Chelsea's Blog

We are living in a world that is becoming so advanced that there is no longer a distinction between producers and consumers.  Instead a new breed of tech-savvy and intellectually advanced consumer is developing and it is called the “prosumer.” I was introduced to this term when investigating Nike’s new tactic called “Nike ID” which was established to integrate technology with personal customization in order to create a unique product and enhance the overall customer experience.

Prosumer is the new role that many of customers choose to become.  Prosumers no longer settle for the original product – they assist in producing the product, as well as consuming it.  People want an individual and unique product.  It is assumed that there can be some type of customization to almost any consumable product.  The market is no longer passive.  Many companies are introducing a type of service that the active prosumer can participate in.  As witnessed with Nike ID and Sony’s Prosumer Camcorder there are no end to the possibilities that could be created with the aid of an active prosumer.

The prosumer market is ever growing and marketing strategies must be adapted.  Sure the idea of a prosumer could be a great thing for a company to interact with its consumers; however, there are possible complications that could arise when facing this new segment.  Prosumer devices such as the Apple iPhone, Samsung Instinct, and Blackberry models are blurring the line between business and personal life – with many employees bringing them into the professional environment.  This is a direct threat to the security of certain businesses as highlighted in the article by Colin Gibbs entitled “Prosumer devices add to security concerns” that was published in RCR Wireless News.

Another concern is the intimidating task of managing the prosumer especially in terms of their safety and security as well as other peoples’ security.  An article entitled “Managing ‘Prosumers‘” by Matt Hamblen was published in ComputerWorld.

The term prosumer is extremely interesting to me.  It is definitely the biggest trend to keep in mind as far as marketing implications go.  The entire interaction of producer and consumer is fascinating and has motivated me to further research the idea.  If the whole prosumer explanation is still unclear take a look at this video below by David Casaleggio   which features the revolutionary ideas brought upon by the prosumer movement.  It is very interesting and will leave a lasting effect on anyone who watches it.

When I was younger I would register with websites such as Disney.com and Barbie.com both of which are directed at youth 13 years and younger.  I would hear about these websites at school and instantly want access.  In order to log in I needed to register.  I handed over whatever information they asked of me in order to gain access to the coolest trend. Soon enough I was playing various games online.  Never did I think about the privacy of my information online, nor did I really care.  That is until one day my parents checked the “recently viewed websites” in the web browser and began asking questions about what I was doing online.  They brought up the privacy issue trying to explain to me that these websites use all the information I have entered against me.  “They can’t do that” I told them – but in reality I didn’t know the first thing about online privacy.

Permission marketing and the use of cookies are both causes for concern in the online world.  What are these websites using our information for? Is it really used only for the stated purposes?  There are privacy policies stated, but how do we really know if the websites follow the rules?

It is crucial that web users begin to educate themselves on the subject of online privacy, before they are taken advantage of.  No one really seems to take the time to review the terms and conditions of a website – they just click through in order to gain immediate access.

Disney’s privacy policy states what type of personal information it collects like: gender, age, and email address. What surprised me is the fact that the entire Walt Disney family of companies gets access to the information – not just Disney (users can opt out).  Also in some cases they hand the information over to third parties for promotional purposes.  Disney has a special Kids Privacy Policy.  Barbie’s privacy policy states that information is not required to access the general site; however, for access to special, enhanced content – registration is required. What a surprise! This policy states that children’s personal information is deleted once the purpose of collection is completed.

It is crucial that parents take the time to investigate the sites their children are using.  In this day and age you cannot just assume that your information will be safe online, because websites can manipulate their words to gain your “permission.”  Take a look at this program aired by PBS Frontline entitled “Growing Up Online” that explains how the internet influences how children grow up – the page also has tips on how to keep your children safe online.

Just wanted to test this out before posting my first blog!


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