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.
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.
Strategic brand consultancy Added Value highlights some of the latest tech developments: from how entire industries are being affected to China’s barriers to innovation.
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.
Tech revolutionising 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 revolutionising 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”.
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.
Teaching employees to code
In December, President Barack 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 realise 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.
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.
IMAGE: Obama becomes first president to write code / The Whitehouse
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