in-depth The new yous, always at the center
contexts Electricity consumption: the future has already begun
by Nick Bilton We are witnessing a process of “user relocation”: the consumer today is at the core of the Internet. Digital narcissism? Maybe not, but those who produce entertainment and information will have to take this into account. As Nick Bilton – the author of I live in the future and the design integration editor of the “New York Times” – has written, “In reality, we don't pay for the content: we pay for the experience.”
«Being at the center changes everything: your conception of space, time, and location. It changes your sense of place and community, the way you view the information, news, and data coming in over your computer and your phone. Now the digital world follows you, not the other way around» 68 data visualization iPad: how do we use it?
by Gianfilippo Mancini & Livio Gallo
70 in-depth Electricity: the smartest resource of the 21st century
by Fulvio Conti
«The customers are the focus of this new paradigm of energy, aware actors of the demand for electricity, promoters of a more rational and efficient use of it and attentive to the quality of the service that is being offered» Every era has its revolution. The revolution of the twenty-first century is undoubtedly that of globalization, meaning the openness of markets, geographies and channels of communication. We are witnessing the overturning of the paradigms that we have been accustomed to: technologies and transportation are now able to reduce the geographical distances, redesigning the role of the “citizen-customer,” goods of all kinds are traveling around the real and the virtual world at exorbitant speed and each of us can reach one another anywhere in a few steps. The extent to which electricity is experiencing this revolution is amplified because the mechanism involves its entire value chain.
Electricity is the most efficient and sustainable carrier of energy that can be used on a large scale and consequently, industry is investing heavily in maximizing its uses and potentiality. Energy efficiency and electric mobility are two important windows onto the future of the energy market and smart grids are changing the role of the consumers, who become an active part of the energy market and protagonists of environmental protection. The opinions of Gianfilippo Mancini (Director of the Generation and Energy Management Division) and Livio Gallo (Director of the Infrastructures and Networks Division) of Enel.
80 scenarios Toward new services for energy
by Arturo Lorenzoni The reduction in the commercial management costs of energy consumers has brought about the evolution of the sale toward the supplying of advanced services, such as reducing consumption or the sale of information relating to withdrawals of energy.
84 oxygen versus co2 Energy manager, this unknown
by Davide Coero Borga
86 interview with bunker roy Renewables:the barefoot revolution
by Alessandra Viola “Where is it written that just because one can't read and write or doesn't know the language spoken in a certain place that they can't become an electrical engineer?” The “grassroots” rural revolution of the Barefoot College where women, better if illiterate and “grandmothers,” can learn to resolve the energy problems of their village. And change their own lives and that of those around them.
«You need patience for everything. As Gandhi said: ‘First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. And in the end, you win.’» 90 interview with paolo martinello Smart Consumers, unite!
by Beatrice Mautino Technologies with low environmental impact, supply chains, attention given to being equitable and inclusive, liberalization of the market, fierce competition, choices to be made: is today's consumer really smart? We asked Paul Martinello, lawyer and president of Altroconsumo and BEUC (Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs) to help clarify things for us.
98 in-depth The new marketing glossary
by Alberto Pastore
92 in-depth Eat Local, Think Global
by Carlo Petrini Why it is better to speak of “local eating” rather than to use the terms “zero kilometer” and “short-chain;” why consumers should become coproducers because food, energy and information travel along the same track: the “guided revolution” of the founder of Slow Food.
«If food becomes (and unfortunately, it already is) a commodity like many others of our consumer society, we tend to judge according to its price and not for its real value»
In recent years, we have witnessed major changes in the economic and competitive (globalization, liberalization, crisis, etc.), technological (the digital revolution, etc.), social (socio-demographic structure, the role of consumers, etc.) and institutional (role of stakeholders, social responsibility, etc.) scenarios, which have led to a consequent evolution in the approach of the marketing and communications of companies.
104 contexts Zara and Ikea: when you are the CEO
by Gennaro De Michele Two companies that have shown that to boldly tread an unknown path can lead to amazing results, with sales worth millions as well as success in creating an inimitable style.
106 contexts the necessity of the superfluous
by Renata Molho “Even today, aside from all the speculation and philosophical analysis, beyond the high consideration for the knowledge and culture, the sensitivity and inclination toward beauty, the authentic eccentricity and the availability of time that represent true luxury, what is now meant by luxury are the products that are still full of such and so many symbolic meanings that they become the first and most important vehicle of the dream. A brand that knows how to communicate this, is the way that leads into the light.”
«That which apparently seems to represent the superfluous becomes increasingly necessary. The new frontier of luxury lies in the consciousness, in awareness.»
110 future tech From spectator to producer
by Simone Arcagni
oxygen | 15 â€” 02.2012
editorial board Enrico Alleva (chairman) Giulio Ballio Roberto Cingolani Paolo Andrea Colombo Fulvio Conti Derrick De Kerckhove Niles Eldredge Paola Girdinio Helga Nowotny Telmo Pievani Francesco Profumo Carlo Rizzuto Robert Stavins Umberto Veronesi editor in chief Gianluca Comin
art direction and layout undesign picture editor white exclusive Italian distribution Messaggerie Libri spa t 800 804 900 promotion Istituto Geografico DeAgostini spa cover - concept of illustrations undesign
editorial director Vittorio Bo publishing coordination Pino Buongiorno Luca Di Nardo Giorgio Gianotto Paolo Iammatteo Dina Zanieri managing editor Stefano Milano editorial team Simone Arcagni Federica Bosi Davide Coero Borga Beatrice Mautino Daniela Mecenate Luca Morena Alessandra Viola
quarterly magazine published by Codice Edizioni
via Giuseppe Pomba 17 10123 Torino t +39 011 19700579 firstname.lastname@example.org www.codiceedizioni.it/ oxygen www.enel.com/oxygen
ÂŠ Codice Edizioni all reproduction and translation rights for the published articles are reserved
translations Laura Culver Fabio Deotto Gail McDowell illustrations Elena La Rovere Tai Pera Oxygen is an idea by Enel, to promote the dissemination of scientific thought and dialogue.
Enel is the main sponsor of Assessorato alle Politiche Culturali e Centro Storico Sovraintendenza ai Beni Culturali
FOR A SURPRISING VIEW OF ENERGY, HOP ON BOARD.
THE ART OF CARSTEN HรLLER FOR ENEL CONTEMPORANEA 2011. The fifth edition of Enel Contemporanea is a playful take on energy. Awarded by an international jury, Carsten Hรถller presents an original work Double Carousel with Zรถllner Stripes. As the two carousels turn very slowly in opposite directions, people riding on them can enjoy a fresh appreciation of the energy and space surrounding them. The finished work will be donated by Enel to its partner in the project, the MACRO Museum in Rome, where it will be exhibited from 1 st December. Come along. And enjoy the ride. www.enelcontemporanea.com
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1 Martin Angioni — Economist who has worked at the JP Morgan investment bank at their branch offices in Berlin, London and New York. Since 2006, he has been the CEO of Electa, publishers of art and illustrated books of the Mondadori group. He became the country manager for Amazon in Italy in February 2011.
2 Nick Bilton — He works for the “New York Times” as a reporter and design integration editor. He is the author of the blog Bits Blog and adjunct professor at New York University. Although not particularly proud of the fact, he designed the first Britney Spears doll. He is the author of I live in the future (Codice Edizioni, 2011)
3 Fulvio Conti — Managing Director and General Manager of Enel since May 2005, he is currently also the director of Barclays plc and of the AON Corporation. He is also the Vice President of Eurelectric and Endesa and on the advisory board of the National Academy of Santa Cecilia. From 1999 to June 2005, he served as the CEO of Enel.
4 Gennaro De Michele — He was the director of Enel's Research and Development of Engineering and Innovation Policies and a member of the Advisory Council of the Technology Platform for the Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants of the European Union, of the Clean Coal Science Group of the IEA and General Secretary of the IFRF. He is the author of more than 200 publications. In early 2011, he founded ejase.
5 Gianluca Diegoli — He has always been fighting professionally in medium and large companies along the dangerous border between online and offline marketing. He is an independent consultant in digital strategy, a blogger since 2004 on minimarketing. it., and a writer. After 91 theses for a different marketing, his latest book, is Online Sales for “Il Sole 24 Ore” has now been published.
6 Livio Gallo — Director of the Infrastructures and Networks Division of Enel. He was the Area Director of electricity grid business (2004-2005) and Captive Customers Sales Manager (20022004) of Enel Distribution, Area Market Manager of the Generation Companies-Gencos (1999-2001), as well as managing director and board member of several companies in Italy and abroad.
7 Arturo Lorenzoni — Associate Professor of Applied Economics at the Department of Electrical Engineering of University of Padua, he also teaches several university graduate courses and at specialized schools. He is Research Director of the Institute of Economy and Energy and Environment Policy of Bocconi University in Milan. He has led and participated in numerous national and international research programs.
8 Remo Lucchi — Managing Director of GfK Eurisko. he has worked in the field of social research and marketing, and participated in the founding of Eurisko in 1972. He has organized and directed some of the most important studies conducted by the Institute and has taught and lectured on the topics of marketing and market research at the Catholic University of Milan.
9 Gianfilippo Mancini — Director of Generation and Energy Management Division of Enel Group, in charge of the procurement of fuels, the production of thermal power plants and renewable source planning in Italy, the sale of electricity on the wholesale markets and the trading of energy products in international markets. Since 2008, he has also been Director of the Market Division.
Carlo Petrini — Founder and president of the international Slow Food movement. In 2004, the magazine “Time Magazine” awarded him the title “European Hero of our time” and in 2008, he was included by the British newspaper “The Guardian” among the “50 people who could save the world.” Among his books, Good, Clean and Fair (2005).
Sanjit Bunker Roy — Born in India in 1945, from a wealthy family and heading toward a comfortable diplomatic career, he chose to side with the poor, going to live together with them for five years. In 1972, he decided to pursue social entrepreneurship and founded the Barefoot College in Rajasthan, an NGO for the education and training of all the Indians who live on less than one dollar a day.
— Professor of Economics and Management at the University Ca’ Foscari of Venice and Director of the Venice International University. For over ten years, he has focused his research on the transformation of the Italian industrial system, with particular attention given to the issue of the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises.
Renato Mannheimer — President of the ISPO, he has taught at the universities of Milan-Bicocca, Milan, Genoa, Naples and Salerno. He collaborates with various Italian television programs of information. He is also an election pollster for the newspaper “Corriere della Sera.” In recent years, he published Without the Left Any More (2008) and Italy of the Cunning (2009).
Renata Molho — Journalist, essayist and critic of custom and fashion for the newspaper “Il Sole 24 Ore” since 1991. He collaborates with several publications of the Condé Nast group (“Vogue Italy,” “Vogue Man,” “GQ Style”). He has held various courses on fashion journalism (IULM FDI, University of Urbino).
Federico Rampini — Correspondent from New York for the newspaper “La Repubblica”, he was deputy director of “Il Sole 24 Ore,” the head of the Milan office of “La Repubblica,” an editorial columnist, and was sent as correspondent to Paris, Brussels, San Francisco and Beijing. He has taught at the universities of Berkeley and Shanghai. He is the author of numerous essays, including the recent On my left (2011).
Paolo Martinello — A lawyer, he has been the President of Altroconsumo since 1995, and since 2008, of the Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs, a European body bringing together 42 independent associations from 31 countries. Since 2000, he has been an executive member of the BEUC and served as Vice President from 1996 to 1998.
Alberto Pastore — Professor of Economics and Management at La Sapienza University of Rome, where he teaches Marketing and Advanced Marketing and Marketing - Business Communication. He is also Director of the Department of Management at the same university and of the Master's Degree in Marketing Management (MUMM).
Kevin Roberts — Worldwide CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, Ideas Company, he directs an international team of 7,000 creative people; with a staff spread out over 139 offices in 82 different countries. Roberts is also CEO of the Judge Institute of Management of Cambridge University and Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the Management School of the University of Waikato in New Zealand.
illustrations: Elena La Rovere
THE SMARTER CUSTOMER by Kevin Roberts
he “smart” customer is not so new. People are getting smarter because things are, She was driving bargains when spe- and it’s going to the core of everything. The Inars were technology, when campfires dustrial Internet is sensing in advanced ways to were markets, and when stone was currency. help humanity, from energy conservation to heAs ad maestro David Ogilvy said: “the consu- alth care. Today, customers are ‘smarter’ because they are freer, free to avoid, engage and interact mer is not a moron, she’s your wife.” The 21st century is the time of the smarter with a commercial offering – and free to particicustomer. The gods of technology, connecti- pate in the idea, to be part of it, and to improve it. vity and mobility have invested her with super If an idea feels like a beautiful conversation, people don’t care if it comes powers. She has a choice set hard commerce, radibeyond belief. To get what Today, customers are from cal culture or soft cause – nor she wants, and at best price, ‘smarter’ because they how it arrives. The conversashe has a super computer in her handbag. It has more are freer, free to avoid, tion beyond brands goes: “let make your life better, help computing power than NASA engage and interact witha me me know you better, and lets had in 1969. For marketers, the funda- commercial offering – and make the world a better place mentals of winning loyalty free to participate in the together.” enterprises are on it. haven’t changed in millenidea, to be part of it, Some Converse is aiming for people nia. Loyalty starts with the and to improve it to design and sell their own answer, and it works back. Converse shoes. Radiohead The answer is people, and the heart that drives us, that moves us, that com- lets musicians and fans remix its tracks. T-Mobipels us to share. Reason leads to conclusions, le with “Life’s for sharing” has let people become part of the advertising through song, dance and emotion leads to action. Brands failed to understand this, and have beco- fun together. Create a shared emotional expeme empty shells. For half a century they clubbed rience, and you create Loyalty Beyond Reason. captive audiences over the head remorselessly Today we live in a global Participation Ecowith ER word claims like “whiter”, “brighter” and nomy, where marketing is as dead as brands. “cheaper”. It took real emotion to cut through the Here are the five interlacing keys to turn brands into Lovemarks: noise. Italy’s Carosello was an early inspiration. 011
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PULSE THE NOW
BE A CREATIVE LEADER
MAKE VALUE PRICELESS
People are connected 24/7. We are ‘always on’, but more than that, living in the moment, a place more joyful than the regrets of yesterday and fears of tomorrow. Around 80% of people’s happiness is in the Now. Nothing is ever finished. We are in permanent beta mode. People are driven by primary impulses to go where the brightest light flashes. Speed and rapid fire innovation is critical. Tomorrow is too late. Act today, because expectation is instant. Audiences respond immediately, and expect an immediate response. The moment is where emotion rules. The premiums on original ideas that connect emotionally will keep rising. People decide what counts in the flash of a moment, and shared decisionmaking is built in into life by technology. Now is the only operational framework. Welcome to the Age of Now. The Now is passion-delivered and it is emerging all around us. Spot something you love while watching the History Channel? Click buy. Need an instant personalized banner to wave at the airport? Done. An app to steer your grocery cart, with coupons? It’s happening. Pay now, queue not? Go mobile phone.
Success in the Now demands creative leadership because only creativity cuts through the tsunami of Internet noise. Only creativity has unreasonable power. How to inspire the smarter customer? Have lots of small ideas, continuously. Big ideas are scarce, strung out over time, investment hungry. The big idea is usually stumbled on, found one degree away, or is made for you by your audience. Creative leaders constantly reframe, they surprise with the obvious, and they eliminate mercilessly. Steve Jobs was a serial eliminator, from the floppy drive to the physical keyboard.
The old consumer question is “how cheap are you?” For the smarter consumer, the best price is a starter. Her burning question is: “how will you improve my life?!” How can I be the hero of the experience, not the brand? The killer answers are Purpose-inspired, Benefit-driven. Purpose-inspired switches “price-focused” product to “priceless” experience, satisfaction to exhilaration. In Gen Y America, the Great Recession has created one purchase criteria despite large differences in income. It’s not about “cheap” or basic”. The question is: does the product reflect my beliefs and offer solutions for how I live? The priceless experience lets the customer be part of a dream that’s bigger than she is, one she can share, and at a price she can believe in. Charles Dickens applies: “A penny saved, is a penny got.” Procter & Gamble is a leader in providing priceless value: “Touching lives, improving life”. Apple became priceless with “Think Different”, letting people project themselves into a tribal feeling.
the smarter customer
STAND UP THE STORYTELLERS
SHARE THREE SECRETS
We live in a “Lifestream” (as Yale Professor David Gelenter calls it), riveted to the Now in a story streaming our lives from past to future through multiple channels. The more platforms we invent, the more content we share, the more stories we need. Stories deliver meaning and magic in the avalanche of digital information. As Futurist Rolf Jensen has said: “The highest-paid person in the first half of this century will be the story-teller.” There are up to 30 different types of screen devices in our lives, from TVs to PCs to tablets, from mobiles to ATMs to billboards and kiosks. We are all “screenagers”, influenced fastest by sight, sound and motion. Great content wrapped in story, not ‘digital’, is the communications business model. Smarter customers have only three questions: Do I want to experience it again? 2. Do I want to share it? 3. Do I want to improve it? Great stories say ‘yes’, special effects optional. They create a bigger meaning, delivering a consistent equity through lives, across screens, across borders, across retail, creating buying momentum end to end. They locate our fears, hopes and dreams – vampires and werewolves included! They deliver compelling truth. They introduce us to great characters we want to spend time with. And great stories make us laugh. Humor is the short cut to the heart.
All the allure, touch and empathy that brands stripped out of advertising have to return. ‘Communicators’ typically bore people to death with information, emails, demos, benefits, and all the ER words. Connectors create fields of love bigger than any brand, with mystery, sensuality and intimacy. Mystery is inspirations, dreams, icons, symbols, stories, and sharing the unknown. Gamification is pure mystery. For engaging Millennials, MTV underlines playing fair, constant feedback on the leaderboard, smartcuts like back stairs to the next level, adrenaline fixes (a gum that changes flavour mid chew!), and handing over the joystick. Vision, sound, scent, touch, and taste can mix loyalty beyond reason in infinite ways and plays. Smarter retail is infinite selection, instant price transparency, friends’ recommendations, sensory gratification now and cool social events. Intimacy brings it all together with empathy, commitment and passion. It’s the brand in the audience’s heart, not the audience at the brand’s heart. It’s the biggest market out there – what women want. It’s mobile phone as life navigator. It’s acting local, not just going global. It’s the perfect gesture for the ageing shopper. Intimacy is the future beyond brands. Welcome to Lovemarks.
SMART CONSUMPTION AND COLLABORATIVE GENES article by Federico Rampini photos by David A. Northcott - Michael Kern
«In America, a lot of attention was focused on measuring the return of ‘classic’ consumption (with the triumph of lowcost consumption) as an indicator of an economic recovery. Is this the beginning of the end of the crisis? Or is it just a confirmation that the families with tighter and tighter budgets have to be at each other’s throats to get the products on sale? […] If ‘frugal consumption’ can undermine even the most commercial of all holidays, the crisis has actually been good for something: the entrance into our daily lives of the idea that we live in an ‘Age of Access,’ in which the important thing is to be able to use things, not accumulate them».
