Added Value Edits: Innovation

27 Jan 2015|jhall

From established companies like Nike and Ford to the never-ending tsunami of disruptive start-ups that threaten every single industry’s business model: we’re all technology businesses now, or we should be if we want to survive and thrive. This month, we dive into some of the latest tech developments: from how entire industries are being affected to China’s barriers to innovation; from wearables to coding; and from the IoT to the new Marketing Department – it’s all here!

From Continuity to Disruption
Brands have long stood for consistency……a dependable consumer experience driven by a business model that draws efficiency from repetition, streamlining and mass production. Yet things have changed. New technologies have spawned new possibilities and as many new business models. Jonathan Hall, President Consulting Added Value NA, discusses what makes the old ways irrelevant – think Kodak and Instagram – along with an interview from Digital Entrepreneur and Business Transformation Consultant David Erixon on how brands can breakthrough today and tomorrow. Click to read and watch.

Top 5 Cultural Themes: Seamless Flexibility
People are more eager than ever to get the very most from their lives. The world is shifting to accommodate and embrace this new era of behaviours and expectations. Growing demands are colliding with limited space. Flexibility and fluidity are increasingly being merged as the distinctions between different spaces, places and modes of being fade. Click to read which brands are keeping up with culture.

Make the Internet of Things work for you
At this month’s CES, the explosion of connected objects continued, with some providing more entertainment value than utility. Consumers are now taking control of their smart objects with tools such as ‘If This Then That, which connects apps together to trigger actions: “If my Nest Protect detects a smoke alarm emergency then get an iOS notification”. A team from Sony’s Seed Acceleration Program, “MESH”, has taken this further with a DIY platform to create your own connected objects.

Tech disrupting healthcare
We have witnessed extensive disruption of traditional industries as start-ups create alternatives based on new digital behaviors: Uber, Air BnB and Venmo. The healthcare industry is next. HealthTap has launched a concierge service that allows you to speak to your doctor via video chat instantly 24/7. Futurist Vivek Wadhwa predicts further disruption as Apple strives to be the platform for health by collecting the health data we are tracking to predict when we will get sick.

Video streaming changing how we watch TV
At the recent Golden Globe awards, few expected to hear mention of online retailer Amazon, let alone in association with awards. However, this was the year for video streaming: Amazon celebrated two wins and Netflix won Best Actor in a Drama for Kevin Spacey. Consumers are increasingly turning to new subscription on-demand alternatives for cost, quality and convenience, and cable-only stations are feeling the pressure as the threat relates to both content creation and distribution.

Rising Internet use in China lowers the barriers of tech innovation
China has the highest number of consumers on the Internet, which contrasts with the number of businesses that use the Internet to run key aspects of their business. However, we are seeing a shift with increased investment in cloud computing, wireless communications, and big data. Significant growth is predicted as a result: approx. $10bn to $190bn in GDP to individual sectors by 2025. China is a market ripe for innovation as businesses look for new ways to increase productivity, and to target tech savvy consumers.

Teaching employees to code
In December, President Obama kicked off the “Hour of Code” by becoming the first President in history to write a line of code. The goal was to demystify and raise awareness around the opportunities of coding literacy. This has extended to businesses as employers realize the importance of employees learning the basics. The minimum amount of knowledge can help daily tasks – whether it’s updating the layout of a Tumblr blog, or streamlining communication with your tech team.

Making wearables wearable
Expense, privacy and the visual design were all critical factors in the suspension of Google Glass sales. However, the thinking and ambition behind the product will serve future iterations whether from Google or other contenders. Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO believes that “Bringing technology to people is often a challenge,” and “it almost always takes a lot longer than anybody expects”. Cultural acceptability will be a key factor to consider when developing Google Glass 2.0….

Tech revolutionizing education
At the recent Florida Educational Technology Conference, teaching methods that use gamification, augmented reality, distance learning and the maker movement were discussed in detail. Wired magazine recently published an interesting perspective on tech revolutionizing education and quoted studies that have found that the medium of learning doesn’t have a significant impact: “as long as the content is equivalent between the two treatments, the learning outcomes are the same with all different media”.

The new marketing department
Consumers navigate expertly from Facebook, to their blog on Tumblr, to their mobile banking app, to their Apple TV, and back again. Their digital expertise now requires brands to behave with equal agility and provide relevant and timely content unique to the platform and consumer need. This means that brand managers must be multi-skilled in social listening, community management, content creation, customer service, and act with the speed that consumers now demand.

Written by Jonathan Hall, President North America Consulting, Added Value.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter @HallCJonathan

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