Some say Goldman Sachs has a brand problem. And the media pile-on includes the FT, New York Magazine, the New York Times and Rolling Stone with its oft repeated and colorful judgment of the company as a “giant vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.” But I say, Mr. Lloyd Blankfein, light up a cigar and stick to your arrogant guns. I don’t think you have a brand problem. I think you have a brand which is working very, very well. To the chagrin of many others.
Courting millennials is something of an obsession among media types. With brands chasing the digital trendsetters born between 1980 and 2000, marketing campaigns seem increasingly driven by Twitter hashtags, Facebook follows and all manner of social media buzzwords. This could be a huge mistake.
This week, Apple unveiled the first large-scale integration of iBeacon, a technology that, when coupled with their fingerprint identification system, may be another building block in building a revolutionary new payment system.
Marketers and agencies are rushing to pledge money and supplies to victims of the devastating Haiyan typhoon in the Philippines, often working through relief organizations like the Red Cross and UNICEF.
What do billionaires have in common? What is it that they do better than anyone else? Why do we admire them, or their companies' products and services, so much?
Facebook is laying claim to a fast-growing share of mobile ad dollars, but Google still brings in more than half the money spent on mobile advertising -- including both search and display -- worldwide.
The only thing universal about credit-card swipe infographics is that they’re unclear. Designers address the everyday misdirection.
When you swipe your debit card at the grocery store, no one walks into a bank vault looking for a box with your name on it.
America's largest media and entertainment companies are richer than ever. But their profits overwhelmingly rely on an anxious business model.
Ask a CEO if they want to spend a pile of money on an analysis of their company's story, and they'll probably throw you out of their office. But if you tell them that you have a powerful insight that can help them raise the prices on all of their products, they might ask you over to their house for dinner.
While marketers strategize heavily around how to help consumers decide what to buy, how much time do they spend thinking about how they will pay? This area of innovation is where mobile payment companies want to play, especially in markets where such technology is less than ubiquitous.
Who cares if products are “Made in America”? Fewer people than you might suspect.
They say email can't replace face-to-face communication. Tell that to the rich, though.
The rich may have more money than the rest of us, but if you think they're all alike, you would be wrong.
How many times have you been in a meeting and someone says to you, “That’s a great idea, you should take the initiative and make it a reality.” What typically happens?
Why can the U.S. government borrow at some of the lowest interest rates ever, while Spain can only borrow at exorbitant rates that threaten to drive it into bankruptcy? The difference isn't their debt and deficits. In 2011, U.S. debt was 98% of GDP, its deficit 10% of GDP; Spanish debt was 69% of GDP, its deficit 8.5% of GDP. The difference is that the United States has its own money, the dollar, while Spain operates on foreign money, the euro.
When I was a struggling freelancer, I hated to spend money. I hired myself to do everything possible, because money I spent was money I didn’t get to keep. When I was hiring researchers to find great leads for my first internet company, I loved to spend money. Every penny we spent made us four pennies, so I spent as many pennies as I possibly could. And there’s the key distinction between two approaches to money.
The banking industry is missing out on a huge opportunity to transform itself from a transactional model to an engagement model. Banks make money on our deposits, our transactions and lending us money. The economic models for banks are old and subsequently there is little differential from one bank to another. The customer experience is largely the same and yet bank after bank uses the tag line “relationship banking.” Bank relations do matter just like any organization selling products and services. But the intent of relations is changing and so must the banking industry. Think about the image we have of banks: a brick building we rarely go into with people behind a counter and the manager sitting in an office with plush furniture. What do these people do? Nothing more than manage transactions and the more they manage the more they make.
Motivating collective creativity among a group of loosely connected individuals with a shared interest requires more than just an offer of prize money. Brands can harness social and personal desires to inspire crowds to come together for collaborative endeavors.
It's Apple's fault I hate receipts. A few years ago, I grabbed some computer accessory off an Apple Store shelf and brought it to the cashier. I pulled out my paper-stuffed Costanza wallet and gave the cashier my card. Then he asked an unexpected question: "Do you want us to e-mail you your receipt?" I said yes and thus, unwittingly, began a crusade against the paper receipt—a slip too analog, too temporary, and too wasteful to be anything but superfluous. It is a relic of another age, when record-stuffed filing cabinets lingered in musty basements; when patriarchs sat down with a checkbook on Sunday afternoons while the football game was on; and when we expected to search for things for hours, not seconds. Apple had recognized and made explicit an anachronism of our times. We no longer need a piece of paper to tell us what we bought, just the information that's trapped inside it.
The liberating thing about value as money is that it's "colorless." It carries no meaning. When value is "at rest," it is culture free, non denominational, undeclared, so to speak. It will become cultureful when used to buy a Hummer or a Prius. But for the moment it is value that is value free. All value is the same. (Until it isn't.)
Facebook and Twitter have helped make social networking a household word. Now they need to make money. Efforts to monetize the popular Internet services are increasingly a priority within the two companies.
Newspapers have a future, both in print and online. They just have to find the money to get there. That’s the conclusion of a PricewaterhouseCoopers report, “Moving into Multiple Business Models: Outlook for Newspaper Publishing in the Digital Age,” which the consulting firm released Monday.
A few months ago, a friend sent me an otter. It was a birthday gift, and it arrived via Facebook: a tiny digital representation labeled “Lonely Otter.” The person who sent it to me is someone I’ve never met or spoken to, a friend only in the Facebook sense of the term. The otter cost her a dollar. The dollar was filtered through the popular social network’s “gift points” setup, but ultimately it wasn’t a representation, the way the Lonely Otter is. It was an actual dollar.
In the three years since its launch, the messaging service Twitter has attracted millions of users, but its fast growth hasn't translated into significant revenue. Now, other companies are trying to profit from Twitter's popularity by experimenting with business models that incorporate parts of the free messaging service.
The failed bankers on Wall Street have been whining that if they have to cut bonuses and salaries dramatically, they'll be unable to recruit great talent, and they need great talent to fix the situation. And for years, boards have been claiming that they need to pay CEOs $50,000,000 salaries in order to recruit the very best for their companies. Jamie Dimon at Chase said, "It's possible someone's going to walk in my office and say, Jamie, I have a family. I can't afford to live that way." This, of course, is nonsense.
At the moment, we are good at making meaning (Facebook) and good at making money (Amazon), but we are not good at doing both.