RE: Where’s my Nespresso Sugar? 50 Shades of Sugar, please.

IMG_20151219_164357It’s that time of the year again. You’re hunting for christmas presents. You find yourself caught in both physical shopping spaces as well as on e-commerce websites. This year’s annual Christmas routine brought me into the Nespresso store. Accidentally something positioned as “Nespresso compatible sugar” caught my eye. It was an instant flashback to thoughts I had four years ago, in a blog post called “where’s my Nespresso sugar?”  I believe it’s very cool to see Nespresso introduce this sugar (regardless of the fact that this is pure marketing trickery). However, I feel like they left loads of opportunities behind them when implementing.

What’s next for “Nespresso Sugar”? 

I think what we might see next is a complete range of sugars. That’s fully in line with the coffee range. And it also makes sense. There are many sugars in the world. And many tastes in the world. In this respect, Nespresso could easily market different kind of “sugars”. While doing so, they could have a look at the sugar packaging. Clearly, today’s packaging is not branded as the coffee is. It doesn’t breathe emotion. Redesign of the sugar package is highly recommended. Not only in terms of branding and identity, also with regards to “usability”.

Furthermore, why not push it a little further and conceive “coffee+sugar combos”?

Tipos-de-Açúcar

50 Shades of Sugar. What else? 

So to introduce their sugar product line, Nespresso could launch a very cool campaign from the concept “50 shades of sugar.”

Think about the power of this concept for both traditional advertising and so-called new inbound marketing communication.

Is sugar truly a money-maker? What about milk: 50 shades of white? 

I noticed Nespresso is recently starting to push their “coffee + milk” machines. Would it be a good idea to have a “50 shades of white” milk line? What can be said about coffee and sugar, holds also true for milk.

MD_types-of-milk

Looking forward to some creative communications about milk and sugar, Nespresso!

 

 

 

When Archives turn Newsworthy: Cyclo-cross’s disruptive innovation…

I’m a big fan of recycling. Unless when it’s about stuff one writes. This time however I’m glad to “promote” one from the archive:

Cyclo-cross’s disruptive innovation that made competition irrelevant – JANUARY 9, 2011.

I believe I have good reason for recycling this. The article – that uses concepts like “blue ocean strategies” and “business model innovation” – demonstrates a particular disruptive skill in CX cycling that allows to outperform competition. It’s the case of Sven Nys. One of his main advantages is that he leaps over obstacles by bike where other riders need to get of their bike. Exactly this benefit made him the 2013 CX World Champ last sunday!

Watch the video of the 2013 CX WC final lap below. If you don’t understand the Dutch comments, look as from the 4th minute. The obstacles that Nys tackles like nobody else can be seen at 5:30. As from then, it was straight to the World Title.

Special interest in stories linking Business & Sports? Check the sports button in the upper navigation menu!

Cyclo-cross's disruptive innovation that made competition irrelevant.

This weekend several national championships cyclo-cross were organized. We looked at Belgium’s cyclocross championship held in Antwerp. This national championship almost equals a world championship as Belgium has delivered the best athletes within this sport for decades.

What’s even more interesting, a few years ago a Belgian rider – Sven Nys – started dominating the sport by introducing a disruptive innovation that made competition irrelevant. Sounds like a story that relates to the concept of the Blue Ocean (BOS) as developed by authors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. Let’s dig a little deeper into the story and try to derive relevant lessons for business practices.

Disruptive innovation: Sven Nys leaps over objects while driving

Red Ocean Strategy in Cyclocross - jump while running

Red Ocean Strategy in Cyclocross - jump while running

When talking about innovation, we often think of technical/technological innovations. These are rather important of course but are often incremental by nature. The innovation Sven Nys introduced years ago that disrupted the sport was not a technical one. It was e.g. not about an improved tire or a lighter bike frame – as those technical innovations were incremental and simultaneously available for all competing riders.

The true disruption happened when Nys introduced a skill: the ability to leap over objects while riding a bike. Other riders overcame the objects by jumping of the biking, lifting the bike by hand while jumping over the object. Speaks for itself that the manner deployed by Nys was faster. This often allowed him to make competition irrelevant during races. Nys created a Blue Ocean. Others were to follow his example soon of course and today one can see many riders leaping while riding. Is the Blue Ocean red again?

Relevance for Business?

We believe this case shows that innovation doesn’t have to come from technology – as you often read in the literature and cases, especially in the areas of BMI (Business Model Innovation). Additionally, the case clearly shows that you should never stop looking for new innovative practices or tools – since others will follow and might even excel the original innovator. Today there might be another rider who can leap over higher objects than Nys can.

