Transition to a post-industrial society
Market saturation, new demographics, increase in value density and growth of the service sectorHistorically, intelligent handling of scarcity and shortages was considered one of the key challenges in successfully managing questions of economic interest. Of particular importance was the optimization of scarce capital, scarce labor and scarce natural resources. However, since the middle of the twentieth century, this has no longer represented the key to success in an expanding global economy. Today, success is defined by the ability to establish a unique position. This must be achieved in spite of a world where excess supply and overcapacity in stagnant commodity markets are the norm, and where identical products compete for consumers' purchasing power and too many sources of information are vying to be heard.
The key reasons for this fundamental shift can be found in the transition of economically mature countries from an industrial to a post-industrial society with new demographics, and new material and service technologies:
- Population levels are stagnating. And where they are not stagnating, growth in based on immigration and thus on development towards multi-cultural and correspondingly heterogeneous societies.
- People's average age is increasing. Households are becoming smaller and more mobile.
- More and more money is being spent on "non-material" needs such as communication, entertainment, health, and many other types of services. In relation, less purchasing power is needed to satisfy material needs like food and drink, clothing, equipping the home with "tangible goods" and the construction of houses or apartments.
- Even in areas in which material products that trigger flows of goods are needed, new materials and technologies are leading to smaller, lighter-weight production (miniaturization) enriched with more service and increased value density.