Thursday, April 30, 2009

Intel MID - Mobile Internet Device

It’s a mobile internet device specially designed for internet browsing from anywhere.

The device has a couple of cool features. For instance the 47 buttons QWERTY keyboard looks divine and its configuration is quite customizable. The compact size of 180×80x20mm is neat and allows it to host an ultra wide LCD touch screen. The phone even boasts of OLED technology. The trackball makes navigation even simpler however the 7 completely configurable action buttons (accessible when phone is closed and opened) adds awesome goodness to the package. Two USB slots, microphone and audio input, SD card reader, stereo speakers, docking connector and sexy sliding good looks are the other proposed features.

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Designer: Jan Rytir

Source: Yanko Design.

VeloCity: GPS Navigation For Bicycles

The neat gadget clamps up to the handle bar and includes audio as well as visual guide. You simply need to hook up the device to your computer and download the desired route from an online map. Turn by turn, the VeloCity rattles of the directions and simultaneously displays the map on the screen. Of course GPS and Bluetooth come into play as well.

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Designer: Ross Kemp

Source: Yanko Design.

MacBook Touch?

Have a look a the following pictures of Tommaso Gecchelin's concept of a potential MacBook Touch.

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Designer: Tommaso Gecchelin

Source: Design Corner.

Real Life Twitter :-)

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

ICH: The Road To Success

ich_medium_100_1073 ICH stands for the 3 values below. In German, "ich" means "I", and in this post, it is all about how "I" as an employee should behave. 

Intelligence

Next to clever people, companies have a need for employees displaying emotional and social intelligence. It is not enough to outsmart the competition, customers, and employees, want to feel cared about, and be able able to identify them with the company.

Commitment

To go where no one has gone before. Making sure the customer gets what he/she expects, and a little more. Employees who are willing to go the extra mile do make a huge difference in the end.

Honesty

Honesty or integrity is the most important of the 3 values. The definition of honesty, according to Wikipedia is: Honesty can simply be defined as refusal to lie, cheat, and steal in any way. Honesty should not be confused with truth." The definition of integrity, again according to Wikipedia is: "Integrity is doing the right thing, especially when no one is watching.". In other words: it is all about being straight forward, and not about playing politics, it is about taking responsibility, and not hiding behind someone else,  it is about looking your customer in the eye, and not playing games with them.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Social Networks: Acquisition Or Retention Tools For Marketers?

image Presentations from Facebook and MySpace at the Marketing 2.0 conference caused something of a stir - first of all for getting both on stage at the same time, and second as Damien Vincent from Facebook, having only just joined them from MySpace, seemed to momentarily forget who he was working for.

But the content of their presentations was interesting, if only to see how both organizations approach selling their marketing potential to brands. Of particular interest was a set of statistics shown by Olivier Hascot from MySpace, based on surveys in the UK. They found that:

  • 40% of Brand Friends remembered the advertiser when shopping either online or on the high street
  • 22% of Brand Friends said that they spend more money with the advertiser

These could be impressive statistics for MySpace and would no doubt interest any advertise looking to raise both brand awareness and customer spend in the current economic climate. But I’d like to understand a little bit more about them. I’d like to know if the suggested cause and effect (that being a Brand Friend on MySpace led to greater brand awareness and higher customer spend) is actually the case, or if something else is at play.

As acquisition statistics, these do look impressive. If, as a brand, I could get 40% higher brand awareness among non-customers, and 22% higher spend from new customers by being friends with them on MySpace, there would be no question that this would be a good idea. However, I suspect this is not what’s happening.

Consider a brand advocate or even just a regular purchaser of your brand’s products. I imagine that it is these people who are likely to befriend you on MySpace. It is also these people who are likely to both have your brand at the forefront of their mind when out shopping, and spend more with you as a result. So rather than these two outcomes being a result of a consumer being your Brand Friend on MySpace, it could be that all three outcomes (higher brand awareness, higher spend and being a friend) are a result of them being a regular customer or even a brand advocate.

If this is the case, then it could be that social networks, at least the Fans and Pages bits of them, are strategies for retention of existing customers rather than acquisition of new ones. Would you become a Friend or a Fan of Nutella if you didn’t like that particular chocolate spread? Probably not. You are much more likely to join them in this way if you are already a customer, and probably one that is willing to attach themselves (and their social network profile) to your brand.