To speak of post-consumerism, “smart” consumption, may seem like an elitist escape to the future in a world dominated by a much more fundamental, ancient and dramatic problem: where to find purchasing power; how to revive consumption to avoid a relapse into recession. It is an appropriate reflection, evoking the atmosphere that I experienced in America during the Christmas festivities: when a lot of attention was focused on measuring the return of “classic” consumption as an indicator of an economic recovery. Regarding the media coverage of the last months of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, the dominant theme was the triumph of low-cost shopping, thanks to the most frenzied advertising for discounts in history. Or is it, instead, a confirmation that families with tighter and tighter budgets have to – literally – be at each other's throats to get the products on sale? And the question that the experts have asked themselves is also very traditional. Is this the beginning of the end of the crisis? As soon as they finished their Thanksgiving turkey, 82 million shoppers rushed to the big chain stores: from Wal-Mart hyper-markets to Target department stores, from the Best Buy electronics
chain to the Apple Stores. The sales skyrocketed, magically reaching precrisis levels: we returned to a turnover similar to 2007, wiping out four terrible years. On the following Monday, sales did even better with on-line shopping: that so-called “Cyber Monday” recorded an all-time high in the volume of sales on the Internet. All this thanks to wisely directed marketing, which for years has turned the day after Thanksgiving into an orgy of sales. Both the traditional retailers and big digital stores such as Amazon attract consumers with very special offers. The buying fever, that reaches hysterical peaks and degenerates into episodes of violence, is artfully fostered. These excesses are not new, what is new, instead, is the extreme politicization for which it is used. The revival of consumerism, especially in the lowcost version, has become a new starting point for ideological battle, in the polarization of the American debate. The television talk shows have competed for different interpretations, depending on the geo-politics of the network. On the right, the first impulse was to “appropriate” the return of consumerism, reading into it a defeat of the Occupy Wall Street movement. In some
American cities – very few, in fact - the indignant had hinted at taking their protest in front of the big department stores. “America deeply loves its capitalism, here's the proof: the Black Friday onslaught” was a leitmotif of Rupert Murdoch's Fox News. The right-wing commentators themselves, however, were assailed by doubts. If this revival of consumerism were to mark the beginning of recovery, then the chances of Barack Obama's re-election in November 2012 could rise again. Thus, the need to underline “low-cost” and to correct the slant toward a negative reading of Black Friday and Cyber Monday: the shoppers' impetuosity is a sign of desperation, with their buying power exhausted by the crisis, so American families have had to pounce on special offers or else risk not being able to afford the presents under their Christmas tree. The “left-wing” interpretation had the same fluctuations and swerves. There was initial euphoria, precisely because the election campaign of 2012 will be entirely played out in the arena of the economy and we must hope for a reversal of the last three years. Then, however, repentance surfaced even among the progressives. Can you cheer for the Occupy Wall Street movement and for 015
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the return of consumption at the same time? Is it politically correct to entrust the re-election of Obama to a return to the old model of development? After all, we must not forget that the very logic of low cost was at the origin of the disaster. The subprime loans were also low cost, in the proper sense: a ploy to give credit to those who had the means. Easy credit and incentives for consumerism had been drugging the U.S. growth until 2007, inducing families to live above their means. Of course, low cost is also democratic: at Wal-Mart, a family just above the poverty line can fill up a shopping cart and their fridge. But how many Americans are unemployed because the only merchandise that is truly lost cost is now made in China, Vietnam, Cambodia or Bangladesh? The rest of the world is prey to the same contradictory impulses, at the sight of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There are those who admire the flexibility of American capitalism that is always able to regenerate itself. There are those who entrust their hopes of recovery to the “locomotive” of all time: the U.S. consumer. From China to Germany, 016
everyone is suffering from a slowdown in their exports, and the need to go back to selling in America is imperative. Yet this is the road that led us to perdition. On the one hand, the logic of “buy three and pay for two” and the excitement manipulated by discounts has filled the homes of Americans with useless stuff, exacerbating a consumption model that is destructive to the environment (and certainly not replicable on a Chinese or Indian scale). On the other hand, low cost consumption has generated macro-imbalances in the global economy: American deficits, excessive foreign exchange reserves in China, the recycling of these imbalances entrusted to toxic finance. Amidst these signs of a return to the past, there are also powerful countertrends. One of these was established right during the 2011 Christmas season, with a simple idea of an antidote to the accumulation of the useless objects in children's rooms, and it has spread outside the U.S. It was first launched by Babyplays.com, a small online trading company: founded, incidentally, by a group of entrepreneurs who are mo-
thers. People who understand, are endowed with practical sense and able to revolutionize consumer society starting from the two strongholds that seem unshakable: the custom of Christmas and the fickleness of children. The founder of Babyplays.com, Stephanie Weber, says the company has celebrated its fourth Christmas season and business has never been better (it just so happens that since the company was founded in 2007, the genesis of Babyplays.com coincides with “the end of the old world” and the arrival of the great economic crisis). Ms. Weber designed the website accessing the company, which couldn't be friendlier. “Our commitment is to have fun! No to mess!” are two of the slogans that appear on the home page of the website, which obviously operates all year round, except that at Christmas its visibility soars. Very colorful, there are offers of three low cost formulas: the simplest, which can serve as a test, is the single rental of a baby toy, from a minimum of three dollars to a maximum of nine, including home delivery. Then there is the $20 subscription fee,
smart consumption and collaborative genes
Smart consumption is not a counter-trend; actually, our “collective gene” is active and strong from early childhood.
which entitles you to the right to change the toys regularly, returning those that have been used: up to four toys every two months. Finally, there is the luxury formula providing for a rotation of four toys per month, $33 all inclusive. The catalog has everything in it, the offer is full of those toys that children in infancy and early childhood like the best. “The range of customers that has given us the most satisfaction so far is from newborn to four years of age,” the founder explains. The first barrier of resistance to being “used,” that of hygienic concerns, was successfully overcome with the warning that appears on the website's log-in page: “All our products are disinfected with the use of biological detergents.” And what happens if our child breaks the toy in just a few hours? “We are all mothers,” assures Ms. Weber, “so it will be replaced at no charge.” Surprisingly, however, the “accident rate” is minimal. The flexibility is total: if the baby then falls in love with the toy to the point of no longer wanting to part with it, you can always buy it at the used price (with a discount of 30% to 50%).
The success of this initiative speaks volumes about how much America is changing. At Christmas, several newspapers published Babyplays.com at the head a long list of similar initiatives in other fields: flourishing in every corner of the United States are nurseries that rent Christmas trees (you give them back after the holidays and they will be returned to their natural habitat), or “techno-libraries” that will loan you the tools for the do-it-yourself jobs at home during the holidays. If “frugal consumption” can undermine even the most commercial of all holidays, the crisis has actually been good for something: the exit from the sociologyfiction and the entrance into our daily lives of the idea that we live in an’“Age of Access,” in which the important thing is to be able to use things, not to accumulate them. Children have that value at birth: “It's only around four years of age that they start to want the toy to belong to them,” they explain at Babyplays.com. So, smart consumption is not a counter-trend; actually, our “collective gene” is active and strong from early childhood. 017
THE TERMITE REVOLUTION article by Gianluca Diegoli photos by Louis K. Meisel Gallery, Inc. - Charles Bell
“Like termites, silently, microscopically but continuously, people are changing the way they choose merchandise, of how it is produced, designed and, above all, used. They are transforming (gnawing from within) the eco-system that we call ‘consumption.’” New business models and trends based on collaboration, sustainability and the sharing of intelligence, the knowledge and efficient use of things, are changing the consumers and their relationship with the manufacturer and product.
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“The earth seen from space is a ball / Blue and silent / But if you live there you realize / It's something else altogether.” (Safari, Lorenzo Jovanotti, 2008) Imagine looking at the world (trade, advertising, marketing, consumption) from on high, like a Hollywood movie camera, going above the shopping malls full of people with their carts full of food and gifts for the holidays. Do you notice anything different compared to a few years ago? Come on, make an effort! No, huh? Nothing. You’re right. Now imagine that you are a hundredyear-old tree, having survived changes in the climate, two world wars, DDT and genetically modified organisms: a plant that is apparently indestructible. But if we suddenly zoom in – like in C.S.I. when the shot enters the body of the crime under Grissom's microscope – going beyond the bark, we will find it riddled with tunnels, dug by termites. 020
What I would like to show you in this article is that, like termites, silently, microscopically but continuously, people are changing the way they choose merchandise, of how it is produced, designed, and above all, used. They are transforming (gnawing from within) the eco-system that we call “consumption.” Each of the examples that follows is a sign of this: sometimes small, but significant, helping to understand what is often not visible to the naked eye. Termites are individually insignificant, but there are billions and billions of them, and they are exchanging bursts of information about the best way to get to the tree and on the quality of the wood. The collective intelligence and fast exchange of information are what allow the termites to organize, to flourish undisturbed and, in the end, eat the tree, without anyone noticing. By now, you have understood that we ourselves are the termites, right?
Chiara, following the proposal of Fair Trade, has involved other blogger moms in customizing children's shoes made of fair trade cotton: she has turned into a designer, involving her own network of relationships.
the termite revolution
Asos has created something unimaginable for most stores: it allows its customers to exchange their clothes or re-sell them at the same store selling its own merchandise. Zoe sells clothes that she no longer uses, and then buys new or used clothing: she finds it isn't very useful to own a lot of clothes, but only to always have new ones to wear.
Small (seemingly) unimportant signs Let us zoom into the tavern “Fuori Porta” in Padua, the shot framing a group of people who, amid chatting and glasses of red wine, are dividing up jars of honey. How did they meet? Why haven't they bought honey at the supermarket, as they always have? What we do not see is the network of relationships, shared values and “organizational” technology that has led them to being there to receive their supply of honey produced by Stefano of Mellarius Beekeeping, who is explaining to them why it costs a little more, how it is produced biologically and why he could not sell it to the large retailers. The Biorekk association is a community – online and off-line – of people who share the same values, and who have altered the traditional standard sequence: shelves, looking, checking the price, purchasing, consumption. “Hey, but it's just a small and insignificant thing,” you will say. “Remember the termites,” I would say, for the time being.
Why you are the media, the copy, the publisher, the advertising campaign Let’s become microscopic once again, so we can get into one of those cables that connect the equipment of telecommunications companies, those that are in huge data centers thousands of square meters in size. Every minute we would see millions of bits of all types go by (text messages, e-mails, photos, videos, Facebook updates, comments, blog posts and forums, instant text messages on Facebook, Skype, MSN, WhatsApp, gTalk). If we could connect them to a text-to-speech (the kind of software that reads the writing) and a concert-level amplifier we would really get a sense of what is happening. Every second, thousands of units of conversation (what should we call them? Dialogs containing unbiased information, reliable reviews, tips from friends?) that transmit feelings about products, brands, prices and stores would quickly exceed the legal limits of noise pollution. These units of conversation are responding to the
same questions that used to be (self-) answered by the old advertising: “What new products are right for me?,” “How much is this product really worth?,” “How much is it in line with my values?” (or ours, we should say), “I have to buy it, what do you think, friends, should I?” Can you manage to hear the clamor of 500 million messages such as these, written on Facebook every day? Signs of the presence of termites in the tree of business as we know it In a shop in Hong Kong, something is going on that looks like a flashmob: suddenly an organized group of people collectively ask the manager of the store for a discount. Take it or leave it? The coalesced community has prevailed over the seller. Isn't that the same thing that happens every day in Groupon, the website of the super-discount coupons for group purchases? The restaurant owner, more or less aware, gives in to the pressure of the organized mass. In a small town in the province of Man021
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the termite revolution
Karin, in London, is doing her shopping. Or, at least that is what the big retailers think. Karin has already done her shopping at home, comparing the reviews of products and what her friends have bought recently: she uses her smartphone simply to check off purchases that have already been decided elsewhere.
tua, a company is in trouble: the Chinese product is cheaper, their own shoes seem to be unmarketable. It decides to change its sales model, selling directly online and dealing directly with the buying groups, making sure they understand the difference in materials and methods of producing the shoes. Today, Astorflex sells most of its production directly; the â€œwholesalerâ€? is made up of self-organized consumers. Karin, in London, is doing her shopping. Or, at least that is what the big retailers think. Karin has already done her shopping at home, comparing the reviews of products and what her friends have bought recently: she uses her smartphone simply to check off purchases that have already been decided elsewhere. She has a doubt, though: so she photographs the bar code of a chocolate bar and reads that yes, the cocoa is certified organic and fair trade. And that another 20 people have said yes, is also good. Remember? The tree doesn't notice anything, but inside the termites are already digging. And they are all looking together for the most efficient way: during the Olympics, Giovanni
will have to rent a car. Itâ€™s too bad that all the companies are sold out. Except one: The Car Club, which in reality does not possess a car, it only connects people who have vehicles that aren't being used with others who need a rental car for a few days. The car will be the one that belongs to John who, with that money, will pay his insurance for one month. In those same days, Yannick is organizing a trip with friends to Paris: he does it on Facebook, via an app of the French railways. No text messages back and forth and criss-crossing phone calls: everyone directly participates in the travel plans, including the purchase of tickets. Bernard is Bavarian and he is a mustard fan. So far, fairly normal. Bernard, however, along with 10,000 other people, has just helped to create the new mustard flavors of the Mari Senf brand. He received a kit at home to actually try out the flavors he could only imagine: then, online, he sent in his variations on the product. Now the new product is being sold. Here the tree has decided to become an ally, to make a deal with the termites. 023
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In Brazil, Paulo knew that Halls was not going to make his favorite flavor, green grape, any more. Together with thousands of other people, organized online, after a few months, he managed to change the manufacturer's mind. Giovanni will have to rent a car during the Olympic Games, but unfortunately all the rental companies are sold out. Except one: the Car Club, which in reality does not possess a car, but only connects people who have vehicles that aren't being used with others who need a rental car for a few days. The car will be the one that belongs to John who, with that money, will pay his insurance for one month.
Chiara and Justine are Italian and have a blog, the Funkymamas, with whom they share experiences and actively participate in the movement of online blogger moms. Following the proposal of Fair Trade, Chiara and Justine have involved other blogger moms in customizing children's shoes made of fair trade cotton: they have turned into designers, involving their own network of relationships, their own audience. Justine has also opened a shop on Etsy.com, which sells handmade items and apparel. Justine, like many others, sometimes buys and sometimes sells: Etsy is a community-market, where buyers and sellers often exchange roles, and where the product is often only a means, and not an end, to maintain and strengthen relationships. Among the readers of Funkymamas, there is also another mother, Donatella, who recently opened an online store (different from the others) of children's clothing, The Kidsboutik: she will sell shoes designed by the bloggers 024
themselves. From a distance, it is difficult to see the swarm of objects and relationships. But if you approach the base of the tree trunk, you will notice an endless swarm of termites holding bits of wood between their legs. Zoe, in London, is a fan of Asos, one of the most important online clothing stores. Asos has created something unimaginable for most stores: it allows its customers to exchange their clothes or re-sell them at the same store selling its own merchandise. Zoe sells clothes that she no longer uses, and then buys new or used clothing. Zoe finds it isn't very useful to own a lot of clothes, but only to always have new ones to wear. In Brazil, Paulo knew that Halls was not going to make his favorite flavor, green grape, any more. Together with thousands of other people, organized online, after a few months, he managed to change the manufacturer's mind. You cannot escape from the blackmail of the swarm, but you can collaborate.
the termite revolution
Bernard is Bavarian and he's a fan of mustard. Along with 10,000 other people, he has just helped to create the new mustard flavors of the Mari Senf brand. He received a kit at home to actually try out the flavors, then on-line, he sent in his variations on the product. Now the new product is being sold.
Anders is 41, has an advertising agency in Stockholm and lives in the countryside, where he runs a small farm. This week he is Sweden, at least on Twitter: the Swedish account is not managed by an agency, but by individual citizens who volunteer, one per week. Thousands of miles further south, Mr. Wyss is the mayor of Obermutten, a tiny unknown Swiss town. He has promised to paste a real photo, printed on paper, for every person who had clicked Like on his page, on Facebook. Never would he have thought that, from the bulletin board in the city center, he would go on to affixing portraits on every free wall of his little village. Inspiration for the future Of course, the tree is still solid, apparently. The change is often invisible but none the less powerful, and not any less serious for those who will not be able to adapt. But the termites are digging away, bit by bit, without ever stopping, storing more and more precise information, organi-
zing themselves in an increasingly perfect way. The crisis that will continue in the coming years will be the final push, the storm singled out to be blamed for the fall, but which has not been the real cause. So the real target on which to focus is not the defense of the tree, which is by now condemned. It is best to begin to imagine a new business model based on collaboration, to build a sustainable eco-system based on the sharing of intelligence, the knowledge and efficient use of things. In the small gathering in the tavern of Padua, everything is already right there inside, that is, if you want to see it: the accelerated word of mouth, the technology that allows you to consolidate the relationships and efficiency, the trust – between producer and buyer, among buyers themselves – which makes the system work, with information exchanged on equal terms, the collective purchase and a new balance of power – and of collaboration – between production and consumption. 025
Global marketing and the new markets after the great crisis article by Stefano Micelli photos by Corbis Images
In the last twenty years, the world has experienced a gradual homogenization of consumption: the new markets of emerging economies have adopted tastes and preferences that are very similar to those of the Western world. Will this trend continue even after the “great crisis” and the profound economic changes of recent years, or will the international demand begin to take new paths of differentiation that companies will have to necessarily take into account?
At the beginning of the ‘80s, the first scholars of globalization imagined a world in which a new generation of products designed and distributed on a global scale would have made the fortune of those companies that were able to interpret the needs of consumers without borders. It is true that the jeans and cars that Theodore Levitt, the prophet of global products, then spoke of are no longer necessarily leaders in the market, but it is a sure fact that in the last twenty years the world has experienced a gradual homogenization of consumption. The new markets of emerging economies have adopted tastes and preferences that are very similar to those of the Western world. Cereals, vitamins and fruit juices have appeared on the tables of the Chinese middle class. Furniture from Ikea is occupying more and more space in middle-class homes around the world. The luxury market has seen the rise of global brands that have managed to create a shared vision able to influence the planet’s newly rich. The question we need to deal with is whether or not this trend will continue 026
after the great crisis of these years. In other words, it is legitimate to ask if the profound economic changes of recent years will leave the trajectory of convergence that has marked the last decade unchanged or if it is likely to think that the international demand will begin to take new paths of differentiation that businesses will have to necessarily take into account. To answer these questions, it is useful to think in terms of scenarios. For example, an attempt has been made by the British Forum for The Future with a report on the profile of the consumer in 2020, (Consumer Futures 2020, Scenarios for Tomorrow’s Consumers, 2011, www.forumforthefuture.org). The scenarios that the report focuses on are based on certain key variables that summarize the results of the path leading out of the crisis. The first scenario hypothesizes the possibility of continuing along the known tracks. The economy starts to grow, albeit at slower pace than in the past; large multinational corporations show they are capable of giving solutions to the big issues of the planet, most no-
Africa has 900 million consumers, among which already today 400 million constitute an emerging middle class that can drive economic growth. In the recent past, many of the structural limits of the African market have stimulated local entrepreneurship that has shown vitality and adaptability in many different sectors, from cosmetics to mobile phones, from sustainable tourism to film productions.
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tably those relating to environmental sustainability. The consumption models remain largely unchanged. In this scenario, the big brands consolidate their position in society and the market, even though they are challenged to develop greater attention toward matters of corporate social responsibility than in the past. This is the scenario that the Forum for the Future labels “I’m in your hands” to underline the persistence of a substantial delegation that the consumer continues to attach to the large Corporation as a hub of economic growth and of the established models of consumption. There are, of course, alternative scenarios. In a context where the economy stops growing and the markets are saturated, things could go differently. According to analysts, a more uncertain economy, marked by the rising cost of energy and raw materials and an increasingly costly management of the consequences of climate change, could lead the public opinion to consider alternative models of consumption. In this second scenario, labeled by the forum as “From Me to 028
You,” consumers will attach new value to goods and services produced at the local level, in particular with regard to food. The strength of the community emerges once again as a space to facilitate peer to peer exchanges, at the expense of the offers promoted by the large established brands. The issue of sustainability becomes crucial and leads to considering alternative solutions for transport and the logistics of the merchandise. It is plausible to think that these scenarios are not imposed in a uniform way worldwide, but go to characterize specific areas at the international level. In many emerging economies, the consumer is still firmly tied to the offer by big businesses and continues to value the brands of the national and international market leaders. The logic of mass production is the basis of the growth in living standards: which is what makes the companies and their brands a positive reference point, especially for those of the middle class who are now beginning to enjoy a Western lifestyle. In China, the middle class – compo-
global marketing and the new markets after the great crisis
In Brazil, between 2003 and 2008, about 20 million people were lifted out of poverty itself and more than 30 million people achieved middleclass income levels.
sed of merchants and producers who have benefited from the liberalization of the â€˜80s as well as the new professionals working in large firms in the major Chinese cities â€“ is constantly growing. According to estimates by the Boston Consulting Group, the new mass of the Chinese middle-class society will increase from the current 150 million people to 400 million in 2020, mainly settling around major urban conglomerates of the first, second and third level. This considerable mass of new consumers is a great opportunity for companies operating in major sectors of consumer goods, from washing machines to cars, from food to mobile telephones. Who is eligible to make use of a market with these features? It is not only the big corporations that are now looking to the Chinese market as a great opportunity for growth. According to many analysts, the consolidation of the demand of the Chinese middle class provides a great opportunity to rebalance the supply in the country for the benefit of a new generation of large Chinese companies geared to meet the new internal demand.
