So what is an Awake Network? Or to be precise, an Awake Media Market Network?
An Awake Media Market Network is a new type of network, one that lives atop the existing Internet. An Awake Network then is a representation of an economy or an industry, and contains the various market participants that compose the market network.
By putting them into a single connected platform, one is able to create a community-powered media-driven network market which can span hyperlocal sellers across the globe.
The Internet is a good vector for such Awake Networks to drive themselves, because other networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter and Tik Tok already have massive distribution, and any member of these networks can drive tremendous value for themselves and their networks (or followers).
The Internet is also a good vector because everyone is already there! And again, by the Internet, we really mean the large Internet platforms that constitute the modern Internet as we know it.
Why rebuild networks when they already exist?
Awake software SaaS makes it drop dead simple to create a new type of company.
A company that comprises the market, the exchange of all participants, be they retailers, brands, makers, distributors, ambassadors, marketers, media agencies, new media organizations, customers, influencers, or anyone in between.
And it does so using digital media as the vector.
Using the social media networks as a way to make the knowledge and content available to all persons of interest, promising only one thing: more cashflow via a share of sales revenue that flows through the network.
In other words, the media informs people of all networks, that here is a new network where jobs are aplenty, where there is money to be made, because the sharing economy is real in this network, it is the natural market where everyone connects to exchange news and ideas and, indeed, to trade.
Awake Networks are natural networks, powereing natural commerce, or social commerce around the Internet, just snapping on top of existing social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn and Tik Tok and Twitter and every other audience-driven media-powered network.
Secret Formula for Awake Networks
Launching an Awake Network requires only two things. The first is Shoptype, which you can get for free by signing up. The second is a digital media platform such as WordPress or Quintype or Webflow or Strapi.
What else do you need? Read on!
You need to decide what vertical you are going to play in, what market network you will string together across the existing Internet?
Let’s take for instance, the wine/spirits industry, from our portfolio company Spiritful. Here’s the typical value flow as goods and services move from the maker to the consumer:
So once you have understood and traced the flow of value from the beginning to the end, which in this case is the consumer to the maker, we begin the process of assembling the dominoes.
These are the inevitable dominoes that fall when a community of people come together … we’re relying on the human inevitability of exchange and trade.
We begin the process of Creation, a word that is part of the Awake C-Suite, with Community building. It is always about the community, as every leader in the world has discovered over and over again, be it political or business.
In this case, the community consists of various market participants that include the best wine/spirits brands, the top retailers around the world, both online and especially offline, the best bars and restaurants known for wine/spirits, various news/media properties in the space both digital and print, as well as the people themselves – the wine makers, the distillers, the brands, the makers, the sellers, and everyone in between … this is the Spiritful community.
And in today’s day and age, this community is offline but also online, even drinking is an acceptable activity on a variety of zoom calls around the world 😉
If a tree fell in a forest, and no one was there to hear it, did it fall? If you don’t have content to describe your amazing products and services, then do you have anything worth describing?
So the job is to assemble content, aka digital media, and lots of it, depending on the exact nature of the market network you’re wanting to assemble.
In the case of Spiritful, it is the community platform for all the stories across the whole spectrum of actors in the market network – the brands and the makers – and patrons will be able to have direct access to these people, via the unique, experience-first environment, that may start online but may well end inside a retail store or in a bar.
The content also comes from media partners, top magazines and critics, from influencers and bloggers, and from customers all over the world. The job is to grow the network via the stories and the people behind the stories!
And now the bit that everyone’s waiting for! The good stuff, the juice of the party!
The products and services themselves must be brought on to the network, because now you have all these people, what are you going to do when they get thirsty? They are going to be consuming all this content about amazing drinks and brands and great experiences around where they live and where they might travel, won’t it be nice to just give them what they want right where they are? 1-click?
What if we could deliver the best experiences, however the customer wanted it, wherever they wanted it? And what if the community came together to make that happen, automatically splitting orders and services amongst the network, based on who was able to do what at what price.
This digital commerce fabric makes it possible for natural transactions to occur organically, as natural conversations lead to activity and exchange.
In the case of Spiritful, this includes the top wine/spirits brands from around the world. It also includes the best merchandise and lifestyle products, digital experiences as well as physical experiences such as tastings, dinners and other events, and also memberships to exclusive clubs around the world.
In the case of Spiritful, the starting countries will (one by one) include USA, UK, India, Australia, South Korea, South Africa, Nigeria, and others quickly adding themselves to the list via entrepreneurs who want to launch their own mini-Spiritful networks around the world.
But you would need to decide your geography of operations. Is it local? National? International from day one? Maybe that is not such a crazy idea in these times, no?
The next thing you must understand about your Awake Network is the types of jobs it will create.
This is a natural property of bringing together the complete network of any market on to a single platform, it creates value-addition touch-points where people can plug themselves in, and help translate products/services from one point in the supply chain to the next, all the way to the consumer.
Because Awake Networks are designed as demand-side networks, these generate sales/orders … starting the process of value co-creation as the demand is fulfilled by various providers across the experience delivery and supply lines.
This essentially makes Awake Networks nothing but job networks or guilds, where people can join as apprentices and through sheer experienceo of working in the community with others, make their way up to as high a spot as they want, in their local, national, or international networks.
Suddently, jobs and entrepreneurship blend into a powerful force, driving value for every node in the Awake Network. The simplest manifestation of this being the Awake Coseller Program, allowing anyone to just plug into the media end of these networks, and make money by adding their valuable knowledge and expertise into the network.
Each Awake Network often benefits from including a youth-exchange component for young adults to get internships and apprenticeships, be these with makers, brands, distributors, or indeed as influencers, ambassadors, and promotors.
The Jobs and Youth Exchange components drive a lot of value not just for the Awake Network in question, but also for the neighborhoods and communities where they operate.
And the goal, of course, is that these young minds will themselves launch Awake Networks, creating even more jobs and sharing the experience based knowledge with everyone in their networks.
In the case of Spiritful, they are working with several top colleges in hospitality, wine/spirits making, the business of wine/spirits, and so on, from around the world. These initial colleges and universities will show the world how to plug students into real jobs in all economies.
Another C-word from the Awake Suite serves the market network well – Competition, friendly as it is. Awake Market Networks are easily able to slice and dice various velocity parameters across their reach. For instance, it is easy to show the top Cosellers by various categories, by wine regions, by cities, by spirits, by aging, by any category at all!
That these leaderboards are also direct measure of economic success makes them all the more interesting to business-minded members of the network, encouraging more competitive value co-creation across the community.
And finally, once all this has been assembled, packaging it all up in a nice design doesn’t hurt! It also helps to create a nice little How To guide, showing members how to get the maximum value for themselves, whether they came to read about cocktails, or to find retailers to sell their latest whisky.
And given the importance of media, perhaps even a whole How To section, with regular articles, cases studies, and success stories, from the community itself.
This is true value co-creation, by and for the community.
In order to run a successful business, you must know what metrics you will use to determine your progress or failure. These metrics, or KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are designed into Business Dashboards, that allow executive oversight with a single, real-time glance.
These KPIs span media engagement as well as commerce, and are designed to quickly show actionable ways to increase overall throughput of the network, aka the market economy of the said industry.
Once set up, driving an Awake Network is like flying a spaceship – mostly on autopilot. 🚀