I hate bringing up this brand always as an example but they do a lot of things right.
The short lesson from this article about Apple’s retail experience is that if you want people to have a consistently good experience with your store, you must CONTROL everything. No element of your store’s experience should be left up to a random element of choice as decided by an hourly employee.
A 2007 employee training manual lays out the A-P-P-L-E “steps of service” with an acronym of the company name: “Approach customers with a personalized warm welcome,” “Probe politely to understand all the customer’s needs,” “Present a solution for the customer to take home today,” “Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns,” and “End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return.” It is reportedly still in use today.
Freedom comes on the other side of control. Question is, how are we controlling the experience in our stores?
Markets, consumer behavior and how businesses connect with customers are all directly impacted by technology.
The increasingly important role of technology, combined with global economic unrest, means a company’s brand is more important today than it has ever been. Consumers, in search of certainty, rely heavily on a brand’s symbolism and significance
Digital Darwinism is the evolution of consumer behavior when society and technology evolve faster than some companies’ ability to adapt.
Babson College cited a rather humbling statistic; “Over 40% of the companies that were at the top of the Fortune 500 in 2000 were no longer there in 2010.”
24/7 Wall St. published its annual list of “Ten Brands That Will Disappear in 2012.” The publication predicts the demise of some of the world’s most recognizable brands, including Sony Pictures, American Apparel and Nokia.
“For me, marketing is about values. This is a very noisy world and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. So, we have to be very clear what we want them to know about us.” (Steve Jobs)
The company then looked inward in an attempt to answer the questions: Who is Apple; What does it stand for and where does the brand fit in the world.
“What we’re about isn’t making boxes for people to get their jobs done,” said Jobs during the company meeting,” Apple’s core value is that we believe people with passion can change the world…for the better. Those people, crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones that actually do.…Here’s to the crazy ones.”
McDonald’s is adapting to a new era, creating an experience marked by muted colors, wooden tables and faux leather chairs. And, that’s just the beginning. McDonald’s is pouring $1 billion into redesigning the consumer experience.
Everything begins with embracing a culture of innovation and adaptation — a culture that recognizes the impact of disruptive technology and how consumer preference and affinity is evolving.
If a organizations cannot recognize opportunities to further compete for attention and relevance, it cannot, by default, create meaningful connections, a desirable brand or drive shareable experiences. The brand, as a result, will lost preference in the face of consumer choice, which may one day lead to its succumbing to digital Darwinism.
Nike has always been at the forefront of cutting edge philosophies in the world of design, execution and marketing. One of the most innovative in recent memory was the establishing of Nike Digital Sport in 2010, whose aim was to develop devices and technologies that allowed users to track their personal statistics in any sport in which they participated. For those interested in Nike’s marketing philosophies, head over to Fortune to read the fascinating article in its entirety.
“[The late] Steve Jobs said it best: ‘Why would the big four music companies agree to let Apple and others distribute their music without using DRM systems to protect it? The simplest answer is because DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy.'” says marketing professor Dinah Vernik. “And our research presented a counterintuitive conclusion that in fact, removing the DRM can be more effective in decreasing music piracy than making the DRM more stringent.”
Because a DRM-restricted product will only be purchased by a legal user, “only the legal users pay the price and suffer from the restrictions,” the researchers write. “Illegal users are not affected because the pirated product does not have DRM restrictions.”
“Removal of these restrictions makes the product more convenient to use and intensifies competition with the traditional format (CDs), which has no DRM restrictions,” Vernik says. “This increased competition results in decreased prices for both downloadable and CD music and makes it more likely that consumers will move from stealing music to buying legal downloads.” Read full article here.
The success of downloadable smartphone apps will continue at least through the next five years. A new study from ABI Research estimates that app industry will achieve 44 billion cumulative downloads by 2016.
If the forecast is correct, it means that native apps will still rule over HTML5 and other new web programming technologies for websites in the browser. At least in the near future.
- What 44 Billion Mobile App Downloads by 2016 Means (gigaom.com)
The news comes only a few days after Arment said that he will retire the free version of Instapaper on the iPhone and iPad, …
Instapaper developer Marco Arment doesn’t seem too worried though, saying on Twitter,
“For many reasons, I believe Instapaper would still have a market even if Apple implemented Reading List synced to iOS devices.” He also said that it appears the feature is more closely imitating ReadItLater at the moment, which isn’t as feature-rich as Instapaper.
Related Blog Post
Interesting to see how we define and describe concepts in times of merging technology. Syzygy says it’s a new TV experience concept. To me it’s more taking the focus off TV and connecting it with all your other devices. Your TV becomes part of the already existing ecosystem of mobile digital tools and is one of many media surfaces. An opportunity to create more interactive content and keeping the fixed mounted screen in your living room on and alive. Reminds me of another great example by BERG, London.
Thanks to Made by Many for this great new App. Very effective and fun to use. Not only at keynotes, not only at SXSW. This is the future of getting peoples opinion, attention and stats.
You know how sometimes during a keynote or pitch you would really want to say something back to the speaker? So you wait until the speaker is done and put your hand up. Well, unless you are Robert Scoble of course. Or unless you have an iPad with Holler Gram installed. Or pick any of the pre-formatted shoutouts or make your own using your choice of fonts and colors.
You can even tweet your shout right from the app.
Holler Gram was made for SXSW specifically but I can totally imagine it will be popular at all events this year. As the author explains “You can even rate sessions by holding up a giant number display to become the ultimate armchair critic”. How awesome is that? (via thenextweb.com)
According to IDC, smartphone manufacturers shipped 100.9 million devices in the fourth quarter of 2010, while PC manufacturers shipped 92.1 million units worldwide. Or, more simply put, smartphones just outsold PCs for the first time ever.
The number of smartphones sold in Q4 2010 was up 87.2% from the 53.9 million sold in Q4 2009. For the year, vendors shipped 302.6 million smartphones – an increase of 74.4% from the 173.5 million in 2009.
PC sales were up in Q4, too, but just barely. From Q4 2009 to Q4 2010, the increase was only 5.5%. When looking at the yearly totals, however, PCs were still king. Manufacturers shipped 346.2 million units during 2010, compared with the 302.6 million mentioned above from smartphone makers. (via readwriteweb)
“The Heaviness Of Being Successful Was Replaced By The Lightness Of Being A Beginner Again, Less Sure About Everything.” – Steve Jobs
After yesterdays news about another medical leave of him, I remembered his commencement address atStanford from 2005.
***Interesting read (October 2010): John Sculley on Steve Jobs and on the value of experience. Interview transscript***