Similar considerations apply to other markets characterized by a strong growth dynamic. In Brazil, the consumer sector has been supported by a demographic and socio-economic structure of the country that has greatly benefited from the conditions of stability under the new political cycle. The economically active population has grown at a rate of 2.3% per year since the beginning of the decade, allowing for a steady increase in the number of consumers. According to an analysis by Credit Suisse, between 2003 and 2008, about 20 million people were lifted out of poverty itself and more than 30 million people achieved middleclass income levels. The growth in the consumption of goods and services provides a great opportunity for multinational companies around the world, although it is very likely that the Brazilian political class will aim at raising the competitiveness of some national standards to prevent the appreciation of the Real currency from resulting in a displacement of the national offer for the sole benefit of foreign trade. Even in Africa, the recent consoli029
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dation of the middle class prompts taking a look at the market opportunities in this continent. In a book published in 2009, Vijay Mahajan was among the first to bring international attention to the numbers of an economic growth that is a little known due to stereotypes deeply rooted in Western public opinion. Africa has 900 million consumers, among whom already today 400 million constitute an emerging middle class that can drive economic growth. In the recent past, many of the structural limits of the African market have stimulated local entrepreneurship, that has shown vitality and adaptability in many different sectors, from cosmetics to mobile phones, from sustainable tourism to film productions. Obviously, there are great opportunities for European and American multinational companies, provided that they prove to be capable of interpreting these markets in an original way, without thinking of replicating commercial formulas already established in other contexts. If in most emerging economies it is legitimate to imagine a rapid consolidation of the role of big business as 030
the main interlocutor of the rising middle class (as envisaged in the “I’m in your hands” scenario), some mature markets may know how to develop differently. The hypothesis of a “From Me to You” scenario, more attentive to the quality of the experience of consumption, the dynamics of the local communities and respect for the environment, could be the evolution of many European markets, not only for purely economic reasons – first of all, a macro-economic framework that is often not very favorable - but especially for cultural reasons. The overcoming of a consumerist approach and the demand for goods and services that are able to provide authentic experiences appear to be the hallmark of societies and economies characterized by a “post-growth” logic. In this scenario, the mature consumers no longer endow big business with a proxy for the fulfillment of their needs; they ask for an active role in defining the product (good or service), requesting a genuine dialog with the offer and are willing to pay for customized experiences. How can companies operating in global markets today deal with a process
The new mass of the Chinese middle-class society will increase from the current 150 million people to 400 million in 2020, mainly settling around major urban conglomerates of the first, second and third level. This considerable mass of new consumers is a great opportunity for companies operating in major sectors of consumer goods.
global marketing and the new markets after the great crisis
of differentiation of the preferences that these scenarios bring with them? The answer to these questions is not easy, because the instances promoted by the two types of demand are objectively different. A first area of innovation concerns strategy and communication. The companies that are the most sensitive to these issues have reacted by profoundly renewing their communication campaigns, betting on new watchwords able to cut across very different cultural contexts in an original manner. Examples such as Patagonia (the protagonist of an extraordinary effort to respect the environment) or such as Gucci and Bottega Veneta (engaged in redefining the value of their products through a revaluation of their craftsmanship) indicate the rise of new values of the brand-names and original forms of communication to the consumer. Another area in which it is possible to develop new forms of relationship with the market and of competitive differentiation, is the personalization of the offer. Even the most standardized products are now open to customiza-
tion: Ikea furniture has recently been revised by the Taiwan Craft Research Institute to experiment with a contamination between Nordic design and the traditional Chinese culture. In general, the crisis we are experiencing indicates a need to rapidly develop competitive strategies that take into account the profound changes that are affecting consolidated economies and emerging countries. The process of globalization that we have known over the past twenty years, since the fall of the Berlin Wall until today, has largely been a process of the homogenization and consolidation of Western consumption models. The events of the last two years have brought this trajectory into question. The world is starting to be heterogeneous and differentiated again. Companies that want to operate effectively on a global scale must develop new skills for dialoging with the demand in order to meet the requests of consumers with different cultures and expectations. This is the level on which an important part of the competitiveness of multinational companies of the future will be played. 031
THE HARSH LAW OF MARKETING article by Pino Buongiorno photos by D.& J. Heaton - J. O'Rear - K. Schafer - F. Soltan
The flop of the Nano car and the rise of the Jaguar and Land Rover luxury brands. In recent years the right or incorrect choices in marketing strategy has determined has the successes and failures of the Indian group Tata, in a moment of epochal change at its top ranks: Ratan Tata, the charismatic patriarch, has decided to retire and has chosen his successor ...
These have been hectic weeks at Bombay House, the colonial mansion that has served as the headquarters of the Tata Group since 1924. Here, in the four-story building of basalt stone, typical of Mumbai, a momentous change has taken place for the first Indian industrial group, with a turnover of $83 billion and which has 425,000 employees around the world. In charge since 1991, Ratan Tata, 74 years of age, the charismatic patriarch, one of the few entrepreneurs in the world who is a follower of the prophet Zarathustra, and who, with his conglomerate, has accompanied the deve032
lopment of the giant India – a bit like Fiat did in the Italy of the economic miracle in the Sixties – has decided to retire. After a difficult decision that absorbed him in lengthy discussions, the representative of the fifth generation of the family that has led the Tata group for 143 years was forced to make a painful choice, since he does not have any children. Rather than his half-brother Noel, he preferred an outsider, Cyrus Mistry, 43 years of age, the shadow-man of the past few years, the heir of a family of builders that owns 18% of the Tata holding company. The handover will take place in December
2012 and in the meantime, Cyrus will be vice president in his own right, with a voice in all major decisions. As if that were not enough, another strategic position suddenly became free, creating more than a little turmoil in Mumbai and the rest of the world. Carl-Peter Foster, 57, the CEO of Tata Motors, the company that has contributed more than any other to the internationalization of the group, including its alliance with Fiat, resigned for “unavoidable personal circumstances.” Along with Ratan Tata, Foster, the former boss of General Motors Europe, has created
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the conditions for an unprecedented revolution in cars (for the time being, bankrupt) and at the same time, has given a hard push to the accelerator in the globalization of the company car not only in developed markets, but especially in emerging ones (a successful undertaking). His leadership is associated with two contrasting phenomena that are becoming matters of university courses in both the Anglo-Saxon world and in management schools in India. And which says a lot about how marketing, if properly applied, can lead to great successes. But which, if fundamentally wrong, can become a source of business disasters. When Tata announced the creation of the Nano, “the people's car” that cost only 2,000 dollars, with great fanfare in January 2008, everybody (businessmen, politicians, analysts) applauded because “the least expensive car in the world” was intended to upset the automotive industry. A few months later, in June 2008, when the same Indian tycoon bought the Jaguar and Land Rover brands from Ford for $2.3 billion, those same people who had raved about the Nano, every last one of them, booed; in part because it seemed that colonized India was taking revenge on the British colonizer; in part because they believed that Tata had bitten off more than he could chew. The most famous experts of the leading investment banks, led by Morgan Stanley, bet that hundreds of thousands of Nano cars costing $2,000 would have been sold and few, very few, Jaguars, which cost
Ratan Tata dreamed of thousands of Indians in the rural areas traveling on four wheels, where previously they had only used motorcycles. And he also contemplated distributing the kits of the Nano to the remotest villages, to turn the mechanics of those areas into entrepreneurs. Beautiful visions that , however, clashed with reality. 034
$65,000. “The acquisition destroys value because of the lack of synergies and the high-cost operations,” declared Indian analyst Balaji Jayaraman of Morgan Stanley. This is not what happened at all. The automotive company headed by Foster, which has a market value of around 15 billion dollars, made profits almost exclusively with the cars that are the symbol of luxury. The Jaguar, which costs 25-30 times more than the Nano, sold 53,000 cars compared to the 70,000 low-cost Nanos. It was the marketing that made the difference. Let us take the flop of the ultra-cheap car. Ratan Tata dreamed of thousands of Indians in rural areas traveling on four wheels, where previously they had only used motorcycles. And he also contemplated distributing the kits of the Nano to the remotest villages, to turn the mechanics of those areas into entrepreneurs. Beautiful visions that, however, clashed with reality. From the moment of its launch until the first car was built, the Nano went through one crisis after another. Meanwhile, the first factory that should have been in impoverished West Bengal was never built due to the opposition from the local farmers. At the last moment, the project was transferred to Sananda, Gujarat. Hence, lengthy delays in deliveries resulted, up to 18 months, that discouraged even the most optimistic buyers. To make sales even more complicated was the fact that some Nanos caught fire. It was easy for the detractors, the group led by Maruti, to accuse Tata, and especially Foster, of having neglected safety in favor of the price. Third marketing failure: a model for national distribution had never been elaborated, advertising had been very poor and no one had thought about the financing plan with the most remote Indian banks. The absence of sales strategies reached the point where most of the Indians in the rural villages had never even heard about the Nano, nor had they had the chance to see the car that would have changed their lives. Its placement was also a disaster. As explained by Matt Eyring in the “Harvard Business Review,” there are three phases of a successful marketing campaign. The first is to think of something that is really wanted and sought after by consumers. The second is to identify those who want that product and the third is to study
The Elephant Festival The Elephant Festival is held in Jaipur, Rajasthan, during the day of Holi. This annual festival is a very special event, where the elephants are painted and carefully arrayed in shiny gold. According to Hindu mythology, the population considers the elephants (also called Samudra Manthan) as precious and regal beings.
the harsh law of marketing
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the details of how and under what circumstances this product will be used. “In short,” concludes Eyring, who is president of a consulting firm with offices in Boston, Singapore and India, “you must find a way to produce something that is reliable and that makes a profit at the price those people are interested in paying. And you have to communicate a clear message, one that is well-targeted and differentiated from the competitors’ offerings.” Well, Tata Motors failed in all three phases and, moreover, did so in the public eye. Result? Foster himself had to announce his resignation just before the disruption of the business model of the Nano, with a new car ready in 2012 which will be available in various colors, will have less spartan interiors, a more powerful engine (38 horsepower and not 30), and be more fuel efficient and also less noisy. The price will remain the same. On the other hand, Tata Motors has develo036
ped a new funding scheme with 29 local banks. The warranty has been extended. And above all, it is planning a television advertising campaign on the national and local level to spread the word of the Nano even to remote villages far from Mumbai. The new message is to sell the car not as one that is cheap, but as one that is easy to buy. An entirely different kind of marketing (“Big is beautiful”) has, instead, decreed the success of the Jaguar and Land Rover brands, which made astounding profits in 2010-2011. Sales have increased by 30%. And, at the end of October 2011, Tata hired a thousand new workers and technicians at the factory in Solihull, where 5,000 people currently work in the assembly of the Range Rover. The very recent Evoque model is contributing to a boom in sales and the expansion of the factory. Finally, to strengthen its expansion project in the Chinese
Big is beautiful: this is the marketing that has decreed the success of the Jaguar and Land Rover brands, which made astounding profits in 2010-2011. Sales have increased by 30%.
the harsh law of marketing
The first value is that we do nothave owners, but administrators. The second is the founder Jamsertji Nusserwanji Tata: whatever emanates from society must return to society in one form or another. That's why Tata has a different type of business culture and philosophy (Ratan Tata)
and Russian markets, in view of the expected downturn of the European economies, Tata has hired German engineers and marketing wizards from competing companies. The benefits have been enormous, thanks to the well-aimed marketing campaign. Tata Motors has indeed demonstrated the ability to preserve and develop the historical value of the luxury car brands, has managed to reduce its dependence on the Indian market, which until recently accounted for 90% of sales, and has been able to spread its business model across different geographical areas and to different customer segments. Although until only recently, the Tata brand was associated with commercial vehicles and cars with low technology, today it is synonymous with luxury vehicles, which perhaps one day will be exported all over India to counteract the competition from Mercedes and BMW. Now it is up to the “wizard Cyrus,” as
he is called in Mumbai, to find the right man to be the CEO of Tata Motors, able to sell both Nanos and Jaguars with the same magic wand and respecting the tradition established by Ratan Tata in these past 20 years: “We are operating globally in more than 80 countries through a hundred companies in seven business sectors,” the patriarch said in a lengthy interview I had with him in Mumbai in 2007. “Each company is governed independently by its own board of directors and has its own strategy. In any case, each company is connected to the group, in that it adheres to certain values and decision-making procedures. The first value is that we do not have owners, but administrators. The second is that of the founder, Jamsertji Nusserwanji Tata: whatever emanates from society must return to society in one form or another. That is why Tata has a different type of culture or, if you prefer, business philosophy. 037
Eco-smart: the consumer of tomorrow
consumer of today
article by Renato Mannheimer illustrations by Undesign
Critical consumption, conscious, responsible, sustainable, “green,” fair, inclusive, ecological, ethical, organic... New forms of consumption in sight? A consumer who is less naive and more jaded, less gullible and more informed, more demanding and less needy, less malleable and more determined. And more intelligent. Smarter, in fact. And who has already begun to influence the trends of consumption.
SMART: THE CONSUMER OF TODAY Have you ever wondered why the smart consumer is smart, and why the intelligent consumer is intelligent? It's simple. The motto of traditional consumers is “I consume, therefore, I am,” an expression that means “I feel I exist if and only if I consume certain goods and not others,” while the smart consumer's motto is “I am, therefore, I consume,” namely that “I consume certain goods and not others, depending on what they are and what I believe.” The first makes them – and their social mask – dependent on their consumption; the second makes their consumption depend on themselves and what they believe to be. The first is what their consumption makes them become or gives them the feeling of being able to become; the second makes their consumption a relevant expression of self. “I am not one thing and my expense another thing. I am
my expenses,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson (150 years ago: what a genius!). Therefore, the smart consumer is not intelligent in vain. As a result, companies producing goods or services, marketing and communications companies and advertising agencies must avoid making the mistake of certain bosses from the dinosaur age who made their readers-listeners-consumers out to be more stupid, more ignorant, less informed and less innovative than they really are. ECO-SMART: THE CONSUMER OF TOMORROW The smart consumer has a “green” awareness: he/she is attentive to the issue of the eco-sustainable production of goods or services and appreciates companies that commit a portion of their revenues to the field of social solidarity and environmental protection. For this reason, the smart consumer is already in danger of extinction and
consumer of tomorrow
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has been replaced by a new version, the 2.0 consumer or rather, the eco-smart consumer. We can define it like this: an eco-smart consumer is one who, with his/her decision to purchase, rewards companies able to produce goods with an explicit commitment to producing goods or services without causing damage to the environment, without undermining the health of citizens and without exploiting children or creating “new slaves.” Are you thinking that this eco-smart consumer is quantitatively a grain of sand in the immense beach of Italian consumers? In September 2009, the ISPO (Institute for Studies on Public Opinion) conducted a national survey for Green Value, interviewing a representative sample of the adult Italian population. When asked “To what extent have you ever tried to learn to understand which companies are the ones that produce without respect for the environment and rights?,” 52% of the respondents answered “often/ sometimes.” When asked “To what
extent have you ever avoided buying food products from companies that are not attentive to the environment and society?,” 49% of respondents answered “often/sometimes,” as they also did in answering “To what extent have you wanted to buy products from companies that are attentive socially and to the environment, but weren't able to find any?” When asked “To what extent have you ever wanted to avoid buying clothing from companies that are not attentive to the environment and society?,” 48% of the respondents answered “often/ sometimes,” the same percentage as for the question “To what extent have you ever want to buy products from companies that are attentive to the environment and society, but haven't because they cost too much?” Therefore, already in 2009, one Italian consumer in two seemed to have developed the ability to reward companies able to produce goods or services with a reduced environmental impact and sensitive to issues of
social solidarity. Do you still think that the eco-smart consumer is just a grain of sand in the immense beach of Italian consumers? “4 RS AND AN S”: 5 ECO-SMART PASSWORDS The “4 Rs and an S” are the passwords that guide eco-smart consumer choices: save, reduce, re-use, re-cycle, repair. “Reduce the amount and toxicity of the waste we produce, re-use containers and products, repair what is broken or give it to someone who is able to repair it, re-cycle as much as possible and plan for the purchase of goods produced with recycled materials”: here is a good list of virtuous “Rs and an S,” all eco-smart. And do you know who wrote this? Barack Obama. SAVE There are many ways to save because there are so many things that a consumer can save on. You can save money and you can
save on the consumption of a non-renewable resource. Buying a steak instead of veal filet is a form of savings of the first type; saving on the cost of electricity or water is a form of savings of the second type, which also saves money. Eco-smart consumers like this second form of savings and the more eco-smart tomorrow's consumers become, the more the propensity for this kind of savings will increase. The future, in part, has already begun. The constant trend of the last decade has been the increased consumption of tap water and the related drop in the consumption of mineral water, as evidenced by ISTAT surveys and Aqua Italy. On the one hand, increasingly fewer families have a poor assessment of tap water (the hostile judgment which characterized 16.2% of households in 2001 had dropped to 10.8% in 2010); on the other, the consumption of mineral water has decreased (in 2000, 67.6% of households bought it, down to 63.4% in 2009). Effect of the crisis? This is not only a matter
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eco-smart: the consumer of tomorrow
of cost savings: there is a growing awareness among consumers that a bottle not only must travel many miles before arriving at the table, thus consuming energy, but also poses environmental problems if not properly disposed of. According to Istat, saving money motivates only 16.3% of the consumers who switch from mineral water to tap water, whereas the majority do so for a set of several reasons, among which the protection of the environment stands out. This finding has also been confirmed by the qualitative study conducted by ISPO for Assobibe on the issues of recycling and virtuous behavior: already in 2009, the absolute majority of “evolved” and “environmentally sensitive” adult consumers claimed to have renounced the purchase of mineral water definitively and permanently . REDUCE Eco-smart consumers first of all reduce the wasting of money, energy, water, and even food: they request the use of timed lights in condominiums, put in double-glazed windows, retrieve “grandma's recipe” to turn leftover pieces of bread into a cake and give away the clothes that their children have outgrown. Eco-smart consumers particularly try to reduce waste and consumption and their environmental impact is evident from the qualitative study conducted by ISPO for Assobibe, which shows that the absolute majority of “evolved” and “environmentally sensitive” adult consumers choose Class A washing-machines and dishwashers and use them only when there is a full load, buy low-consumption light bulbs even though they are more expensive than traditional ones, turn off all electrical devices at night to avoid even the slight consumption
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when on standby, systematically use products they have purchased and avoid wasting them by letting them pass the expiry date, and avoid buying products with plastic containers and dishes whenever possible. In recent years, eco-smart consumers have acquired a “critical mass” that has been enough to drive up the consumption of recycled paper and wood from sustainable forests and, as a result, also helps companies in the paper-wood sector working with eco-certified materials to grow; FSC certification, for example, grew by 53% between 2009 and 2010. In every Italian city, the citizens moving around by bike instead of by car in order to reduce fuel consumption and exhaust fumes have also increased; in 2010, 132 cities had created public bike-sharing or bike rental services. The tendency to rationalize and reduce consumption responsibly is so strong that some companies have designed their advertising campaigns with words that would have
seemed crazy, or foolish, just a few years ago. “We ask our customers to help in reducing the environmental footprint of clothing purchased at Pxxxx. Otherwise, don't buy them,” says the very recent Italian campaign of the American Pxxxx label. “Even though we design and sell for a living, we are committed to our products being made to last and we ask you not to buy what you do not need.” Incredible, isn't it? These are the “right” words to touch the “heart” of the eco-smart consumer. RE-USE The qualitative study of the ISPO for Assobibe in 2009 shows in the sample of “evolved” and “environmentally sensitive” consumers, that the ability to throw something away is no longer a sign of modernity and wealth, but is an indication of self-destructive blindness, especially since the management of non-recycled waste inevitably leads to the need both for incinerators,
causing dangerous side effects from combustion, and the landfills responsible for the emanation of harmful gases and liquids that trickle down to the aquifers. The eco-smart consumer, therefore, is not afraid to re-use nor to buy second-hand goods, provided, of course, that their former use has not been an abuse and has not altered the quality. In recent years, the number of markets, real or virtual, of used school books and university textbooks has more than doubled, while the communities and the on-line platforms of sales continue to have an increased volume of business. According to the 2011 Report, in 2010, sales, profits and the number of e-Bay customers increased. RECYCLE According to data from the ISPRA (Institute for Environmental Protection and Research), published in the 2011 Urban Waste Report, in
Italy, the production of municipal waste has decreased by 1% and recycling has increased. Despite the wide variations between some regions, it seems that there is now a widespread awareness of how the adoption of the proper disposal of refuse is important for environmental protection and the health of citizens. The qualitative, oft-quoted study of the ISPO for Assobibe in 2009, showed that “evolved” and “environmentally sensitive” consumers had the strong and wellrooted conviction that the recycling of waste, if handled with extreme rigor, would significantly reduce pollution, save resources, create new jobs and provide an economic return. The ISPO study revealed that the vast majority of respondents support the idea that recycling is culturally, strategically and politically correct, even if it is not always considered economically affordable. The eco-smart consumer of the future not only abides by the rules laid down by the municipality
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regarding the collection of recycled refuse, but seeks to adopt an ethic of recycling that goes well beyond the regulations imposed. The future has already begun. On the island of Ischia, the owner of a park with hundreds of cacti has recycled glass bottles to produce colorful pebbles for mulch; in Milan, an artist recycles the packaging of coffee capsules by using them in art works; throughout the country, dozens of young home designers have recycled different materials for tasteful decoration. This is the Italian way of recycling: creativity and imagination at the service of an increasingly intelligent userconsumer.
others: if repairing an umbrella no longer makes any sense – umbrellamenders became extinct when umbrellas that are “Made in China” started to cost less than four euros – re-adjusting an old-fashioned dress or rejuvenating a high-quality pair of pants is “virtuous” behavior that is supplanting the “vice” of compulsive shopping. Otherwise, how else do you explain the boom in all the small and very small tailor shops, often run by non-EU people, which have been characterizing the business landscape of large metropolitan areas for a few years now?
