Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

What’s in a mononym?

Star-cross’d Juliet asked almost the same question. The answer is everything

Unlike her parents, Juliet couldn’t care less about her intended’s surname. Names, as far as she was concerned, were just artificial constructs. Better consider the person than their name, she declared.

Poor soon-to-die-tragically Juliet was wrong. She couldn’t escape the conventions of her time.

Yet ironically, where Juliet was referring to Romeo’s surname, Montague, it’s their Christian names which have bestowed immortality upon them. Mononymically speaking.

In connected 21st-century Britain, and even abroad, names are so much more than names. They’re brands. We connect with them in milliseconds.

How did it come to this?

How did it come to this?

Being known by your first name alone is the very pinnacle of instant, connected success: Jesus, Elvis, Bono, Moses, Banksy, Donovan, Ella, Maggie, Pele, Napoleon, Michelangelo, Galileo, Superman/woman. Whoever. Add your own. Read more…


Who cares wins: service as a product

It took 7½ million years but Deep Thought, the mega-powerful computer built by alien super-beings in Douglas Adams’ HHGTTG, finally churned out the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything: it was 42, we learned.


Douglas Adams evidently liked brutal (galactic) simplicity. Saatchi’s woulda been chuffed.

Were he still alive today, I’m guessing Douglas Adams wouldn’t have been surprised to learn that the answer to ‘How many ways are there for earthly companies to compete against each other on our little planet in the here and now?’ is…two.

That’s the number, management guru Michael Porter argued light years back, of ways in which firms have to compete. Yup…just two. And to be specific:

  1. By charging lower prices
  2. Differentiating their services or products from competitors

So really quite simple then. Exhibit A: Aldi. Exhibit L: Lidl. (John Lewis has practised both 1 and 2 above for aeons).

But is it really that simple? Because simple, as Sun Tzu, the famous Chinese military strategist points out in his much-hyped-by-business-types ‘The Art of War’, is difficult.

Which, when you think about it, must be true. Otherwise why can’t all companies, if they can’t be the lowest cost provider, just do the simple thing like provide good customer service? Which they all they say they believe in (Ryanair excluded) but which, in practice, few achieve.

Indeed, you could argue that Twitter, aka ‘sorry media’ – a sort of default, off-the-shelf, ‘patch up’ for companies with poor service policies – might not exist if most companies (all of them raving about their focus on the customer, their mission to create a great / seamless / matchless customer experience, blah-di-blah) were actually carrying out their promise.

What we mostly ‘experience’ is the opposite of all that.

How long have you got? See if there’s anything you want to add to the following… Read more…

Senior ways to new business

Your own adorable granny excluded, veneration for our elders and betters is in need of a rethink.

Elders, we now know, are not always betters. Although, ironically, they may be much ‘better’ than marketeers have previously considered. When it comes to being consumers with time and money to spend, that is.

And savvy, too
Greying, growing and groovy, too

Let’s check some of that spending. On booze. Pubs are going out of fashion. Drinking sessions have been falling for years. Posh wine bars serving food and wine have killed beer sales. The number of young people in rehab has fallen dramatically over the past five years.

So why waste marketing £££s on them, yoots, when they’re getting all sensible?

Pensioners, by contrast, don’t stint. The numbers being treated for alcoholism have increased by 65%.* High-risk drinking was most common in pre- and retirement-age 55-64 year-olds.

So while booze spending is up, the irresponsible booze audience is now very definitely oldies! The so-called ‘silver economy’. Behaving badly, preferably. Though the Views not News team always encourages responsible drinking.

There’s much more than just earthly, fleshy pleasures. But these things make the headlines. Read on and check behind the headlines, then: because while youth is getting staid, oldies are getting laid.

Read more…

Has Apple killed the new business elevator pitch?

Have you ever experienced an ‘elevator’ pitch? Or actually witnessed someone in an elevator being pitched, to? Ever? Me neither. Although I seem to remember one in a film some time ago…who was it?

