Nine years ago the iPhone entered the marketplace and was the rocket fuel in the shift that has been defined as the product to platform experience. Before the iPhone, audio players, camera and cell phones were separate items, purchased individually. As stand alone products they faced market commoditization, bundled into a smart phone they became features, not products, on the entire smart phone experience. The smart phone became the platform. In this platform, apps were developed to allow the device to provide additional value to the user.
This shift from product to platform has evolved the way the consumer experiences the world around them, allowing them to demand customized products, delivered on-demand.
For credit unions, the platform is the member experience, not the product. For example, the member is excited about the auto experience. This experience involves the features and benefits of the car itself, but also the community of car owners who share their experiences how to solve the car problems, as well as the ownership aspects of the car experience. This includes the maintenance, - oil changes, repairs, finding the cheapest gas etc. And of course there is the financing of the car. To summarize, it's 3 components 1. The vehicle, 2. Ownership, 3. Financing.
In the product to platform shift, the platform is the auto experience and the features are the vehicle, ownership and financing. For the credit union to leverage this shift they can create an auto experience that incorporates the components. This not only increases the member engagement, but also provides additional value to the member as well as allowing the credit union to gain valuable insights on its members. As the credit union shifts, it will be able to understand deeply what member likes and dislikes about the auto, how it solves their problems or creates new ones. Most importantly, this insight will be valuable to the credit union to create new products and services that increase their relevance. A conduit of this shift is addressed in the recent blog, If an auto loan were a fitness app. Click here to read more.