There is a podcast I often listen to called the Accidental Creative. The show is hosted by Todd Henry – self-proclaimed ‘arms dealer for the creative revolution’. It’s a great podcast, and I urge you to listen to it, but that is not the point of this post. Each episode he signs off by stating - “cover bands don’t change the world – you need to find your unique voice if you want to thrive”.
We hear this sort of stuff all the time, and I think we all agree that as people who turn our thoughts into value it’s especially relevant. But how can we actually go about practicing and honing something so inherent as our own authenticity?
Last September after the worst profits warning in its history, notoriously nasty Ryanair launched a major charm offensive which included a previously shunned social media presence, clearer terms and conditions, and a reduction in its much-hated hidden fees.
After years of maintaining that providing ‘cheap’ travel meant that customer complaints could be ignored, it appears Ryanair has suddenly realised that this, this, this, this, this, oh and this, isn’t generally the way a successful brand treats its customers. Although in keeping with the brand’s reputation, the about-turn seems to be for financial reasons as opposed to philanthropic ones.
So six months later, has it worked? Have the critics been tempted to give them one last chance?
Well so far, according to YouGov’s Brand Index rating, while there’s been a small improvement, Ryanair is still languishing at the bottom of the customer satisfaction scale.
This doesn’t surprise me. While it’s a good start, as a devout boycotter of Ryanair since 2007 following one too many stressful, frustrating, and downright awful experiences, it’s going to take a lot more than a snazzy new website to make me fly with them again.
But when you go to a performance, don’t expect a full house. Most of the seats will be left empty… for the ancestral ghosts.
In the heart of the West Kowloon Cultural District , the theatre is part of a festival that celebrates the Cantonese tradition of theatre and arts and crafts, on the future site of a major centre for the performing arts and visual culture.
Bamboo theatres are typically built during the Chinese Ghost Festival/Yu Lan (盂蘭), usually in July. Traditional Cantonese Opera (戲曲) performances are performed, for the viewing pleasure of beloved ghosts of the region. In a typical nod to practicality, the structures are also built for seasonal community festivals or events. In a region where bamboo is not only plentiful, but reusable and renewable, and space is often limited, the building style is a unique solution to a significant community challenge. We’ve seen stage sets and smaller theatres constructed on soccer pitches and basketball courts- they go up in a few hours, and come down even faster.
Is this the solution for our next venue-challenged project?
"Millenials just want to have fun" may not have the ring to it of that old Cyndi Lauper tune, but it’s true. Joe English, creative director of Intel Developer Forum, recently told ExpoWeb that fun is what people remember - especially today’s buyers ages 18-31. For them, the hard work of product comparison, spec evaluation, and pricing was done online - once they’ve selected a product for serious consideration they want to experience it. Great insight into how important it is to recognize and evaluate the consumer journey and what your prospects want to get out of it every step along the way. Ask yourself - how do I deliver a product experience that will close the sale?
CVS announced today that it will stop selling all tobacco products by October - at an anticipated loss of $2 BILLION dollars a year in sales. (Click the photo above to read the full article in The New York Times).
Their reasoning? They’ve been working hard to position themselves as a healthcare destination (including opening their walk-in Minute Clinics) and tobacco has no place in a setting promoting health and wellness.
It’s a bold move. Shocking, even. And one we have to admire.
They’ve taken a bold stance and committed to their vision, their brand, and the future of their company. And, yes, they are going to lose some customers (and sales) in the process.
But they are putting their money where their mouth is.
Hats off, CVS.
Target, Bell, Neiman Marcus, and Yahoo (to name a few), have all recently had customer data stolen and it’s a trend that will continue to rise. Data is the new currency of the millennia and your data is worth a lot of money to a lot of people – Google pretty much runs their whole business on that fact. The three main reasons it’s difficult to keep data secure are 1) ease of use 2) costs and 3) human error.
1. Ease of Use
The easier things become, the greater the chance that could lead to a security risk. Remember when you used to create a log in for every website you visited? Now you can bypass all of those long forms and just login with your Twitter or Facebook account? Yes, it’s easier but do you know specifically what data you are sending to those websites? Do you know what that website’s security practices are? How do you know they will treat your data as secure as it should be treated?
Sorry Kendrick, But Story-Telling Doesn’t Cut It. From, Grammy.
What do you get when the Grammy Committee snubs you multiple gold trophies?
It was refreshing this week to be reminded that the spirit of the Winter Olympics is about taking part just as much as the pursuit of medals.
The Mexican Ski Federation doesn’t have a large profile, star names or even many members; yet creativity has driven awareness and propelled the ‘Mariachi Prince’ into the limelight.
In a year that will see a Jamaican bobsleigh team once again take on the ice, I know there will be another amazing Olympic story I’ll be following.