If Blockbuster:Netflix, Then Utility:Dandelion—Have We Reached a Disruption Tipping Point?

Posted by Ashley Nicholls on July 21, 2017 at 9:30 AM

Blockbuster went bankrupt in 2010, brought down in part by a business they didn’t even consider a competitor but rather a "very small, niche business." That "small" and "niche" business took less than ten years to disrupt Blockbuster's business model, shift consumer expectations, and eliminate the need for physical infrastructure. And now, that little company, Netflix, is worth an estimated $70B.

Aging business models, ever-shifting consumer expectations, reliant on physical infrastructure...sound familiar to anyone?  

Well, have you heard of Dandelion? Theyre just a very small, niche business....that got its start at Googles Alphabet...

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And they’re making it stupid easy to do business with them:

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Dandelion is at its core (pun intended): renewable energy, that’s easy to install, all but guarantees immediate savings, and features a simple user-focused billing strategy. Oh, and unlike solar, it doesn't need to be connected to any existing natural gas infrastructure. Bye, bye delivery charges. 

So what to do? How to evolve in a regulated environment? 

Well first, don't think a "small, niche company" isn't going to grow, or turn your world upside down. Let's return to Blockbuster for just a moment. In 2004, when Blockbuster had a network of 9,000 stores and over 80,000 employees they didn't believe they needed to innovate, but more importantly they didn't believe they needed to earn their business through a positive customer experience: 16% of their revenue was late fees. A frustrating customer experience was a core revenue strategy. No wonder they failed. 

But your organization doesn't need to fail, and no one wants it to, including your customers. People tend to leave a brand or a service company when they aren't happy. And customer satisfaction, ease of doing business, and general customer goodwill is something every organization can focus more on. We certainly know Dandelion, not to mention Solar City, Drift, and the like certainly are. 

So enjoy your weekend, but on Monday schedule a conversation about improving your customer experience with a colleague, or a partner, or with KSV. 


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Topics: Customer-Centric Marketing, Utility Communications, Data and Analytics, Digital Transformation and User Experience, Innovation, Marketing Strategy and Best Practices, Audience Segmentation