Has Apple Lost its Way?

Yet another reason it seems Apple has lost its way! I have been discussing this for months, and news today about the iPhone 6s mystery bug only reaffirms that thought. With the stock price down 15% on average and Q2 sales down 90%, it seems the mighty tech titan is struggling without question. And that’s not even mentioning the epic fail of Apple Music and Carl Icahn circling the waters on Apple stock as of late, which is usually a sign of something ominous to come.

From the failed Apple Watch launch, to lagging new product development including smart tvs and wearables, and a sluggish retail expansion strategy, the company who we all know and love continues to flounder.

On the four year anniversary of Steve Jobs death, I sadly reflect on his passing and the many smiles he brought to my face, and wonder if a day will come where I wait with anticipation to take a big bite out of Apple again.

For now, I’ll remember to have faith knowing that the company is still comprised of people crazy enough to think they can change the world, and hopefully still will.

steve jobs

Billee Howard is Founder + Chief Engagement Officer of Brandthropologie, a cutting edge communications consulting firm specializing in helping organizations and individuals to produce innovative, creative and passionate dialogues with target communities, consumers and employees, while blazing a trail toward new models of artful, responsible, and sustainable business success. Billee is a veteran communications executive in brand development, trend forecasting, strategic media relations, and C-suite executive positioning. She has a book dedicated to the study of the sharing economy called WeCommerce due out in Fall 2015 as well as a blog entitled the #HouseofWe dedicated to curating the trends driving our economy forward. You can read more about “WE-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy” right here!

PS – You can download a FREE chapter of  We-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy here

Sharing Economy & Apple

Hey Apple, “WE” need you back

So far we have seen a flurry of news about the impending new iPhone, freshly tweaked Apple TV and iPad pro for business, but what will be the next transformational technology that harnesses a singular focus on fusing humanity and innovation in ways that astound us? We have no clue, as there seems to be no next big Jobsian idea in the Apple arsenal.

With a falling stock price, troubles abroad, and nothing on the docket but rejiggered offerings, how can the mighty Apple maintain its worldwide dominance?

What’s needed without question is a return to the Weconomy guiding principle of doing one thing and doing one thing better than anyone else. What would that entail? I don’t know for sure but maybe creating an actual Apple smart TV as opposed to set top box, or having Angela Ahrendts the wunderkind who restored Burberry to greatness reimagine the retail technology experience, would be a good start.

The Genius Bar was and is fabulous, but is there a next iteration of the watershed model Apple invented on the horizon? Or some incredible wearable Beats technology that continues to reimagine immersive sound?

From what I have seen and heard the answer is no, and that isn’t just disappointing, it’s almost soul crushing.

There is no one that loves Apple more than me, or anyone who is rooting more for them to succeed. The world of we is aching for some Apple magic to help power our era of collaborative commerce forward. Let’s pray that a new “i” something is on the way as while there is no “i” in team, it’s a letter we have come to rely on for driving the future of culture + commerce driven “i”nnovation.

Sharing Economy & Apple

Billee Howard is Founder + Chief Engagement Officer of Brandthropologie, a cutting edge communications consulting firm specializing in helping organizations and individuals to produce innovative, creative and passionate dialogues with target communities, consumers and employees, while blazing a trail toward new models of artful, responsible, and sustainable business success. Billee is a veteran communications executive in brand development, trend forecasting, strategic media relations, and C-suite executive positioning. She has a book dedicated to the study of the sharing economy called WeCommerce due out in Fall 2015 as well as a blog entitled the #HouseofWe dedicated to curating the trends driving our economy forward. You can read more about “WE-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy” right here!

 

 

Sharing Economy 2015

WEconomy: Going from the Me to the We

Sharing Economy 2015

In today’s sharing economy a paradigm shift is rapidly occurring moving the guiding mantra from the me to the we.

We have entered a new age where the world is flat and technology’s democratizing power has given us all the opportunity to be artists and innovators.