I still call lifts, lifts by the way. Not elevators. Just as I call films, films. Not movies. Going to the cinema (not ‘the movies’) is also what you do when you go to see a film.

iPhone Medication meditations

A-a-a-anyway, iOS 8 − along with unwanted U2 stuff − means elevators / lifts will soon become a thing of the past. Which is a good thing for people like me for two reasons:

  1. I’m occasionally asked to suggest or comment on an agency’s elevator pitch. And normally I don’t like them. Which causes problems if I try to remain honest. Which I do.
  2. I prefer to take the stairs. Principled new business person’s silly belief in the power of generating some adrenalin-induced, increased heart-rate ooomph before getting to talk to prospects, etc. Difficult if I ever get invited to the Shard, I know. And glad I don’t live in New York.

Now, given Apple’s unlikely attempt to try and disrupt the lifts market, why this threatened redundancy of lifts? I mean, I can understand Apple Pay and how that might change the way we bank and pay for things forever. But lifts…?

Because somewhere along the way, somewhere during the three-hour update process on my phone rendering me as worryingly incommunicado as though I’d been on the other side of the moon, iOS 8 decided to add a little very-hungry-for-space app called ‘Health’.

Er, “So…?”, I hear you say. “It’s just about wearables, isn’t it? Just getting you to record everything from your Fuelband to your iWatch (soon) to your Jawbone. Big deal.”

Let me tell you, this is a very big deal. Read more…

Pony tales

Does it matter if we’re eating horse meat? Yes. And no.

If you think I’m hedging, read the answers given by four ‘big brains’ to the question posed in last week’s Campaign: Does advertising make you happy? The fence-sitting must have been painful.

So, yes…of course it matters if we’re eating something which isn’t exactly what it says it is on the tin. Quite apart from the cultural, religious or health concerns, at base it’s all about trust, after all. And that’s what makes or breaks a company. Apple’s failed maps app was a contributory factor in denting the company’s share price by 30%, late last year because it broke consumers’ trust in the infallibility of their revered electronic icon.

Similarly, the central point of Justin Bassini’s ‘Why should anyone buy from you?’ was based on the trust factor being central to consumer value when it comes to buying from you and then going back to buy again. (Justin did a great talk on his book — which I recommend — at one of Hall & Partners’ very informative Breakfast Briefings that I attended last year.) Read more…

Barcelona BlackBerry (aka CrackBerry)

For those who don’t go, the shorthand for such an occasion is ‘a jolly’. But I never described it as such. Because really they’re not. But they are certainly popular.

Indeed, last February I was lucky enough to attend the Mobile World Congress 2012 bash in Barcelona.

Of course, I had to make a case for being there: the whole telecoms sector was a strategic new business target; all the major telephony technology suppliers would be there; great chance to find out what was going on in the world’s most disruptive sectors; and what a great networking opportunity to get to meet key market contacts and follow them up back in the UK. It was bound to lead to new business. Bound to.

The threat of loss is much more of a motivating determinant than the promise of gain. I didn’t want to lose out on what promised to be a big learning opportunity.

Convincing yourself is the first step in these matters.

Oh yes, and Barcelona has about 500 restaurants, 2000 bars and some of Europe’s best nightlife which might be nice to experience, too.  I never prioritised this part of the city’s attractions. Of course.

Unintended consequences

It turned out not to be a jolly. Mingling with 70,000 other people for four days (and nights) was anything but jolly.  Read more…

Windows shopping

Because I hate crowded high streets, I tend to miss stuff like this. But from the upper deck of a 73 bus early on Oxford Street you can see a whole new world: Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system being displayed in John Lewis’s windows for passers-by to play with.

Except there weren’t any. Because it was so early. (I hope my employers are reading this and noting my early bird-ness.)

I should’ve got off the bus and given the Windows/window a test-drive myself. Because I like the idea of it. Windows 8, that is. And it looks like fun — being able to swipe and tap and zoom images on a window megascreen. Do I have an inner geek?

Just looking

In a world where we’ve all gone naked in public and posted and tweeted and timelined and pinned and instagrammed and YouTubed and generally shared our all so that brands can claim to know the inner workings of our brains and what motivates us and then map, with certainty, our ‘customer profile’ and ‘customer journey’, expressing any sort of interest in an operating system tells me I know nothing about myself.

Let alone that the operating system belongs to most-hated-Geek-Enemy No.1: i.e. Microsoft. Read more…