Nuance: notes on Sven Nys

The above story is oversimplified. Sven Nys is a phenomenon, he’s way more than “the one able to jump over the obstacles”. During his career he also expanded into mountain biking and is quite good at it. To get an overview of his impressive career, have a look at the Wikipedia page.


Possibly related articles (not automated – suggested by author):

  • Basketball’s Disruptive Innovation
  • Clap skate in speed ice skating – this is in fact a technical innovation but nonetheless quite compelling. Something we just know about in one way or another. Not investigated thoroughly by us.

The app store economy. Squared.

We previously blogged about the app store economy. This “economic trend” will probably get an extra boost – after Apple launching the Mac App Store on January 6 2011. The store is available for Mac OS 10.6.6 users and introduces the app sales model to Apple computers.

Happy New year – a year in which the app store economy’s figures will square?

Mac app store screenshot - credits picture go to readwriteweb as we still run Mac OS 10.5.8

Mac app store screenshot - credits picture go to readwriteweb as we still run Mac OS 10.5.8

The app store economy: an innovative price model for publishers?

News behind a pay wall?

News behind a pay wall?

Newspaper publishers suffer for years now. The number of readers is going down – and as a result advertisers are less interested to put an advert in a newspaper. With the rise of the app store economy, publishers have the chance to come closer to a price model that works.

Strategy 1: news behind a pay wall?

In order to generate revenue there are plenty of newspapers who have turned news into paid content. The UK Times experiment with the paywall demonstrates that people say “No, thanks” and click away to another site when faced with a paywall at a news site. Source: The Times UK Lost 4 Million Readers To Its Paywall Experiment

Strategy 2: look at other industries (gaming industry) – The app store economy

The app store economy - innnovative pricing through inn-app purchase

The app store economy - innnovative pricing through inn-app purchase

Since there are loads of buzz within the publishing industry about publishing for the iPad, why not have a look at the opportunities of the app store economy? In the beginning of the Apple App Store, you had free apps and paid apps. After a while, they added a functionality called “in-app purchases”. In-app purchases mean that you can offer the apps for free and charge upgrades in the app – like e.g. in the gaming industry new levels.

Price model innovation newspapers: app store and in-app purchase

Consider this: a newspaper publisher creates an iPad edition. Would it make sense to offer the app for free, allowing everyone to read the entire newspaper on iPad? Would it make sense to limit the free articles to 3 and then offer “in-app purchase options” if one wants to read more? Would it make sense to show a summary of all articles and offer “in-app purchase options” to get the entire article?

We’d love to see publishers experiment with it and see whether the strategy from one industry can be applied to another one.

Facebook's history of innovations. What's next?

Facebook - online social network

Facebook - online social network

Facebook is pushing its latest product innovations hard these days. Only within the last three months we have seen the launch of Facebook places, Facebook Groups and Facebook Messaging.

The history of the enterprise seems a history of innovations. What is the next innovation and where will this end?

Facebook: a history of innovations

  • Facebook as a platform is innovative by nature: it redefined our social experiences. Hence, this technology had a tremendous impact on how people construct their identity. From time to time we tend to note a “I publish, so I am-trend”, meaning that if it didn’t happen on Facebook (or there are no traces on Facebook) it didn’t happen.
  • Secondly, with their “connect to facebook” technology, the social sharing experience was opened up to third-party apps.
  • The third innovation that we wish to bring forward is the implementation of the like button across the web. This might seem an easy trick but has loads of consequences. And it’s extremely nice for a savvy marketer! Why? Guess this is food for another blog post…
  • Finally, the innovative new messaging system which is rumored for bringing together text messaging, instant messaging and e-mail messaging. It seems as the Facebook Messaging Innovation took a classic “melt-to-innovate” approach.

Will the next innovation be mobile?

The question for us is: what will be next? What could be Facebook’s next big innovation? Let’s have some ideas flow on that …

Facebook Places @ Olympia London

Facebook Places @ Olympia London

  • Would a photo book app on top of Facebook be innovative? And what if you could collaborate with your friends on the creation of that photo book?
  • Would an e-newspaper based on posted articles by friends be innovative? In this manner you can leaf through a digital newspaper that contains all news shared by your network.
  • What are the chances they further develop an “office suite” on top of it? Would that be innovative? Would that impact the way employees work? Would it mean the definitive break-through of enterprise 2.0? After all Facebook obtained Docs from Fuse Labs that will allow to co-create and share text documents, spreadsheets and PDF directly within Facebook with all friends, family and (especially) colleagues.
  • Is the next big thing in the mobile sphere with Facebook Places? Shall we get suggestions to drink a beer with a friend in the bar behind the corner? Will it embrace AR technology?
  • Or will Facebook evolve into the basis for artificial intelligence, as one of the main (Russian) investors believes?

