Keeping up with what’s going down in the world of business and brands

Each week, the Vivaldi team curates top stories around the web, from the biggest headlines in business to the most insightful opinions about brands. In our weekly roundup, you’ll find everything you need to keep up with what’s going down in the world.

This week brought more news of how the digitalization of industries is turning business models upside down. Guess who will be hosting over 20,000 people at the 2016 Olympics in Rio? Or who is becoming the world’s largest publisher? The largest taxi company in New York as of this week? The mobile phone that pays interest?

Underpinning these successes is the notion of meaningful value exchange – which we define as the mutually beneficial, agile, and fluid effort through which a company exchanges value with its customers. For a timely example of quid pro quo, your TV is about to start watching you, much like the world wide web. A heart-warming example from Philip’s Liat Ben-Zur, who shares the value and potential of connected health.

These rapid changes are affecting every aspect of how businesses work – but make no mistake, they are driven by demand: our new behaviors around technology and perhaps even the wiring of our brains. The Atlantic explains the explosion of fast fashion through a study of our neurological pathways. And suddenly Brian Solis makes even more sense, as he encourages us to start digital transformations with reimagining the customer experience.

Companies everywhere are racing to adapt. They look to their extreme customers -the adventurers and explorers - for inspiration. Others turn to design in order to increase the utility and need for their product (a bit late to the game, even McKinsey is talking about design thinking!). Or they try to make sense of a digital sea of information. (Did you know that one year ago 46% of marketers considered data the most underutilized asset in marketing organizations, and today 87% of marketers believe this to be the case?)

In an effort to create appeal, it looks like this is the week to try a partnership: Twitter and Foursquare; Adobe and Microsoft Spartan; T-Mobile and Netflix; and, Spotify and Soulcycle. The in-the-works Heinz Kraft Company takes the cake – one that would suit Buffet’s appetite.

Make sure to follow Vivaldi on our Twitter and LinkedIn channels for all the updates, news and happenings.

Keeping up with what’s going down in the world of business and brands

The Vivaldi team hunted down this week’s best articles on brands, technology and innovation so that you don’t have to.

Another busy week? We’re right there with you. After days of presentations, client meetings and lunch with forward-thinking marketers… our teams made their way home from ORD, YSJ, HAG and LGA respectively – and we’re glad we found a resource to tell us what these codes mean.

At SXSW, GE stole the show by tracking brainwaves during BBQ tastings. Applying great tips on how to win with social media at an event allowed them to break through the clutter of the many other odd things that happened in Austin.

But the real star of SXSW Interactive? Humans, since “the brand world is looking for moments of empathy to connect with customers” says Nick Parish. In the same vein, we were thrilled to see Vivaldi client LEGO crediting “understanding what the consumer wants, talking to them, learning what they like and starting a real dialogue with them” for their recent business success.

Other ideas we loved reading about: Uber for buses, Shazamed items, and 4D headphones. But be careful, these may be addictive. Nick Bilton in the NYT wonders whether mobile phones are the new cigarettes, while Brian Solis comes to grips with our new reality and interviews Anil Dash and Gina Trapani about how social networks will change how we live and work.

After a week like this one, one option is to plan the next team getaway. But right now, we’re going to check our portfolio. Our favorite brands are filing for IPOs. First Shake Shack, then Etsy, soon Warby Parker.

Make sure to follow Vivaldi on our Twitter and LinkedIn channels for all the updates, news and happenings.

Did Apple do it again?

The Apple Watch received its share of attention and press on Monday, and our team pitched in with commentary of our own. The announcement of the watch was a home run, but the challenge now begins. Once the buzz dies down, the real questions will be asked.

A few pundits are comparing this to the iPod launch, but for the wrong reasons. Our design-enamored times make us forget that it was not its looks that made the iPod a success, it was the fact that it made living around music so much more manageable. The iPod’s game-changing value was that it was useful and solved consumers’ challenges in buying, saving, sharing, and every other aspect of managing music.

In a similar fashion, Uber’s success has nothing to do with providing a better car experience. Uber transforms how we make choices about getting from point a to point b and makes it simpler and easier to fit transportation into our day.

And so while its fun to gawk at the $10,000 price tag, don’t get caught up in the emotional manipulation. We shouldn’t be distracted by the lure of Apple’s newest shiny object. The long-term success of the Apple Watch will be dictated by whether it helps people live the 1,440 minutes of each day.  As our very own Andrew Holland told CNBC: “The big challenge is in offering something that is truly valuable to the consumer, rather than just a trivial distraction. For this, marketers will need a continuous stream of quality data about the wearer’s behaviors. The areas where it is more obviously relevant are retail, travel and fitness.”

Did Apple do it again?

The Apple Watch received its share of attention and press on Monday, and our team pitched in with commentary of our own. But it’s once the buzz dies down that the real questions will be asked.

A few pundits are comparing this to the iPod launch, but for the wrong reasons. Our design-enamored times make us forget that it was not its design that made the iPod a success, it was the fact that it made living around music so much more manageable. The iPod’s game-changing value was that it was useful and solved consumers’ challenges in buying, saving, sharing, and every other aspect of managing music.

In a similar fashion, Uber’s success has nothing to do with providing a better car experience. Uber transforms how we make choices about getting from point a to point b and makes it simpler and easier to fit transportation into our day.

And so, we shouldn’t be guessing whether the Apple Watch will be the next shiny object, regardless how much the press talks about the various price points all the way to the Rolex watch. We should ask to what extent it offers a set of solutions that helps people live the 1,440 minutes we all live from midnight to midnight.  As Andrew Holland told CNBC: “The big challenge is in offering something that is truly valuable to the consumer, rather than just a trivial distraction. For this, marketers will need a continuous stream of quality data about the wearer’s behaviors. The areas where it is more obviously relevant are retail, travel and fitness.”

The World of Business and Brands: Week of February 27 – March 6

The Vivaldi team handpicked this week’s best articles on brands, technology and innovation. Read on to catch up on the latest news.

The year is flying by, and given the pace at which marketing is evolving, our industry will have radically transformed itself 5 years from now. But blink and you might think you’re already in 2020: talking drones now converse with air-traffic control towers, grocery shopping is reimagined and Amazon delivery trucks may soon be manufacturing your order just-in-time, as they pull up to your door. Meanwhile the car geeks in the office sure got a kick out of glimpsing the car of the future (and the automobiles at the Geneva Motor Show impressed us too). Who needs sci-fi when the future doesn’t seem so far away?

In the present, we were intrigued this week by how men’s fashion is having its time in the sun. The guys online mustn’t be buying hipster clothing, as Racked explores how American Apparel and Urban Outfitters have lost their cool. Seems like the wind has shifted from hipster to sustainable handmade items with a story to tell. And it might be Etsy’s lucky day, as the 10-year-old e-commerce platform for handmade goods seeks to raise $100 million in its IPO.

As in every industry, we’re convinced that the secret to success lies less in following the trends and more in understanding that context matters. Some great tips this week to help advertisers go beyond what’s social and cool and retailers go after contextually-driven actions. But careful what you wish for and don’t act on just any contextually interesting information you hit upon. Just ask John Sylvan who’s not happy K-cups can be found in one of three American homes, and learn from Fab.com’s dramatic fall that it’s possible to pivot one too many times.

This weekend, check out campaigns honoring International Women’s Day and pass on the positive messages with a choice of hashtags.

Make sure to follow Vivaldi on our Twitter and LinkedIn channels for all the updates, news and happenings.

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