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Which Are the Leading B2B Firms?

23 Mar

A lot of public attention is paid to business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, far more than to business-to-business (B2B) firms — even though B2B firms generate trillions of dollars of revenue per year. Interestingly, some of the leaders in B2B are also leaders in B2B!

To partly close the public visibility gap, Sacunas annually publishes a list of the top 100 business-to-business companies:

“We believe the best brands don’t just command the most market share; they’re the companies that also make experience a part of their success. We took a holistic approach to identifying the Top 100 Global B2B Brands of 2016 to find those that focused on more than revenue. We measured multiple brand data points across their people, products, digital footprints, market command, and innovation. Our companies to watch are digitally-savvy market leaders who will be defining their industry landscapes for 2017. They are forward thinkers who know how to push the right boundaries, treat employees, and simply have some serious B2B swag.”

“In today’s economy, price point no longer defines market share; experiences are the strategic differentiator for brands. Consumers, especially millennials, are willing to pay a premium for optimally designed experiences. The companies that rose to our top ten B2B brands are experience connoisseurs – they know how to design for their customers and end consumers. These companies not only do their research and make great products, but they also design seamless experiences and invest significantly in innovation – driving the design economy towards the next big thing.”

The top 5 organizations in the new B2B list are [click the company names to see why]:

  1. Google/Alphabet
  2. General Electric
  3. Intel
  4. AECOM
  5. Apple

Note: About 15 of the top 100 B2B firms also have a significant in B2C markets.
 
Click the image to see the full list of 100 organizations.

 

Amazing But True: Netflix More Popular Than DVR

17 Mar

For years, cable and satellite TV service providers have used the DVR as a major competitive advantage. But, today, streaming services are changing the playing field. To the dismay of TV service providers, channels, and their advertisers, a huge number of customers are cutting the TV cord and turning to Amazon, Netflix, and other streaming subscriptions for their content — aided by smart TV sets as well as plug-in devices that can allow people to stream video content on their sets.

It may be hard to believe, given the dominance of the DVR just a few years ago, but today, slightly more U.S. households (and growing) have access to Netflix than to a DVR — according to Leichtman Research Group. The Leichtman study findings are summarized in the following Statista chart.
 

 

Informative IoT Video

15 Mar

As we reported before, 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.”

Now, there is a new video on IoT by Banyan Hills Technologies:

“There’s a lot of hype and discussion about IoT these days. This video explains IoT, and what it means for the enterprise. IoT is very real, and the next great technology era of our time. In this video, you’ll learn about the similarities between IoT and E-commerce and what it means to retailers and businesses looking to implement IoT to innovate, improve operational efficiency, automate, and drive new revenue.”

 

 

What’s Ahead for the Subscription Box Service?

13 Mar

Are subscription boxes a fad or sustainable business model? According to Jameson Morris, a specialist in the field: “A subscription box is a recurring, physical delivery of niche-oriented products packaged as an experience and designed to offer additional value on top of the actual retail products contained in a box.”

Morrison further notes that to be considered a subscription box service, these elements are needed: 

“Must be a physical delivery (digital subscriptions can’t be classified as a subscription box). 

Must be a recurring subscription/membership (of any term or frequency). 

Must feature one or more of the following value propositions:

Surprise (at least 1 or more items in the box must be unknown to the customer before delivery). Discovery (slightly different than ‘Surprise’. Discovery-oriented subscriptions don’t have to have ‘mystery’ items, it’s more about consumers ‘discovering’ items they’ve never seen before).

Curation (a thoughtfully picked variety of products related to a specific niche or category). 

Savings (a clear savings on the price paid for the box versus the total retail value of the items inside). 

Thoughtful Presentation (From custom packaging to the way products are arranged inside the box). 

Convenience (convenience cannot be implied solely by the fact that it’s a recurring ‘auto-delivery’. Rather, think of the fresh ingredient subscription boxes like Blue Apron or Green Chef–they deliver convenience in the form of pre-prepared ingredients and recipes).”

 

According to eMarketer:

“A March survey from AYTM Market Research of 1,000 US consumers showed that while a little over half of respondents said they have used at least one subscription service, almost two-fifths who had used one said they had canceled.”

“’To stay the distance, brands using a subscription model need a very strong point of difference and superior customer service,’ said Sarah Boumphrey, global lead of economies and consumers at Euromonitor International. She added that subscription services also need to come up with other avenues of revenue. For instance, Birchbox, a leader in the space, has brick-and-mortar stores.”

“Differentiation will be even more crucial, as there are signs that suggest the industry’s growth is slowing. Traffic to subscription service sites in January rose 18%, according to Hitwise. Though that’s healthy growth, it’s well off the 56% gain registered a year earlier.”

 
Click the image to read more.


 

It Was Only a Matter of Time!

10 Mar

For several years now, Americans have been consuming more bottled water and less soda. Now, for the first time, the sales of bottled water exceed those of soda in the United States.

