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Our Six-Part Series on Pricing Tips

19 Jul

Recently, we published a six-part series on pricing practices and tips.

Here, in one place (:-) ), are links to each part of the series:

 

Ma and Chenault: An Interview with 7 Major Points

18 Jul

Jack Ma, who started life with very little, is now one of the richest people in the world. He is the  founder and executive chairman of retail behemoth Alibaba Group, which generates hundreds of billions of dollars each year.

In an interview with Kenneth Chenault,  chairman and chief executive officer of American Express, Ma enumerated seven key points. These points are valuable to those at any point in their careers:

  1. Rejection comes with benefits. “When Ma graduated university, he applied to 30 different large companies — and no one would hire him.  So, he started a translation agency, earning $50 his first month. Years later, in 1999, he gathered 17 investors in his apartment, explaining to them his vision to use the Internet to help small-business owners sell. With $50,000, they started Alibaba.”
  2. Get your business global. “Innovative products and services bring those small and medium-size companies to China. I would say China, in the next 20 years, will become the largest importer country in the world because China’s resources can never support such huge demand.”
  3. Don’t wait to innovate. Ma said: “Repair the roof while there is still sunshine. “When the company is good, change the company. When the company is in trouble, be careful. Don’t move. Just like if the storm comes, don’t go up and repair the roof.”
  4. Learn from the failures of others. “For Ma, it’s the mistakes that business owners should really learn from. ‘A lot of people fail for the same reason. If you know why people fail and you learn [from] that, you can make a correction.'”
  5. Be passionate. “If you’re just in the business for money, you’re going about it wrong. Ma and Chenault both emphasized the need for passion in what you do, and agreed that that fervor is a hallmark of successful small-business owners.”
  6. Customers come first. Ma said: “The ones supporting you are not the shareholders. Not government. It’s the customers, the people, the employees. Focus on the customer. Focus on making employees happy. And focus on integrity to everything you’re committed. That is the only thing.”
  7. Help build strong leaders. “If a business is to continue after the owner has moved on, the younger generations must understand and embrace its vision and values. ‘Give them the chance to make mistakes. Listen to them. Respect them,’ said Ma.”

 
Click the AP Photography image to read more.
 

 

Meet Pepper: The Humanoid Robot

15 Jul

As we have noted numerous times over the past few years, technology has been changing the face of business — for both small and large firms. So, are we ready for personalized robots taking our orders and payment at restaurants?

According to Maria LaMagna, reporting for MarketWatch:

“Soon, when restaurant-goers hear ‘May I take your order?’, those words may be coming from a robot. Some restaurants have started experimenting with human-like robots instead of human cashiers, allowing consumers to pay for their meals without interacting with another person. Although many restaurants have allowed digital ordering, either online, by kiosk, or on tablets at the table, the practice of using humanoid, or human-like robots, is still in its earliest stages, and it’s primarily happening in Asia so far. Experts say the robots could benefit restaurants and lead to wider adoption — if diners aren’t too freaked out by them.”

“Pizza Hut is the latest company to try a robot cashier, in a partnership with robotics company SoftBank Robotics and MasterCard, which has created the payment app. The application works only with MasterCard’s MasterPass, a digital wallet that allows payment by MasterCard cards, as well as credit, debit, or prepaid cards.”

“SoftBank’s robot is named Pepper. It has a face and can even respond to human customers with some emotional intelligence. For example, if a customer seems more tentative to interact with a robot, Pepper will be more reserved, whereas if a customer is more energetic, Pepper will be, too. It looks like an alien, with eyes and a touchscreen on its chest, and it’s the size of a small child.”

Here is a photo of Pepper from MasterCard. Below the photo, there is a fun YouTube video.
 

 

 

An Oracle Infographic on the Internet of Things

5 Jul

With the rapid advancement of technology around the globe — and our expanded use of connected devices — the Internet of Things (IoT) is here in full force, and major IT companies are acting accordingly in expanding their client offerings.

But for those who are unfamiliar with or unsure about the concept, what exactly is the Internet of Things? According to TechTarget:

“The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals, or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.”

 
Here is an interesting infographic on the IoT and its importance from B2B giant Oracle.

 

When Are Small Data Best Used?

29 Jun

Over the past few years, many companies and analytics experts have become greatly enamored with “big data,” now that such data are  easier to collect and analyze. [For example, see 1.]

Nonetheless, there still remain many instances when “small data” can be quite useful.

Consider these observations from Jessica Stillman, writing for Inc.:

“Ask Google how many people are searching for the term ‘big data’ and you’ll get a graph that resembles a steep mountainside. The concept has become incredibly hot over the last few years and it shows no signs of cooling anytime soon. And why not? Every day, our devices spew out an incredible amount of data on our behavior, preferences, and relationships. What could be wrong with our newfound obsession with combing through numbers for profit-boosting insights and previously unnoticed correlations?”

“The trouble according to Martin Lindstrom, author of Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends, is when we overuse data to the point that we forget to actually talk to people. In an interview with Knowledge@Wharton, Lindstrom argues that what he terms ‘small data,’ i.e. face-to-face conversations with actual, real-life customers often in their own homes, is a more reliable source of great business ideas than massive databases and sophisticated number crunching. ‘I think it’s fair to say if you take the top 100 biggest innovations of our time, perhaps around 60 percent to 65 percent are really based on Small Data,’ Lindstrom claims, citing breakthroughs ranging from the idea for Snapchat to the resurgence of Lego as examples of the fruits of small data.”

 
Click the clever image to read more from Stillman.

CREDIT: Getty Images

 

Multimedia View of 2016 Most Valuable Global Brands

27 Jun

The 2016 BrandZ most valuable global brands report by WPP’s MillwardBrown is now available.

This year, a lot of FREE information about valuable brands is presented online, in addition to what is shown visually in our post. To access these other materials, click the links provided below the three visuals we highlight.

When you have finished looking over all of these materials, click here for a fun quiz.

 

The infographic reveals a lot of information about the 2016 report in an easy-to-read format. Click the image for a larger version.


 

The full 2016 report (141 pages) may be accessed by clicking on the image.


 

Here is a video on the fastest-rising brands.


 

Other information about global brands:

 

Expert Insights on Auto Industry Disruptions

22 Jun

Automotive News regularly runs an EY Automotive & Transportation Insights page from the EY consulting firm, “featuring videos, insights, opinions, thought leadership, stories, and better questions from EY to help automotive leaders in business build a better working world.”

Below is a six-minute video seminar — featuring Julia Steyn, General Motors head of urban mobility and Dr. Chris Borroni-Bird, Qualcomm vice-president of strategic development). They focus on the factors causing disruption in the auto industry and how automakers can evolve given the trend toward mobility.
 
 

 

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