Making things better….it’s not Philips, but Apple! How a first mover probably won’t be the gamechanger! #apple #gamechanger

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Apple’s live event exploded my twitter tuesday-evening. While the livestream took off on a false note, Tim Cook was already on the verge of announcing the new iPhone 6(+) with bigger (full) high resolution screens. Finally Apple follows the Samsung’s path and brings larger screens to it’s smartphone range. Besides this new iPhone and ApplePay there was one more thing they wanted to talk about…and then Tim Cook introduced the AppleWatch. Not the first brand to introduce this tech item, but it seems that again the Apple philosophy scored….don’t be first mover, but be the game-changer!

Since the Apple band was born, we know Apple for what seem to be new products, technology, services, …. but even up until now, 2014, with the launch of their new products and services Apple (still) is not the inventor, but the innovator. Apple has it’s own strategy to understand and learn from the market, stimulate the hype (so competitors want to move in first), but then enters the market with a (slightly?) enhanced better product or (integrated) service, in combination with John Ive’s (behavioural) design.
This was the case with the first Macintosh (where it combined hard- and software in one combined device), the first iPhone and now again with their AppleWatch. Smartwatches were introduced by LG and Samsung more than a year ago, but never reached a public beyond tech-nerds (same counts for Google-glass by the way). With the introduction of AppleWatch (available in 2015) we will probably see the smartwatch pop-up more than before! Apple has the ability to be ‘that’ game-changer. Thanks to enhanced insights in user behaviour of the smartwatch, not only a ‘3d’-touch screen, but a combination of a touch screen and a sidebutton, makes the user experience better than the existing smartwatches. The browsing of the apps becomes organic again, instead of a copy-paste experience from the touch experience on your smartphone…Apple again took it up one notch! (like they always do….not the invention, but the innovation, making things better)

And off-course the design….yes the Apple watch is also big , bold and looks like it’s competitors, but the wristband isn’t! The collection of (non-tech) wristbands let’s you stick-out, like you stick out with your iPhone.

A same insight on the ApplyPay service, NFC has been around for a couple of years to enhance easy payment (and was incorporated into a lot of competitor devices), but never realy took off. Even the GoogleWallet wasn’t capable to be that gamechanger. Will Apple succeed? They, at least, gone the extra mile to make deals with major stores, brands and banks to enhance the customer (payment) experience. There is no fun when a service isn’t accepted by major stores, brands and banks…and they are heavily investing to do a similar roll out world wide next year! (Let’s hope they succeed!)

Again Apple is not the first mover, but it doesn’t follow the crowd. Why did they wait to incorporate NFC until know? Probably to even take down more payment barriers, because even when you have to take out your phone to pay. It’s one step to many…Now Apple lets you pay with the NFC-enabled Apple Watch, just by swiping your watch!

A second item that struck me, is that the i-era seems to be over….it’s not the iWatch or the iPay (witch where the expected names)! Apple apparently chooses to (re-)build its brand no around the ‘i’ –person (or the end-user) but just around the brand itself. This small change opens up new possibilities regarding brand identity and personality since the ‘i’-era is ending. With the apple-era Apple opens up a new connected vision who connects people around the brand, and not the brand around the end-user. Let’s see where they takes this

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Posted in Flat Business

Old school entrepeurship is back! #shinola #entrepreneur #SXSWV2V

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What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas or goes out on Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, ….especially when it talk about SxSWV2V! This isn’t contained to Las Vegas, but is being spread out all over the world via social and digital media.
Let the so-called social graph and wor(l)d-of-mounth do it’s work, but content wise this V2V version had a huge message regarding digital and online media/business! Get out there and be real, be appealing or don’t be!

Both yesterday and today keynotes addressed the fact that building a website never sold a real problem! It’s the value offer regarding that problem that is appealing for customers. And those customer live in a real (off-line) world, with real problems they want to get solved.
The Shinola story is a true example of this off-line revamping era. Shinola is re-introducing industrialized manufacturing into the US (supported with online sales tools), but from the bottom build as a manufacturing company. This is quite the opposite of what silicon valley service-minded start-ups are doing, but holds enormous possibilities for (local) communities. Instead of being in front of your screen, go out, and connect with that customer through unique flag-ship stores which bundles every (brand or product) experience you want for your local customer/community.
Making industrial manufacturing appealing for workers might seem hard, but Shinola choose Detroit as their home base due to the easy fact that building watches is also about building engines (only on a smaller scale). This meant local Detroit community was eager to welcome Shinola in Detroit and started working for and cooperating with them. Eventually they did a cross over with College of Creative Studies where they host the manufacturing plant. This creates a vibrant atmosphere both for students, and Shinola (workers) to be part of.
Although Shinola started there 2.0 version with manufacturing and selling classy watches, they did not want become a one-shot brand. So they invested in product differentiation and the diversification of the Shinola brand, with the introduction of leather balls (produced in New York) and bicycles. All within the design and the storytelling ideology which Shinola wants to transfer both to its customer, and it’s workers. High design, with high quality (life-time warranty) glued together by a story of openness, honesty and transparency!

