Twenty years ago I made a $20,000 investment in video equipment to cover The Miss America Pageant for the state of Delaware.  Today, I could buy better equipment that shoots higher quality video for about $1000.  Independent documentary films are being shot on iPhones.  Digital magazines are being published from home offices.  Web TV shows are being produced by high school students that get traction and gain audiences.

Most barriers to entry have been removed and it is now within the realm of the average consumer to compete with big brands on many of these frontiers.

So, the newest game in the arena is consumer products.

According to an article in Fast Company today, “When it was announced that Amazon would begin selling 3D printers and supplies last summer, the industry heralded it as a defining moment, a clear indication that 3D printing was going mainstream,” Hauer noted in a press release announcing the pilot. “We think the decision to sell 3D printed products sends an even bigger message. Consumer products are the next frontier.” Credits: Amazon’s First 3-D Printed Products Marketplace Is Now Open For Business

The takeaway is we are living in an ever changing world where consumers are more empowered and in control everyday.  And they are becoming very comfortable having control.  This is so important for brands to understand.

In working with attorneys one of the things that I have noticed in the reputation space is how often clients comment on their reviews that they appreciate being treated with respect.  Your next client may be a publisher, a filmmaker or the bedroom manufacturer of a unique product that they are trying to position in the marketplace.  Just don’t forget that today’s consumer/client is becoming increasingly sophisticated and wants to be treated that way.  This knowledge is likely to transform the way you market to them.