So from this perspective, activities in social networks are probably best focused on customer retention. Letting your most loyal or enthusiastic customers become your friend so that you keep your brand at the forefront of their mind and they ultimately spend more with you.

Of course, there may be some brands where social networks are a perfect hunting ground for acquisition targets, but I would expect this to be restricted to more aspirational brands or products. Whilst I might not become a fan of Nutella if I wasn’t already a customer, there is a high chance I might become one of the new Peugeot 308 before I have actually bought one. But this is because I am willing to attach the aspiration towards this brand to my profile. This is probably unlikely with most products.

Source: FreshNetworks.

Google Maps Typography

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Source: Likecool.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Copenhagen User Experience On Windows 8

It doesn't look bad, but you will still be 17 clicks away from most of your documents ...

2015 Honda CB750 (Concept)

Igor Chak started from the original 1970-80's Honda CB (see first picture) to design the concept below. Not only does the new design look a lot better and more aggressive, it will also be completely computer controlled. The frame and body is a unibody construction combining carbon fiber, aluminum, and titanium. And of course, what would a future vehicle be without GPS 3G (4 or 5G), WiFi, ....

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Designer: Igor Chak

Source: Yanko Design.

The First 7 Seconds Of A Cold Call

image Plan Your Approach - Use Power Calling Checklists

Did I introduce myself first? "My name is ... with ... We have an office in ..." Does the prospect sound distracted, rushed or annoyed? "You sound very busy." What do I know about the prospect that I can use to start off the conversation?

'I hear that you are ..." "I noticed that your company ..." "I was reading about your company in the newspaper ..." What do we have in common? "I came across your name (business card) and it occurred to me..." "You may recall reading about ..." "It's been a long time since we talked. I remembered that you mentioned..." What do I know about this contact? "I understand that... you're the person that I should talk to about ... you're starting a business." What does this prospect have in common with my clients? "We're working with..." "We're helping our clients cut back on their ..."

Dear Joan,

I really don't mind cold calling. In fact, I dial the phone and jump right in without a problem. But it seems that I barely get through introducing myself and into my script when my prospects interrupt me to say they are not interested. What am I doing wrong ? What do I say after I say, "Hi, my name is John Doe with Company X, how are you today?"

It's amazing you have such a positive attitude toward cold calling after reporting such discouraging results. Good for you - outlook is one of the most important elements to a successful cold call! After reading this column, you'll truly be on your way.

But first, let's listen to what your prospects are saying. "I'm not interested." Yes, that sounds like an objection. But is it valid?

I always notice where the objection occurs during the cold call. If my prospect is saying "I'm not interested," in the beginning, he's probably trying to get me off the phone. The prospect simply doesn't know enough about me or my company to say "no" so quickly. So chances are he's not objecting to my product or service, but to my approach.

Answer the questions that probably come into his mind when he hears a stranger on the other end of the phone. Who is this person? - Why is he calling me? - What does he want? - How long is this going to take? Now, here's what I've learned not to do in the first 7 seconds of a cold call:

1. Don't ask, "how are you?" In a cold call, you want to be genuinely helpful and direct. Asking "how are you" is canned conversation that doesn't carry much meaning.

2. Don't make outrageous claims. This approach immediately gives the prospect a point to argue. And it puts you on the defensive. That's pretty shaky groundwork to lay in the first 7 seconds. I believe in the soft-sell vs. the hard-sell routine. Rather than saying, "I know I can ..." try saying, "There's a good possibility I can help ..." And rather than saying, "What if I could save you $10,000 this month, would you be interested? Try saying "There's a good possibility I could save you a lot of money - that's why I'm calling."

3. Don't launch into a monologue or script. Start with a broad statement and get the prospect interested to hear more. This gives him time to catch up with you for a two-way conversation.

Engage in useful dialogue. By being genuinely helpful, you set yourself apart from other cold callers.

Joan Guiducci is the author of "Power Calling - A Fresh Approach to Cold Calls and Prospecting." To order a copy call (800) 728-2805 or (415) 383-4780. Workshops and training available.

Source: All Business.