Communities of Commerce: Building Internet Business Communities to Accelerate Growth, Minimize Risk, and Increase Customer Loyalty

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9780071361156: Communities of Commerce: Building Internet Business Communities to Accelerate Growth, Minimize Risk, and Increase Customer Loyalty

This work is a guide to leveraging the advantages of building a community of commerce. It highlights case studies involving several different companies, non-profit organizations and industry consortia. In addition to examining a real-life project managed by the authors, this title covers how communities of commerce were formed, prospered, and influenced the success of thier members. The point is made that businesses organized in this way have more power and capitalization value, than stand-alones. Advice is given as to how business leaders can build these types of businesses; how to design, develop and execute a strategy of building communities in commerce.

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Review:

Connect and collaborate--in our Internet age, these two words have taken on a whole new meaning. What they refer to and describe, the essence of community, is the much-discussed and increasingly important subject that authors Stacey Bressler and Charles Grantham explore in Communities of Commerce.

Beginning with a look at the importance of community in our lives, Bressler and Grantham examine what the notion has come to mean. They compare today's exploding pace of change with the revolution in knowledge exchange that stemmed from Gutenberg's invention of the printing press in the mid-15th century. More than simply enabling information to be shared by a greater number of people, the printing press led, ultimately, to a change in how humankind viewed itself. Even more profoundly (and much more rapidly), the Internet has not only expanded our ability to connect with each other, it has entirely transformed our notions of time, space, relationships, and community. Believing the "primary benefit of the Internet is that it gives people the ability to connect and be more closely related to others who share their purpose," the authors illustrate how companies can most effectively relate this benefit to their business models. They discuss the factors that are driving and pulling businesses toward online communities of commerce, as well as the transformation this requires, and provide practical guidance on how to build and sustain effective communities. If organized better, this book could have been shorter and more hard-hitting; however, the authors have done a good job in using interesting (and refreshingly uncommon) case studies to demonstrate the practical importance of an otherwise nebulous concept. --S. Ketchum

From the Back Cover:

Everything you need to know about online business communities and how to profit from them

"If you want a sweeping analysis of what underlies the new economy, read this book. Its prose is accessible; its coverage is sweeping."

­­John Seely Brown, Chief Scientist at Xerox, author of The Social Life of Information

"Bressler and Grandtham got it! Communities of Commerce is a well-written guide to success in the Internet-run new economy...This book is a must read for anyone struggling with shifting from bricks and mortar to a new business model; or for those start-ups who have a great idea but don't know how to make money or build a brand."

­­Blair LaCorte, Senior Vice President, VerticalNet

The Internet is home to countless communities of every stripe. In fact, it would be no exaggeration to say that, if not for the insatiable human need to bond with others who share our interests and goals, there would be no Internet, no World Wide Web, and no e-commerce. So, it isn't any wonder that today's most successful, fastest-growing e-businesses are those that have developed sophisticated strategies for fully exploiting the Internet's unprecedented power to connect people and resources without regard to space and time. Combining timeless principles of community, such as collaboration, involvement, and resource sharing, with powerful new Web marketing, communications, and data warehousing technologies, these "communities of commerce" are much more than simply online shopping malls, as some skeptics claim; they represent a revolutionary new form of business entity supremely well adapted to a volatile, hyper competitive global economy.

In Communities of Commerce, experts Stacey Bressler and Charles Grantham offer us our first detailed look at communities of commerce and how they are transforming the nature of competition both on and off the Internet. They explore the forces that precipitated the emergence of communities of commerce, and explain why businesses that follow the community of commerce business model­­including Cisco, Yahoo!, Amazon.com, iVillage, VerticalNet, Lands End, MarthaStewart.com , and other top e-shops­­succeed so spectacularly where so many online businesses fail. Most importantly, they show you how a well-designed community of commerce strategy can help your company to achieve record growth and profits, while significantly cutting operating costs and minimizing risks.

Drawing on their extensive first-hand experience as well as interviews conducted with managers at several top e-businesses, Bressler and Grantham develop a rigorous community of commerce business model and provide a complete blueprint for designing, developing, assessing, and managing communities of commerce. With the help of numerous case studies that vividly illustrate what works and what doesn't, they describe the range of structural, cultural, and business processes entailed in adapting the community of commerce paradigm, and they provide practical pointers on such key issues as choosing partners for utmost strategic advantage; collaborating to build brands and customer loyalty; integrating product or service development; collaborative supply chain management; and much more.

The first guide to understanding and taking advantage of one of the primary drivers of online business today, Communities of Commerce is must reading for savvy managers who understand that in the years ahead, every business will be an e-business.

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