A decade ago (and before) there was a publication called “Business 2.0.” It wasn’t a bad magazine, but its demise was a certainty when the dot-com bubble burst.

The magazine’s name came from the evolution of the Web. Web 1.0 meant having a website. Web 2.0 meant having an SLA. And because the Web and uptime would revolutionize everything, Business 2.0 meant that nothing we learned from business in the past mattered anymore.

Today we are still using the phrase Web 2.0, and on occasion even business 2.0 (now lower case), but we’ve learned that the past is still relevant. In the interim the meaning of Web 2.0 shifted from SLA to ROI. ROI means generating a quick recoupment for the cost of acquiring a solution. But this rarely means TCO (total cost of ownership), because there usually is no real measure for whether the 2.0 solution truly helped the company, either by making it more efficient of profitable.

So what is business 3.0? It’s not a magazine. It’s brand trench warfare driven by Web 3.0.

Web 3.0 is about being a digital front-end, a portable brand experience. It’s about giving people the ability to interact with mundane and exciting things in their lives whenever and wherever they want. It isn’t about mobile, and it isn’t about social media.

It is about letting the end-user make choices and decisions in real-time. PI (personal intelligence) instead of BI, driven by your brand.

Is txt-banking exciting? How about taking photos of physical checks? NOT EXCITING. But very useful. How about finding your car? Shopping for shoes while riding the bus?  Attending lectures on your mobile phone? Crowd-sourcing? Competitive intelligence? Pattern recognition? Location-based services? Near field communication? Help in medical emergencies? All tailored to the individual.

What is the lesson for marketers?

Web/business 2.0 was about opening individual doors to sell individual solutions—a crowbar approach; effective but crude. Web/Business 3.0 is about creating seismic events in the marketplace, extending the length of the crowbar to unhinge the competition or an entire market.

That’s what your brand has to do. It’s not just about utility. It’s about crushing the competition.

Branding 3.0: position with care and also extreme prejudice! Let the buyer know that you solve a problem so completely that no other solution needs consideration.

As always, communicate benefits, not features.