Framing innovation

Innovation is about adaptation! We don’t want to bother you with theoretical facts about the adaption of technological innovations, but please realize that in the end, it are always the people who decide whether an innovation becomes a mainstream success or not. For those interested in the theory on innovation & adaptation: it follows the statistical distribution known as Gauss.

Gauss graph - diffusion of innovation

Gauss graph - diffusion of innovation

How to make money with Social Media? A new business in "global village"?

Every young marketer probably has met a C-level executive that made him end up in the same situation as depicted in the cartoons below. (Credits for the cartoons go to this linked website.)

Anyway, it was a starting point for me to come up with a concept of how you can generate revenue with Social Media. As far as my thinking is concerned I came to the conclusion that social media cannot make money for you if you consider, deploy and use it solely as a communication channel. To state it very simply: a Facebook fan page or a netlog advert probably won’t do the trick.

We see a remarkable resemblance with the “status” of marketing within an organization. To unleash the power of marketing you cannot reduce them to channel communication and sales support, just as you cannot simplify social media solely into a communication channel for your business.

To make money with social media stop considering it as a communication channel

To make money with social media stop considering it as a communication channel

Don’t consider social media solely as a marketing channel.

The opportunities of social media should be explored in a far more extensive way then as it being a highly targeted communication channel for marketing messages. The image below demonstrates why this approach won’t result in you generating money with social media.

Why only perceive social media as a marketing (communication) channel?

Why only perceive social media as a marketing (communication) channel?

Create a new value on top of Social Media

If you create new value on top of social media networks, you might create a new market. If you are smart enough to keep your “new value” open for multiple social networks, you have a potential 700+ million euro business ahead of you.

Social Media Photo applications

I came to realize that one important aspect about the usage of social media is to share photographs with its friends, connections, peers, … (you name it). What if you could provide additional value to this “photo sharing experience” in such a way that people actually would want to pay for it? Wouldn’t it be better than “spending money on social media advertising”?

Connect the virtual photo sharing experience with the physical one

Social media profiles mostly contain a section where the user can upload images. In this manner users share their real-life experiences with their peers in the virtual domain. If there was an application that could gain access to all the images of the user and offer the user a user-friendly interface to create and consequently order photo books, postcards, calendars or slide show movies from their social media-assets, one could generate a business from selling those goods.

social media apps request for permission to access photo data

social media apps request for permission to access photo data

Dirty sketch of the value chain for a social media web app

Dirty sketch of the value chain for a social media web app

Social Media Web app specs

  • I would make the web app open enough. This means it should be able to access data from multiple platforms: facebook, netlog, hi5 and flickr seem quite appropriate platforms for the app I have in mind.
  • The application presents multiple templates to the user: select a photo book template, select a card template, select a calendar template or select to generate a slide show movie. At the start templates and slide show movies are rather limited since they are created by the app developer. The goal is to come up with a business model that encourages people to supply templates to the platform. If another user selects the uploaded template in order to make and purchase a photo book, the creator of the template receives a margin on the order. Templates are created in such a way that there occurs no resolution problem (since the platforms mostly resize the uploaded images, I suppose).
  • The user selects a template and consequently selects photos from his social media album.
  • The user gets a preview of the template with his photos.
  • The user sees a price for his creation and can order and pay it online.
  • The user receives his physical good at home. He can now have a physical photo sharing experience as well. What’s more he can use the social media to “testify” about the usage of the photo book application. In fact, you can imagine that one takes a picture of its physical experience (receiving the photo book) and sharing this experience virtually again (indeed, upload a picture of the photo book to the social media platform!).

How could a business model look like for this type of product?

There is a lot to say about a business model and its components, difference with a business plan, etc. Instead of going into an academic discussion about that topic, I will make use of the Business Model Canvas as developed by Alex Osterwalder. I believe his canvas provides a valid framework to design “a business”. The business model canvas is defined by the following building blocks: partners, activities, resources, value proposition, customer relations, channels, customer segments, cost structure and revenue stream.

The image below depicts a thinking exercise on a possible business model of the Social Media Photo Application. It is based on Osterwalder’s business model canvas. It might prove fruitful for reading purposes to download the business model canvas for the social media photo book application as a PDF. (yes click here, this is a link!)

Business model generation by using the BM canvas

Business model generation by using the BM canvas

Just one more thing, how should one call this type of solution: Social-to-Print?

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