If you are the type of person who thinks branding is some mysterious science that really has little value, hit the back button now and go on with your life. If on the other hand you understand that branding creates a feel in the world for what you are about, and that has a huge impact on your success, please read on. We have recently completely re-branded Future Point of View (see out new site www.fpov.com) We have also re-branded our learning division, Technology Mastery Institute (TMI). It was a lot of work and we would have avoided it if we could, but the reality is we are no different from your organizations in that the new digital outreach tools we have gotten over the last years have driven a need to upgrade what our clients and prospects see when they connect with us. We upgraded our look and feel, our content, the resources we provide online, and our corporate messaging and voice. We’d love to connect with you during our launch and give you the opportunity to win some cool giveaways and share what you think (Check it out @ http://bit.ly/12bUJVh). All of this leads me to share why I think you might consider the same …
I have started to see articles that state a common theme. It is that all products and services will eventually commoditize to the point where it is virtually impossible to distinguish them by price or performance. This result is driven by a rise in international competition and the natural growth of multiple competitors in every space improving their capabilities to an equal level. I suppose we have lots of signs that this will come true because consumers are less and less loyal to any specific brand or organization, and getting VERY LOYAL to doing whatever is simplest in their lives. We will shop at any grocery store, get our shoes from any place that has something we need, and buy gas wherever it is most convenient and the pumps go fast.
If we continue down this road, there will only be two things that will really make a difference to customers, clients, patients, members, or constituents and that will be: 1 – anything that save them time and 2 – buying from a brand or supplier that the consumer has an emotional relationship to, and the best way to get that emotional connection will be that the customer perceives that the supplier is providing value in their lives OUTSIDE of the product or service itself. For example, I can get my taxes done by any number of firms at this point, so my choice is driven by the fact that we finally found an accounting firm that actually acts as if they care about us and they demonstrate that by communicating with us often to update us on law changes and such all year long – not just in November when they want our business again.
If you noticed the title and have no idea what Snapchat is, I urge you to load it on your mobile device and try it out. This application is sweeping through the teenagers of the U.S. and seems to be the next darling of the social networking market. I recently saw the first article predicting it will be the next billion-dollar acquisition. Facebook (as usual) has copied the Snapchat capability in their service called Poke (A name which I loathe, by the way. You would think Facebook could come up with a better name than “Poke”).
The single unique capability that both companies offer is the ability to send a photo to someone with a very short viewing time window that only the sender controls. For example, Snapchat lets you decide whether to allow the recipient a viewing window of only one second, or as man as ten. The way this works is, the receiver holds down a button and viewing begins. Once it reaches the end, it is auto-erased and gone for good. This means you’d better be paying close attention because those seconds go by quick, and that is the idea.
In the spirit of being grateful, I thought I might start a new tradition. Here is my list of things I am grateful for in the technology space this year:
- That the Web, software, hardware, and bandwidth have conspired over the past 10 years to create a VERY cool set of tools that help organizations prosper. At the same time, I am glad I know how to use them because the companies that failed to learn when they had the opportunity are dying off.
- I love to learn, and I am so thankful that social tools now give me an ability to soak up information on any subject I want at any moment I want. I grew up in the age of physical libraries so I have not forgotten what a blessing it is to have information at my fingertips.
- I am thankful I still know more about technology than my kids. Because I am in the tech business, I take this as a point of pride. And, because they could pass me any day, I am happy at this moment that I still know more than they do.
- That Apple got up off the map with the second coming of Steve Jobs and stuck with their obsession with design. Seriously, what would the world of devices look like if Apple had not set a bar others had to match? If you think about the decade of beige metal IBM PC’s CPU’s, and then think about competitor Microsoft’s design capabilities (other than the Xbox) , it is no contest. Continue reading
In order for you to really understand this post, you will have to click on the following link and watch this video of Hatsune Miku. Before you do, she is not real, she is an avatar, but after you watch the video, you will be able to better understand my editorial comments about where we are going as a human race…
Just in case you did not understand what you were looking at, Hatsune is a projected avatar on stage, and those were thousands of real people enjoying her “live” concert, except she is not alive. And by the way, she is coming to the U.S. soon. I hope she learns how to speak English before she gets here, and I suspect she will. There are a lot of things to like about an entertainer that is not human, and Hatsune is certainly not the first time we have seen an avatar be used in a live concert. She is however the first time a completely unique avatar seems to be getting this kind of live event fan base. She has a real band for a back up, and the Internet Herd mostly creates her music in advance. This all bears further examination because it is likely just another step in the integration of humanity with technology.
As you might imagine, I’m always looking out for or stumbling across loads of new tech resources and tools in my trade, whether it be through client strategy building or actively staying up on the latest trends with my own established river of information streams. What I end up with is more tools, whitepapers, case studies, etc. than I know what to do with most of the time.
In light of this, I’ve decided to change the format up a bit around here by passing more of these resources along to you. So, in addition to my regular postings on personal insights and related trends (the stuff you’re used to seeing), I’ll be ramping up my postings of other content in between.
To start things off, I’ve updated my list of recommended site links via the navigation tab above and I’m offering up a link below to a Top 10 Collection of the Best Online Reputation Management (ORM) Services/Vendors of 2012. Each service is ranked with side by side comparisons on a number of specs with expanded reviews and site links for each. Enjoy and have a great weekend!
Sin: something you really must avoid because there are consequences – and not the good kind. There are Godly sins, and there are technology sins, and these are what I want to write about today. I have done a large number of technology assessments on various clients over the summer and want to pass on some observations of the “character” flaws that hurt organizations abilities to really prosper with tech… Continue reading
There is an escalated conflict going on in humanity and it has ancient roots. As long as humans have breathed, we have wrestled with the dark and the light – the unhealthy and the healthy – abject evil, and heart lifting goodness. There is a new twist in this universal law and that is that it is now being played out on a digitally enhanced stage – in real time. When any voice can now be heard across the world, any act can be transacted, and any piece of digital content can be broadcast the consequences of the intent of that act is multiplied. These acts are simply amplified at a massive level. This needs to put a higher focus on how we handle ourselves on the grid… Continue reading
At every level, technology is now a game changing tool – and a great weapon of destruction. I suspect there has been little in the history of humanity that has more ability to change our lives, careers and fortunes save war and pestilence. It should be no surprise that when billions of us can now be connected through an inventory of devices and social connections, we can also be disconnected. Continue reading
Leaders by their very nature are under pressure to have advanced intellectual and emotional intelligence. In today’s economy, they better add one more – VQ, The Vision Quotient. The pace of change is speeding up. Each and everyday, the competition grows a bit smarter, and more of them from all over the world, extend into your territory. New technologies come on the market and mutate the foundational ways that organizations connect with prospects and complete transactions. Governments tax, regulate, dictate interest rates, and prosecute, and each time they do, the playing field changes. The more accurately you can see into this future, the more prepared you can be when we get there. This is just logical, however… Continue reading