Ecosystem Taxonomy: How to Classify Ecosystems

The word ecosystem is used in so many ways that getting a common definition is now almost impossible.

The ecology of business can be considered to be the business ecosystem: companies, competitors, customers, suppliers, and support organizations.

We employ ecosystem strategy in the following areas  – defined by the various type of ecosystem we are trying to explore:

Company Ecosystems
The ecosystem map(s) of your company showing the relative status versus industry leaders and relationships to other participants. You can build a firewall to protect your business from the competition.

Competitor Ecosystems
The ecosystem map(s) of your competitors and their partners.  The ecosystem maps of a specific industry show the relative rankings of the industry leaders and their relationships to one another and their value-chain participants. We can identify weakness and strengths in the strategies of these competitors.

Customer Ecosystems
The ecosystems of your customers and prospects, segmented by the job-to-be-done. This is a critical component for ecosystem strategy. By understanding the ecosystem of the particular job-to-be -done, you’ll be in a better position to deliver value.

Innovation Ecosystems
A way to look at the edge of your industry to keep track of the innovators and disruptors.  Also a great way to identify latent needs of customers using the jobs-to-be-done lens.

Zeitgeist Ecosystems
Ecosystems which reflect the cultural climate, they serve an important function:  understanding the  relationships and key motivators in communities of like-minded or purpose-driven  participants.  Includes social media.

Brand Ecosystems
The ecosystem map(s) of a specific brand and its online positioning against its competitors. We measure the daily ups and downs in brand vitality and plot trends over time.

Advertising Ecosystems
The ecosystem map(s) of the marketspace most related to a specific advertising campaign. A good ecosystem map will help you identify the optimal points of entry for a campaign based on relevance, reach, and effectiveness. This will stop wasting your advertising spend because now you can see which sites are true hubs and stop spending money on sites which don’t perform.

Process Ecosystems
The ecosystem map(s) of a value-chain in your industry – either yours or your competitors. We can reveal the nature of competition in product design networks, supply chains, and distribution networks.

Category Ecosystems
The ecosystem map(s) of idea generators, collaborators, and practitioners in a given topic or theme. These include companies, organizations, collaboratives, and often individuals: the thought-leaders.

News & Media Ecosystems
The ecosystem map(s) of how news and ideas are disseminated in specific areas – from sports to politics to business. The buzz in your industry or topic.

Platforms + IoT Ecosystems
Proprietary, open or closed ecosystems that engage participants in value exchanges. IoT ecosystems include AI sensing and monitoring ecosystems that may involve robotic agents and devices.

Tribal + Demographic Ecosystems
The ecosystem map(s) for your targeted consumer demographics, from the boomers to kids, from tech-nerds to bankers, and most importantly, the women’s marketspace.

Product/Service Ecosystems
The ecosystem map(s) for your new product. You may spot critical weaknesses in your strategy before you burn your “launch-money.”

Political Ecosystems
The ecosystem map(s) of our political machinery – Democrats, Republicans, and special interest groups. Includes blogs and social media: key political memes, issues, and viral topics.

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