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Published on May 12th, 2010 | by Saurabh Pandey


To Lock-in or to Set Free? How the New Age Consumers are Evaluating Products and Service?

Many marketers think and focus on how to lock-in their customers- by creating a unique platform, or an ecosystem of apps that can run only on a specific platform , complex loyalty programs or just naturally by a tough exit option. One of the reasons why you will be apprehensive to leave facebook and try a new social network is that if you exit you also leave your network behind!

In offline world- one of the reasons why despite being free-not many people opt for credit cards these days- because exit is complex, insurance policies-again exit is tough.

One of the reasons why ‘word’ and ‘excel’ became ubiquitous was their ability to get integrated with ‘lotus’ or ‘wordstar’, then the leaders,  (in terms of capabilities of using same commands and importability) as also the ability to function on various platforms. ‘Wordstar’ and ‘Lotus’ kind of tried to lock-in their users, which is perhaps why they lost the game.

It seems that now allowing people the freedom to exit or taking the application to any platform will be of paramount importance towards winning the game.

The new age consumer will soon evaluate a product or service also on it’s ability to allow no-hassle exit or portability.

Is facebook thinking on these lines? Should we be surprised to hear that facebook will allow you to take your friends and conversations to any social network?

I can remember an old adage- if you love someone set him/her free!

What do you think?

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