Thank you Brian Solis fort his great interview with Jacques Panis showing that entrepreneurship in 2014 is not only about digital or online, but can also be about – let me call this with a lot of respect – old school secondary economy products and services (glued with a digital sauce).

Posted in Flat Business

Leave behind little extra’s so people remember you! #entrepreneur #startup #sxswV2V

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The big South by South West show landed in Las Vegas for a much more intimite version on entrepreneurship, startups and innovation! Although I like the Austin version, because it’s bigger then life and just seems endless, this version in Las Vegas is more spot-on and cosier. Easer to meet up with other participants, speakers, joint lunches, …. all this makes this event already a succes only after a couple of hours!

But let’s get on topic and into the theme of the SxSwV2V conference: Entrepreneurship, startups and innovation.
Arie Horie (CEO Women’s StartUp Lab) took the first keynote stage inspiring us with already know insights on how to succeed as an entrepreneur. Going on stage and explaining how to succeed, might be easy, but realy succeeding is something different!
Nevertheless, it all comes down to start walking, step by step. You don’t have to jump into the deep right away, but you have to de persistant, aim high and remain creative because you never know what’s going to happen on your way to succes!

Another nice aspect in your road to understanding entrepreneurial succes is the fact that an entrepreneur is a litte extra – ordinary. As an entrepreneur you should embrace the fact you stick out, and you are a little extra-ordinary in striving for your entrepreneurial succes! This means that you’ll experience failure, from which you can learn and show your creativity (which will then again make you a little more extra-ordinary). So it’s not about your results, but from the lessons you learn(ed) from your failures!
Key element in this road to succes is “hiro,” a critical friend which you can reach out to support you!

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Posted in Flat Business

Social (media) is not a fad, and mobile is not the future! #sCRM13 #thinkmobile #socialCRM

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Once the holy grail, now the big disappointment….social media! Social media is not a fad (Eric Qualman said a few years back)….but talk to marketeers, CMO’s, CEO’s or read recent articles nowadays and they tell you a different story! Social media implementation is hard, let alone building a social business (model) around it! So was it a fad, a moment in time that will pas? History will tell, but one thing is for sure social media isn’t going away (whether we like it or not)…ignoring it can only be a short-term policy therefore!
I truly think Social Media is a class example of the Gartner Hype Cycle. Once believed as the next big thing with big (business) disrupting expectation, social media in 2013 is for from the big star it was predicted to be! Luckely the Hype Cycle shows us the next phase will be the platform phase on which normal activity will settle in.  Probably no social business disruption (as predicted a few years ago), but a change in strategy and structure allowing companies to work with social in all it’s components. Read more ›

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Posted in Flat Business

Social Media UNcovered – an HR focus on Social Media #HRM #socmed

Social Media UNcovered deals with all the basics of social media behaviour. I still notice that most small and medium companies struggle with understanding social media communication, the changed communication paradigm and the GenY-ers who are there new customers AND  employees.

Although this presentation starts with classic Social Media Marketing stuff, its main focus is on company and HR impact of social media on employee and employer side of the story. Both employee and employers should work on their social media brand from HR point of view whilst both sides screen social media before (and during) their job (hunt).
Growth is possible where both employee and employer learn how to deal with social media professionally. A social media policy is one step, support is another necessity as well (which most of the time is neglected!).

 

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Posted in Flat Business

The Digital Arena – A Geeky Shoppers Delight #thinkIAB @nickhugh75 @casparch

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The second part of my digital arena series is all about brands and shopping. Online shopping isn’t a fad anymore, and remains a challenge for most brands. Digital empowers consumers (again) to go online and shop, it’s the shops, the brands that are looking for new ways of integrated marketing to again connect with the online customer! Aim for convenience and experience in this digital (second screen) world…

Empowering the content geek!

Read more ›

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Posted in Flat Business

The Digital Arena – Serving individual Needs in “real-time” #thinkIAB @pietergoiris @congbo

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The first part of a small serie on the digital arena, based on the IAB Think Digital Conference. In this first part I focus the digital era as a driver for the individual consumer who has a need for instant individual gratification. Not only does the digital era enables this, the “real-time” era adds an extra dimension to this individual need. Read more ›

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Posted in Flat Business

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