Is the era of over-consumption, bulimic shopping and waste over? Is it the fault of the crisis? If the effect of stagflation were only that of depressing consumption,
Eco-smart consumers repair whatever they can and avoid throwing away that which can be repaired by
WIN-WIN CONSUMPTION AND HAPPINESS
it would be difficult to explain the success of the sales of organic food products that cost 10-12% more than last year but which have recorded an average growth of 11.6%, with peaks of more than 101% (fresh cheese and spreads). According to ISMEA surveys, today 52% of Italians buy organic. Are we supposed to think that one Italian in two is not feeling the crisis? Of course not. The crisis alone has not changed consumption, it has only made a very eco-smart awareness more acute: over-consumption does not bring happiness. Trite? Only on the surface. Precisely because they are intelligent, eco-smart consumers know just as well that not being able to consume leads to sadness, unhappiness and bad moods. So where does happiness, or more prosaically, the well-being of the consumer lie? Smart consumers are sober but not ascetic in their
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eco-smart: the consumer of tomorrow
The crisis alone has not changed consumption, it has only made a very ecosmart awareness more acute: over-consumption does not bring happiness
consumption, and while not driven by the immediate gratification of ownership, this does not mean that they consume without any emotions (“smart” is not equivalent to “rational”). What makes you feel good is “winwin” consumption. Examples of such consumption are purchases of fair trade products, organic products generated by small craftsmen committed to saving the local traditions, of products manufactured by companies engaged in projects of environmental protection or social solidarity, etc. Consumers who buy one of these products are not simply buying something they need or like: they are doing good to someone or something, rewarding a worthy manufacturer and therefore feel that they are on “right side” (like the payoff of the fair-trade sector says). All the actors involved in the consumption “win” something: this is why it is “winwin” consumption and this feature makes it capable of generating consumer satisfaction that is much less volatile and superficial than a traditional purchase. A lot of “winwin consumption” is constantly increasing. To buy something feeling that “you're doing the right thing” and “of being on the right side” is very attractive to the human psyche, as well as very eco-smart, and the more eco-intelligence becomes a dominant feature of the consumer, the more this type of consumption will increase. The turnover of the organic sector has grown by 300% in 10 years and another interesting fact is the growth of the market for fair trade products: according to the 2011 National Report of the AGICES (Italian General Association
of Fair Trade), fair trade recorded an increase in international sales of 15% between 2008 and 2009 alone. ECO-SMART CONSUMER AND SMART TECHNOLOGY Smart consumers read the labels, the list of ingredients, the technical specifications of a product and understand what they are reading. These consumers are informed and able to find the information they need in the vast basin of the Internet: they are also assiduous users of smart technology: the sales of smartphones has registered +3.4%, even at the end of 2011, while the entire consumer electronics sector has been suffering a sad -20% (Gfk Eurisko data). The union of the eco-smart consumer and smart technology currently seems to be solid: on one hand, the new technology is one of the status symbols of the millennium; on the other, it has the undeniable ability to make life easier, making it more comfortable, richer and more fun. Not unnecessarily complicating life is a very smart attitude and, not surprisingly, the new consumer is also curious about home automation, especially when applied to energy savings. Here is a market in constant growth since 2000: in the opinion of “Assodomotica,” the most important factor that has led to the big leap of home automation is linked to the spreading of culture among the end users of automation, most of whom are eco-smart consumers. In fact, we must not forget that home automation systems are growing despite high costs because they confer an
energy savings of 30-35%. Also, if your smartphone feeds the feeling-illusion of not being alone, home automation gives one the perception of being able to control the chaos outside, a “gift” which, in times of uncertainty, is surely not a negligible value. THE ECO-SMART NETWORKS Eco-smart consumers are very connected, as we have already mentioned: they are connected in a network, but there is no single network to mediate their relationship with the object of their consumption. First, there is the Network for Excellence, the Internet: online shops cover every category of products by now and Italian e-Commerce, after scoring a flattering +17% between 2009 and 2010, has been consolidated with an excellent +20% this year, according to the B2C e-Commerce Report in Italy, prepared by the Department of Engineering Management of the Polytechnic of Milan. Likewise, online versions of traditional services have multiplied: the continued growth in Internet banking is an example: according to the 2011 eFinance Nielsen Report, the users of online banking services now make up 37%, 6% more than in 2010. The Internet is not the only network. There are networks such as Twitter and social networks that contribute to weaving them together, there is the network among the members of each community, the link between a blogger and his/her readers... There are new networks of consumers alongside the older ones, i.e., the traditional
associations of protection; the network of Purchase Solidarity Groups is an example of the new advancing. Finally, there are the networks created by the producers of goods or services. Each of these networks can influence consumption and motivate new attitudes toward purchasing. Smart consumers and producers are no longer islands in the turbulent sea of commerce, but nodes belonging to many intertwined smart networks. The future? It lies with the smart networks of smart consumers, smart producers and smart services. For example, there are system integration networks, developed by companies producing home automation that provide highly-automated security system solutions with high levels of integration and communication via the Internet. The best example, however, is a different one, and that is the smart grid. This is the intelligent network that can accommodate two-way flows of electricity, making producers and consumers interact to determine the demands of consumption in advance, flexibly adapting energy production. The smart grid is able to deliver excess energy of some areas to other areas with temporary deficits and can help individuals regulate their consumption in real time, limiting waste and costs. Smart networks like the smart grid are the key step for energy use that is more economical and, at the same time, more environmentally friendly. Moral of the story: in the future, the eco-smart networks will win, no doubt about it.
The secularization of the West and the contemporary consumer article by Remo Lucchi photos by Philippe Gendreau - Corbis Images
How have the expectations of consumers/citizens changed? Brand-name products - and the supply system in general - have undoubtedly represented the reliable partner for the well-being project of Western families in the past decades. But since the Eighties onward, this relationship has been gradually weakening.
THE SUPPLY AND DEMAND DYNAMICS BETWEEN “IDENTIFICATION” AND “INDIVIDUATION” To describe events in a few words, we will resort to simplifications which are naturally schematic but useful as a framework for interpreting the dynamics involved between supply and demand. The scheme is based on two basic vectors that try to summarize the social behavior in recent decades: on the one hand, the pressure expressed by the dominant entities of the society upon the individual to facilitate his/her identification (and therefore, the dynamics of belonging, alignment and integration). These all concern identification logic with the identity of the third parties that the individual “believes” in or wants to be inspired by: a political, religious or cultural movement or a trade union. But in the consumer world, also the uncritical acceptance of the proposed models and
concepts from the world of brand-names; on the other hand, we have the cultural vector of the self-expression and autonomy of the individual (individuation vector), strongly centered on their own critical skills and their own set of tools. In a schematic form, the individual acts and is subject to the following vector field:
The adoption of the concept of sustainability as a new management philosophy of the business involves a supply system that is capable of mediating between the short term and the long term
In the following diagrams, we have analyzed what has occurred in recent decades, distinguishing three phases.
THE FIRST PHASE (THE DAY BEFORE YESTERDAY): THE PREVALENCE OF IDENTIFICATION Until the early Eighties, the logic that governed individuals was mainly that of identification. There was little autonomy and criticism, and therefore, a strong need for references that could be relied on. The importance of the brand-name was very high, fidelity was high. In this situation, the offer was very much focused on itself and on its ability to create trustworthy icons. Businesses learned to make offers with this kind of logic; a method they continued to follow even in later times, regardless of the events.
THE SECOND PHASE: THE RETURNS OF IDENTIFICATION Over the last 20-30 years, there has been a kind of epochal revolution in the supply: the critical capacity of people has exploded, surely triggered by the sudden evolution of higher education and also fueled by a sharp increase in the availability of the new media (Internet, satellite TV), with their strong cognitive stimulation. The increase in higher education is clearly represented in the growth rate of the critical capacity of people; it is only the epiphenomenon of a much broader social change. It has increased people's ability to enter into the merits of the proposed item, on several levels. With this comes a legitimate claim to receive new offers, of real and genuine high quality, both conceptually and regarding the ingredients, at attractive prices (because it is the result of a rethinking of the industrial processes and has been co-created with the same individual purchaser or consumer). This new demand has not received a response, resulting in a distancing from the supply system. Result: loss of brandname value and increased infidelity. The representation of this second phase is given below:
However, the process of distancing from the reassuring logic of adhesion to the world of brands tends to produce progressive problematization for the same individual. The new framework decrees a kind of abandonment of the individual himself, who stands alone to face the complexities and difficulties of life, which are also on the increase: urban life, jobs, relationships, etc., as well as the very act of consuming: the increasing difficulty in making decisions on the new trade-offs, the difficulty of keeping up with increasingly expert knowledge about consumption. We may be just about at the point of maximum individuation and the excess of complexity is starting to show signs of rejection.
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The four aspects for a business of how to “make an offer” social sustainability (guaranteeing conditions of the development of human well-being), cultural (defense of diversity), economic (producing the maximum value for themselves and their social and physical territory), environmental (preservation of environmental resources and functions).
THE THIRD PHASE: A SYNTHESIS BETWEEN INDIVIDUATION AND IDENTIFICATION? The need to evaluate the role of others is beginning to be felt. The crisis – especially in the latest phase – is accelerating the phenomenon. There is clearly the need for new mediations between the (inalienable) individual references and the new, more collective references, now equally indispensable. What emerges is a request for large corporations/companies that can take on the responsibility of proposing real projects under the banner of a new and true quality (which, moreover, consumers are now able to recognize and judge), and also to provide a response to the new awareness about the “interconnectedness of life” that they have achieved: economic, ethical, eco-system. A spontaneous call for a concept of sustainability, meant in a holistic sense, the interconnection of all plans of social and consumer actions.
The adoption of the concept of sustainability as a new management philosophy of the business involves a supply system that is capable of mediating between the short term and the long term: able to develop consensus among all its stakeholders to find new sustainability between immediate profit and investment.
the secularization of the west and the contemporary consumer
Creating real quality: a hypothesis for reconnection with the demand Real quality, which the supply system should provide, always referred to an increasingly wide range of factors; eight ingredients, at least. Four of these are related to the merits of the product and the direct relationship with the consumer. Four others are inherent to the context of sustainability, which we have mentioned, and its variations. The four ingredients of the recipe regarding the content of the relationship and its market (individuals, families and other companies) can be summarized as follows: the ability of the company to continuously regenerate itself (innovation in products and approaches), anticipating the needs of the market; the ability to select the “raw materials” to ensure the intrinsic high quality of whatever its products might be; the ability to invest in the processes (process innovations), in order to improve quality and simultaneously contain costs and prices;
the ability to relate with its client in an impeccable manner, through communication and their relationship, always geared toward solving “all” the problems (whether real and complex or presumed to be so), in terms of substance and form. The four other ingredients, as mentioned, regard how to “make an offer” and relate to the respect – from a strategic and practical standpoint – for everything that one expects from those who want to conduct a truly sustainable business. This matter requires the company to appropriate, in the normal course of its business, the four basic codes of sustainability: social sustainability: or the practical steps to ensure the basic conditions for the development of human well-being, with maximum attention given to social security. On this level, the company also operates in favor of social cohesion and the inclusion of any marginalized groups of the population; cultural sustainability: for example, the
defense of cultural diversity; economic sustainability: the ability to produce the maximum value for oneself and the social and physical territory, by combining resources effectively and finding forms of composition of joint interests; environmental sustainability: which operates both in protecting the functions and resources of the environment and in terms of enhancing the capacity (physical, social and cultural) of the territory itself. Today, there is no sector that is not subject to this multi-faceted demand. Of course, the demand is shaped by specific sectors and contexts, but there is a pressing demand that everything be of quality and there is a strong need for the new leaders and guarantors to present themselves in a credible way. The brand that will know how to respond positively to this new sensitivity and complexity will once again be a Brand and Leader, with capital letters, as befits a social institution that is truly respected and loved.
interview with martin angioni
AMAZON: THIS IS THE CATALOG article by Luca Morena photos by Dusko Despotovic - Massimo Listri
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ANCIENT LIBRARIES On the previous page, the first university library in Europe, built in 1254 in Salamanca, Spain. On this page and on the following pages: the libraries of Chateau de Chantilly (France) and Kremsmuenster (Austria).
An interview with Martin Angioni, country manager of Amazon Italy, an economist with a passion for philosophical hermeneutics: he is the person destined to lead the first strong impact of an online multi-national firm regarding the consumption habits of Italians. “The realistic ambition is to become the ultimate catalog authority, making a complete inventory in the coming years of everything that is produced. Amazon will become the most exhaustive catalog of most of the products that surround us.” There is something extraordinarily ambitious about Amazon and it is intimately related to the nature of the Internet. If this is essentially “writing” in a broad sense, as the philosopher Maurizio Ferraris authoritatively argued (Soul and iPad, Guanda 2011), Amazon is the company that, more than any other, has adhered to this essence, to the extent that it deals mostly with writing and infrastructures for writing – whether it be cloud computing or Kindle e-books. But one gets the impression that the initial business focus on books is (and has been) a kind of case study – probably the most relevant – to develop the perfect e-commerce experience, with the long-term goal of making Amazon the online place where anyone can purchase anything. 056
Amazon has come to Italy only recently. What are the reasons for the long wait? Is there a specific Italian market that Amazon has had to carefully prepare for and if there is, what is it? There is nothing in particular behind the timing of the choice to arrive in Italy. It was a matter of pretty standard reasoning, in which the definition of priorities to launch in one country rather than another simply functions according to the relative size of the markets. Then, it is true that there are also other considerations that can be added to the mere economic significance of a given market and the shares of global GDP. For example, until just a short time ago, Italy was penalized by a poor penetration of the Internet and, consequently, a small number of users of e-commerce. To give you an idea, suffice it to say that France – the country that in many respects is comparable to Italy – has three times more online buyers (27 million versus 9). In addition, the expansion process of a multinational corporation provides physiological timing to allow for laying the groundwork better, to choose the right people, to leave nothing to chance. In short, there was actually no hurry. Italy is not a country of readers. According to Istat, only 46.8% of the population claims to have read a book in the
previous year. Amazon could act as a driving force in making reading more accessible financially to the Italians, although in all probability, the small number of readers is due to cultural and economic problems. Therefore, can it be that Amazon sees the Italian market more as an opportunity for its all-around e-commerce business rather than as an attractive market for e-commerce books? It is true that the business model is not replicated exactly in every country in which Amazon is present, but there are no major differences compared to the other markets. In Italy, too, the main concern of Amazon is the selling of media and consumer electronics. What works for the United States, or France and Germany, also works pretty well for Italy. The picture of the state of e-commerce in Italy shows a predominance of consumer electronics and clothing, and Amazon is already the largest online retailer in the business sectors in which it operates. For example, regarding the sales of books, it has already exceeded IBS, which has been present on the Italian market for several years. Then, there are the constantly growing sectors, such as household goods. But, except for marginal differences, the business model is really always the same.
amazon: this is the catalog
The innovation game will be played concerning the contents and the ecosystems to supply them, and from this point of view, Amazon is in an excellent position. Apple has had great success in creating devices of excellent workmanship, cult objects like the iPad. But going back to the tablet, the Kindle Fire is already a huge success, to the extent that Apple was forced to cut down on the production of iPads in the month of November
Perhaps Amazon's brand-new Italian Marketplace will be able to have a certain specificity – i.e., the possibility for SMEs to sell their products by not only exploiting the infrastructure of e-commerce, but also the logistics – since it seems to fit into the productive fabric very well and is scarcely exposed to the commercial potential of the typical network in Italy in recent years. Is it a service that will pay particular attention to the Italian market? In this case there seems, in fact, to be an all-Italian specificity in which Amazon can and will play an important role, especially when you consider the cost/performance that Amazon is able to offer third-party companies. This is a reduction in costs that is quite miraculous and is certainly without precedent in the Italian market. One fact that often goes unnoticed but which has been made public, is that right now, 37% of the total business activities on Amazon occur through the Marketplace and involve third party vendors. Do you think Amazon has been underestimated in its ability to innovate, in comparison to other big players like Apple or Google? I wouldn't say so. If we consider a simple indicator such as the trend of its stock, you have the perception of a high regard for Amazon. If we want to make more
general considerations, the innovation game will be played concerning the contents and the eco-systems to supply them, and from this point of view, Amazon is in an excellent position. Apple has had great success in creating devices of excellent workmanship, cult objects like the iPad. But going back to the tablet, the Kindle Fire that was launched last November 15th is already a huge success, to the extent that Apple was forced to cut down on the production of iPads in the month of November. The fact is that now anyone can produce tablets and that is why the game has shifted entirely to their contents. And, for a long time now, Amazon has accumulated many, high quality contents. In this sense, the realistic ambition of Amazon is to become the catalog authority par excellence, making a complete inventory in the coming years of everything that is produced. In practice, thanks to Amazon's immense catalog, it will be possible to identify all kinds of objects, get information about them and immediately arrange to make a purchase. The Price Check app – giving you the chance to buy products online, whose barcode is identified in real shops – is just the first and most recent example of this future – distant, but not very. The vision is surely this: Amazon will become the most exhaustive catalog of most of the products that surround us. 057
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The recent launch of the Price Check app, in fact, seems to be an acceleration of the attempt to overcome the traditional modes of marketing. The benefits for the user in terms of economy and efficiency are very clear. But the scenario that is taking shape for the retailers, according to critics, is that they may risk becoming a kind of widespread showroom for Amazon. Is this fear well- founded? No, this fear is unfounded for the time being. The data is quite clear: 60% of consumers get information from the Internet before making any purchase, but 80% of these people then go to buy the products they want in stores. This is a phenomenon that has also been given a definition and a relatively ugly acronym: the “ROPO effect” – or that is to say, Research Online, Purchase 058
Offline. With its vast catalog, Amazon definitely requires a certain standard of transparency on prices and offers clear advantages to the consumer. However, we are not yet at the point of the phenomenon feared by offline retailers. Moreover, if we look at Italy, e-commerce is really just at the beginning stage and the situation is still quite fluid. Entering a new market has forced Amazon to develop aggressive pricing policies for the acquisition of new customers, but it must be said that word of mouth and convenience are the only leverage that we are using to become known in Italy. In a context, I am sorry to say, in which the quality of e-commerce is often unsatisfactory and which certainly does not instill confidence in this sector.
While seeing the advantages of frictionless commerce (a perfect analogy of the frictionless sharing of Facebook – ranging from 1-click purchasing to the Price Check offerings in real-time), doesn't the transfer of all aspects of marketing to an online dimension jeopardize values that are likewise desirable, such as, for example, a direct relationship with a vendor/ “curator” of their own goods or the possibility of sustaining, most of the time, an economy of the neighborhood? Purchases on Amazon are undeniably very frictionless. It is all very quick and efficient. But even though the fluid design of the purchasing process can, to some extent, facilitate impulse buying, this does not mean that there are no limits and rules within which such
amazon: this is the catalog
60% of consumers get information from the Internet before making any purchase, but 80% of these people then go to buy the products they want in stores. With its vast catalog, Amazon definitely requires a certain standard of transparency on prices and offers clear advantages to the consumer. However, we are not yet at the point of the phenomenon feared by offline retailers
fluidity can be exercised. Quite simply, there is a limit on the availability of your credit card. These limitations are not very different from those in which one moves in the offline world of consumption. It is just that everything is simpler and more convenient, especially in terms of time saved: the products are found faster, you avoid going to a shop, waiting in the checkout line, etc. Naturally, there are still shops you visit willingly, because you go there in search of something more than the simple purchase, but there are undeniable advantages of a highly efficient e-commerce. Just think, for example, how easy it has become to buy train or airplane tickets online, or even to take out insurance policies online. In short, I see more advantages than disadvanta-
ges in this. So, in my opinion, it is not at all clear that the job of the bookseller is going to disappear. The key lies in the added value that the traditional figures of the publishing market will be able to add to the pure book trade. Finally, there seems to be an irrepressible tendency â€“ driven by market forces â€“ to make the business models of large online corporation quite uniform, thus ensuring that they literally do look like one another. What will distinguish Amazon from Google, Apple, Microsoft and the others in the near future? The future is definitely in mobile technology, smartphones and tablets. Kindle Fire has already had a glimpse of how it will change in the near future,
shifting from access to contents. And the differences between the big players will be played out almost exclusively in the way they will be able to distribute and make content available, as well as in the quality of the latter. More generally, the sector is undergoing and will continue to undergo major changes concerning information. Newspapers in the United States are closing down, one after the other, as are those in a closely protected economy of a country like France. Even traditional television operators - those who are generalist - are under pressure, constantly losing advertising and audience in favor of the Internet and stream TV. Therefore, if there is a traditional publishing industry that runs the real risk of extinction it is the one that produces information. 059
DIGITAL MON AMOUR article by Daniela Mecenate photos by Miyako Odagiri
From payments by mobile phone to e-commerce: the Italian and European challenge for a market and businesses that are more digital has yet to be explored. And is interwoven with the ambitious projects of Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda.
