In the era of big Internet, Internet thinking can’t save Chinese companies. Traffic thinking and user thinking can only completely collapse the already very fragile Chinese brands. What is the ultimate contest in the future market? What kind of thinking do we have to use to win the future?
In recent years, “internet thinking” has been very popular. If you open your mouth and say “flow, pain, fans,” and so on, you are almost embarrassed to communicate with others. However, not blindly following has always been my personality, and looking at the current fashion with a rational eye is also my way of thinking. So, when everyone shouted “Internet thinking,” I was thinking: Is this a trend, or is it popular? What kind of era will we welcome?
Three-dimensional thinking change
After a period of popularity, the people who advertised “Internet thinking” themselves began to shout “the second half of the Internet” and began to think that the Internet era is about to pass. On many occasions, Ma Yun repeatedly emphasized that “the next era should be the DT era, not the IT era.”
Now, the concept of “blockchain” has begun to enter people’s eyes, causing heated discussion. Some people think that the “blockchain” is the second generation of the Internet, which will subvert the current Internet world. This shows what? Explain that a true new era is coming.
So, what is the name of this era? In fact, it is not important. What is important is how we can see the rules of survival of this era.
What is the difference between the past industrial economic era, the current Internet era, and the upcoming era of the big Internet? I think the most important difference is the way of thinking.
The way of thinking in the industrial economy era is “product thinking and quality orientation.” Because, in that era, there was a shortage of materials and rational consumption. As long as you put the quality of the products up, they would not sell them. Therefore, the topic of greatest concern in that era was “core technology”. The most prominent corporate slogan was “Quality is life”. However, this era has become a thing of the past.
The way of thinking in the Internet age is “flow thinking, user orientation.” It is also called internet thinking. They believe that for the enterprise, the quantity and demand of customers are the most important, and companies must design products around the needs of users. The slogan they are willing to shout is “There is a world in which the crepe is won.” “Find the vents, even the pigs can fly.”
So, what is the way of thinking in the era of big Internet? I think it should be “cognitive thinking, mission-oriented”. Because, through the ups and downs of many companies in these years, I found that traffic thinking and user thinking can’t represent the future of the company, and it can’t represent the future of marketing. Even it kills many companies.
Defects in traffic thinking and user thinking
If you look closely, Internet thinking has its own set of terms, such as: traffic, free, whistles, pain points, explosives, fans, word of mouth, participation, iteration, and so on. However, behind these terms, the two core ways of thinking are flow thinking and user thinking. So, what are they lacking?
1. Flow thinking
Obviously, the word “traffic” comes from the Internet and is a general term for the user’s registration volume, click volume, browsing traces and activity. On the Internet, the number and activity of users does directly affect the success or failure of Internet products. Therefore, the core idea of flow thinking is to “meet the needs of more customers.” In other words, the more customer groups, the better. Therefore, the free model came into being, because only free, the traffic is on the fast.
However, the biggest disadvantage of traffic thinking is that “winning sales and losing brands.” If you put traffic thinking on brand building, it will hurt brand positioning and weaken your brand competitiveness.
Xiaomi’s initial positioning was a cost-effective mobile phone, and the slogan was “born for a fever”. When it was first listed, this positioning and slogan was very convincing to the target customer base, which created the phenomenon of “millet”.
However, just because of the influence of flow thinking, later Xiaomi developed a red rice mobile phone, taking the low-end route and wanting to meet the needs of more users. Later, I developed Xiaomi’s note and took the high-end route, trying to form a “full bloom” situation. But what is the final result? With the flow, Xiaomi is in trouble. The sales of Xiaomi began to decline, not only to the “China’s first sales” throne that was once won to Huawei, and even almost a big problem.
However, fortunately, through the internal adjustments of the past two years, today’s Xiaomi is in a period of recovery and its business conditions are gradually improving. I also heard that when Xiaomi fell into a trough, Lei Jun sent a copy of “Positioning” to each of Xiaomi’s executives, asking everyone to study hard. However, Xiaomi’s recovery is still very difficult. In 2017, Xiaomi’s mobile phone sales were only half of Huawei’s, and it’s a hope to win the championship. This is the hazard caused by traffic thinking.
On the contrary, Huawei, which never mentioned Internet thinking, sold 100 million mobile phones in 2017 and more than 30 million OPPOs.
2. User thinking
The “user thinking” advertised by Internet thinking is in line with “flow thinking”. The core idea of user thinking is to meet the needs of customers.
Traffic thinking pursues the scale of users, and user thinking pursues the needs of each user. It is believed that enterprises must stand in the perspective of users and meet their needs. In this way, traffic can be realized in order to create more wealth.
So, what are the flaws in this way of thinking? I think: I won the moment and lost the future. User thinking can provide consumers with more functions, services and products, and sales will be better in the short term. However, when the time is long, it will be hurt by the user’s thinking. The brand loses focus in the customer’s mind, and the enterprise resources are scattered. The final result is: creating a good performance, the whole enterprise is still in dire straits.
SF Express, with its fast and safe service, defeated China Post’s EMS and became the leader of China’s express delivery industry. This is a gratifying achievement. However, the problem is coming. SF is not willing to only do the express delivery business, and wants to do more things, provide more services and make more money through the customer resources that the express delivery business has.
Therefore, Shunfeng took the “O2O” style and developed the offline shop “hacker”, which opened more than 3,000 stores nationwide. But is the hacker service more demanding from customers? Did the hacker earn money? No. After only two years of operation, all were closed. why?
Because the hacker meets more needs, the customer does not appreciate, and it is impossible to see whether the hacker is a community convenience store or a transit station of SF Express. This positioning of the customer’s fog has also accelerated the death of the hacker.
