Why you need to read The End of Business As Usual if you’re over the age of 28

By: Ron Immink

Date: 23 February 2012

The End of Business As Usual by Brian Solis{{}}How do you explain 292 pages of deep content in four and a half minutes? I was recently asked to review Brian Solis’ new book, The end of business as usual: Rewire the Way You Work to Succeed in the Consumer Revolution on the radio. It’s about social media and its impact on the new consumer landscape.

Here’s what I learned from it:

No escape

There is no escape. Technology is going very, very fast. Five billion people are connected online. The average age of the world population is now 28, which means that we are dealing with very social media savvy customers. Most buying decisions now have an online element.


As result of the evolution (revolution?) online, people are now becoming part of our search engines (which is why it is called social search). This has repercussions for both the individuals (reputation) and companies (brand). The power is back with the people and as a business you need to become part of the ego system of the individual.

Social capital

As a result, social capital becomes very important (and should be part of your balance sheet). It will go further, social capital will be part of your CV and part of your individual credit score.

Explosive headache for marketers

Our interests, experiences, context and the history of the experiences with the company become very, very relevant. It is not about the quantity of the relations, it is about the quality of the relationship. It is about one-to-one conversations, micro-engagement and heart share. Combine that with collective EQ, IQ and the long memory of the net and you have an explosive headache for a marketer who is very likely to be a lot older than 28 (and therefore does not understand).

The need to be very compelling

How do you stand out, how do you connect with the heart of your customers and how compelling are you? And with the attention span of the “shallows” you need to compel in the moment. How do you make a split second compelling? An important part of that will be the higher purpose of your company — the soul of your business.

Global local village shop

I read Gary Vaynerchuk’s book, The Thank You Economy and from that I got the image of the local village shop on steroids. You need to create the feel and engagement of the local shop where everyone knows your name (with the theme tune from Cheers in background) on a global scale.

But there’s more…

In my radio review, I did not even get the time to talk about the concept of networks, within networks, within networks — niche networks. Or to explain that six degrees of separation is now four degrees of separation. Or that processes such as AIDA (Attention Interest Desire Action) are now circular and have a very strong feedback loop. If you doubt the effect of feedback loops I suggest you read Overconnected by William Davidow.

So what are the lessons?

• Brands are now the sum of the experiences and these experiences are visible online

• We are all becoming brand and reputation managers

• You are too old to understand

• When moments need to become compelling, design is key

• Context is king

• Social capital is an asset

• Soul, culture, passion, heart, ethics will have to become part of the brand experience

• Brands are part of self-expression

• Mediocrity is not accepted

• Engagement will not be transactional but emotional

• Use data mining to segment to near one-to-one level

• Everything is circular and holistic

Four questions to ask yourself

Here are four questions you need to ask yourself as a business:

• How loyal are you to your customers?

• Could you tweet your mission statement?

• How compelling are you?

• Where in the loop is your product or service

It may be a dense book but if you are over 28 years old…

This book is very dense. Maybe too dense. And it does touch on a lot of other books such as Marketing 3.0, The Thank You Economy, Emotionomics and ZAG. They were more enjoyable to read.

However, if you are looking for a comprehensive book on the future of social media, this is the one. If you combine it with Brian Solis’ other book Engage! then you will be sorted on social media for a while. So if you are over 28 years old and a marketer or business owner, you should read this book.

Ron Immink is the CEO and co-founder of Small Business Can and Book Buzz — the website devoted to help business make better business decisions using business books.