Amazon’s Food Offensive Forcing Supermarkets Into 21st Century


Walk into a grocery store 10 years from now, and you’ll see more prepared meals, personalized recommendations and perhaps even an in-house restaurant.

What you probably won’t see is a random stockpile of food and a long line at the register.

Time-consuming trips and a cumbersome checkout process are some of the top challenges that grocery stores aim to tackle in coming years, and the stakes are high. Online delivery services and deep-discount chains are threatening to upend supermarkets’ long-held perch in the food landscape.

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Burson-Marsteller Celebrates LGBTQ Pride Month with Burson PRide

Last year, reinforcing our commitment to diversity and inclusion, Burson-Marsteller in the U.S. founded Burson PRide (an employee resource group) to support and bring awareness to the unique stories and challenges of the LGBTQ community. In celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month in the U.S., we have created two videos featuring the perspectives of our LGBTQ employees and allies. The videos – “What Pride Means to Me” and “PRide at Burson” – recognize the struggles of the LGBTQ community while celebrating the progress made thus far to foster a more inclusive workplace, culture and society.

Watch the videos below

What Pride Means to Me

PRide at Burson

Google Will Stop Reading Your Emails for Gmail Ads


Google is stopping one of the most controversial advertising formats: ads inside Gmail that scan users’ email contents. The decision didn’t come from Google’s ad team, but from its cloud unit, which is angling to sign up more corporate customers.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google Cloud sells a package of office software, called G Suite, that competes with market leader Microsoft Corp. Paying Gmail users never received the email-scanning ads like the free version of the program, but some business customers were confused by the distinction and its privacy implications, said Diane Greene, Google’s senior VP of cloud. “What we’re going to do is make it unambiguous,” she said.

Ads will continue to appear inside the free version of Gmail, as promoted messages. But instead of scanning a user’s email, the ads will now be targeted with other personal information Google already pulls from sources such as search and YouTube. Ads based on scanned email messages drew lawsuits and some of the most strident criticism the company faced, but offered marketers a much more targeted way to reach consumers.

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Simplicity: The key to great customer experience

This post originally appeared on the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog

The discipline of Branding is undergoing radical change as companies realize that customer experience—rather than clever words and artfully designed logos—drives trust, loyalty and retention. A cacophony of messages streaming from multiple media at an accelerating pace means that each interaction—collectively the customer experience—must carry the brand. No interaction is too brief, too mundane or too inconsequential to be dismissed.

So what is the DNA of a great brand experience? In a word: Simplicity. Simpler experiences are more valuable to consumers, as our research shows 64 percent are willing to pay a premium for it. Here are four simple ways to think about simplicity to improve customer experience.

Remember simple is not simplistic

Imbuing a brand experience with simplicity does not mean that a product or service becomes simplistic or watered down.  Google, Netflix and Amazon are all brands built on services that are highly complex in terms of digital capabilities, but ultimately offer solutions that are tailored to users and make their lives easier via simplicity.

Simplicity is achieved when two key components intersect: clarity and surprise. It implies consideration—taking the time and effort to know an audience well enough to understand just how much information they need – clarity – and then delivering it in a way that is truly fresh – surprise. Combining these two elements allows a brand to appeal both logically and emotionally.

Clarity matters in more than just diamonds

Clarity accentuates authenticity and increases productivity by reinforcing “what” we want to do with the substance of “how” and “why.” For example, Volvo’s “Our Idea of Luxury is Simplicity,” campaign substantiates clarity by entwining the XC90 model’s simplicity with luxury, appealing to comfort, convenience and peace of mind (e.g., safety) – all that Volvo has become known for.

While clarity can be a point of competitive differentiation, it requires streamlining, consolidating and straightforward customer communication.

The element of surprise is still advantageous

True simplicity also has an element of the unexpected.

To harken to the previous example, Volvo didn’t stop when it achieved clarity in its experience. It also offered “Volvo Reality,” a virtual reality driving experience that allows people to use an app on their smartphone and Google Cardboard as a viewer to start “driving.” It also created a series of virtual reality experiences building upon each other as segments, much as real-world experience is multi-layered. “Volvo Reality” was a success, garnering 238 million media impressions.

However, surprise does not always require employing groundbreaking new technology. Moments of wonder and astonishment are rare and resonate on a visceral level without requiring much thought. In that way, they are “simple.”

