After participating in a Digital Brand Think Tank in Munich a couple of weeks ago (a lively discussion with 20 marketing executives from Audi, BMW, Google, Continental, and other top-tier brands), I must admit that I’m a bit tired of having to evangelize (or even justify) the value of brands using social media. It is astonishing to me that companies still ask for evidence when the tweet is on the wall. The event showed that there is a new Digital Divide that cuts straight through the ranks of the marketing industry--some executives get the Social Web, some don’t. … Read more
One of the main themes at TEDGlobal this year was a lively debate between optimistic and pessimistic voices on the social potential (or doom) of the web. This outlook was somewhat more somber than I expected at a TED conference, perhaps – as some attendees suspected – due to the cultural differences between Long Beach and Oxford. There was definitely a palpable sense of enlightened skepticism at the conference, a distinctly European tone that serves as welcome counterweight to the Californian brand of optimism that TED is often associated with (just read this amusingly British commentary in the Times of London).
One … Read more
Never let a crisis go to waste! Inspired by the transformative impetus of the economic downturn, we’ll soon be starting our series about “Meaning-Driven Business” that invites leading business thinkers as well as C-level executives to discuss alternative ways of doing business and creating value. The series is based on the assumption that the current crisis is also a moral crisis, a fundamental crisis of trust in business leadership. According to the Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index from April 8, trust in business has reached unprecedented lows, with only 10% of Americans now saying they trust large … Read more
The demarcation line here runs between pioneer and early … Read more
A Fine Line offers a step-by-step overview of the innovation process -- from targeting goals to shepherding new products and services … Read more
Several blog posts this week, combined, pinpoint what are arguably the two most influential trajectories for the impact of communication technologies on business these days: from real-time web to real-time business, and from social media to social business design.
Let’s start with the former. Referring to Salesforce.com founder and CEO Marc Benioff and his presentation at the Structure 09 conference in San Francisco last week, DigitalBeat claims that the real-time web is not only shaping the future of all computing but also that of business overall: “In business it’s real-time or it’s no time.” It goes … Read more
The $10 billion market for baby and young children’s furnishings (cribs, other case goods, layette, nursery decor, and the like) and accessories (car seats, strollers, baby monitors, diaper bags, etc.) is a lucrative market, and the baby stroller is one of its most competitive sectors. Hundreds of models vie for the attention of parents-to-be, and the level of detailed research, due diligence, and individual preferences may come close to the decision making process by an airline for the purchase of a Boeing 787. There are only few things – at least that’s what the industry makes you believe – that … Read more
There seem to be three (non-mutually exclusive) models for marketers tasked with building brand equity: marketing scarcity, marketing artificial scarcity, or marketing relevance.
Scarcity seems to be at the core of all marketing: an exclusive, unique value that can be reproduced; an original idea replicated for many. That's how markets work, how marketing works. Branding is effective when it keeps the aura of an original idea intact despite its mechanical reproduction. Apple's original idea, for instance, could be described as "technology must be fun and human," and it has not lost an inch of its integrity. … Read more
I saw an interesting article in the New York Times this weekend titled "Put Ad on Web. Count Clicks. Revise." The premise of the article goes something like this: because the web provides functionality to test every variation of a banner ad for effectiveness, the next big thing is tailoring advertising in the moment, and leveraging findings from click-thru rates to construct more relevant offerings for consumers. If I had to construct a tag-line for the so-called "data practice" services cited in this article it would be "downstream solutions to … Read more