Patty Seybold poses a question: Can you transform an industry from the outside? That’s what Local Motors has been doing since 2007 with its mission of creating game-changing cars with an unprecedented standard of customer service. And the way the company is doing it is by creating a true customer ecosystem that embodies the six characteristics of a successful ecosystem:
- Help customers achieve and/or manage something they care about.
- Design for specific target audiences.
- Provide a “secret sauce” that transforms customers’ ability to get things done.
- Attract partners & suppliers who can contribute to these customers’ success.
- Align the entire ecosystem to meet customers’ success metrics.
- Embed, co-brand, and be ubiquitous so customers will encounter and use your secret sauce no matter what their starting point is.
There are a number of take-aways for you and your company that Patty presents, but the one that really resonated to me is you can spawn a vibrant ecosystem of partners and suppliers once you have a core and sustainable community of passionate customers who want to create their own designs and to appreciate and learn from others. It’s amazing what a community of passionate customers can do for a business.
Local Motors: Open Source Car Design and Local Manufacturing
Forging a Customer Ecosystem to Transform the Automobile Industry
By Patricia B. Seybold, CEO and Senior Consultant, Patricia Seybold Group, January 26, 2012