Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 17, 2013 07:10 PM
While Apple has had some good news lately (it reached 50 billion downloads from its App Store, signed a deal with CW to have the network’s content appear on Apple TV, and its UK retail locations received the top customer-service rating in Britain), it also is going through some tough times as a brand.
A recent poll from Bloomberg notes that, “71 percent of poll respondents say the Cupertino, California, company has lost its cachet as an industry innovator, which includes 28 percent who say it is permanent and 43 percent who say it may be a temporary hiccup.” While some Apple loyalists remain dedicated to the company that has brought the world such innovations as the iPod, iPhone, and iTunes, plenty of folks in the general population aren’t as high on Apple as they used to be, with some turning to competitors like Google and Samsung. “Google plays offense while Apple has recently settled for playing defense,” Forbes reports. “Apple is struggling to maintain its position in the market, while Google is expanding its position.”
Google’s shares have gone over a record $900 while Apple’s are now just above $400 after being over $705 in late September. While it can be difficult to keep up with its own track record of innovation, Apple apparently has got to keep pushing in order to keep the masses satisfied. “Where Apple went wrong is they began to confuse version releases and feature improvements with innovation,” Forbes reports. “What Apple is learning the hard way is even the most loyal base of consumers will jump ship when provided a valid reason to do so.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 9, 2013 07:27 PM
It turns out that still, business and politics make difficult bedfellows as 'disruptive' Mark Zuckerberg finds himself—and Facebook—the target of progressive scrutiny over his newly minted political agenda.
The Facebook CEO’s FWD.us super PAC focuses mainly on immigration reform in the name of creating a better, brighter workforce, but the group, which includes Silicon Valley superstars Bill Gates, LinkedIn's Reid Hoffman and Dropbox's Drew Houston, is getting push-back from a coalition of nine liberal grassroots organizations including Progressives United, CREDO, the Sierra Club, the Daily Kos and Democracy for America, all of whom pulled their ads from Facebook after FWD.us began running ads for the Keystone Pipeline, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and attacks on Obamacare.
Groups boycotting the ads cite the "cynical" strategy behind them. “Leaders in the technology community have every right to talk about how immigration reform will benefit their businesses,” Progressives United's Josh Orton Feingold told Mashable. "But instead, FWD.us has chosen a strategy that’s condescending to voters and counterproductive to the cause of reform."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 7, 2013 10:38 AM
MasterCard is transforming its corporate culture from B2B to a technology firm as it puts its finger on the pulse of social interactions to better understand consumers and clients.
A year ago, Master Card contracted NY media agency Prime Research to develop the Conversation Suite, a real-time, global insight, web analytics tool and engagement engine that shifted the company from merely monitoring media to purposeful listening. "Over the past six months, 125,000 people created unique content or commentary about MasterCard, stimulating 520,000 social media conversations, with a potential reach of 1.3 billion people. We're doing this everyday across 43 markets and 26 languages in real time,” said Marcy Cohen, VP and Senior Business Leader at MasterCard.
brandchannel spoke with Cohen, who played a large role in the implementation of the conversation suite. “In the early days of social media, listening was the practice but now, there are so many opportunities to engage, to track trends and offer insights and deliver them back with analytics to customers," she said. “It’s a real-time focus group. We track all mentions of MasterCard and any of our products, plus the competition, which really means the entire payments industry. The Suites have a dedicated worldwide communications staff of 60 people, all with password protected access, in a comfortable setting with a giant 40 ft. LED screen that updates every four minutes.”Continue reading...
tech in the spotlight
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 1, 2013 02:53 PM
As with any device that ups the ante on usage and reach, added security risks and vulnerability come hand-in-hand—and in this case, fashion issues as well.
Google has been busy hyping Google Glass, as it unleashes the futuristic specs on developers and journalists to test drive. It released a tutorial video this week, demonstrating how the glasses work.
But as developers pour over the specs of the device, several security loopholes have been discovered, causing already existing security concerns to rise. Jay Freeman, iOS and Android developer discovered that an Android hacking technique could compromise the Glass headset, gaining complete control of its operating system and potentially allowing the installation of surveillance malware.
This “Explorer” version of Glass that developers received doesn’t have a PIN code or authentication protection, so when left on and unattended, the device is vulnerable to hacking. A USB cable could be attached to the headset and used to gain full "root" access to the device, which could allow surveillance programs to be installed. Such programs could upload a user's photos, video and audio to a remote server.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on April 24, 2013 01:41 PM
Sometimes a brand blazes a trail, only to find itself outrun by the competition.
Back in 2006, entrepreneur Blake Mycoskie, who made his name and a small fortune as a contestant on reality TV show, The Amazing Race, came up with a unique proposition for a new brand, TOMS Shoes. The business model: TOMS would donate a pair of shoes to a child who lived in poverty for every pair of shoes sold. The philanthropic concept quickly became a sensation that catapulted the company's brand awareness to superstar status.
Not surprisingly, other companies started to knock off the idea. The most egregious copycat has been a line of shoes called "BOBS" that Skechers introduced in 2010. BOBS not only look exactly like TOMS signature shoe, right down to the logo stitched on a visible exterior label, but Skechers also shamelessly followed TOMS' "one-for-one" model of giving away a pair of shoes for every pair sold.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 17, 2013 07:35 PM
Mondelez International's first-of-its-kind Mobile Futures Network is teaming brands with top entrepreneurial minds to bring pilots to market in as little as 90 days.
"The Mobile Futures program has been an extraordinary experience for all of us at Mondelez International,” said Bonin Bough, vice president of global media and consumer engagement. “It has given us the opportunity to work with and learn from leading mobile innovators to enhance how we engage with our consumers.”
The pilots, focused on mobile-at-retail, social TV and SoLoMo (social/ location/ mobile) technology to enhance consumer experiences and drive impulse purchases have launched across multiple brands under the Mondelez umbrella. The global company hopes that the service-y and social tie-ins will help build brand relevance beyond obvious user engagements for brands like Chips Ahoy! and Stride Gum.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 11, 2013 12:37 PM
What products would you make smarter? That's the question General Electric is asking in its bid to create consumer-facing products with GE patents.
No stranger to the Internet of Things, GE has once again partnered with Quirky, a type of social network for inventors to license thousands of its patents to Quirky community members for development.
“There are a host of consumer applications that we haven’t had the ability to focus on,” Beth Comstock, CMO GE told the The New York Times. “That just isn’t our core business.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 8, 2013 08:02 PM
Athletes expend a whole lot of energy all over the world. In a world that is desperate for ways to find new sources of sustainable energy, it seems like a no-brainer to try and capture some of that expenditure of energy and use it for good, such as the more than 350 UK gyms that are built to generate their own energy for lighting or the bike energy that helped power the laptops of Occupy Wall Street.
The Paris Marathon has now gotten into the act. More than 40,000 runners made their way through the City of Lights Sunday and every last one of them bounced across an 82-foot stretch of flexible tiles made of recycled truck tires on the Champs-Élysées that used high technology to store the energy generated by all that foot power into a few batteries. The tile maker, Pavegen Systems Ltd., says that “each footstep generates as much as 8 watts of kinetic energy, which is fed back to batteries that can charge display screens and electronic signs along the route,” according to RenewEconomy.com.Continue reading...