Password: digital. From the Internet to mobile phones, there is a whole world (and a business) that lives and thrives on air. It is that of e-commerce, mobile payment, purchases made by mobile phone, or even a mix of all these: shopping via the Internet paid through the mobile phone. Without going into any shop or pulling out your wallet, but while staying at home or moving around the city. The digital market is a lucrative business which in Italy, in 2010, reached 11 billion euros, an increase of 13% with respect to 2009. The data, released by the SMAU Observatory in collaboration with the Polytechnic Institute of Milan, allows us to perceive excellent growth opportunities for the digital world. Which makes us all ubiquitous and virtual, consumers without the need for a physical place at which to buy and which experts believe could even conquer as many as 33 million Italians in the next five years. Weighing positively upon the GDP. And there is more. According to another observation of experts, such as Netcomm (the consortium of e-commerce in Italy), the predictions for the end of 2011 are even more optimistic: +20% expected 060
growth for Italian e-commerce, with an increase in both the sale of products (+24%) and services (+18%). It is even better for mobile commerce, more sophisticated and high-profile: even though it accounts for only 1% of total digital purchases, it shows promise of growing by as much as 210%, reaching a value of about 80 million euros. Meanwhile, one Italian in three already has a Smartphone and a regular Internet browser: and therefore is a potential on-line or mobile services buyer. Giving us a picture of the realities of mobile payment is a recent study by the Polytechnic of Milan, according to which, the market potential is due to the fact that in Italy, 85% of the population owns a mobile phone, thus they have an instrument of payment that is always on. Virtual money in your pocket. So, according to experts, what is helping the development of this promising slice of customers is the increasingly widespread use of Smartphones, seeing that, already today, 80% of the mobile phone market is derived precisely from these devices of the latest generation. But on closer look â€“ the experts at the Polytechnic explain to us â€“ so far, mobile payment has not
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MOBILE PAYMENT IN ITALY One Italian in three already has a Smartphone and is a regular Internet browser: and therefore, a potential on-line or mobile services buyer. The market potential is due to the fact that in Italy, 85% of the population owns a mobile phone, thus they have an instrument of payment that is always on. But so far, mobile payment has not had the hoped for development: there were only 107 mobile payment services registered in 2010 in Italy, all with a very small turnover.
achieved the hoped-for development: there were only 107 mobile payment services registered in 2010 in Italy (but a year before, there were just 78), with a very small turnover and one application taking precedence over all the others: the one for charging the phone. So, mobile payment in Italy is flying low; for now, in addition to phone re-charges, it has only had some luck paying for parking in some cities and for purchasing train tickets. “That’s too bad, because our respondents say that they want to be able to make their life easier with purchases by phone,” declares Filippo Renga, head of the NFC & Mobile Payments Observatory at the School of Management of the Polytechnic of Milan. “For example, in 73% of the cases, they say they would use the service for buying movie or theater tickets, to pay their bills or buy bus tickets, and even to pay at the supermarket.” Even e-commerce, assisted by payments with mobile phones, does not go very far: “The turnover in 2010,” continues Renga, “was just 12 million euros. We are seeing the first stirrings, but we think there is enormous room for growth.” Likewise, there are also huge opportunities for operators: from the traditional telecom players to postal services operators, up to the “new entrants” who will appear in such a promising market in the future. Regarding which, however, there is still a long way to go. Unlike the matter of online shopping (traditional e-commerce), which, according to the Nielsen Research Institute, has shot up to number six million Italians who shop on the web: about 30% of all 062
the “Internetians,” especially men, and between 25 and 34 years of age. In terms of consumption, according to the Netcomm consortium, fashion and publishing, music and audio-visuals are the sectors that have registered the highest growth, with +38% and +35%. Also thriving are computers, consumer electronics and insurance (+22% each), as well as tourism (+13%), which alone is worth almost half of all online sales. Italian web shoppers, again according to Netcomm, have increased by 7% during 2011, while the annual spending per buyer has increased from 960 euros in 2010 to 1,050 euros in 2011 (+9%). But the average saleslip has dropped 6% and is around 210 euros. This, then, is the framework of the Italian “by distance” market, from the thriving e-commerce to the “small” mobile payments. But if we widen our gaze to the Old Continent, we find that, at least regarding mobile payment, Europe is not so very far behind. “The other countries,” confirms Renga, “are more or less in the same situation. The only exceptions are some success stories that might provide inspiration to the Italian operators. For example, the case of the Austrian Paybox or Pingping in Belgium to pay for parking in parking lots, or the Scandinavian Plusdial which, since 2002, has sold over 53 million tickets for local public transportation. It gets even better outside Europe, such as in Japan and South Korea, where the use of these applications is now commonplace, or in the U.S. where, for example, Visa has launched its Visa payWave service that lets you pay for taxis
digital mon amour
The digital market is a lucrative business which in Italy, in 2010, reached 11 billion euros, an increase of 13% with respect to 2009. A market of consumers without the need for a physical place at which to buy and which experts believe could even conquer as many as 33 million Italians in the next five years
NEELIE KROES European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda
oxygen | 15 — 02.2012
E-COMMERCE IN ITALY Traditional E-commerce has shot up to over six million Italians who shop on the Internet: about 30% of all the “Internettians”, are especially men, and between 25 and 34 years of age. In terms of consumption, according to the Netcomm consortium, fashion and publishing, music and audio-visuals are the sectors that have registered the highest growth with +38% and +35%. Also thriving are computers, consumer electronics and insurance (+22% each), as well as tourism (+13%), which alone is worth almost half of all on-line sales. Italian web shopper have increased by 7% during 2011.
and metro tickets with a mobile phone.” But shifting our gaze even further, a real surprise comes from Africa: the “dark continent” is becoming increasingly mobile and digital. In short, smarter and smarter. Here, mobile phones have now reached half a billion in number: one African in two has a mobile device. Not only that: half of them, not having a computer, cross the gap and surf the Internet directly on their cell phone. With the result that, in Africa, Internet traffic is registering the fastest growth in the world. But the success has been particularly important for mobile banking, which in Kenya is proposed by the operator Safaricom, the first operator to have launched a mass mobile banking service using platforms that are even copied by operators in California. But for seeking shelter, Europe is the answer. And it is an answer in eight moves. This is what has been developed by the so-called “Digital Agenda for Europe,” an EU action plan to help digital growth in the Old Continent, to augment the use of on air applications by the citizens of today and tomorrow and for pooling the 27 technologies. Leading this ambitious battle plan is the European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, who is not lacking in realism: “We have a long way to go,” she repeats at every opportunity, “and we have to do it for our own well-being: just think that in the last 15 years, productivity in Europe has increased by 50% due to information and communication technology. If we make a comparison with the U.S., we notice that in both Europe and overseas, one third of 064
The predictions for the end of 2011 are even more optimistic: +20% expected growth for Italian e-commerce, with an increase in both the sale of products (+24%) and services (+18%). And it is even better for mobile commerce: even though it accounts for only 1% of total digital purchases, it shows promise of growing by as much as 210%
digital mon amour
the population has never used the Internet, yet the benefits of digital technology are most evident in the United States. To date, the American market for digital music is three times that of Europe’s; for digital contents we spend eight times less than the Japanese and circulating within the European borders every year there are 30 billion bills, 90% of which are still in paper form.” So here are the eight moves for Europe, eight major areas of assistance to carry us forward and to checkmate the “digital gap”: at the top, the creation of a single digital market, ensuring the interoperability of different technologies, investing in security to bring citizens and companies closer to digital technology (thus harmonizing national legislations and standardizing payment platforms). Other pillars, instead, are more structural; for example, enhancing the speed of the network infrastructures or the acceleration of research and innovation, since, as Commissioner Kroes reminds us, “Spending by the EU on research and development in technology is equal to only 40% of that of the U.S.A.” And then again: to improve the literacy of citizens to help them approach the digital technologies, to apply the current use of various digital applications not only for payments or purchases, but also for purposes of a social nature, from tele-medicine to energy savings. The (ambitious) objective is to make Europe a digital power by 2020. With some stages of approach, such as broadband for all by 2013 and high speed Internet (over 100 Mbps) for at least 50%
of European users. It has been estimated that if the objectives were achieved, they would trigger a virtuous cycle that would include the creation of one million jobs. In an industry that, on the European level, already today produces 4.8% of the GDP and has a turnover of 660 billion euros per year. But what are some of the most difficult barriers that must still be cleared? One, above all the rest: unification. “Europe,” explains Kroes, “is a mosaic of online markets and infrastructures that often are not compatible with each other, with different methods of payment, very different regulations, and services that work in one country but don't exist in another.” It is not an easy challenge, perhaps the mother of all battles, seeing as how, in the 27 member countries, it is often the very operators who do not support this attempt, for fear of having to start all over again and invest in infrastructures and technology, losing the expertise (and assets) accumulated over decades of activity within their borders. Meanwhile, as we await a solution to the problem of the “cyber Far West” and the Babylon of mobile phone services, let us be content to know that over the past two years, as specified by the Commissioner at the CeBIT in Hanover, Europe has recorded a miraculous surge in the number of those who use the Internet regularly: from 5% to 65%, showing that the ground for digital and mobile services is fertile, extremely fertile. Therefore, everybody, get on the Internet, while we await 2020. 065
The new yous, always at the center article by Nick Bilton
We are witnessing a process of “user relocation”: the consumer today is at the core of the Internet. Digital narcissism? Maybe not, but those who produce entertainment and information will have to take this into account. As Nick Bilton – the author of I live in the future and the design integration editor of the “New York Times” – has written, “In reality, we don't pay for the content; we pay for the experience. ” If you pull out your smartphone and click the button that says “locate me” on your Google or Yahoo! map application, you will see a small dot appear in the middle of your screen. That’s you! If you start walking down the street in any direction, the whole screen will move right along with you no matter where you go. This is a dramatic change from the print-on-paper world, where maps and locations are based around places and landmarks, certainly not on you or your location. […] Being at the center instead of somewhere off to the side or off the page altogether − changes everything. It changes your conception of space, time, and location. It changes your sense of place and community. It changes the way you view the information, news, and data coming in over your computer and your phone. And it changes your role in a transaction, empowering you to decide quite speciﬁcally what content to
buy and how to buy it and use it, rather than simply accepting the traditional material that companies have packaged on your behalf. Now you are the starting point. Now the digital world follows you, not the other way around. […] This same relocation, this same centering of each of you in the middle of your own map, is also changing the concept of media. [...] But nowadays, if you’re a media company, you might as well leave out the “dia” from the end of the word. As far as the modern young consumer is concerned, when it comes to content, there is only “me.” Today. Right now. […] As a scholar of the new technology and consumption, I use a four-point formula when deciding whether to purchase digital content: price, quality, timeliness, experience. […] The iPod and iTunes have proven that we will pay if the price is right and the experience is special enough. The same can be applied to other kinds of media. […]
My perception is that I’m not getting much of a special or different experience on the Internet. I have to be at my computer, navigating takes time, all those links are somewhat overwhelming, and the content doesn’t feel as personal or customized as the way I can work through the printed edition. In newspapers and in other media, the packages haven’t evolved much, even though the information is on a new platform, the experience hasn’t really been transformed. It doesn’t feel to me like something for which I should pay very much−or anything at all. In reality, we don’t pay for the content; we pay for the experience. And there are digital experiences I would pay for. With news, for example, if I were offered a personalized and customized version of a digital newspaper that incorporated my personal preferences, location, and social circle or if the subscription software made reading especially easy, fast and smooth, I would sign up for it right away. But right now, many on-line newspapers and magazines are only starting to insert social customization, or “me,” into the experience. […] The people who sell entertainment, words and information for a living need to understand that they are selling much more than that. They need to adapt to selling new digital experiences and give people incentives to buy the whole package, not just the words or sounds. They need to convince young people who have grown accustomed to getting so much for free that these new experiences are truly worth paying for. We’re selling to a new audience, and we need to talk to them differently. […]
To get a handle on what that special kind of experience might look, feel, or sound like for those at the center of the map, you don't need to look any further than your mobile phone. […] This device, a small chunk of metal and glass the size of pack of cards, has become an extension of our relationships. Although they have not replaced them, we can feel such an incredible bond with our mobiles that they can become a surrogate for those relationships. […] Marshall McLuhan, the renowned media theorist who explained the cultural importance of television, believed the objects we surround ourselves with become an extension of ourselves. Given the extraordinary developments in what phones can do, it’s possible that over the next five years, the mobile phone will become the single most important device in our lives. These phones, our constant companions, connect us to any bit of information and, of even more importance, connect us to people. In turn, the mobile phone has become an extension of relationships. Although the mobile phone does not replace our bonds with people, it extends and perpetuates them. The newspaper, radio, television and even the standard telephone all allowed conversation and communication, but our mobile phones are highly personalized and instantaneous. […] The mobile phone is becoming the device that we use to read the news and check up on the things we find interesting. And since we use a single device for these activities, we are becoming increasingly reliant on it as a main connection point to the world around us. […]
iPad: how do we use it?
edited by Oxygen
The iPad is changing the way we consume news and editorial content: a study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism in Washington tells us how and provides some appraisals. The tablet is a tool that is ergonomically different from the PC and is used differently. It has two strong points: mobility and lightness, so it is often used while on the move and on the sofa, situations in which you are more willing to spend time devoted to furthering your knowledge. If people are spending more time on the news and are more willing to do in-depth reading, they will be more likely to recognize the value of the information they find on the iPad. In the new scenario of publishing, in which the critical shortage is not the space upon which to write but the time that the reader has, the value is determined by demand, not supply. And if the demand sees the value in the content and the tool, then that is the value that counts.
iPAD OWNERS CONSULT WEB PAGES
ADULTS WITH A TABLET IN THE U.S. 11% of adults living in the United States own a tablet and half of them use it daily to access news.
By far the most common activity among iPad owners is to consult the Internet (67%), followed by reading and sending e-mails (54%), reading the news (53%), using social networks (39%), playing games (30%), reading books (17%), watching videos (13%).
MINUTES OF DAILY USE OF THE TABLET 77% of tablet owners use it every day, spending an average of 90 minutes.
USE THE TABLET TO READ THE NEWS AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK 77% of tablet owners use it to read the news at least once a week. 30% say that they spend more time on the news than they did before, and 42% say they regularly read in-depth articles.
the smartest resource of the st 21 century article by Fulvio Conti photos by Philippe Levy-Stab - Corbis
Every era has its revolution. The revolution of the twentyfirst century is undoubtedly that of globalization, meaning the openness of markets, geographies and channels of communication. We are witnessing the overturning of the paradigms that we have been accustomed to. The extent to which electricity is experiencing this revolution is amplified because the mechanism involves its entire value chain. Every era has its revolution. The revolution of the twenty-first century is undoubtedly that of globalization, a phenomenon that makes the concept of “borders” obsolete: from the markets to communication, by now everything is related to a global dimension. A real overturning of the traditional paradigms is underway: technologies and transportation are now able to reduce the geographical distances, redesigning the role of the “citizen-customer,” goods of all kinds are traveling around the real and the virtual world at exorbitant speed and each of us can reach one another anywhere in a few steps. All this has revolutionized the traditional concept of the economic value chain by offering an innovative redistribution of roles: the consumers themselves also become the producers of news, opinions, goods and services and the companies, organizations and citizens constantly participate and 070
interact in a proactive manner. The extent to which electricity is experiencing this revolution is amplified, since it is an enabling factor for the entire production chain, an essential carrier of energy able to support the development of each country. Starting from the raw materials up to the production of electricity. Environmental concerns, the geo-political balance, population growth and scientific research have an impact on the global energy mix. In recent times, we have witnessed an escalation of events that has helped to change the global energy scenario: the tsunami that devastated the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant which seems to have curbed the development of this technology, the Arab Spring that has brought to the fore the importance of the security of the supply of primary energy, the new technologies for extracting unconventional natural gas (shale gas) that
oxygen | 15 â€” 02.2012
The customers are the focus of this new paradigm of energy, aware actors of the demand for electricity, promoters of a more rational and efficient use of it and attentive to the quality of the service that is being offered
are increasing the availability of this raw material, and technological innovation to support the development of renewable energy that is constantly growing and more and more accessible to the consumer, who simultaneously becomes a producer. All these conflicting phenomena are related to a steady increase in the demand for energy, resulting from the population and industrial growth of the emerging countries and an increasingly difficult challenge in the fight to reduce climate-changing emissions. In this scenario, electricity is the most efficient and easily accessible solution which, thanks to new technology, is distributed in a way that is ever more widespread and inexpensive to consumers. The distribution network is also experiencing its own revolution: it is evolving. Power lines are becoming smart grids, smart networks that can handle bi-directional flows of energy and transmit data as well as electricity. This innovative platform employs new services and new operators alongside the utilities. The consumers produce electricity, the multinational companies produce the software and telecommunications companies design new applications and advanced services dedicated to the world of energy, the appliance manufacturers invest in innovative solutions for home automation and energy efficiency and the automakers produce electric cars. Electricity is expanding its status by becoming an added-value service. The customers are the focus of this new paradigm of energy, aware actors of the demand for 072
electricity, promoters of a more rational and efficient use of it and attentive to the quality of the service that is being offered. The electronic meter that measures power consumption in real time has been the first step for the implementation of the smart grids with which producers and consumers can communicate interactively, personally promoting the best and most efficient use of electricity. An architecture that also allows for an optimal integration of the distributed generation, renewable sources and electric mobility. In this context of change, an aspect that has certainly remained constant is the driving force of electricity for social, economical and industrial development. Looking back upon the twentieth century, especially during the post-war period, we can see that the growth of the Western world was supported by the progressive spreading of electricity. Even today, electricity is a key factor of economic development. The increasing expansion of the electricity sector entails the involvement of an increasing number of stakeholders: citizens, local authorities and institutions want to know about and actively work on the infrastructure projects that relate to the communities where they live or work. In fact, the rapport with the territory changes. More and more, it is the duty of the large companies, of the service providers, to inform citizens in a transparent and timely manner. The financial crisis, that continues to destabilize the mature economies, requires a recovery that also needs to take place in the energy sec-
the smartest resource of the 21st century
THE SOLAR MAP OF NEW YORK New York is one of the U.S. cities that has developed its own online “solar map”, which allows any resident to verify the potential for photovoltaic solar energy of their building simply by entering their address. The project is conducted by the Department of Energy and aims to accelerate widespread use of solar energy for electricity consumption in the city of New York.
tor. In economic systems, this is the driving force to counteract the continuing downturn in the markets. An energy-efficient sector may indeed be the key factor for economic recovery, for the good of the citizens and for the development of countries. The cost of energy, in fact, constitutes a significant proportion of the economic accounts and affects the competitiveness of countries, and in the emerging economies it becomes the driving force for manufacturing and provides access to goods and services to even the poorest portion of the population. This is confirmed by the fact that 1.3 billion people still lack access to electricity and 2.7 billion people use biomass, such as wood and other waste materials, for cooking. The so-called “energy poverty” has become an issue requiring the attention of institutions, media and businesses all over the world. For this reason, 2012 will be the International Year of Sustainable Energy for everyone and at the upcoming meeting of Rio+20 in Rio de Janeiro – celebrating the 20 years since the first World Climate Conference – the objective must necessarily be shared by all the countries: energy that is abundant, sustainable, affordable and accessible to everyone. In this regard, Enel is committed to signing a pact with the UN to carry out ENabling ELectricity, a program that brings together ongoing projects and new ideas for promoting access to electricity through three areas of intervention. First of all, to support research and technological innovation to enable the spreading of elec-
tricity through the distributed generation and the strengthening of distribution networks to bring electricity even to the remotest areas. For example, by integrating solar panels with more rudimentary systems for cooking, fueling water treatment plants to provide water in desert areas, ensuring the electrical needs of small isolated communities through innovative small generation plants from renewable sources that are portable and can be combined with batteries to store energy and re-use it in the absence of sun or wind. Secondly, we are committed to financing initiatives aimed at removing the economic barriers to the access of electricity in some regions such as Latin America. In Brazil, for example, we have initiated a program that “pays” for waste brought by the population to the recycling centers through discounts on their electricity bills. The mechanism sets in motion a virtuous cycle of environmental responsibility and economic support to the poorest populations. Finally, we are working with local communities to build a culture of knowledge together, by providing our expertise and our experience to support the development of the disadvantaged populations, through exchange meetings and the creation of technical schools. All this is part of our vision of the future: electricity as an intelligent, technologically advanced, affordable and environmentally sustainable resource, able to support the development of the economies of countries, and providing a concrete opportunity even in times of crisis. 073
Electricity consumption: the future has already begun article by Gianf ilippo Mancini & Livio Gallo photos by Riccardo Ghilardi
Electricity is the most efficient and sustainable carrier of energy that can be used on a large scale and consequently, industry is investing heavily in maximizing its uses and potentiality, but with an eye on the containment of the specific consumption. Energy efficiency and electric mobility are two important windows onto the future of the energy market and smart grids are changing the role of the consumers, who become an active part of the energy market and protagonists of environmental protection. The opinions of Gianfilippo Mancini (Director of the Generation and Energy Management Division) and Livio Gallo (Director of the Infrastructures and Networks Division) of Enel.
