Prosumers: How Internet Users make Businesses Better

As our society becomes more and more engaged with social media and online communication, the role of the average citizen has changed. Indeed, people who have the means of receiving information from the blogosphere also have the ability to send it, and thousands of people do so every day. These people are changing the world.
While there are many types of people who submit information to the internet, there is one type that we will be looking at today: prosumers. In an article written for Forbes in 2010, Susan Genulius writes this of prosumers: “The term ‘prosumer’ has transformed from meaning ‘professional consumer’ to meaning ‘product and brand advocate.’” Simply put, any time someone writes a review about a product (digital camera, video game console, etc) they are sending a message about those products.
Whether these prosumers mean to send this message or not, Genulius believes that they are the voice of this new generation and that businesses need to cultivate relationships with them if they are to get ahead. When it comes to purchasing a product, who do you trust? A PR representative from the company that makes the product, who is paid to say positive things about it? Or an average citizen such as yourself who would use the product for the same things you would?
Genulius believes that the latter source is the more powerful one, and that businesses need to take advantage of this relationship by fostering a relationship with them and that “to get them talking about and advocating you, your brand, products and business is to deliver content that adds value to their experiences with your brand online.” An example of such a relationship is shown in the below video where popular YouTube star Andre “Black Nerd” Meadows is sent the Comic Con exclusive Power Rangers toys in an effort to attract his fans to Comic Con so they can purchase them.


In summary, people participate as prosumers by simply talking about products and services online and generating interest. This affects businesses as it creates a need for them to create a symbiotic relationship with these users to stay ahead of their competitors. By doing so, businesses can become closer with their customers and serve them on a greater level than ever before.

References:
The Shift from CONsumers to PROsumers by Susan Genulius, July 3, 2010 http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2010/07/03/the-shift-from-consumers-to-prosumers/#c81ad41543fb
POWER RANGERS COMIC-CON 2016 Exclusive Toys Unboxing by Andre “Black Nerd”, July 20, 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLcOOYYDMBg

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One thought on “Prosumers: How Internet Users make Businesses Better

  1. The video shows Andre “Black Nerd”, a Youtuber, doing a product review. He’s not the only one being an active prosumer. There are others on YouTube, on blogs, on webcomics, and so on. Prosumers will usually have a larger audience, which is one of the things that makes them so effective. This is a form of word of mouth advertising, except it’s online, and to a larger audience. I trust word of mouth advertising over traditional advertising nearly every single time. There are a few review webcomics that I turn to for products because they will give a polite but completely accurate review.
    Overall prosumers brings some credibility to the business because most of them are talking about their products in both good and bad light. The best prosumers are the ones that are able to be objective, and still gracious.

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