Future success of a businesses is increasingly be associated with platforms. Platform thinking and new technologies can help any business develop to join the platform economy.
Modern Business Requirements
It’s not surprising that Apple, social networks like Facebook and Twitter, sharing economy apps like Uber and Airbnb, and Salesforce as software as a service for the enterprise are currently the top trends in business. All of them boast an extremely powerful feature – a scalable online platform that connects people and ecosystems.
Each of these platforms has its own way of monetization. Growth-oriented speed and scale-focused economies enable these platforms to surpass traditional businesses. To be competitive, businesses should focus on strengthening the power of their platform. Platform thinking lies in the basis of all these issues.
Core platform thinking strategies have already been practiced in the industry. These are associated with elements of franchising, vertical integration, operational efficiency, and scale. Newer components of platform thinking are based on the ways technology enables companies to execute the mentioned strategies at unprecedented scale, meanwhile streamlining processes once thought complex.
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How to Become a Platform Company?
To evolve into a platform company, you should take the following steps:
- Leverage Network Effects
This means you should focus on services and goods that become valuable when more people start using them, thus making your network as large as possible. To build your network, you can also increase the platform value by making it open for others to build on.
For example, Apple, Facebook, and Salesforce started offering application programmer interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs). People started creating apps, thus making the platform more extended and attractive.
- Focus on Customer Intimacy
Companies focusing on competitiveness do their best to win on features and price. Customer-intimate companies target experience. They aim at experience not only from the aspect of their customers, but from the aspect of their customers’ customers as well.
This way, Salesforce acquired SteelBrick. The latter is a company helping sales representatives take orders, accept payments, give price quotes, and generate invoices.
- Curate Your Brand Experience
In our modern times, customer acquisition and network building are based on:
- Designing a frictionless web experience
- Offering a mobile app to help people interact with your business whenever and wherever they wish
- Aiming at user data and expanding actionable insights
- Incorporating payments right into your platform
- Eliminating the hassle of entering PayPal or credit card account information
- Constantly making it safer, easier and more compelling to conduct business on your platform than on other alternative platforms available in the industry