This book by Nick Bilton, technology writer for the New York Times is pretty high on my must read list. Although like most books these days there seems to be a lot of repetition, there are a couple of thoughts in here that I think are going to be fundamental for brands moving forwards.
The key thing to me is the idea that people are increasingly using other people they trust to act as curators and anchors for their information consumption. Swapping traditional institutional trusted voices for a new set of more personal voices.
When people do this, they are inherently at the center of their own network (as well as being a part of someone else’s).
This in turn puts brands on the edge’s of these networks rather than in the center. It also backs up what we are already seeing as social media conversation drives toward a communications environment that is like friends and family recommendations on steroids.
The really big question for me in all of this is how many brands are really ready to take on this new reality? A world in which influencing multiple people centric networks means more than controlling messages, and where the creation of compelling and valuable experiences almost certainly means more than traditional marketing techniques can deliver.