As reported by SCMP:

“Bottled water has been enjoying growth for years, while sales of traditional sodas have declined. Research and consulting firm Beverage Marketing Corp. (BMC) says Americans drank an average of 39.3 gallons of bottled water in 2016, and 38.5 gallons of carbonated soft drinks. In 2015, bottled water was at 36.5 gallons while soda was at 39 gallons.”

“Other industry trackers define drink categories differently, so may see the cross at different times. Beverage Marketing includes sparkling waters in bottled waters and excludes energy drinks in sodas. The reverse is true for another tracker, Beverage Digest, which projects bottled water will surpass soda this year [2017].”

The Shelby Report notes:

“’Bottled water effectively reshaped the beverage marketplace,’ said BMC Chairman and CEO Michael C. Bellas. ‘When Perrier first entered the country in the 1970s, few would have predicted the heights to which bottled water would eventually climb. Where once it would have been unimaginable to see Americans walking down the street carrying plastic bottles of water, or driving around with them in their cars’ cup holders, now that’s the norm. With the exception of two relatively small declines in 2008 and 2009 — when most beverage categories contracted — bottled water volume grew every year from 1977 to 2016. This period included 17 double-digit annual volume growth spurts. Since resuming growth in 2010, bottled water volume has consistently enlarged at solid single-digit percentage rates.’”

 

Fortunately for both Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo, they both have popular brands of non-carbonated bottled water, including Dasani, Vitaminwater, and Smartwater from Coca-Cola and Aquafina, Lifewater, and LIFEWTR.

A case of Dasani bottled water. Photo by AFP

 

What Type of Autonomous Car Is for YOU?

6 Mar

As we get closer and closer to the commercial launch of autonomous (self-driving) cars, one key factor has not been addressed enough: What is an autonomous car — because one type of car does not fit all? The answer is not simply “a car that takes over all/most driving functions for you.” The possible configurations of cars complicates things for both manufacturers and potential customers!

Here is a very good list of the types of autonomous driving experiences, from Lauren Flanigan (writing for The American Genius) that are ahead. Which type is best for YOU?

“From self-parking to collision avoidance, there are an array of different features that will be made available to consumers. But before you start saving for your next dream, take a look at which kind is best for you and your futuristic needs.”

Level 0 (zero automation) — “Your car is most likely a zero automation car. A human driver is required to operate and fully control the vehicle.”

Level 1 (driver assisted/function specific) — “These cars are for those who don’t trust automobiles with their lives. They still require a driver to operate the vehicle, but act as an aid to the driver, providing [specific] intelligent features.”

Level 2 (partial automation/combined autonomous functions) — “At this level, a self-driving automobile can perform two or more simultaneous tasks like steering, lane keeping, and speed maintenance while in cruise control mode.”

Level 3 (conditional automation/limited self-driving) — “The car assumes more than just partial control, and acts instead as a co-pilot. Although the driver can relinquish a lot of tasks to the car, the driver must to be ready at all times to resume control.”

Level 4 (high automation) — “These cars can perform all safety-critical driving functions while monitoring environments in defined-use cases without human intervention. Drivers enter the destination and navigation details and the car does the rest.”

Level 5 (fully autonomous) — “This car does not require any effort or driving on behalf of the human owner. There is no driving equipment in the car, which is designed to resemble comfortable environments like lounges and offices. The vehicle is in full control.”

 
Click the image to read more.


 

Is the Stock Market Over-Exuberant for Snap?

3 Mar

Snap Inc. is a U.S.-based technology and social media company that was started in 2011 .Products include the popular Snapchat app and Spectacles eye wear; it also owns the Bitmoji app.

Yesterday (March 2, 2017) was a big day for Snap Inc. and the tech industry overall because of Snap’s highly anticipated IPO (initial public offering) on the New York Stock Exchange. Some analysts are excited at the popularity of this IPO; others wonder whether investors are being overly exuberant. What do YOU think?

As reported by CNBC:

“Snap soared as much as 45% when it opened for trading at $24 a share on Thursday. Market makers at the New York Stock Exchange indicated the stock was set to open from $23.50 to $24.50 a share. At 200 million shares, Snap raised $3.4 billion and was valued at nearly $24 billion as of its pricing. Sources had told CNBC earlier this week that investors were expecting a pricing of $17 to $18 per share, above the $14 to $16 per share range originally given by the company. The IPO is 12 times oversubscribed, sources said Thursday morning, meaning that there were 12 times more orders for than there were shares offered. Some managers told CNBC they got as little as 2 percent of what they were asking for.”

 

Yet, Felix Richter commented thusly for Statista:

“Snap’s IPO valuation of $24 billion is quite a tall order for a company that has never turned a profit and warned investors that it never might. The company is now valued at 59 times its total revenue for 2016. Even for a fast-growing tech company that is a lot. Facebook in comparison has a price-to-sales ratio of around 14. As our chart illustrates, Snap is valued considerably higher than many American household names. That includes companies such as Ralph Lauren and Harley-Davidson that have been around for decades and probably will be for decades to come.”

Infographic: Snap Is More Valuable Than These Household Names | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

 

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