At Issue } essential reading
This is a story about two roads — Should and Must. It’s a pep talk for anyone who’s chosen Should far too long — months, years, maybe a lifetime, and feels like it’s about time they give Must a shot.
Facebook has rolled out a design update, and, if the comments in my News Feed are anything to go by, it’s the end of the world. The new layout is awful. The fonts are atrocious. We want the old look back. In short, we’ve reacted the way we react to every Facebook design update. We are nothing if not entirely predictable. Most of us, however, have no idea of the imperatives and constraints facing Facebook’s design team.
Sometime at the start of the decade, YouTube was abuzz with viral videos of small children — yet to speak, read or write — “pinching” magazine articles with their fingers as they would an iPad. These children were heralded as members of a new generation of “digital natives”: People who grew up surrounded by computers, shaped by always-on technology and the Internet. Today we are witnessing a new revolution, this time of “data natives” who expect their world to be “smart” and seamlessly adapt to them and their taste and habits.
It was the tweet heard around the world, but was it worth $1 billion? That was the value Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy put on the star-studded Oscar smartphone "selfie" during an interview in Cannes earlier this week. He also immodestly took credit for it, which is a stretch because while Publicis buying arm Starcom Mediavest did broker Samsung's sponsorship of the Oscars, the tweet itself was spontaneous, according to two sources with knowledge of Samsung's marketing.
When was the last time you talked about your favorite cracker on Twitter? It’s a dry subject and the marketing team responsible for promoting Nabisco’s new Belvita brand crackers knew that their key selling point, “Nutritious sustained energy all morning,” wasn’t going to light the social web on fire without a little help. Instead of following their traditional strategy of minting coupons or, God forbid, coming up with a strategy involving QR codes, Belvita decided to embrace 3-D printing in a crassly commercial, and wildly successful, ad campaign.
It is easy to say “we are customer focused” and overlook subtle changes in consumer demand, or to justify cost cutting as a rational business maneuver in a tough market environment. But if these measures don’t accomplish your strategic vision or sync with the reality of your customer, there is little hope for leading the market.
As your role grows in scale and influence, so too must your ability to listen. But listening is one of the toughest skills to master — and requires uncovering deeper barriers within oneself.
Researchers have developed a "wearable thermo-element" that can generate electricity from one's own body temperature when worn.
CMOs From E-Trade, Nationwide, Chobani Offer Best Practices
Walmart is the most valuable retail brand in North America, with a brand value estimated at $131.8 billion, according to Interbrand's "Best Retail Brands" report. The retail powerhouse maintains its number one spot and, even with a 6% decline in brand value, it retains an enormous margin over its closest competitor Target, whose brand value is put at $27.1 billion, an 8% increase over 2013. Rounding out the top five most valuable North American brands are The Home Depot ($25 billion), Amazon ($23 billion) and CVS/pharmacy (nearing $18 billion).