KEEPING UP WITH WHAT’S GOING DOWN IN THE WORLD OF BUSINESS & BRANDS: WEEK OF JANUARY 31 – FEBRUARY 6

This week, we’ve compiled news highlights that you don’t want to miss. Read on to find out about how companies are getting people to share their data, what creates value in customers’ lives and how waiting in line is becoming obsolete.

Everything is going digital—and while that’s a moot point, this week’s press was awash with businesses using data to make our world a better place in new ways. Thanks to data, GE is greening our cities; Google is making a play at the ride-sharing market; and Match.com brings love to Starbucks – just in time for Valentine’s Day. Moving forward, Quartz predicts that intimate data will become valuable, as good as blood.

Yet, Nigel Rahimpour reminds us it isn’t easy to get consumers to engage. How to prompt customers to part with their data? Forward-thinking companies are building into their business model ways of prompting meaningful value exchange with customers. We hear Beth Israel Hospital patients are contributing personal info to their medical records. Serve up your data and you can ‘try it before you buy it’. Google is working on its own virtual Genius Bar to answer questions and then sell you a product. And Kanye West’s collaboration with Adidas won’t be causing a crowd this time. Could sharing your data be the answer to waiting in line?

No wonder McKinsey predicts the dawn of marketing’s new golden age, while Daniel Newman reflects on the evolution of marketing… finally someone who places his bets on marketing in the battle between CMO and CIO!

Stay in the loop with Vivaldi Partners Group on LinkedIn and Twitter for company updates and all our weekly round-ups.

 

Digital Darwinism, or How to Win With Today’s Consumer

The digital revolution has changed the game: building a strong brand, driving the innovation agenda, and achieving sustainable growth are now determined by our capacity to adapt to the digital age. With opportunities and challenges to connect with consumers evolving faster than ever, brands that use today’s tools to establish a relationship with and create meaningful value for consumers gain a necessary competitive edge.

Continue reading Digital Darwinism, or How to Win With Today’s Consumer

KEEPING UP WITH WHAT’S GOING DOWN IN THE WORLD OF BUSINESS & BRANDS: WEEK OF JANUARY 24 – 30

The thread of good reads keeps on streaming at Vivaldi and we’ve been collecting this week’s news highlights to share with you. Get your reading in now before the Super Bowl begins. You’ll want to be in front of your screen to discover the brands new to this game.

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4 Lessons for All Retailers in Target’s Failure in Canada

Thursday’s announcement that Target will withdraw from Canada puts an end to its failed foray in the Great White North. The expansion has been an expensive one for Target, which will record $5.4 billion in pre-tax losses, and a net loss of more than $2 billion.

This begs the question: How could this happen to one of the smartest retailers of our times?

Continue reading 4 Lessons for All Retailers in Target’s Failure in Canada

2015: A new era in how brands improve the lives of their customers

Here we are, 15 years into the new millennium.  We’ve seen quite a few changes in the past decade and a half.  Internet, mobile and social (media) revolutions have changed how people interact with each other, as well as, the world around them.

And so it clearly makes sense that people want to interact differently with the brands they choose to do business with.  Some brands already understand this – they understand that their customers don’t just want to purchase a product or service.  They understand that what their customers actually want is a way to make their lives easier, simpler and most importantly, better.  They understand that they need to make the purchase process seamless, purchase decisions too. And they understand that if their customers aren’t happy for whatever reason, they had better figure out a way to make them happy, or risk losing them.

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7 MUST-READS OF 2014

It’s been a big year for businesses and brands, and as 2014 draws to a close, we take stock of the impressive thought leadership that has influenced our industry.

If you missed these articles the first time round, here they are for your reading pleasure. We’ve narrowed it down to the seven must-reads before the ball drops:

1. Last January, IBM researchers and advisors wrote about innovation, new patterns and data– an insider view on how their clients took advantage of opportunities generated by the explosion in digital information and tools.

2. James Surowiecki raised the dialogue in the New Yorker about the value of brands in today’s age, – and concluded that brands are ever more powerful and valuable.

3. McKinsey Quarterly explored the power of digital and how it influences strategy – and discussed six critical decisions to be made by CEOs.

4. Brian Solis hit the mark in this report on Digital Darwinism and Digital Transformation. It is NOT about technology but about consumers, a point of view we strongly believe in at Vivaldi Partners.

5. Another HBR piece made the interesting distinction between value-creating and value-capturing innovations – asking ‘what opportunities to capture value are you missing?

6. This landmark study by WOMMA offers the definite proof that the concept of social currency is a powerful driver of sales. (Disclaimer: Vivaldi Partners invented the concept of social currency in 2009 and has studied its impact on brand equity for the last five years.)

7. And Michael Porter rounds off the list with his discussion about a new group of technologies – smart, connected products and how they transform business.

Take it slow and steady – one a day and you’ll be caught up for New Year’s Day.

Here’s to Listening Louder in 2015

Antonio Vivaldi believed in listening. His baroque compositions connected listeners through the poetic power of their beautifully evocative harmonies.

Over the years, our namesake has inspired us in many ways. So it’s only fitting that in our office we work to the beat of music (and that our New York team’s holiday party ended in karaoke duets!). Notes drifting across our desks connect us to one another and keep our afternoons moving, fueled by debates over our eclectic musical tastes.