The future is an increasingly smart customer who needs a supplier that is equally attentive to the evolving technology, and who is a promoter of this innovation himself
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The new electricity market by Gianfilippo Mancini
Electricity is a fundamental property of matter, present in human life since its origins and observable in the form of numerous phenomena. Mankind's ability to understand it and control it has gone hand in hand with its evolution. It was Thales, in 600 B.C., who began the study of the extraordinary phenomenon of electricity (derived from the Greek word electron, which means “amber,” precisely because the philosopher thoroughly investigated the properties of this resin fossil that becomes charged when rubbed and attracts other tiny pieces of matter) and still today, more than 2,600 years later, the most prominent research centers around the world consider electricity to be a fundamental phenomenon for pushing human progress even further. The generation, accumulation and also the use of electricity are constantly evolving and
have the power to radically change the lifestyle of billions of human beings in a very short time. From the discovery of the light bulb to the emergence of energy storage systems that can be used in a laptop, a mobile phone or an iPad, our habits have been transformed beyond belief in less than 100 years. The more progress moves forward in dominating the energy supply, the greater the expectations from us users. Giant refrigerators, air conditioners, flat-screen TVs, PCs and Wi-Fi networks, home theaters: there is not an appliance we have at home that we feel we could give up, but most of them did not even exist when we were born. Electricity is the backbone of all our comfort and the most extraordinary aspect is that, despite the usual complaints when the bill comes, it is a means of transporting energy that is histori-
cally inexpensive. That is probably why, for all these years, we have not given it the respect and care it deserves. By making some calculations, for example, we discover that watching television costs us 35 €/year, being online with a PC costs about 7 €/year, listening to the radio, about 2.5 €/year, and although none of us has any idea how much the energy costs that supplies us with running water at home, I am willing to bet that by no means would we ever want to have to go and get it from the well like our grandparents did only 100 years ago. Over the years, we have actually become used to considering electricity as an affordable, ready-to-use good: so inexpensive that the concepts of savings and efficiency have only recently made any headway. These habits, this mentality and this kind of approach to electricity have, therefore, in-
electricity consumption: the future has already begun
fluenced the electricity market. If, at the beginning of its liberalization (which occurred with the Bersani Decree in March 1999), when only industries were able to choose a supplier and the price was the single most important variable in deciding who would be the supplier, with the progressive enlargement to household users, the elements for leverage have increased. When we turn to the citizen-consumer, in fact, we cannot just offer a product that is cheaper than the ones on the market since, as we said, electricity is already a good thing because of the benefits it brings at a very low price. Trying to enter the Italian homes by guaranteeing discounts of 50 or 100 euros, despite the difficult economic situation we are in, is not an instant pass today for gaining people's trust and their subsequent signing of a contract. It takes many ingredients to convince the average customer to listen to a business proposal. To begin with, the customer must know who you are and have confidence in you, and obviously, this is not a problem for Enel. Then, they need to be presented with an offer capable of uniting savings with the possibility of improving the quality of life of the customer. The level of service is, therefore, crucial when choosing an energy supplier. There isn't a market study today that doesn’t say that a savings of 50 or 100 euros is nothing compared to the fear of remaining on the phone for hours
with a call center operator, in case of need, or if compared to the fear of receiving bills that are incomprehensible and perhaps even wrong. For years, large corporations have thought they could impose their products on customers and they have also been successful in some sectors, but this is unthinkable in the energy market. The difficulty, but also the good fortune, of our world is that we have immediately had to deal with a demanding consumer, careful and above all, aware of the fact that they already have electricity in their house that works well. Thus, in order to change, we really have to propose something very satisfying to them. Consequently, selling electricity is a very complex job that results from months of studying what we can improve in the daily lives of our customers, what we can simplify in their relationship with the supplier and how we can reassure them. In the Internet era, purchasing is a multi-channel process. The so-called “purchase funnel” expects that, before choosing, our potential customers obtain the greatest amount of available information about us and our products. It is essential to be able to communicate clearly and directly through the classic means, but to also have an excellent reputation for exploiting “word of mouth” to the utmost. In fact, there is no better testimonial than that given by a satisfied customer and it is for this reason that, over the years, we have develo-
ped a number of products for maximizing the satisfaction of our customers with a much wider scope than just the cost containment of their bill. We had this in mind when we decided to take advantage of our purchasing power by giving our customers, through Enel Mia (My Enel), the possibility of saving on electric energy also in different sectors and we have entered into a series of partnerships with big names in the retail, electronics, gasoline and publishing markets. Agreements that now enable those who choose Enel Energy and its products to easily save €500 per year simply by relying on us and the partners that we present. And we also had a clear notion that the quality of our service would have to beat that already experienced by our potential customers and, therefore, we have invested in computer science and training, studying the processes in order to offer a product that combines savings with customer satisfaction. We have chosen the path of simplicity, offering the market products that are easy to understand in order to reassure customers in their moment of choice, but also in their subsequent evaluation, just as we knew in advance of the customer's need to have a store of reference to which they can come for their every need. We train our sales staff for weeks, to be sure they can communicate all the aspects and advantages of our products in a way that is clear and unequivocal. We invest in the quality of our call centers to make sure that all the calls we receive will reach a successful conclusion, able to satisfy a customer who has a problem and needs with a swift and sure solution. And the future? The future has already begun. Electricity is the most efficient and sustainable carrier of energy that can be used on a large scale and consequently, industry is investing heavily in maximizing its uses and potentiality, but with an eye on the containment of
The more progress moves forward in dominating the energy supply, the greater the expectations from us users specific consumption. Energy efficiency and electric mobility are two important windows onto the future of the energy market. To learn how to save on fuel consumption is an aspect that has been neglected for years but which has now become more pivotal than ever for supporting our economy. To conceive offers that encourage investments in the efficiency of the plants, that accompany the customer and supplier in a partnership with the common aim of developing a successful and long-lasting relationship for both of them; to develop a sales staff that is truly able to conduct a real consultation with the client by identifying together all the possible improvements in the supply chain. These are the main aspects we wish to focus on for our offering in the coming months. And we are already operating in the electric vehicles market, alongside the major manufacturers of electric vehicles, with a “key in hand” and totally green offer, which gives those who choose a vehicle powered by batteries a way to conveniently charge them in their garage at home. The future is an increasingly smart customer who needs a supplier that is equally attentive to the evolving technology, and who is a promoter of this innovation himself. A continuous flow of new ideas that can continue on this path of improving the quality of human life, with the understanding, however, that energy is a precious commodity and that we must know how to use it responsibly and with maximum efficiency.
oxygen | 15 â€” 02.2012
The new consumer of electricity by Livio Gallo
If, as the sociology of consumption has been telling us for several years, there is an important relationship between consumers and the characteristics of the intangibility of products and services, with regard to the energy ratio, it is quite implicit that it is a commodity that we take for granted. We only perceive it when it is lacking or because we have to pay the bill. Energy is among the exemplary intangible assets (for the complexity of its origin, the complicated computability of its economic value, and for its very immateriality) with which the consumer does not have an emotional bond. What we understand about energy is
the power of its use, such as the number of electrical devices or other electrical instruments making it available. With the introduction of outsourced energy production, however, this traditional relationship between consumers and energy has been changing and it will change even more with the qualification permitted by smart grids. Meanwhile, let us take a look at the profound transformation that is turning the consumer into consumer + producer, i.e., the so-called prosumer: to date, there are 140,000 connections to the electricity networks by this new type of customer. This is a real revolution: whereas once electricity only came from
large power plants, today there are many producers providing electricity from sources such as solar, wind and biomass. This new role of the consumers, who at the same time also become producers, modifies their relationship with the energy: it becomes more friendly and more familiar. Energy is included in the choices made daily, taking on life in the planning for the day: you decide when to produce it, eat it or even sell or buy it. But this relationship is bound to undergo a further evolution when the introduction of smart grids will allow the consumer to have a fully active role in the energy market. With smart grids, in fact, the network, a structure designed to be one-
electricity consumption: the future has already begun
way (from producer to consumer) has taken the Internet as its model, so that electronics, computers and integrated communication lead to an interaction between the providers and those who receive energy, even coming to anticipate the demands of consumption. The new consumers, more careful and aware of their consumption, use the new technologies of “energy participation” that go from the household to the city, developed by the visionary and practical distributor, Enel. There are two types of actions: a definable pull, determined by responding to and interpreting a part of the market leading to the development of energy-related products and services; and a push action of stimulus toward the market and the consumer which, in the case of Enel, leads to the qualification of the active demand, made possible thanks to the set of feasible technologies and devices that transform electrical architecture into an intelligent system. We look to the household consumer: there are devices capable of providing a range of information in order to determine and guide personal choices of consumption, such as the power, price and volume of energy. They are made by Enel and are called “Smart Info.” They are inserted into the sockets of the house and can interact with the electronic meter which, together with the Telegestore – the remote management system of the meter – is the cornerstone of the smart grid. Smart Info allows us to communicate directly with the meter and to view and monitor the evolution of consumption on the displays with which we are most familiar, such as the PC or TV; this new device is also capable of giving information to the smart white goods, allowing them to adjust their operations according to the signals of consumption and price. This experimentation is at the heart of the project that Enel is carrying out with other
Energy @ home companies. A project that is developing a communications platform for appliances, regulating the power consumption of the entire house. With a smart house, the consumer plays an active role in the energy market: he/ she consumes and produces in response to the appropriate price signals. But it is not just the household consumer who becomes a protagonist with smart grids, there is also the citizen consumer. In fact, smart cities are those with the application of smart grids within the urban area, where technologies enable
To date, there are 140,000 connections to the electricity networks by this new type of customer them to make their own choices of sustainable electricity consumption. The new electricity network is, in fact, the fundamental building block of an urban settlement designed for greater energy efficiency and economic sustainability. A place where infrastructures, services and technology combine to offer a town or city on a human scale, where energy saving, emission reduction and control of consumption become part of everyday life for its citizens, administrations and companies. The smart city is full of all the technologies of next generation networks. Electronic meters, network automation, efficient lighting, electric mobility, integration of renewable energy, energy storage systems and devices that increase consumer awareness are the tools that allow people to live in a new urban context, a place where environmental sustainability is central, where people live in energy efficient buildings, have access
to a system of eco-sustainable mobility, breathe clean air, and therefore, where the quality of life is better. Enel is involved in smart cities projects that require a great commitment and the cooperation of many actors, such as energy companies, public institutions, universities, local governments, and advanced technology industries. The first examples can be found in the cities of Malaga in Spain and Buzios in Brazil, while activities in Barcelona and Genoa, Bari and other Italian cities are in the planning phase. The main interventions that have been put in place in these towns concern the evolution of the electricity network, street lighting and smart buildings, management of the active demand, integration of energy production from renewable sources, electric mobility and the electrification of ports. Smart grids are one of the frontiers for the future of electrical systems. A future toward which we are addressing a strong international commitment, knowing that there is still a long road ahead. Infrastructures of enormous size must be radically changed. The renewal of the traditional network is gradually evolving and we must deal with technical constraints to maintain strict control over the entire electrical system in a way that is efficient, reliable and safe. Experiments and pilot projects are multiplying: defi-
nitely, a lot of research as well as major investments are still needed to accomplish the new smart grids. Nevertheless, a future made of smart grids is at hand: important steps in this direction have been made by Enel, recognized as the undisputed leader worldwide in this process of renewal, largely due to the installation of 32 million electronic meters in Italy: unprecedented experience in the world as to size, extension and improved outcomes. With smart grids, we are facing a great revolution that globally affects the entire value chain, from the production of new technologies to their installation within the electricity grid. It is, therefore, an indispensable opportunity to develop industrial inducement related to both the products and the services, with significant impacts also regarding employment (often referred to internationally as green jobs). It is hard to predict today what scenarios we will see when the smart grids will have been fully implemented in Italy and will return an enormous wealth of data to us. Certainly, there is something that we already hope and which most of us believe: all of that information should help us design a more sustainable way of producing and consuming energy. This is true not only for the electricity companies, but especially for those who must be at the very center of the system: the consumer.
Toward new services for energy article by Arturo Lorenzoni photos by Corbis Images
The reduction in the commercial management costs of energy consumers has brought about the evolution of the sale toward the supplying of advanced services, such as reducing consumption or the sale of information relating to withdrawals of energy.
The need for large investments and the strong public role introduced in the second half of the last century have made the energy sector little inclined to innovation and very concentrated. But, since the beginning of this century, the reduction of economies of scale and the ability to process information with less and less cost and time have changed the paradigm of the sector in an irreversible way: no longer are customers offered only the sale of final energy in the form of fossil fuels and electricity, but rather, the supply of an energy service designed to meet the demand for useful energy in the form of lighting, heating, the operation of appliances â€Ś This change of perspective is of great impact: the supplier is closer to the needs of its clients and manages these needs as efficiently as possible by considering different options, from investment in efficient technologies to the local production of electricity and thermal energy, to interaction to take advantage of more favorable market conditions. If, in the past, communicating with 080
clients or with their appliances that use energy was impossible or very expensive, it is now possible in real time and with extremely low costs. This allows you to change your contractual relationship, offering better performance at lower costs. This way, the builder who places energy efficiency at the core of his property offer will tend to sell his building along with the supply of energy for a number of years, aware that the fuel economy will allow him to be repaid for the systems with lower-than-average operating expenses and without having to raise the original sales price of the property, thus ensuring lower operating costs to his clients and a higher business margin. The heart of this new marketing approach is the availability of information on consumption: the monitoring of withdrawals is information that has great commercial value for both buyers and sellers. Consumers can change their withdrawals and try to find the best deals. For example, it has been shown that even just knowing what their own consumption is when
This change of perspective is of great impact: the supplier is closer to the needs of its clients and manages these needs as efficiently as possible by considering different options, from investment in efficient technologies to the local production of electricity and thermal energy, to interaction to take advantage of more favorable market conditions.
oxygen | 15 â€” 02.2012
The energy market is more contestable, with possible new roles for those who know how to differentiate the new opportunities on a technology level in terms of the new services
compared to that of other similar consumers leads to measurable savings! If the suppliers deeply understand the needs of consumers, this allows them to offer consumers what they need: knowing the gas consumption in relation to the size of the property offers the possibility of bringing in a targeted investment in the replacement of boilers or the insulation of building enclosures; just as having the curve of the withdrawals of electricity allows for an estimation of consumption in a timely manner, identifying inefficient appliances and opening up to targeted commercial proposals that are potentially very effective. When the consumer also has plants producing electricity or heating that are managed by their own provider, the interaction can be even closer, with the use of the facilities in a network logic that is open to all smart applications with a truly fascinating potential for network operators, thanks to the use of accumulation distributed in the form of banks of batteries connected to the network or of electric cars charging at the utilities. The supply of energy thus becomes a management service that has definitely evolved, certainly different from the mere activity of the sale of kWh or fuel, potentially accessible to many people, even non-traditional suppliers, but able to effectively manage the information that is available today. And so, young companies are looking with interest at and are growing in the sale of information services related to the management of energy utilities, creating value for consumers and their suppliers. The case of 082
Google Power Meter is just one among many. In this new context, the energy market is more contestable, with possible new roles for those who know how to differentiate the new opportunities on a technology level in terms of the new services. Particularly interesting for the positive implications on the economy is the sale of energy efficiency that, while on the one hand, is problematic because it involves a non-sale and thus its value appreciation is difficult to see, on the other, can lead to permanent and significant cost reductions, even in critical areas such as the public sector and private households. This is the scope of activities of the Energy Service Companies (ESCOs), companies that make the achievement of energy efficiency their own critical success factor. Their approach, which allows for investing in new technological systems at no cost to the customer and with savings from the first year of contractual operation, is, all in all, very rewarding and not very risky when the technical analyses have been done well, but it requires a great financial capacity, affordable only for credit institutions and big companies. Thus, somehow, those who have the hardware maintain a competitive advantage in the sale of energy, even though innovation is progressively reducing the entry barriers, with an ever-increasing role of software in the competitiveness of commercial offers and a brandnew space for all those who know how to creatively interpret the new relationship possibilities among the operators of the energy market.
toward new services for energy |
GOOGLE POWER METER It is an online system to monitor the consumption of electrical appliances in the home. It is a monitoring software that can process data from household appliances and make a graphical analysis of the consumption. The data is then shared with other the users, as a sort of challenge to save energy.
oxygen versus co2
Energy manager, this stranger article by Davide Coero Borga
In Italy, the figure of the manager for the conservation and rational use of energy came into being with a law enacted in 1982. Back then, we were talking about companies with more than one thousand employees and with a consumption of more than 10,000 tons of oil equivalent (TOE). With the Act of 1991, the appointment of energy managers has been extended to the civilian sector and to the tertiary and transport sectors
1973 the figure of the energy manager came into being in the anglo-saxon world
1982 the person who is responsible for the conservation
Nowadays, browsing over a company's desktops you frequently happen to run into new professions. In terms of energy, there is a need for â€œborderlineâ€? profiles: technicians who deal with the issues of managing energy as a whole, specialists in the electro-mechanical and thermal sector who are able to help in the management and investment decisions about energy upgrading, reorganization of production processes and logistics. In technical jargon, they are called energy managers; this category of professionals was formally established in 1991 with a directive of the European Community which forced large companies to include in their workforce experts in the energy sector who are able to convert their businesses toward lower consumption. Basically, energy managers have a technical background in the energy sector which
is implemented with legal knowledge concerning legislation on renewable energy and the like, which is not always so easy to manage. Good economic and financial skills are needed to assess the extent of investments; a propensity for communication is not to be underestimated when you find yourself talking about the machines of a chain production with the purely economic consciousness of the company's directors. Although predicted for twenty years, the figure of the energy manager has ended up in the spotlight only in the last year because it has become the keystone of the financial statements of large corporations that have been able to grow in these times of crisis by looking to their savings. Economics and ecology have suddenly found that they are accomplices and lovers in a complex market of resources and bills.
and rational use of energy is required by italian law
1991 the appointment of an energy manager is also extended to civilian sectors, such as services and transport
SAVING ENERGY In Italy, the figure of the manager for the conservation and rational use of energy came into being with a law enacted in 1982. Back then, we were talking about companies with more than one thousand employees and with a consumption of more than 10,000 tons of oil equivalent (TOE). With the Act of 1991, the appointment of energy managers has been extended to the civilian sector and to the tertiary and transport sectors, lowering the threshold reference to 1,000 TOE. If the role of the energy manager seemed to be confined to that of the counterpart in the positions that the company assigned to ESCO (Energy Service Companies) and other companies dealing
with energy efficiency or new opportunities for savings achievable with the use of new â€“ and quite often, very simple â€“ technology, over the years, the task of an energy expert has become that of, first of all, promoting a culture of the measurement of the production cycles, capable of detecting consumption, waste and losses. The almost total absence of reference statistics has made it difficult to assess the savings derived from an analysis of energy costs, but it is true that the simple detection of consumption in a plant has saved considerable sums of money to public and private companies without requiring any intervention. Regularly regulating the machines has meant earning money.
PMI This culture of measuring is by no means widespread in Italy. Also because the small and medium-sized enterprises which constitute the vast majority of the national productive fabric are unlikely to have access to the skills necessary for any operation of energy restructuring. But, unlike yesterday, for those who cannot afford to include an energy manager in their workforce, today there is a market of consultants to refer to. Finding an expert who works in this area is easy: just turn to situations that
are similar to your own or those that have dealt with the same kind of intervention. The associations in the category are important partners and, in any case, in extremis, you can always refer to an ESCO. Once the energy manager has been found, together you can then study the most appropriate intervention, reasoning upon the purchase of electricity, gas and other fuels, and then move on to management or structural types of action with the possible use of the new highly-efficient technologies.
Economics and ecology have suddenly found that they are accomplices and lovers in a complex market of resources and bills 085
interview with bunker roy
RENEWABLES: THE BAREFOOT REVOLUTION article by Alessandra Viola photos by Craig Aurness
Where is it written that just because one can’t read and write or doesn't know the language spoken in a certain place that they can't become an electrical engineer?” The “grassroots” rural revolution of the Barefoot College, where women, better if illiterate and “grandmothers,” can learn to resolve the energy problems of their village. And change their own lives and that of those around them.
Twenty poor, illiterate women who are all strictly “grandmothers.” These will be the people, according to the Barefoot College, the Indian NGO that for forty years has dealt with the education of rural people, who will create a new energy revolution in South America. This is thanks to the agreement just signed with Enel Green Power, which will finance a campaign of electrification for 1,000 dwellings scattered throughout Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Guatemala. The houses, all located in non-electrified villages that are often difficult to access, will be equipped with photovoltaic panels that will be installed (and later also maintained and repaired) by 20 solar engineers… Totally outside the box. “They are all women,” ensures Bunker 086
Roy, founder of the Barefoot College, “and they are choosing for themselves. They are poor, so they will understand the value of what they learn and they can elevate their own status and that of their village. They are illiterate, because we want to give hope to those who have not studied and have remained on the margins of the production system. And so they also will be the grandmothers, that is, on average between 35 and 50 years of age, because this ensures their rootedness in the community, but with fewer family commitments. In our experience, women learn sooner than men, are more humble and, above all, they ensure a continuity with the territory, ensuring the usefulness of the training.” And the men? “Years ago, we also tau-
ght men, but then we stopped because we realized it was futile: the men do nothing more than move from one place to another, are arrogant and study just to get a certificate attesting to their competence. As soon as they have it, they move to a large town to look for work, so the villages, instead of becoming enriched, become impoverished. In this sense, all the money spent by the World Bank, the United Nations and the co-operation projects of various countries, including Italy, is poorly spent, because it has been aimed at the wrong target, that is to say, at the men. To improve the quality of life in rural communities, we must focus instead on the women. Those we have trained in Africa are virtually the only solar engineers available, becau-
oxygen | 15 — 02.2012
se those who studied engineering and were able to graduate, never returned to live in their village and have often even moved abroad. Our college does not issue any degrees. There is no piece of paper to hang on the wall, even though our engineers are the best in the world: nobody with a degree knows how to do what they know what to do.” For that matter, Roy (now a worldacclaimed education guru) was not able to do much with his own degree: after graduating from a prestigious Indian college, in his early twenties, he decided to move to live in the tiny village of Tilon, in Rajasthan, and there he built a school for the poor and illiterate: the Barefoot College. “The college works following the style and the indications of Mahatma Gandhi,” explains Roy. “We eat on the ground, work on the ground and sleep on the ground. It is open only to the poor and is the only place where having a Master’s or a PhD not only is not an asset, but even disqualifies you. There are no written contracts: you can stay with us for twenty years or go away tomorrow. And no one earns more than $100 a month: if you are coming for the 088
money, do not come to us. But if you come for the work and the challenge, then yes: Barefoot is the ideal place to try out crazy ideas. Whatever idea you may have, come and try it. With us, the master learns and the disciple teaches and this prepares the people we train to then, in turn, become the teachers.”
