September 11th, 2012 | Filed under: Innovation, Service Innovation | No Comments »
Amazon Locker and similar services could encourage global e-commerce. Photo: elaine a
If you’re like me, then you’ve bought goods from the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon.com. With nearly $50 billion in sales, this is one company that has managed to out-innovate its competition (as a point of comparison, Wal-Mart’s online revenue is about 10% that of Amazon). If you’re like me, then you may also have started to see a delivery option called Amazon Locker.
This option allows you to receive a package in an electronically controlled locker that is placed in a local shop, as opposed to having to be home to receive it. According to a recent Economist article, locker networks such as Amazon’s are popping up across the globe. While something like a third-party locker network might finally allow other online retailers to compete with Amazon’s free two-day shipping for Prime members, I’d like to focus on the positive impact that these delivery lockers will have for global e-commerce: improving access, increasing trust, and reducing cost. Keep reading »
March 7th, 2012 | Filed under: Motiv | No Comments »
Those of you who follow this blog know that we’re big fans of food, social innovation, and giving back to our community. A few weeks ago we were able to combine these passions by taking a team field trip to the DC Central Kitchen (DCCK) and learn about their innovative approach to philanthropy. You know, its not all work and no play around here.
Motiv listens attentively to Brian MacNair, Chief Development Officer of DCCK. //Photo: Motiv/Ian Campbell
Thanks to Brian MacNair and the team at DCCK, DC is a better place. Instead of ending up back in jail, people are ending up in behind the stove. But before if you think this is just a well-run soup kitchen? Think again.
Keep reading »
February 13th, 2012 | Filed under: Motiv | No Comments »
Love is in the air…or maybe it’s just pizza I’m smelling.
News recently broke that Pizza Hut has released an intriguing new temporary revenue stream: the Pizza Hut Engagement Package, which includes the company’s $10 dinner box (a medium one-topping regular pan pizza, five breadsticks with marinara sauce, and 10 cinnamon sticks with a sweet icing cup).
Photo: Fox News/Pizza Hut
That the pizza conglomerate is offering a Valentine’s Day special is no surprise. After all, what’s more traditional than sharing a romantic dinner with your valentine? But what is
unusual is the engagement package’s $10,010 price tag
, which includes costs for a ruby ring, limo service, flowers, a fireworks show, a photographer, and a videographer. Although some may raise eyebrows over Pizza Hut’s foray into romance, a company spokesperson reports
that Pizza Hut has already received over 800 serious inquiries.
I think Pizza Hut’s over-the-top new pet project was a brilliantly thought-out guerilla marketing tactic. But the marriage of food and engagements (sorry) seems to be, well, a match made in heaven—and an opportunity that has been seized by marketers for years.
Keep reading »
January 20th, 2012 | Filed under: Motiv | No Comments »
“Get NOOK Free!” reads the banner ad on the New York Times’ website. Barnes & Noble, creator of the NOOK e-reader, has partnered with the New York Times to give away its NOOK Simple Touch with a 1-year online subscription to the NYT. Why would Barnes & Noble give away a product that is already heavily discounted at $99? Simple: e-readers are not profitable products, they’re valuable service platforms.
As we’ve recently reported in Fast Company, incorporating services into traditionally product-centric “design, manufacture, market” models–or replacing the product entirely with services–allows companies to create value for their customers as well as their shareholders. In the instance of media, we’re seeing that by replacing physical products (books, CDs, DVDs) with digital equivalents, companies that create service platforms accessible via consumer electronics are able to capture revenues previously owned by retailers and publishers.
The closing of Borders and the declining sales at Barnes & Noble stores indicate that the digitzation of media isn’t a trend, but instead a shift towards a new model in which traditionally tech-centric firms (Apple) have entered the media business, and retailers (B&N) have entered the tech business. Keep Reading»
December 12th, 2011 | Filed under: Motiv | No Comments »
Greetings readers, and welcome to a new monthly blog series where I will discuss all things ‘startup’ – from venture capital resources to analyses of innovative companies that I think are truly disrupting their industries, or creating entirely new ones.
I wanted to start by introducing two companies that I recently discovered, both of which leverage technology to simplify consumers’ lives and literally “put the internet to work for you”: ShopSavvy and ifttt.
