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Disruption is one of many paths to future business as usual. That's one of the takeaways in a new report from Constellation Research.

The Report, "Succeeding In the New Consumerverse," suggests that businesses use predictive and Big Data analysis in order to forecast various possible futures. But they are all futures that have undergone a Copernican transformation from a time when businesses were at the center of an ecosystem, around which customers, partners and suppliers orbited. This entire planetary system, even in the early Internet age, had been maintained through customer relationship management systems and advertising networks.

The Consumerverse: The Customer is the Sun

But now, according to this report, brands and businesses are "adrift in an environment devoid of gravity." Customers are the Sun in this new system, and brands orbit around, trying to catch the attention of the ruling body. This, according to Constellation Research, is the new Consumerverse.

In fact, the Consumerverse depicted in this report is one of continual destruction and creation, a kind of Business Cycles According to Shiva. The report points to Apple's initial disruption of the mobile phone market through its iOS platform, followed by Google's disruption through its Android platform. "This same pattern," the report said, "will play out repeatedly in the years ahead as digital convergence creatively destroys one market on its way to establishing a new one."

So, when the ground is shifting, how can a company regain its balance? Although the report doesn't use these words, it’s by taking musician David Bowie’s advice: "turn and face the strange." Businesses need to embrace disruption, the report recommends, and plan for disruption becoming the basis for innovation and success. 

Four Recommendations To Embrace Disruption

To do so, the report offers four main recommendations:

  1. Moving from “participating” to “serving with purpose.” Brands cannot simply show up in the online space with content for viewing and sharing, but must provide a service that aligns with what consumers need.
  2. Becoming connected and connectable. Essentially, this means be connected in all the right places (where your customers and potential customers are) or be nowhere.
  3. Realizing that channels are dead. Contrary to virtually every other marketing report, which advises a multi- or omni-channel strategy this report says that "it's time for businesses and marketers in particular to realize that channels are dead in terms of strategy." It doesn’t say what replaces channels, except businesses need to experiment.
  4. Embracing tech sector innovation. Just as technology vendors have been "eating their own cake," so the report advises that other sectors learn how to devour themselves before others do.

The report describes itself as a "snapshot of the key digital transformation trends," drawing on Mary Meeker’s most recent Meeker Report on digital trends. This view of embracing disruption is something we've been hearing regularly from the likes of Forrester and Gartner as well as many other analysts. 

Whether it's Altimeter's view of business disruption or Forrester's take on how to prepare your company to embrace disruption, it's clear that things have changed. The consumer has the power and if you aren't prepared to accept that and change the way you do business, make sure your employees know the path to the unemployment line -- because you won't last long.