«You need patience for everything. As Mahatma Gandhi said: ‘First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. And in the end, you win.’ This has also been my own experience» It is through this “chain” that the 20 South American women (future solar engineers, just like their many “colleagues” in India, Africa and Afghanistan who have preceded them in the college), once they have returned to their countries of origin, can teach many others, leading to a real revolu-
tion “from the bottom up.” The only direction, according to Roy, in which development can really take root in rural communities: “For every problem of the village, there is a solution, and this solution can already be found within the village, even if you are not prepared or trained to see it. For every problem that exists there is a ‘rural solution’: you just need the time, patience and humility necessary to find it and put it into practice. I am talking about big problems, such as drinkable water, agriculture and construction. To resolve them, there is no need to have a degree: in fact, sometimes it is even counter-productive. We do not offer a pre-packaged system of rules or practices to learn, but are open to the ancient wisdom that these people bring with them. In all the small and remote villages there is an extremely high professionalism, which, however, goes unrecognized. There are doctors, obstetricians, diviners and architects who are putting ancient knowledge into practice, but they have no diploma and there is hardly anyone who recognizes these capabilities. Industrialized countries are totally pa-
renewables: the barefoot revolution |
«Industrialized countries are totally paranoid about having a degree, but personally I am convinced that this is one of the least effective ways of evaluating the capabilities of a person. I am able to understand within a few minutes if a woman is capable of becoming an electrical engineer or a dentist, and without speaking her language»
ranoid about having a degree, but personally I am convinced that this is one of the least effective ways of evaluating the capabilities of a person. I am able to understand within a few minutes if a woman is capable of becoming an electrical engineer or a dentist, and without speaking her language.” The great miracle of Barefoot College also lies here: the training of the future solar engineers not only does not involve the use of books (seeing as the students do not know how to read), but is based entirely on non-verbal communication. “To teach, there is no need for words,” assures Roy. “The example is more than enough, even for the most sophisticated technologies. To request the spare parts that may be needed for the plant equipment, the women are given a book that has pictures and they can simply indicate in the book which pieces they need. Where is it written that just because one can’t read and write or doesn't know the language spoken in a certain place that they can't become an electrical engineer?” The grandmothers of Barefoot College have absolutely shown the contrary, and that is not all: when they return to
their villages after the six months spent on the college “campus,” along with their new profession they also often start a new life. The professionalism acquired, in fact, is generally accompanied by a complete upheaval of their social and family roles: submissive and, sometimes, harassed women on the outer edge of the productive chain of the village and the family, who after this period of training return with a greater awareness of their capabilities and their independence. “In this way, we are also managing to intervene upon the man-woman relationship, giving hope to those who have none and demonstrating that a more active role of the women in the community improves the life of the village,” continues Roy. “These are not abstract concepts: these people demonstrate it every day in their lives, even though it is not easy to overcome the initial diffidence and redefine the roles in the community. For that matter, you need patience for everything: as Mahatma Gandhi said: ‘First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. And in the end, you win.’ This has also been my own experience.” 089
interview with paolo martinello
Smart Consumers, unite! article by Beatrice Mautino
Technologies with low environmental impact, supply chains, attention given to being equitable and inclusive, liberalization of the market, fierce competition, choices to be made: is today's consumer really smart? We asked Paolo Martinello, lawyer and president of Altroconsumo and BEUC (Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs) to help clarify things for us. The key words are “conscious consumption.” Paolo Martinello explains that the only way to really be smart consumers, able to move within the maze of offerings without falling into the traps of the market, is to never be caught off-guard, always be careful and critically analyze the products and the claims of those who sell them. Fine, but how? “By the number of messages and requests for advice that Altroconsumo receives each day (1,200 for a total of nearly 400,000 calls a year), we understand immediately that it is not easy. But neither is it easy for groups of consumers who have found themselves having to deal with new problems. In fact, the evolution of the market is somehow reflected in the inquiries made to the association.” “We did a survey of 12,400 calls in 12 months at the turn of 2009 and the start of 2010, relating to the electricity sector. Until a few years ago, in our monopolistic market, the classic problem was that of the bill (payments, misunderstandings, etc.). Those problems remain,
but others have come up; for example, those relating to commercial offers.” Martinello, a lawyer, explains that 21% of the calls were related to lack of clarity of the bids and proposed rates, or cases of aggressive marketing. Consumers have found themselves in a new role as “consum-actor” who can make choices, but that is why they become the target of multitudinous, often deliberately unclear, offers. “Many of our tests are increasingly designed to highlight issues related to products and services that had been totally neglected until a few years ago,” continues Martinello. ”Alongside the classic surveys on the safety of products or scams on consumers, we also included environmental or social impact assessments.” Yes, because – as Renato Mannheimer explained to us a pagina XXX – citizens' interests change. “Eco-smart” consumers want to know the origin of a product, follow its path, make sure it respects certain parameters and they are not satisfied with simple answers. “The risk is precisely that of excessive simplification.
Receives 1,200 calls each day, for a total of nearly 400,000 a year. 21% of the calls are related to lack of clarity of the bids and proposed rates.
There is a lot of superficiality in this tendency. Marketing tends to capitalize on the customers' need to have the opportunity to make choices, maybe even trivial ones, but apparently this calms them,” Martinello points out. “We carry out a somewhat nasty but necessary task, because brands and stamps are not a sufficient guarantee for the citizen facing the market. It is wrong to think that just because a product is made in one given area rather than another, it is better. For example, one of the most common simplifications is inviting the customer to prefer ‘Made in Italy’ to imported products. This is a deep, somewhat primitive trend: with the inability to choose well, you tend to protect yourself, you return close to home, thinking that this in itself is a guarantee.” To get away from the almost religious good/bad, near/far, environmental/ pollution dualism, it is necessary to investigate which, over time, becomes increasingly complex and is therefore expensive. “Altroconsumo is the largest association of Italian consumers,” continues Martinello. “For almost 40 years, we have been defending the interests and rights of citizens: protection of their health and safety, the protection of economic interests, the right to be informed, to know their rights and enforce their own reasons, the right to be represented and heard by the national and international institutions, the right to live in a healthy environment and to make ethical and responsible consumer choices. Thanks to our 350,000 members, their donations and paid services, we can be independent from an economic point of view.” But it is not enough. Parameters such as the environmental impact analysis of the production chain or the evaluation of the
ethnicity of a product means going beyond a simple laboratory test: “For some areas we manage to move on our own. In the food sector, we have investigated biological products or those that have certain “socioenvironmental” qualities, but we have been facilitated by the fact that, in Italy, we are fortunate to have a food market of a medium-high level. The Italian consumer has more weapons for selfdefense than those in other countries.” In other sectors, or for products coming from far away or which require special analysis, everything is much less rosy. It is necessary to retrace the history of products, go to the source of the production process and measure everything carefully and scientifically. To do so, an international network of consumer groups has been created that divides the costs and shares the contents. “The most complicated work of verification occurs in those areas where the complexity of the product is greater: the new technologies (information technology, energy, and in all those sectors where continuous innovation is evident), but also apparently less innovative areas such as clothing, where you risk falling into clichés and being deceived. Also in these cases, the only defense we have are the measurements. Thanks to the work of the international pool, we can calculate the carbon footprint of the product, evaluating the life cycle and supply chain. We are trying to get as far as we possibly can using criteria with an objective value.” In short, to meet the evolution of the market and smart-consumer needs, the groups have organized themselves into a sort of smart-grid, an intelligent network whose sole objective is the defense of consumer rights.
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EAT LOCAL —
To achieve full access to sustainable food in all respects, there is a single prerequisite, which is that people start, as far as possible, to “eat local” 092
Eat Local, Think Global article by Carlo Petrini photos by Diego Diaz
Why it is better to speak of “local eating” rather than to use the terms “zero kilometer” and “short-chain,” why consumers should become co-producers because food, energy and information travel along the same track: the “guided revolution” of the founder of Slow Food.
On the subject of “zero kilometers” and the “short-chain,” let us clear the field immediately: these definitions are unsuitable or insufficient to describe what really could revolutionize the food system in our century. A revolution led by the commonly shared pursuit of quality which is complex and full of substance, thus providing as wide an opinion as possible – as to the sensory, environmental and social aspects – that may well be summed up in the formula that I coined in a book written in 2005: food that is “good, clean and fair.” To achieve full access (both from a physical point of view, and from the economic and cultural ones) to sustainable food in all respects, there is a single prerequisite (which could be very simple), which is that people start, as far as possible, to “eat local.” The effective English term, in my opinion, is just as eloquent when expressed in Italian. I do not like to talk in zero kilometer terms, and I hope that this expression will no longer be used (although it is widely used now): I find it misleading and reductive. In fact, zero kilometer foods do not exist, unless you cultivate them in your backyard or on your balcony, an action certainly useful and worthy of being promoted at all levels (especially in cities), but which cannot supply a complete personal diet,
let alone meet the needs of billions of people around the world who are not growing anything, and who are not farmers. Zero kilometer opens the way for detractors of eating local, and runs the risk of not constructing anything and of becoming a fashion which, although useful for the processes it triggers, is still just a passing trend. “Short-chain” is a more apt term regarding the matter of eating local but has the defect of sounding too technical, better adapted to the production and distribution field, thus running the risk of excluding a key element: the responsibility of those who buy and eat the food, who are commonly defined as the “consumer.” Seeing that the words are important, let me take another one into consideration. Also the term “consumer,” when it comes to food, should be abolished. If we really want to create a sustainable and therefore long-term food system, we must stop viewing food as just any commodity of a consumption system, but rather as an aggregate of values useful for judging (and paying for) it: for the set of relationships it triggers and from which it has arisen, for all the consequences it may have on the lives of those who produce the food, for those who trade it and those who eat it, as well as for the environment and the re-
If food becomes (and unfortunately, it already is) a commodity like many others of our consumer society, we tend to judge it according to its price and not for its real value
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Feeling themselves to be just “consumers,” more and more people are turning away from any real knowledge of what they eat. So, when it comes to food, instead of “consumer,” perhaps it is better to use the term “co-producer.”
sources that this can offer – which, it is worth remembering, are limited. If food becomes (and unfortunately, it already is) a commodity like many others of our consumer society, we tend to judge it according to its price and not for its real value. In our use-and-throw-out society, then, we do not have too many qualms about wastage: the figures that speak of the quantity of food ending up in the garbage range from 30 to 40%, both in rich countries and in poor ones. Feeling themselves to be just “consumers,” more and more people are turning away from any real knowledge of what they eat. The farmer and poet Wendell Berry has admirably written that “eating is an agricultural act.” Therefore, eating is not merely consuming, a passive action. By choosing what to eat, we can direct the production, embracing a certain type of agriculture, sustainable or not, supporting farmers in that corner of the world that has produced the food. So, when it comes to food, instead of “consumer,” perhaps it is better to use the term “co-producer.” Because if one is aware of having actively chosen “good, clean and fair” food, then one has established, even if at a distance (but one that is as short as possible!), a sort of alliance with those who have produced it. The act of eating will become the last action of the production process, no longer bumpy, but an inclusive part of it. A cognitive process which is always conscious, responsible and, therefore, sustainable, in all of its steps. The urge to go back to local eating is, thus, dictated by these factors: 094
knowledge, quality, environmental sustainability, fair remuneration for the agricultural work, the preservation of biodiversity and the diversity of local cultures related to the food. There are three elements that, in the new millennium, cannot be treated as a mere commodity because they involve a large number of common goods and widespread responsibility (with regard to the land we inhabit and the future generations): information, energy and food. These are three elements that cannot be lived in a centralized, linear and unidirectional way that is not shared. They need to be spread over the territories and to establish two-way relationships between producers and coproducers, to be shared and, hence, easily accessible to all population groups. Concerning information, the Internet has already created the revolution. If before it was one-way, going from the producers to the consumers, with the new technology, today everyone can share real-time information regarding what they have produced. At the same time, this “free” information is more accessible to those wishing to construct their own paths of knowledge. Regarding energy, I am certainly not the expert who is pre-configuring a system where users themselves would become producers. With the spreading of smallscale renewable sources, with smaller PV systems on roofs, biomass for agriculture, hydropower generated by the minimal changes of water or small wind generators, every “consumer” will become a producer and share his or her energy. Perhaps what is still missing are the lar-
eat local, think global
ZERO Km â€”
zero kilometer foods do not exist, unless you cultivate them in your backyard or on your balcony
A THOUSAND VEGETABLE GARDENS IN AFRICA The Terra Madre (Mother Earth) communities have an ambitious project: to create a thousand vegetable gardens in the schools, villages and city suburbs of 25 African countries. The Thousand Vegetable Gardens in Africa are concrete models of sustainable agriculture, attentive to the different environmental, social and cultural aspects, based on the recovery of local seeds and traditional varieties and the sharing of agricultural and educational experiences among the communities involved. In Africa, the local coordinators of the project have already involved 396 communities, while in the rest of the world, the international Slow Food network is mobilizing to raise the funds needed to create the gardens. To date, 400 gardens have been adopted. Support the project, too: adopt a vegetable garden! http:// fondazioneslowfood.com/ Oxygen has adopted a vegetable garden in Africa and supports the Slow Food Foundation
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OVER-PACKAGING In most European countries the production of food packaging (steel, aluminum, glass, wood, paper, plastic) is constantly growing. According to a report in 2009 by the EEA (European Environment Agency), the United Kingdom produced a good 174 kilograms of packaging waste per capita, maintaining a fairly stable average. Italy has a situation that's even worse: not only is the packaging waste per capita higher (212 kg), but over a span of ten years, it has increased by 27.7%.
ge networks that are able to manage this widespread production better, with due efficiency and without waste. It is almost certain that, given the technological evolution, it will pass from a centralized model to a widespread one. The same thing should happen for food: this does not mean going back to being farmers (at least, not everyone), but to becoming co-producers. The large-scale intensive monoculture production, the patenting of seeds, the distribution in the hands of a few subjects, the consumer who is not aware, have by now proven to be a single, huge, unsustainable system. And I am saying this not only from the ecological point of view (which seems obvious, considering the savings in CO2 emissions linked to being local), because monocultures reduce biodiversity (and are even polluting) and centralized distribution creates standardization, exploitation of the land-workers and ignorance in the “consumers.” The system is becoming untenable from an economic standpoint: while the final prices of food are increasing, medium- and large-scale farmers are going through unprecedented difficulties. All 096
this while facing a financial crisis that affects everyone, even those economic powers that have speculated on the food for decades, with their illusion of controlling the internal system. So, food produced primarily for local consumption, a new relationship of proximity between city and countryside, new “short-chain” distribution systems (from the farmer's market, to the Internet, to the buyer group), the preference for fresh, seasonal food (and thus, inevitably, local) of the eater: all these things could help rebalance the system. “Eat local” should be the slogan of both the citizen co-producers and of the producers themselves, in a situation in which the food (as far as possible: let us not forget common sense, we are not talking about selfsufficiency) is grown, raised, processed, distributed and chosen, not so much for the price it may have, but for the values it embodies. All this in a widespread, systemic (I would say holistic) way, using new networks through which it is possible to circulate both the food and the information concerning it, with its histories and “stories.”
Consumerism in times of crisis Barters, bargains, buying groups, collaborative consumption: the Internet is responding to the recession with a thousand ways to save and not waste. And sometimes this gives rise to a true life philosophy...
The boom in Groupon 152
115,7 million users
83 million users
35 million users
A penny saved is a penny earned, especially in times of crisis. For several years now, the Internet has offered barters, bargain prices and strategies for spending less, and the users are participating in mass. A famous example is that of Groupon, the U.S. website that was created in 2008 and now operates in 36 countries around the world. At the basis of their success is the idea of buying groups: the offers are activated only if a minimum number of users is interested in the proposal of the day. This mechanism guarantees low prices. Groupon offers leisure activities - entertainment, holidays, sports and relaxation - as well as restaurants and beauty treatments. If instead of saving, you don't want to spend any money at all, there are websites like Reoose, where you can trade a chair for a vintage
coat. Even more convenient is Freecycle and the Italian Persoperperso, exclusively offering items for free. Then there are the useful and plentiful websites that dispense advice on how to spend less and avoid wasting money, water, time and energy ( to name just one: Nonsprecare.it). True life philosophies have come into being, fueled by this crisis period. As for food, the Freegans (from the words free and vegan) encourage the consumption of what others throw away (freegan.info). Tristram Stuart, a leading theoretician of the movement, has denounced the huge food wastage that takes place every day. Even in Italy, where regulation concerning hygiene is strict, there is an increasing number of associations such as Last Minute Market, dealing with the redistribution of leftover food from supermarkets.
There are some who do not limit it only to food, but have decided to make simplicity their lifestyle: this is the case of downshifting. The equation is simple: reduce work, earnings and consumption to increase the quality of life and time to produce what you really need. Collaborative consumption, however, means a new type of consumer: concepts such as sharing, barter, lease, donation or loan are being revised in the light of the possibilities offered by the Internet and socializing. Lauren Anderson, regarding the innovative direction, speaks of â€œa paradigm shift that is comparable to the Industrial Revolution. It is impossible to maintain these rates of production, resources are running out. Collaborative consumerism means this: reconsider the mode of access to goods and the need that we have for them.â€? (collaborativeconsumption.com).
The new marketing glossary article by Alberto Pastore illustrations by Tai Pera
In recent years, we have witnessed major changes in the economic and competitive (globalization, liberalization, crisis, etc.), technological (the digital revolution, etc.), social (socio-demographic structure, the role of consumers, etc.) and institutional (role of stakeholders, social responsibility, etc.) scenarios, which have led to a consequent evolution in the approach of the marketing and communications of companies.
Marketing is undergoing a paradigmatic revolution and leaving behind the principles that have long guided it. In general, it tends to establish the paradigm of holistic marketing or market driven management, according to which, the culture of marketing permeates the entire organization, playing a key role in the governance and development of its overall relational strategy. On the export market, the objective of customer satisfaction is achieved through their maximum involvement (consumer-actor), starting from the processes of the conception of the offer (consumer-prosumer) and going on to the experience of buying and consuming. Communication itself evolves, overcoming the limits of a one-way broadcasting logic addressed to a passive audience, to increasingly embrace a personalized, interactive, social and experiential narrowcasting approach. In the wake of these trends, there are some forms of marketing and communications that have emerged and which are described in their main features below. 098
Marketing is undergoing a paradigmatic revolution and leaving behind the principles that have long guided it
oxygen | 15 â€” 02.2012
1 Digital marketing
2 Mobile marketing
4 Viral marketing
Viral marketing (or buzz marketing, or word of mouth marketing) is a form of unconventional marketing giving a modern reinterpretation to one of the oldest forms of communication: word of mouth. This is, therefore, a form of communication, mainly created on the Internet, that calls for the active participation of the recipients in the subsequent spreading of the message, creating the conditions for the exponential growth of its reputation and influence. When the message (â€œidea virusâ€?) is effective, the spreading of the same happens autonomously (whether encouraged or not), without any further action by the issuer, due to the interactions occurring between the users themselves.
Digital marketing includes all the approaches to the market that use digital tools and channels, in synergy with the traditional tools and channels. The spreading of digital technology has opened up enormous opportunities for developing relations with the market. Examples of this include the new ways of achieving segmentation and online targeting, new opportunities for the definition of the supply system and customer management and the development of new models of marketing and communications (e-commerce, mobile marketing, social marketing, etc.) achieved through the use, also combined, of tools such as the Internet, mobile devices and digital TV.
Mobile marketing concerns all marketing, communications and sales activities (M-commerce) made via a mobile channel (wireless applications, mobile phones and smartphones). A particular application of mobile marketing is that of proximity marketing, which identifies the location of the recipient (e.g., thanks to Bluetooth technology) and activates contextual and location-aware communication with information or multi-media contents that are associated with the place or point of interest where the recipient is, and therefore of great interest, ensuring exceptional levels of redemption.
The marketing activities carried out in the various social digital contexts can be divided into two main types: social media marketing and social commerce. The first is the branch of digital marketing that deals with planning, implementing and monitoring the activities of marketing communication within the social media, such as blogs, forums, communities, social networking and content-sharing sites (pictures, videos, presentations). Through the activation and management of conversations with the users/consumers, the goal of increasing awareness, familiarity, recognition, trust and the reputation of the brand can be pursued. Thus, within social marketing lies social commerce (or social shopping) and the e-commerce activities conducted via the social media.
the new marketing glossary
5 Direct marketing
Direct marketing (or database marketing) is a system of communication designed to interact with the target established in an interactive, direct and personal way, resulting in measurable responses. Using a suitable commercial database, direct marketing is able to set up narrowcasting types of campaigns (up to one-to-one marketing), in that they are based on very advanced customer profiling. Therefore, this promises to be an excellent approach to acquisition strategies and up-selling, cross-selling and retention strategies. The main tools of direct marketing are: direct mail, e-mail marketing, telemarketing and mobile marketing. Given the potential intrusiveness of some of these tools, often a prior request is made to the recipient for their â€œpermissionâ€? to activate a connection. This particular approach to direct marketing is called permission marketing.
6 Experiential Marketing
Based on the cultural trends of the postmodern consumer (recovery of human ties, looking for authentic sociality, etc.), tribal marketing consists of a series of actions undertaken by the company to support the establishment and development of groups of people (tribes) that are not necessarily homogeneous as to socio-demographic characteristics, but are united by a shared passion for a product, a brand or a specific activity. After having individuated the tribe and understood its characteristics (values, relationships, rituals, codes), the company can operate in order to strengthen links within it, expand its size and extract value from the tribe itself (branding, word of mouth, sales).
Neuromarketing applies the techniques of neuroscience in order to understand the responses of consumers to the stimuli of company marketing and communications. It does this by using techniques such as eye-tracking, neuro-imaging and biometric analysis (electrical activity of the brain, blood flow, etc.). The results of these analyses allow companies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their marketing and communications solutions (e.g., packaging, advertising, websites, etc.).
