The intersection of technology, organisational change and culture has provoked some discussion of late; particularly the impact that social business is having on the way brands interact with consumers. In a world where businesses are increasingly transparent and where brands have to be comfortable naked, there are many challenges faced for companies when moving from a broadcast thinking to opening up a social dialogue.
The consumer sets the pace of innovation and technology by demand. As consumers continue to search for easier and more productive technologies, organisations invest more and more on trying to ‘see’ the consumer through data in order to make critical decisions, both marketing-wise and company-wide. Businesses are drowning in data more than ever before, yet surprisingly they still can’t fully visualise, or understand their customer.
As businesses tread carefully with this change that could substantially improve relations for their business, the Cluetrain Manifesto’s point is so important – Customers talk and the audience listens.
Organisational refinements must be made to harness social platforms to drive business and build brand equity. How will organisations adapt? To find out the full story on social commerce and brand interaction, ADMA are hosting a FREE Member Exclusive Lunch n’ Learn from UK ITC Specialist, Will Morey – Monday 4th June. Seats are filling fast, so email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest now.
Remember the automat? Walls of vending machines stocked with sandwiches, snacks, and drinks; cafeteria-style dining. Popular in the early 1900s, they began to fade in the 1950s. When Horn & Hardart closed its last automat (on 42nd Street in Manhattan) in 1991, it seemed that gone were the days of getting any food but chips, crackers, and Pop Tarts from a vending machine. But in what seems to be a move to address the snacking needs of today’s impatient, on-the-go customers, gourmet cupcake bakery Sprinkles has gone retro. The chain launched recently a Cupcake ATM.
According to an article on CNNMoney, Sprinkles is planning to roll out the Cupcake ATM to its 10 locations and then to other, stand-alone locations. Each machine can hold 600 cupcakes, which sell for $4 each.
After reading about Sprinkles’ Cupcake ATM, I started to wonder about how well the bakery’s management knows its customers and prospects. I imagine bank managers had similar thoughts when presented with the first cash ATM.
I wonder: Will customers buy $4 cupcakes from a vending machine? (I would.) Does anyone really “need” access to cupcakes 24/7? (I do.) Personally, I think the Cupcake ATM is ingenious. Will it catch on–and will we soon see vending machines for macarons, or whatever the trendy snack du jour is? Will we see Sprinkles’ Cupcake ATMs in airports and at the mall? (I hope so.) Or will the cupcake-buying consumer prefer assisted service over self-service? As long as each cupcake is packaged with a napkin, Sprinkles has one future self-service customer for sure (that’d be me).
What do you think? Would you buy your next red velvet cupcake from a vending machine? Or do you prefer assistance with your cupcake purchase?
Interview with Dagmar Chlosta, VP Global Marketing, Adidas Group
Your role at Adidas encompasses cross-functional projects and strategic planning. Could you explain how this is leading to process innovation and competitive advantage?
One of my key interest has always been to create the unexpected, to challenge the status quo and to drive innovation into areas where it is least expected. In 2005, the Adidas Group was already a very successful corporation. We were leading in many areas but our value chain was still managed very traditionally. Together with a small group of experts, I wanted to challenge this set up and do something truly revolutionary – virtualise the value chain. If we could manage our product creation and sell in virtually instead of through physical products, the opportunities would be limitless. We could get closer to the consumer, save costs, become faster and be leaders in process as well as product innovation. The idea of virtualisation was born.
There’s a lot of talk around today’s fast moving market environment. What are the opportunities and challenges related to it and how is Adidas keeping up?