On a recent afternoon, we reflected on the many ways in which music has been shared and enjoyed since Antonio Vivaldi gathered his fans around a harpsichord. Are cassette tapes going to be retro-cool anytime soon? Maybe, maybe not – but we’re reminded that the only breakthroughs that truly matter are the ones that bring us closer together. How aligned with our thinking and our work! Truly, innovations are only worth the value that they create in our busy daily lives.

To celebrate the power of music, we put together a collection of share-worthy office tunes representing what matters most to us: connections, new beginnings, community and fresh perspectives.

Join the fun on Spotify for some holiday cheer and year-round inspiration. You’ll find a bunch of beautiful voices, some groovy lite rock tunes and several new pop anthems—so listen up. Add your favorite tunes directly on Spotify or send us a request (tweet us @VivaldiPartners).

Share the soundtrack. And together, we’ll #listenlouder.

KEEPING UP WITH WHAT’S GOING DOWN IN THE WORLD OF BUSINESS AND BRANDS: WEEK OF DECEMBER 6 – DECEMBER 12

Are we already getting sentimental about 2014?

This week’s press seems nostalgic, with an overview of the amazing tech innovations of the year, including invisibility cloaks, smart lenses, mind readers and how wearables are already changing the workplace. And reporting on breakthroughs coming to fruition after a year of hard work, like the roll-out of IBM and Apple’s collaboration.

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The World of Business and Brands: Week of February 21 – February 27

It’s the perfect weekend to catch up on your reading, and the team at Vivaldi has curated the top stories to keep you in the loop: learn about the latest concierge service, update your boxer briefs and zero in on how AT&T tracks customers.

This week witnessed a battle of giants in some key industries: the Apple watch went all-out in Vogue, while Pebble broke the bank over at Kickstarter. Meanwhile in Silicon Valley, the tech war was very real: just ask HP and IBM. And social networks saw two of their darlings tackle the advertising cash code: LinkedIn took baby steps while Facebook celebrated a milestone.

But the race isn’t really between these firms. Our everyday behaviors are changing more rapidly than most companies can evolve. The name of the game is understanding customers (which we found out is true even in the boxer brief category! Apparel companies, take note). Hence the appeal for AT&T to get their customers to opt into being tracked - even if this means that we’ll be asking for a lot in return. Because if the big brands don’t stay keyed in to what customers need, a start-up from China may figure it out faster.

An example of how radically our behaviors evolved just this past week? Check out Magic, the text message concierge service spreading like wildfire. Would it pass Google CEO’s toothbrush test? Maybe, maybe not, but Brian Solis is right: send the call centers back to the 80’s (along with #TheDress, we might add)!

With all this talk of smart technology, we’re ready to Spring Forward – just three weeks left until the grand reveal! Make sure to follow Vivaldi on our Twitter andLinkedIn channels for all the updates, news and happenings.

The World of Business and Brands: Week of February 15 – February 20

The Vivaldi team has handpicked the best and most recent articles on brands, technology and innovation. Read on to catch up on the latest news.

As the world celebrates the Lunar New Year with good cheer and digital hongbao exchanges, brands everywhere search for the sweet spot at the nexus of digital transformation and new opportunities for growth.

Has the world gone topsy-turvy in the process? It certainly feels like it: luxury brands appear (and disappear) on Snapchat; Qtrax starts the 3rd music revolution; the Yellow Pages try to be useful, hoping for a comeback; and if Microsoft is the new Google, then Google is the new Microsoft. Meanwhile, Walmart makes a small move with massive impact, mirroring at a larger scale how San Francisco-based Philz Coffee invests in the people behind the counter.

Understanding their customers certainly helped these brands find new ways of doing business in the digital age: Staples’s integration of Apple Pay is boosting mobile sales, Coca-Cola claims smiley-face emojis for its web browsers, and YouTube’s new app caters to a popular fan base: kids.

With that, we come to the end of our roundup of this week’s biggest stories in marketing and business. Make sure to follow Vivaldi on our Twitter and LinkedIn channels for all the updates, news and happenings.

The World of Business and Brands: Week of February 7 – February 14

The Vivaldi team has handpicked the best and most recent articles on brands, technology and innovation. If the frigid winter weather has you stuck indoors watching snow fall, now’s the perfect time to catch up on this week’s news — ranging from a pre-launch company valued at $600 million, tips on wearing your social media, to how Google may be your next doctor.

In past posts, we’ve chronicled the fate of industries submitting to the forces of changing customer behaviors. Dive into a day-in-the-life of The New York Times for an eye-opening view of how old media meets new. Wonder at how Google is getting into the medical fact-checking business. Or marvel like us, that obituaries for Target’s dud streaming service coincided with reports of the unlikely success of Amazon Prime’s odd bundle of services.

Every day, we reimagine the way to connect, travel and make decisions using digital tools. MIT invents a social network you can wear. While Expedia acquires yet another competitor, a new start-up might become your digital travel agent of choice. And it’s hard to imagine it’s only been a year since Google Glass’s first catwalk, when you take stock of high-tech’s presence at New York Fashion Week

This week we’ve been busy preparing for some big meetings. Just in time, HBR shares great tips on preparing wisely and laying the groundwork to get everyone on board before the meeting even starts. Collective ownership can be priceless — just ask MasterCard. Working independently can also lead to amazing results — we’re loving the pet projects at Adobe.

Now that you’re caught up, enjoy Valentine’s Day weekend, which may or may not be what you thought. As for us, we enjoyed DigiDay’s look at the dating game between agencies and clients, and all agree: the best stage is going steady.  

Stay in the loop with Vivaldi Partners Group on LinkedIn and Twitter for company updates and weekly round-ups.

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