Our Insight

Business in 2015 and onwards

In a world that sees more than 60% of the workforce disengaged, building employee engagement is a fundamental key to organizational success.  2015 is the year to recognize that even if you get the fundamentals of your business right in terms of rewards and wages, there are many other engagement factors required to create a productive and successful organisation.

In an age that sees competition between business rife, the need to maintain a competitive edge is critical. Business leaders must encourage staff to nurture customer relationships in an effort to build customer centricity and brand love to ensure customers remain loyal and devoted.  Customer action loyalty and devotion begins with employers educating staff on the brand promise and having that promise shared into the customer base at every customer touch point, including social.

Research undertaken by LinkedIn and Altimeter Group across companies like Google, VISA, Facebook and salesforce.com has found that employee engagement is heightened when working at those companies that are socially engaged.

Why does social bring about greater employee engagement?

Your brand: a permanent anchor or a fading mark?

Our fast moving world is full of chaos and unpredictability.  Traditional anchors that used to cement our identities no longer provide an interpretation of ourselves.  In this age of rapid change, a brand can take great insights from the rise of the tattoo.

Anne Velliquette, a professor at the University of Arkansas studies the relationship between consumer behaviour and popular culture. In her research, Velliquette found that people need proof that their identities existed at all.  She found that people use their tattoos to establish a sense of stability and permanence in their lives.

According to sociologists, tattoos provide a narrative of a person’s personal myth – they tell a story that people can measure themselves against.   If a brand can reach out to its audience to provide a consistent experience that promotes stability and permanence in the lives of those it touches, then just like a tattoo, it will provide people with an anchor that they have been searching for.   And like the tattoo, your brand will not just be an expression of personal identity; it will help create it.

A disruptive tech company must respect the privacy of its users

Whilst you were in the midst of your latest Uber ride, Uber has been riding through a hellish PR battle.  It all started with Uber executive, Emil Michael’s statement at a private dinner that suggested that Uber might use technology to track the movements of journalists who have been critical to the company.   He suggested that Uber could see the travel movements of its customers using something it calls ‘God View’.

There has been a sharp reaction in the States about Uber’s willingness to play loose with user’s private information.   Its study of user data saw it publish a blog in September 2013 headed ‘How Crime Location Knowledge Is A Proxy For Uber Demand’.   That blog, since removed, says Uber is a data driven company with so many ways that its data can be viewed.   That blog linked high Uber demand with crimes like prostitution, robbery and theft in the San Francisco area.

A company that analyses its data to determine where its service is required needs to show the up most respect to the user who is making that data available through their use of the service.  No matter how disruptive a company is trying to be, it must protect its brand equity by providing positive experiences around its brand – playing fast and loose with private information is out of the question.

Vic Election – Has the Government done enough?

Has the Victorian Government done enough in the interest of the state or do we fear the Opposition more?

Politics today is lacking in a fundamental element – there is no brand love around the major political parties. We simply don’t trust them. We either don’t trust their record whilst in power or we can’t trust them due to past political and economic failings. Politics has become far too transactional with major parties being pulled by stakeholders who have little regard for the audience they represent.

Again, this election is no different. As any big brand will tell you, if you want to generate brand love and build consumer sentiment and trust, then you need to appeal to people’s emotions.  Political parties cannot simply demand the electorate to love them at the end of each term. They must tell a consistent story and not a story that is ruled by political convenience come election time.

Why traditional taxis must be ‘uberlicious’ when it comes to customer engagement

If you are a disruptive technology like Uber, then the law and all of its regulatory intent are simply in place to prevent the roll out of your disruptive tech.  Who cares for medical examines, vision tests, criminal history reviews and whether you can stay awake standing upright?  As long as you have a current driver’s licence; proof of identification; insurance; can successfully complete a 45 minute induction and have a car full of sugary sweets and bottled water, then you can be an Uber driver.

The traditional taxi industry can learn a great deal from this Uber juggernaut.  Customers forever have been screaming out for better experiences and they are now voting for those experiences with their Uber app.  The traditional taxi driver still has a chance to fight back. Customers should be able to have both and the traditional taxi service with all of its regulatory protections can provide both if it improves the customer experience.

Only 13 per cent of your employees want to work for you

A Gallup survey taken in 2013 of the Global Workplace reveals that 63 per cent of workers are not engaged with 24 per cent being actively disengaged.  Brian Solis, award-winning author, prominent blogger and keynote speaker says there is a desperate need for business to invest in employee relationships.  In research conducted by Solis with LinkedIn, it was uncovered that socially engaged companies are more likely to drive greater lead generation, cultivate innovation and yield top talent.

The challenge for Australian businesses today is to create an experience that its employees want to embrace and celebrate.    Business must understand that business is human first and transactional second.

A picture is now worth more than a thousand words

In an age that mandates the need to design for the experience first, David Edwards, biomedical engineer and founder of Le Laboratoire, a culture laboratory in Paris and Cambridge, is taking experience further with his invention of the oPhone.

The oPhone is a little device that transmits and receives odours. Pictures can be sent to a recipient who uses the oPhone to receive their scent. Edwards’ creative device can be used to help restaurants and cafés explain complex smells and flavours. The one thing the oPhone does confirm is that business today has no excuse for delivering a poor experience around their brands.

Customers today like to be engaged differently and they just might like to consume part of the business offering via the oPhone once it has been commercially released.

The Guardian sets an example for all companies breaking 190 year old tradition

The Guardian’s new design joins the rest of us here in 2014’ says Fast Company’s Co. Design team and they’re right!

The Guardian has launched a new site that has been built off the back of feedback received from its readers.  This indicates that content today has truly been democratized and that people have a powerful voice via participatory journalism that carries great influence.  Whilst it can be quite common for tech startups to take an inclusive approach with its audience when coding a new platform it’s not something that you would expect from a newspaper nearly 200 years old.

The Guardian’s approach is something that business, no matter what size, can learn from moving forward in this age of technological disruption.