So, today’s hackers have disappeared, but what are the consequences? It is difficult to extricate a sufficiency SF into a debt dilemma. This is the result of user thinking.
The ultimate contest of the future market
Then, in the future, what kind of thinking is used to run the business and win the future? This requires understanding the ultimate contest of the future market.
I believe that the ultimate contest in the future market is “cognition + mission”, that is, seeking external knowledge and seeking internal mission. Because, in the future, everything can be homogenized, but it is not recognized; in the future, everything tends to be transparent, and only companies that adhere to their mission can be favored by customers.
In the era of traditional industrial economy, our company regards customers as “God”, looks up to customers, and looks at customers’ pockets. This is not the norm; in the Internet age, companies regard customers as “fans”, overlooking customers, and eyes are still staring at customers. Pocket, this is not the norm. In the future, we should regard customers as “relatives”, look at customers, and treat customers as our mother-in-law and children. This is the normal state.
Because, a company, only to design products for their loved ones, to achieve the ultimate for their loved ones, can design a really good product, take the real responsibility for customers, and thus be truly accepted by customers.
What is cognitive thinking?
What is cognitive thinking? What does cognitive thinking emphasize in the end? If you use a sentence to explain: it is to create a superior cognition in the customer’s mind, thus leading all resources of the enterprise, making the brand a representative of a category, a representative of value, and become the customer’s first choice.
Below, I want to explain the nature of cognitive thinking through “four greater than”.
1. Long-term interests > immediate interests
Cognitive thinking emphasizes: It is necessary to take a long-term view of the development of the enterprise and the development of the brand. From the perspective of 10 years, even 20 years, imagine what kind of brand to establish in the future.
I don’t want to serve everyone, I don’t want to satisfy all the needs of customers, but I don’t want to do anything. I only serve some people, meet some needs, and do first in a clear value. Steady in the mind occupies a cognition.
What are the consequences of doing this? From the perspective of short-term interests, we will definitely miss a lot of opportunities to make money and lose a lot of economic benefits. However, from the perspective of long-term interests, it is certain to be able to catch big fish instead of shrimp.
In fact, this truth is not difficult to understand, it is not my original, it is difficult to do it. Therefore, cognitive thinking requires entrepreneurship. If a company does not have entrepreneurial spirit, it will be difficult to abandon immediate interests for the long-term benefit. Especially when it comes to all kinds of temptations.
2. Intangible assets > tangible assets
Cognitive thinking emphasizes that intangible assets of enterprises are more important than tangible assets. As far as the brand is concerned, whether it is the first in cognition or the first in products. Internet thinking may not hesitate to choose products, but cognitive thinking chooses cognition.
Because, after all, products will be homogenized, and cognition will not. On the contrary, the more powerful the cognition, the more different. In the future, companies can imitate their opponents and make the same products, but they are absolutely not cognitive. Because, you imitate in cognition, but it is counterproductive, despised by customers, giving opponents extra points.
You can think about this scenario: You are a luxury car brand, the original price is at least 1 million yuan, but the sales are not big. If you launch a low-end model, you can make a big profit with the current brand influence. What should you do?
Internet thinking may not hesitate to use the current brand to launch low-end models because of making money. Moreover, use their “flow thinking” to find reasons for themselves: “We should meet the needs of more customers.”
However, cognitive thinking will not do this. Ning can use a new brand to do this model, and do not use the current brand to do it. Because “there is no car with less than one million” is a good cognition, and it is expected to become synonymous with luxury cars. This asset is far greater than the economic benefits derived from the downward extension. This is called “intangible assets > tangible assets.”
3. Occupy the mind> Occupy the market
Cognitive thinking emphasizes that occupation of the mind is more important than occupation of the market. The traditional way of thinking is that as long as I occupy the market, the future market is mine, and I can do it once and for all. Therefore, in order to achieve this goal, they went to burn money and burned it to make it happen.
However, cognitive thinking believes that occupying the mind is more important than occupying the market. A brand must be the first choice of customers’ minds, let customers put your products and brands in mind.
In China, OPPO and vivo have already sold more than the iPhone. What should Apple do? Internet thinking may allow Apple to launch low-end phones to play OPPO and vivo, and to make sales. But has Apple done this? No. Instead, the iPhone X is a million-dollar machine that tells the world that the iPhone is the best mobile phone in the world.
4. Ecosystem > Diversified Development
Cognitive thinking emphasizes specialization, emphasizing that companies must build expert brands, but cognitive thinking is not limited to this. Specialization + platformization is the direction of enterprise development advocated by cognitive thinking.
The future enterprises are more of a “platform + personal” “platform + resources” development model. If the enterprise does not form its own small universe, it does not form its own ecological circle, and it is difficult to survive in the future competition.
The difference between platformization and diversification is that diversification is all things must be done by themselves, and platformization is to establish their own ecosystem in a cooperative way and in a shared way.
For example, once Nokia used to develop games and develop navigation, this is called diversification. But after Apple built the platform, let Facebook do instant messaging, let Baidu do navigation, let Tencent do the game, let the world’s mobile phone software vendors develop software for him. This is called platformization.
The competition logic of the future market is like this: when diversification encounters specialization, specialization wins; when specialization encounters platformization, platformization wins.
Internet thinking is very much in line with Virgin’s diversified development and considers Virgin to be a successful brand. However, cognitive thinking believes that Virgin is a fragile brand. When expert brands are straightforward, Virgin will collapse; especially when these expert brands form their own ecosystem, Virgin will die. This is “ecosystem > diversified development.”
In general, for the era of big Internet, Internet thinking can’t save Chinese companies, and traffic thinking and user thinking can only completely collapse the already fragile Chinese brands. Only by arming your company with “cognitive thinking, mission-oriented” can you change your destiny and make a comeback!