Archive for May 2009
Best Buy plans to expand significantly its private label technology products business, believing that customer feedback in its stores will let it make simple improvements that the big name brands might miss. Such vertical integration might be torn right from Capitalism 101, but I'm not sure that I buy it.
Firefox doesn't keep track of the number of users it has but Asa Dotzler, Mozilla's director of community development, said today that the company estimates that there are 270 million people using the browser. That's 35% more users than Facebook has signed up for accounts (200 million), and almost triple the number of people Facebook says log in to the social network every day (100 million). Why compare user numbers between a browser and a social network? Because there's every reason to believe that the two technologies are converging in the near term future. Here's why we believe that Firefox should be Facebook's biggest competition.
Last year marked several significant transitions for Seattle-based Starbucks. Howard Schultz returned to the role of chief executive officer, the company shuffled its leadership team, closed stores, introduced new products and shifted its focus from opening new stores to maintaining quality and customer loyalty. Though Starbucks was already in transition before the economic slump worsened, the recession intensified the need for corporate changes. Starbucks is an image company, one in which words matter. In 2009, executives described the coffee giant using a different set of terms than they used in 2007. The word clouds below show us how different.
It’s time to get completely off RSS and switch to Twitter. RSS just doesn’t cut it anymore. The River of News has become the East River of news, which means it’s not worth swimming in if you get my drift.
The way that "cloud computing" is marketed makes me expect a pitch for a deed to a bridge in New Jersey will come next. In a sentence, cloud computing is when data, services, and apps that run on one of your computing devices are available on all of your devices because they run somewhere else. That somewhere is called the cloud because it makes your stuff available everywhere. The problem is that it kinda feels like nowhere, doesn't it?
The rumors are ripe that Apple, Microsoft, Google and News Corp are all sniffing around Twitter – but no one has mentioned the best fit: Amazon. If Amazon doesn’t jump into the arena, someone at Twitter ought to make a call to Jeff Bezos. Neither Amazon nor Twitter should miss the powerful synergies from merging the two companies.
Paper invited 15 of the best visual communicators to redefine our country's image.
By now, virtually everyone has chimed in on how innovation is the only way out of the recession. So instead of adding more theory, let’s have a look at actual B2C innovations from recession-defying entrepreneurs and brands around the world.
Elevator pitches, 30-second spots, viral videos, strategic PR, the brand called "you." Today’s commonly accepted view is that great brands are great at telling us their interesting stories. That’s a misguided view. In reality, we use our interaction with brands—their sceneries, props, set decorations, scripts, and actors—to construct our own stories, ones that we want to tell about ourselves. And since we define ourselves both according to what we identify with and what we reject, and given the abundance of marketplace choice, we now choose interactions which we feel will produce the best story possible. And we reject the others.
March Madness lasts only three weeks, but Metric Madness goes on all year long. What is Metric Madness? It's the notion you can run anything by the numbers, and it's become the hottest concept in business today. One scientist recently predicted that the great discoveries of the future will come from finding patterns in vast archives of data. "The next Jonas Salk will be a mathematician, not a doctor." The marketing community eats this stuff up. Nobody generates more data than they do. Hallelujah! "The Singularity is Near," as Ray Kurzweil wrote in his book of the same name, and marketing people can't wait to join the revolution. I'm not too sure.