Trendwatching.com has an interesting briefing on what they’re calling Generation C(ash), a new phase in the life of Generation C(ontent). The first wave saw an increasing number of consumers taking on creative roles in their interaction with brands and services — posting photos and videos, remixing media, blogging product reviews, even rewriting software. The next phase seems to involve actual compensation for this work — in cash or credits. In essense, the creative consumer is slowly expecting to get paid for their input. Says Trendwatching:
If consumers produce the content, if they are the content, and that content brings in money for aggregating brands, then revenue and profit-sharing is going to be one of 2007’s main themes in the online space. It’s not like brands will have a choice: talented consumers are going to be too sought after to remain satisfied with thank you notes. Get ready for an avalanche of revenue sharing deals, reward schemes and sumptuous gifts aimed at luring creative consumers.
The briefing offers several examples, and suggests that this trend will not be only on-line.
GENERATION C(ASH) isn’t only about content. It’s not exclusively about the online space, either. It even surpasses the over-arching theme of consumers becoming more creative and participative. This trend is about consumers expecting … to be rewarded for their input and their output. Which is a totally different world from the one many brands still inhabit.
Not great news for nonprofit enterprises that hoped to ride the wave of Generation C(ontent). But certainly a call to understand the true value customers gain from participating in your work, and to emphasize the values that are beyond economics.