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Archive for May 2009

At Issue } essential reading

Best Buy In The House Pt. 1

Jonathan Salem Baskin
May 7, 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 Could Be the Real Facebook Challenger

Marshall Kirkpatrick
May 7, 2009

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.

Starbucks' Shift Reflected in Words

Andrea James
May 7, 2009

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.

Rest in Peace, RSS

Steve Gillmor
May 6, 2009

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 Cloud Shall Part

Jonathan Salem Baskin
May 6, 2009

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?

Forget Apple, Amazon Should Buy Twitter. Why Not?

Brian Lawe
May 6, 2009

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.

Rebranding America

Kim Hastreiter
May 6, 2009

Paper invited 15 of the best visual communicators to redefine our country's image.

Innovation Jubilation

May 2009 Trend Briefing
May 5, 2009

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.

Great Brands: Storytellers or Story Enhancers?

Tom Asacker
May 5, 2009

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.

Metric Madness: The Answer to Mathematical Failure Seems to Be More Math

Al Ries
May 5, 2009

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.

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