Archive for May 2009
For the past 15 years, marketers have lived like kings online. We built ornate palaces in homage to ourselves in the form of websites and microsites. Each acts as a destination that embodies our meticulous choice of aesthetics, content and activities. We still put a lot of time, effort and money into erecting these palaces, much as Louis XIV did in planning Versailles. And, for the most part, we have been rewarded handsomely for our efforts. For years consumers flocked to our sites, reveled in all we had to say, played with our toys and sometimes were motivated enough as a result to buy our stuff. That's what life was like in the good old days. But now we're in the age of online enlightenment.
As our social lives, business, and government become more transparent via the Internet, there are benefits for anyone who wants to create and connect.
The lack of innovation in pop music suggests that we are experiencing an energy crisis in culture at large.
Yesterday we got the results from the Treasury regarding the stress tests. The results were on one hand extraordinarily troubling, i.e. how is it possible that banks still need another $75 billion in funding to withstand future buffeting? On the other hand with this additional capital, the US Treasury deems these institutions financially capable of handling whatever future financial troubles befall them, which provides the confidence we need to grow our economy. The market has responded by bidding these banking stocks up, the NYSE Financial index is up about 10% this week and 87% off its low. While I am encouraged by the strong response of the market to these financials, I told you earlier in the week that I would be revealing the results of my own “brand” stress test.
The more transparent a market, economic theory holds, the healthier it will be. Information asymmetry — where sellers know crucial information that buyers cannot access — pollutes the market. Think toxic assets. The movement toward fuller transparency in the financial markets has a direct parallel in the ecological impacts of consumer goods. Signs suggest a trend toward greater marketplace openness about the environmental and health consequences of products — a trend with strong marketing implications.
As the world goes Kindle and iPhone-mad, paperbacks and mixtapes become worthy of devotion. Llewellyn Hinkes sees his entire music collection disappear and wonders what it meant.
Yesterday, I wrote about how I didn't necessarily understand (or believe) Best Buy's plans to expand significantly its private label technology products business, and its hopes that incorporating customer feedback would let it make simple improvements that the big name brands might miss. I think there's a far bigger, far more radical, and much more likely sustainable opportunity for the company to pursue: Services.
If you think Google, Microsoft and Apple are bad-ass, cutthroat, take-no-prisoner companies, you should meet the nation’s wireless carriers, who have collectively convinced those intensively competitive software giants to cripple their products. Need any more proof that the nation’s four largest wireless carriers - AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile - have too much control over the airwaves, what phones you can use and what applications you can run on them?
It’s one of the most important concepts on the web today—perhaps the most important for social media—but it’s one of the least understood. When James Surowiecki wrote The Wisdom of Crowds in 2004, he explored the stock market and other classic social psychology examples, but “web 2.0” was still nascent. It’s time to connect his ideas to the social web, where they can reach their full potential.
One of the most interesting consequences of the economic downturn is the depth of soul-searching triggered among adults of all ages. Everyone feels guilty about consuming so much with so little thought---buying things we didn't need with money we didn't have. While the recession may not give us much choice in the matter, spending less and saving more--and living within our means--actually feels like the natural course. It's time for grown-ups to grow up. In his Inaugural address, Obama pretty much ordered us to set a new path with a verbal finger wag: "The time has come to set aside childish things."