Experiential marketing, based on the most recent information from studies on consumer behavior, unites the market approach of the company on the centrality and the multi-dimensionality of the experience of consumption, focusing on situational aspects. This approach, which attaches particular importance to the emotional drivers of consumption, defines the supply system starting from the experience, which is created in different dimensions: sensing (sensory perception), feeling (feelings and emotions), thinking (cognitive learning), acting (behaviors and lifestyles) and relating (interaction).
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9 Guerrilla marketing
Guerrilla marketing (or guerrilla communication) is an unconventional communication strategy that, based on the strength of the original creative idea conveyed in a surprising and stunning manner, aims to overcome the perceptual barriers of recipients and achieve high visibility with media content. Given the peculiarities of the creative idea, it is configured as a communications approach with a high content of entertainment (advertainment). The good relationship between the investments and results of the communication is due to the fact that guerrilla marketing does not require the purchase of communication means, but rather, relies on word of mouth on the one hand, and, on the other, on media hunting, or the involvement of the media for the amplification of the message.
Cause related marketing
Green marketing (or environmental marketing) consists of all the activities aimed at creating and fostering the exchange of any good that satisfies a human need or desire, in ways that have a minimal impact on the environment. From the company's point of view, green marketing has the aim of inducing changes in the lifestyles and the upgrading of consumption by making them seem normal and, consequently, its “green” product offering attractive and desirable. It is an approach that should not be confused with green washing, which is the opposite of wanting to make the company's normal activities seem “green.”
Product placement is a form of communication in which products, packaging, the brand name, logo or corporate name are intentionally placed in narrative contexts (e.g., movies or TV programs) in return for a monetary (production fee) or nonmonetary (e.g., provision of equipment, free services, etc.) consideration, under an agreement between the production company and the company that is advertising. Product placement has a high communicational effectiveness in that the advertiser takes advantage of the associations that can be made between his message (product, brand, etc.) and the elements of the narrative context (plot, character, actor, etc.) aimed at a recipient who is quite willing to receive communicational input (as long as it is polite).
Cause related marketing includes marketing activities related to a social cause and made in collaboration between a company for profit and a non-profit organization. Such collaboration may take different forms: the company transfers a share of the economic benefits arising from the joint project (such as a sponsorship) to the nonprofit organization; the company conveys the message of the non-profit organization through its products or its activities; the company devolves royalties relating to use of the brand-name to the non-profit organization, the company works in fundraising for the cause of the non-profit organization. This is an approach to which companies are paying more and more attention in order to give content to their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Consumer-actors The passive consumer doesn’t exist anymore: companies increasingly rely on their experience in designing products and services. In exchange for their creativity, those who consume get equality and personal gratification.
From consumer to producer
There was once a market in which producers produced and consumers consumed. Once upon a time, but not anymore. In fact, companies are increasingly opening up their creative department toward collaboration with customers: this is the phenomenon of “co-creation.” The idea is simple and effective: who knows the product better than the user? Who would want to improve it? A process of horizontal collaboration is created, in which the customer participates in the development of ideas proposed by the company itself. And the Internet, once again, proves to be the preferred medium. If “NIKEiD” is the website of the famous sportswear company where you can design and market shoes and clothing, “In the Mill I want” is an initiative promoted by Mulino Bianco / Barilla to gather and evaluate the ideas of their customers. The projects created vary: from
wholemeal biscuits with low fat content to the packages of the luminous Star Cookies. Glaceau Vitamin Water, a company specializing in flavored water, instead, launched a contest on Facebook to create their new flavor: black cherry and lime was deemed the winning combination, and the packaging and the name of the drink (Connect) were also suggested by users. If on the one hand, customers directly benefit from the improvement of the product, companies benefit from the collaboration in terms of customer loyalty and a return in their image. It even appears that most users are ready to make their creativity freely available, provided that they have respect for the company in question. Farewell then to the passive consumer, it is time to talk about “prosumers”: individuals capable of conveying ideas to the company from the periphe-
company collects polls results
product is improved by consumers
ral zones. Even Lego launched a collaboration with its customers a while ago now. Using a virtual software, it is possible to design new constructions made from colorful Lego pieces: the best will then be produced and placed on the market. (F.B.)
Who knows the product better than the user? Who would want to improve it? A process of horizontal collaboration is created, in which the customer participates in the development of ideas proposed by the company itself 103
Zara and Ikea: when you are the CEO article by Gennaro De Michele
Two companies that have shown that to boldly tread an unknown path can lead to amazing results with sales worth millions, as well as success in creating an inimitable style. When the great physicist Niels Bohr was asked to shed light on the intuition that led to his famous atomic model, he replied laconically: “It is difficult to explain. It would take poetry.” Similar things happen in the business world, too, and it does not seem strange that in talking about a company, albeit an exceptional one, a phrase by an ancient poet, actually a poet-saint, St. John of the Cross, comes to mind: “To reach the place you do not know, you must tread an unknown road.” The first company we are talking about is Zara which, with a turnover of nine billion euros, is one of the largest clothing companies in the world. The path that has led to the success of this enterprise is difficult to describe and is interwoven with the human story of the company's founder: the Spaniard, Amancio Ortega Gaona. To understand the importance of his personal character – and the same goes for the founder of Ikea, Ingvar Kamprad – it is useful to recall that the legal concept of “enterprise” in Art. 2555 of the Italian Civil Code is perfectly defined as “the complex of assets organized by the entrepreneur in order to carry out his business.” In practice, it is the
use of a plurality of goods, not for deriving the direct utility that each of them is able to offer through their separate enjoyment, but for the achievement of a further and unified advantage, coordinating their exploitation according to an organizational plan outlined by the entrepreneur. This definition emphasizes the importance of the bond that unites the various functional elements of the company and the superior role of the entrepreneur. Therefore, to understand Zara it is essential to start from Amancio Ortega and his relationship with the business world, a relationship that has been formed within the store, that is to say, in direct and continuous contact with the public, especially women. This experience led Amancio to think of a brilliant idea: fashion and the duration of the garments do not go hand in hand and this is what determines closets full of increasingly obsolete clothes which, due to the quality of the fabrics, retain the same appearance and the same virtues they had at the time of purchase but which have now become old and a bit sad. Hence, the first intuition of Zara: the life cycle of clothing must adapt to the changing whims of
fashion. So, if it is not necessary and maybe not even expedient that clothes last a very long time, they can be produced at a lower cost so that for the amount of money spent, a person can afford to frequently change his or her wardrobe. To carry out this idea, the whole supply chain must necessarily be very fast; to make it so, Zara has chosen an ancient route that markedly differs from the one taken by its main competitors. In fact, while everyone else is shifting their production, Zara has decided to stay in Spain, vertically integrating the company. In this way, the Spanish company is able to effectuate the replacement of the goods in its 5,000 stores every two weeks by practicing the so-called “management of the rare.” In other words, the renewal of the collections in a Zara store is so fast and the prices of the garments are so inexpensive that each item seems unique and buying it is an opportunity that can't be passed up. Giving tips to buyers is another idea that Zara has highlighted and instead of directing people to wear the clothes designed by the “big-names,” its own factories are able to produce what the customers want to wear. In fact, every day Zara's designers receive information from the stores on customers' tastes and aspirations of purchase that the salespeople acquire by talking to them, just as Ortega had done in the store where he worked for 15 years. A similar approach with some significant variations was introduced in the field of furniture by Ikea which, with a turnover of 25 billion euros and a workforce of over 150,000, is one of the largest companies in the world. Ever since it was founded in
1943, and true to the desire of Ingvar Kamprad, the search for optimization has been its main theme and has characterized the growth of the Swedish company. The most evident result of this approach occurred when an Ikea employee had the idea of removing the legs of a table to be able to load it onto his car. This gave rise to “transport and do-it-yourself assembly” and from that day on, IKEA began to design furnishing elements in a different way. Since then, every product has practically been created with a reverse process, starting from its assembly, which should not be a burden to the customers but rather, the manner in which they adhere to their purchase with a personal contribution that involves hard work, which is sometimes fun, and a substantial savings. In addition to the assembling, customers collaborate with the company by giving it their feedback, which gets back to the designers through a mechanism similar to Zara’s. For Ikea, optimization means that the process of going from the tree to the furniture is not to be taken for granted and there must be a reason for everything, not only as to the shape and color of the proposed pieces of furnishings, but also with regard to their position in the catalog and their display in the store. There is no room for error, seeing as how Ikea wants to propose a simple, natural, free and environmentally friendly lifestyle, and also needs materials, shapes and colors to suit all tastes and produce feelings of well-being and happiness. Zara and Ikea, Amancio and Ingvar: two companies and two entrepreneurs who have shown that to boldly tread an unknown path can lead to amazing results with sales worth millions, as well as success in creating an inimitable and irresistible style.
The necessity of the superfluous article by Renata Molho photos by Stephane Cardinale
â€œEven today, aside from all the speculation and philosophical analysis, beyond the high consideration for the knowledge and culture, the sensitivity and inclination toward beauty, the authentic eccentricity and the availability of time that represent true luxury, what is now meant by luxury are the products that are still full of such and so many symbolic meanings that they become the first and most important vehicle of the dream. A brand that knows how to communicate this, is the way that leads into the light.
It is clear that a radical change is taking place. We are in the middle of a difficult fording: the river-bed that we are crossing is full of continual surprises. The very consistency of the ground on which we move is insidious and marshy. That which sometimes appears to be a small island on which to catch our breath, unexpectedly turns into quicksand, becoming treacherous slime ready to swallow us up. The other side is so far away that we cannot see it and the wind stirs up the waters by creating sudden vortices that seem to wipe out all previous efforts. Any reference, parameter or marker that once left a trace has crumbled. Therefore, it is impossible for even the wisest economists to make any credible predictions. That said, our admiration increases for the Mayans, who by reading the stars saw things as they were, while giving them an interpretation that was appropriate for their era: the 106
imminent end of the world that they predicted will not be the Sun burning itself up, but a certain system of values and economy that has to come to terms with its own limitations and mistakes. This means a reversal of everything and the reconstruction of bases that are still unknown. But, as you know, the tsunami ends up destroying the more fragile houses, building complexes spontaneously springing up too close to the seashore and on geologically questionable land. Those who are up high and in solid buildings have often experienced the problem more as an onlooker than as a protagonist. And, I would say, the sense of death and destruction so far has been so hard to accept that often privilege itself has been interpreted as a necessary exorcism. For some time, however, there has been a strong turnaround in this tendency: the position gained through one's work, and any notoriety, if
Luxury has survived wars, plagues, crises, revolutions, and many other afflictions that humanity has experienced. Luxury has never disappeared, and to think that it is over is equivalent to thinking that humanity will return to a primitive concept of its existence.
supported by a good education and a strong civic sense, can contribute to giving society a more intelligent orientation, also using the tools of consumption. That which apparently seems to represent the superfluous becomes increasingly necessary. The new frontier of luxury lies in the consciousness, in awareness. “The slogan this year is ‘Giving back is the new luxury,’” we are reminded by Franca Sozzani, editorial director of Condé Nast, director of “Vogue Italia” and appointed UN Goodwill Ambassador for fashion. “I believe that luxury is the sharing, to think ‘We’ rather than ‘I.’ This is my first thought. You can add the values applied to living and the positive results I can achieve. There are certain intangible luxuries, alongside which I’d place ‘things’ that have an intrinsic value in themselves: for how are made, for their uniqueness.” And it is here that the sustainability
of a product, and the guarantee of the respect for ethics that lie behind any object of daily life, become major factors in the choice. The more sensitive brands and companies, together with the principle of uniqueness, of limited edition, are increasingly attentive to the criteria of the politically correct. “In defining luxury today,” Sozzani continues, “we must switch from the concept of the ‘cost’ to that of the ‘value’ of an object: the value itself is the element that characterizes the luxury of today, and differentiates it from what it is considered to be in times of wealthy economies, or that is, simply ‘expensive,’ and therefore a luxury. And in this sense, without a doubt the market reaction is good. And there are possible openings.” The luxury market, in fact, in spite of other aspects of the economy, continues to appear thriving. According to Franca Sozzani, the reasons are to be found in the logic of every period
of hardship: “You buy less, reflecting and following the criterion of the quality of the object, as well as its durability. Which, in fashion, does not necessarily mean a classic or something that lasts even after many seasons, but a garment that has the intrinsic quality of workmanship as well as creativity.” I think back to a conversation I had recently with Patrizio Bertelli – the CEO of the Prada Group – that seems more acute and relevant than ever: “Luxury,” he told me, “has survived wars, plagues, crises, revolutions, and many others afflictions that humanity has experienced. In the various periods, luxury has been expressed in different forms, undergoing an evolution that has gone hand in hand with the cultural development of populations. Therefore, luxury has never disappeared, and to think that it is over is equivalent to thinking that humanity will return to a primitive concept of its existence.” 107
oxygen | 15 — 02.2012
Luxury, in fact, assumes the nature of an ideology, a religion. It has its idols, its officiators and a host of loyal followers. It is exclusion and separation. With everything that follows, its endemic contradictions, clear to those who are on the outside, to the atheists, to the laymen, but unknown to all those who choose the golden deafness, in the name of belonging. And it is precisely on these principles that the luxury industry is based. That parallel universe that speaks of inner well-being, of the beauty that influences thought and elevates the spirit. It is no coincidence that today – even more so than beauty farms – yoga centers and places geared to the mystical, promising massages of the soul, are jam-packed. But, more realistically, by luxury we mean owning goods, material products that continue to be the real mark of distinction in everyday life: the clothing, handbags, shoes, glasses, jewelry, cars, houses, furnitu108
re and hotels. And, increasingly aware of the semantic contradiction in which everyone has been caught up, in that pursuit of critical acclaim, of the large numbers, talking about an exclusivity that little by little loses its
That which apparently seems to represent the superfluous becomes increasingly necessary. The new frontier of luxury lies in the consciousness, in awareness. strength while it has been spreading, thus, each brand produces a limited edition. They create a niche within their galaxy of products to feed the desires of the most demanding clientele. Moreover, although the Western
world has already accomplished the entire cultural parabola and is almost saturated, a group of newly rich, hungry for those status symbols that a part of the world has already consumed, and practically snubs, is still in the ascendant part of that same parabola that we have greedily traversed and upon which we have built empires. Because logic often has nothing to do with luxury. Until very recently – I was told by a young scion of an African dynasty – going around his sunny country with a cashmere coat of a famous Italian brand draped over his arm meant a lot: a single gesture told of his high social status, his being used to traveling in far-off and cold countries, creating an immediate distance between himself and others. We know that Asia represents a certainty and a hope for the future, as well as the BRIC countries and to some extent Argentina. Scenarios are changing, the axis has shifted, but the
the necessity of the superfluous
Luxury 2012: is China on top? According to the 2011 report of the World Luxury Association, the value of the luxury market in China could reach $14.6 billion in 2012 and this Asian country could overtake Japan and become the largest market in the world where luxury products are bought. In 2011, China's market share was 27%, slightly less than Japan (29%) but higher than the 14% in the U.S. and 18% in Europe.
“Kingdom of Luxury” (a very important item of national heritage) which is based precisely on a whim, on the desire to reaffirm one's higher social status, has not changed. But what does distinguishing oneself mean today? We are far from the ways and the atmosphere described by Roger Peyrefitte in The Exile of Capri, when he told of the arrival of the Marchioness Luisa Casati (1881-1957) in the Marina Grande square, in the summer of 1920: “The Marchioness was wearing an astrologer's hat with long veils that enveloped her person. [...] She wore bells on her ears. […] She advanced holding a crystal ball in her hands to cool them. One of her attendants held a wrought-iron bush with pomegranates painted bright red, and a tag declaring it was a gift from Gabriele D’Annunzio. A Moor took care of two greyhounds on a leash that had been powdered mauve-colored, and a leopard. A Grand Duke kept his
eye on three cages containing, respectively, a boa constrictor, some parrots and an owl. Countless bags and suitcases were stacked and completed the procession of carriages.” But, despite changing behavioral patterns and vocabulary, the substance is not any different. Even today, aside from all the speculation and philosophical analysis, beyond the high consideration for the knowledge and culture, the sensitivity and inclination toward beauty, the authentic eccentricity and the availability of time that represent true luxury, what is now meant by luxury are products that are still full of such and so many symbolic meanings that they become the first and most important vehicle of the dream. A brand that knows how to communicate this, is the way that leads into the light: guaranteed by that well-padded and safe place from which to fight against the evil and suffering in the world. 109
From spectator to producer article by Simone Arcagni
Fandome is the “realm of the fan,” that is to say, where the fans of a film or television series can exchange ideas, comments, previews, and even try to re-mix their favorite movie or think of alternative endings, sequels and prequels. A world in which the spectator becomes an active user, who often is even listened to by the production itself
Fandome is the “realm of the fan,” that is to say, where the fans of a film or television series can exchange ideas, comments, previews, and even try to re-mix their favorite movie or think of alternative endings, sequels and prequels. A world in which the spectator becomes an active user, who often is even listened to by the production itself. The practices of commenting, appropriation and re-elaboration are what Henry Jenkins places at the center of the manner of contemporary production and marketing that he defines “media convergence.” According to Jenkins, examples are the cases of television shows such as Survivor, that gave rise to a community of fans able to organize themselves through their own capabilities, and
which have changed the very nature of television consumption. Or again, American Idol (somewhat similar to Italy’s X Factor), in which the audience is a protagonist, actually called upon to express their own emotional participation; and moreover, it is precisely in this emotional transport that the commercials find potential seduction and attraction. The program itself does not have clear boundaries between the publicity and the show. But the most emblematic case, also concerning the problems of this new protagonism of the fans with regard to the media, is that of Star Wars, with George Lucas involved, on the one hand, in encouraging the enthusiasm of the fans by calling them into question, responding directly to their urging
Life in a Day —
Is a documentary film by Ridley Scott and Kevin MacDonald and is the result of the installation of autobiographical films made on July 24, 2010 by 80,000 users of YouTube
and even giving space to their creative interventions (as in the case of Star Wars Galaxies, in which viewers were called upon to create additional content); and, on the other hand, the production of Star Wars has been very careful to set rigid boundaries to defend the contents and rights. One of the key words encountered most often for the media content via Internet is crowdsourcing, i.e., the active participation of the audience, which becomes both a spectator and manufacturer (at least in part) of the contents they consume. Often, the products made through crowdsourcing are subsidiary (the platform can be a website or a social network) and cross-media works, that is, open to the collaboration of the users and taking form in different texts for different media. Practices that not only displace the traditional definition of work and author, but also redefine the figures of the user, consumer and prosumer. Life in a Day, for example, is a documentary film by Ridley Scott and Kevin MacDonald and is the result of the installation of autobiographical films made on July 24, 2010 by 80,000 users of YouTube. Presented at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and the 2011 Berlin Film Festival, it is perhaps the first Hollywood feature film made (with the help of Google) through crowdsourcing. In Italy, there is CINEAMA, a platform to produce films through crowdsourcing: users read the idea and decide whether to participate in the production of the film, contributing money, as well as ideas and comments. Instead, the significance
of re-mix and mash-up practices is different: in that case, the user uses an existing work to reassemble it, recreate it, perhaps parodying it. The text becomes material that can be dismantled and quotable at will (copyright laws permitting). In Rome, a festival has even been created that shows and awards these works: it is called MAshRome Film Festival and is dedicated to the practices of remixing and mash-ups with which users can create their own films from the ones they love the most. The movie and television audience wants to become a star, to be able to actively participate in their own entertainment, and also to divulge their own program or cult film. Participating just as it is via online social networking or interactive websites. An investment that shifts the axis of interest from use to production, creating a sort of hybrid dimension in which viewers increasingly define their programming, such as Smart or Web TV. But they also enter into the production stage, commenting and supporting a production or helping to achieve it, or wanting to put their mark on the propagation of the fame of their favorite video by commenting on, quoting, parodying and remixing it. In short, the viewer, more than just a passive user, is the author of the text. A passage made possible not only by the computerization of the texts and their being put into a service which is operated by the Internet, but also by the spreading of devices (mobile-phone cameras, E-notebooks, tablets, etc.) and the availability of user-friendly software that makes every viewer a potential director, screenwriter and author.
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Luis Alberto Moreno Richard A. Muller Teresina Muñoz-Nájar Ugo Nespolo Nicola Nosengo Helga Nowotny Alexander Ochs Robert Oerter Alberto Oliverio Sheila Olmstead Vanessa Orco James Osborne Rajendra K. Pachauri Mario Pagliaro Francesco Paresce Claudio Pasqualetto Federica Pellegrini Matteo Pericoli Emanuele Perugini Telmo Pievani Tommaso Pincio Michelangelo Pistoletto Viviana Poletti Stefania Prestigiacomo Giovanni Previdi Filippo Preziosi Marco Rainò Jorgen Randers Carlo Ratti Henri Revol Marco Ricotti Sergio Risaliti Kevin Roberts Lew Robertson Kim Stanley Robinson Alexis Rosenfeld John Ross Marina Rossi Jeffrey D. Sachs Gerge Saliba Juan Manuel Santos Tomàs Saraceno Saskia Sassen Steven Shapin Clay Shirky Uberto Siola Craig N. Smith Antonio Sofi Leena Srivastava Francesco Starace Robert Stavins Bruce Sterling Stephen Tindale Chicco Testa Chiara Tonelli Mario Tozzi Ilaria Turba
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Testata registrata presso il tribunale di Torino Autorizzazione n. 76 del 16 luglio 2007 Iscrizione al Roc n. 16116