Why simplicity matters now more than ever

In a world crowded with experiences, clarity provides the ultimate value—time saved. And with our attention divided across platforms, surprise delivers delight.

Technology has increased the speed and volume of information at an exponential pace while people have less free time and increased decision-making responsibility. The channels and touchpoints through which a brand is experienced may change, but the lens of simplicity will help organizations determine how to use these channels to deliver value.

Perhaps most important, an ethos of simplicity demonstrates customer centricity. Faced with a constant stream of choice and access to a universe of online information, individuals seek simplicity to feel in control, bolster confidence and achieve peace of mind. Brands that deliver clarity and surprise through customer experience are tapping into a burgeoning marketplace demand—and will ultimately win its loyalty.

David Srere is co-CEO and chief strategy officer at Siegel+Gale. Follow him on Twitter:@David_Srere

The post Simplicity: The key to great customer experience appeared first on Siegel+Gale: Brand Consulting, Experience, Strategy, and Design.

Social Media News Roundup: June ‘17 Week 4

Social media news roundup june 17 week 4
In the news this week – Facebook announces new features for group admins and Instagram wants to buddy up with Hollywood movie stars…
Facebook is adding new features for group admins

On Thursday 22nd of June Facebook held their first Communities Summit in Chicago. Attended by hundreds of group admins, at it Facebook announced several new features to help users grow and manage their groups. According to a post on the Newsroom, more than 1 billion people around the world use Groups, with over 100 million being members of “meaningful groups” – those that quickly become a central part of their experience on the social network.

Among the features announced were Group Insights, offering admins real-time growth, engagement and membership metrics, membership request filtering, post scheduling and group-to-group linking. Full details of all of the updates can be found on this post.

Facebook trialling new tools to deter profile picture misuse in India

Facebook have added an optional ‘Picture Guard’ tool for users in India in a bid to deter profile picture misuse on the network. According to a post on Facebook’s Newsroom, when an extra design layer is added to a picture other people are 75% less likely to copy it.

The guard tool effectively renders pictures less accessible. Those with the tool added cannot be downloaded and people you aren’t friends with cannot tag people in it. Alongside that, on Android devices Facebook prevents the use of screenshots. Facebook have said that they will use their experience with the tool in India to consider expansion to other countries.

Facebook offering free advertising to anti-terror groups

Facebook will give free advertising credit to anti-terror groups in a bid to crack down on radical propaganda and terror across the network. The social network has previously been criticised for not doing enough to counter extremism. The new initiative is being referred to as a “counter speech” campaign and will be focussed in the UK. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, announced that they will give advertising credit to groups such as the Institute for Strategic Dialogue. Announcing the initiative, she said:

“No one should have to live in fear of terrorism, and we all have a part to play in stopping violent extremism from spreading… There is no place for hate or violence on Facebook. Partnerships with others – including tech companies, civil society, researchers and governments – are a crucial piece of the puzzle.”

Instagram looks set to bolster ties with Hollywood influencers

Facebook is currently looking to engage with Hollywood celebrities and direct them to its Instagram unit, in a bid to keep pace with YouTube video content and fend off Snap. Celebrities and high-profile users play a crucial role in encouraging audience growth.  

Looking at a job ad on LinkedIn, Instagram are hiring for a new executive in Los Angeles to help  “drive high impact and authentic use of Instagram for public figures” leading “outreach efforts with entertainment industry influencers”.

Instagram expands options for live videos with Stories

Instagram now offer users the option to share a replay of their live videos to Instagram Stories. According to a post on their press site, millions of people have used live since it’s introduction in November. Once a live broadcast has ended, users will be able to tap “Share” at the bottom of the screen and a replay will be available on Stories for 24 hours.

The post Social Media News Roundup: June ‘17 Week 4 appeared first on Giraffe Social Media.

When AI Fails (and What We Learned)


Brands big and small are experimenting with artificial intelligence (AI), with varying levels of success. Amazon uses AI to predict what you want to buy; Spotify leverages it to select music for your playlists; and digital assistants like Apple’s Siri are AI tools personified.

But among those successes are plenty of missteps. As far as the technology has come, AI isn’t foolproof, in part because the humans who design it aren’t. But let’s not take down the companies that make mistakes: by pushing boundaries in the AI world, they’re offering valuable lessons to the rest of us. Here are the lessons from four recent AI bloopers.

Home invasion

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