My Favorites Of June: #CSReport2017, Reverse Mentoring & Apple’s Campus

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A beautiful month of June comes to an end. We’re well into July, so it is time to share some of my favorites articles of the last 30 days. Besides a long article about Apple’s new campus in Cupertino – in which the legacy of Steve Jobs is discussed as much as architecural details – I am sharing articles about marketing, advertising, strategy management… and the financing of U.S. healthcare.

The latter is not so much about Donald Trump as it is about the private sector, which jumps in to cover the lack of healthcare funding for the most vulnerable. What may seem a good idea is described as the sign of a disfunctional public service, an opinion that I share. Talking about having a point of view : the last article is about Burger King’s stance towards societal issues, explaining why it’s more dangerous not to take risks as a brand.

As an eYeka alumni, I want to start by sharing this report about big brands’ use of creative crowdsourcing. I contributed to the first two versions, 2015 and 2016, and am happy to see François, Yaoqi and the team continue publish high-quality thought leadership. Yet again, “this report reflects the recent evolutions and current uses of creative crowdsourcing [by] an industry that entered the “Age of Ideation,” [and the report provides] examples of new operating models and provide a checklist for brands to evaluate potential creative crowdsourcing vendors,” as eYeka’s website says. Great work !

Despite being a sponsored post, this is a great article about the evolution of marketing. In this Q&A with Jerry Wind, professor of marketing at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania […incredibly long & pompous title…], shares his thoughts on industry trends, the changing role of the CMO, and how today’s top marketers can be more effective. My preferred tip by Wind: “For marketers over 30, immediately get a reverse mentor—a young employee who will regularly explain what is happening in digital media, technology, and culture. People who have grown up in a digital world use its technology and media intuitively, while those who didn’t tend to struggle more.

Great, great post by Nikhil Basu Trivedi, a well-known VC, about what made the razor selling service (note: I’m not saying “razor seller” or “razor producer”) Dollar Shave Club’s a success: “the Dollar Shave Club team has executed incredibly well on many dimensions. They’ve made quality razors and blades much more affordable for consumers. They’ve built a brand that people love, that speaks authentically, and connects at an emotional level [but above all] the retention in its subscriber base was the key reason for the company’s ability to make its unit economics work.

Crowdfunding platforms such as GoFundMe and YouCaring have turned sympathy for Americans drowning in medical expenses into a cottage industrythe article introduces, before citing the CEO of the latter platform: “The weight of health-care costs on consumers will only increase [which] will drive more people to try and figure out how to pay health-care needs, and crowdfunding is in its early days as a way to help those people.” I hope it’s an early solution, which may evolve into a cooperative or public model eventually, because otherwise I don’t see any societal benefit to it. Except if these models make public services run more efficiently and improve overall coverage at lesser cost for tax-payers ?

A lengthy article about Apple’s campus in Cupertino, which was designed by Norman Foster and opened to select employees in April. From the original idea in 2004 (“a ring was not what Jobs had in mind when he first started talking about a new campus“) to the first sketches (“Foster furiously sketched in the A4 sketchbook he is never without, creating a “word picture” of what Jobs was envisioning“) and the engineering challenges that dozens of Foster employees had to tackle (“How does one create the largest, strongest pieces of glass in the world? Oh, and they have to be curved“)… if you like design and/or architecture you will enjoy the read!

Under the click-bait title “The real reason Amazon buying Whole Foods terrifies the competition” you will find an informative, well-analyzed and argumented article about Amazon’s strategy. The retailer made headlines by taking over Whole Foods, a brick-and-mortar store chain, and everyone went about their own analyses of the deal. Matthew Yglesias from CNBC believes that no one is able to compete with a company that doesn’t prioritize making money and reinvests every marginal dollar made. I like the theory, even though eventually Amazon shareholders will want to see cash too.

Burger King, this year’s Cannes Lions creative marketer of the year, explains how creativity is what gives the brand an edge over competitors like Mc Donalds. Its head of brand marketing, Fernando Machado, spoke to Marketing Week about the brand’s “long-term commitment to creativity” and how it plays a crucial role in differentiating itself from competitors: “The worst thing that can happen for any brand in any market, is to not be noticed – you waste a tonne of money on media and just become noise in the background. For us to win, we need to value creativity.” A point of view I share

Thanks for reading!

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