ShopSavvy, a free smartphone application introduced in September 2008 by Dallas-based idea factory Big in Japan, allows users to do comparative shopping on the go. The application, which is available on Android, Windows Mobile and Apple’s iOS systems, uses smartphones’ cameras, the internet, and geolocation services to identify products and inform shoppers where they can find those products online or locally. The app can read traditional barcodes as well as QR codes, and has a slew of features that allow users to add photos and prices, post reviews, share products via various channels, stream deals aggregated from the web and other ShopSavvy users, and check the availability of products at local retailers.
After using the application for a few weeks, I have been amazed by its potential to change the way consumers shop and its broader impact on B2C product-centric business models. Especially during such times of economic uncertainty, consumers are increasingly arming themselves with information to make smarter purchasing decisions, and ShopSavvy provides a clearly defined benefit in the form of immediate savings. For merchants, however, the application is more of a direct affront to profit margins, as they must become more aware of and responsive to competitors’ pricing schemes – a challenge that is especially daunting to smaller, less flexible retailers who cannot purchase on the scale of larger, big-box competitors. Continue Reading»
September 21st, 2011 | Filed under: Motiv | 1 Comment »
The apology of Netflix CEO on the company's blog was apparently more popular than the change in the company's service offering
Poor Netflix. These last two months have been rough, for both the company and its subscribers who are suffering whiplash caused by simultaneous price increases, service changes, and the Qwikster rebranding. The result? Too much to swallow for some – more than one million (and counting) of Netflix’s 25 million subscribers have discontinued their service agreements, fueling nothing short of a social media frenzy of disappointed customers.
Hindsight is always 20/20. I hate to pick on the company while its down, and I believe CEO Reed Hastings, despite his somewhat lukewarm apology posted on the Netflix blog this week, really is trying to figure out a way to stay in business and keep customers happy despite the massive challenges he is facing in regards to his business model. But because the company has become somewhat of an iconic, disruptive innovation case study for innovators and strategy academics for all Netflix did right, it’s important to really understand the errors that the organization made that together acted like dominoes falling, compounding one mistake into a mix of many. Here are a few key takeaways and lessons learned from my analysis:
Do You Know the Industry in Which You Really Compete?
I coach my clients to reframe their dominant logic of their business and expand their view of the business in which they compete. This exercise creates a new lens that identifies companies that are either directly or indirectly competitors and substitutes with the potential to either threaten or complement your business model. Too narrow a view limits growth potential and risks sneaky competitors rendering you obsolete. Continue Reading»
July 27th, 2011 | Filed under: Motiv | No Comments »
Like many of you, I spent the afternoon of July 6th listening to President Obama respond to questions posed by U.S. citizens via Twitter during the Twitter Town Hall. Many wanted answers to what the government is doing to get us out of the current economic situation and stimulate growth of U.S. jobs. I wasn’t surprised to hear Obama reiterate his hope of creating more technology production and manufacturing jobs in the States, but remain skeptical in our ability to compete in large-scale manufacturing in today’s global economy. Considering that 80% of U.S. GDP comes from service and knowledge-based industries, is reverting back to manufacturing as our jobs growth engine really the right bet?
To learn more about the government’s position on innovation as a creator of jobs, I recently attended the National Journal’s Innovation Works conference that featured lawmakers and industry leaders with a point of view on disruptive technology innovations and the public policy environment that best supports them. There was much discussion centered on the typical government message on innovation: invest more heavily in science and math education, create tax credits and better patent/IP policies, increase public-private partnerships around new platform technologies (clean energy, bio-tech), etc. But when asked how innovation will create new jobs that we desperately need now, panelist Robert Atkinson, President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) said it best – jobs will come from innovative business models that meet new customer needs while leveraging technologies with broad-scale applicability. He cited Washington DC’s hugely popular Capital Bikeshare program as an example of a new business model in the growing “sharing economy,” developed as a consortium of small businesses and public agencies, with huge scale potential. New businesses like these create new jobs.
May 30th, 2011 | Filed under: Motiv | No Comments »
Hello! This is my first blog, and I must confess my trepidation about starting to write regularly on strategy and innovation; maybe it’s my formal journalism training, or the fact that once I start something I like to commit. Whatever the reasons, it has taken me some time to get comfortable with writing in this forum (an early adopter, I’m clearly not). In any case, my goal will be to keep things short and sweet, yet relevant and most importantly actionable. Here goes:
Web-enabled, information-based services is clearly a hot area for business model innovation for companies in nearly every consumer and b2b industry sector. But proving the ROI can be difficult when most models still rely on advertising dollars for revenue. After studying a number of successful examples that convert eyeballs to dollars through a number of creative revenue streams, a few keys to success emerged:
Read the rest of this entry»