It is now possible to stand in solidarity with people on the other side of the world because of an idea, and for one person to launch a handmade innovative product, and compete with big brands for the global customer’s attention, loyalty and consumer dollars. This means that not only the rules of the road to profitability but also the very definition of success itself has changed.  A new success story is being told, with a whole different set of characters, and plot twists, and with a reinvented vision of what the American Dream actually means.

Success in today’s WEconomy means doing it together, for the good of the many, not just the few.  It means returning to a hand made, one of a kind world, where profit is also purposeful, where creativity, socialization and trust, and are core competencies.  It means that our stories are now the currency that engages us with ourselves, and with others, our passions and interests the bridge that connects the digital and physical world.  It means that now, we are living in a culture and a marketplace where the very first rule for how to succeed is to understand that now, more than ever before, united WE stand, and divided WE fall.

Sharing Economy Billee Howard

Billee Howard is Founder + Chief Engagement Officer of Brandthropologie, a cutting edge communications consulting firm specializing in helping organizations and individuals to produce innovative, creative and passionate dialogues with target communities, consumers and employees, while blazing a trail toward new models of artful, responsible, and sustainable business success. Billee is a veteran communications executive in brand development, trend forecasting, strategic media relations, and C-suite executive positioning. She has a book dedicated to the study of the sharing economy called WeCommerce due out in Fall 2015 as well as a blog entitled the #HouseofWe dedicated to curating the trends driving our economy forward. You can read more about “WE-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy” right here!

 

 

Sharing Economy Trends: Change or Die

Photo via Startup Stock Photos

Photo via Startup Stock Photos

Constant reinvention has always been the name of the game in business, but in the current environment, pushing ones self to a point of discomfort is critical. To succeed today, one must innovate in a way that creates a new market by applying a different set of values, which ultimately (and unexpectedly) overtakes an existing market. In the sharing economy the guiding mantra is simple: change or die.

How did Justin Timberlake go from a Mickey Mouse Club inspired boy band star in decline, to a top of the charts trans-media icon who has reimagined what today’s musical experience could entail?

How did a macho, muscle car, made in Detroit Ford Motors emerge from the ashes of the collapse of the American auto industry as a best in class luxury ride, with pioneering telematics and in car innovations that led to the greatest turn around in history?

How is New Corporations new company Amplify aiming to reimagine education through disruptive technology?

How has YouTube disrupted the media world to usher in a new age of platinum television worth billions?

These and other leading brands today have recognized that the sharing Economy demands that everyone strive for the insurgency of a challenger, even if they are the established incumbents.  Wecomonics favors those who are not only able to survive periods of disruption, but seek it out in order to remain vital, relevant, innovative, and competitive.

You can read more about “WE-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy” right here!

Book Cover

Billee Howard is Founder + Chief Engagement Officer of Brandthropologie, a cutting edge communications consulting firm specializing in helping organizations and individuals to produce innovative, creative and passionate dialogues with target communities, consumers and employees, while blazing a trail toward new models of artful, responsible, and sustainable business success. Billee is a veteran communications executive in brand development, trend forecasting, strategic media relations, and C-suite executive positioning. She has a book dedicated to the study of the sharing economy called WeCommerce due out in Fall 2015 as well as a blog entitled the #HouseofWe dedicated to curating the trends driving our economy forward.

 

I'm Loving KSwiss Again

Why I’m Loving KSwiss Again

Photo: Courtesy of K.Swiss

Everyone in the above 35 and sneaker junkie crowds no doubt remembers the classic white on white silver hooked beauties of the late 80s and 90s. Just looking at the white knight like KSwiss brings a Say Anything smile to mind and puts a little bit of Wham! “go go” back in your step.

Beyond the warm nostalgia the iconic shoe inspires, their new brand re-ignition campaign called The Board makes me fall in love with them all over again. Taking the Stan Smith Pharell celebrity partnership idea designed to usher in a new generation of fans a step further, the KSwiss campaign partners with mega star Diplo to go beyond crowdsourced funding to the concept of collaborative co created marketing.

In the sharing economy, a brand’s ability to procure immersive experiences that stoke passions and emotional responses is as important as the products and services they purvey.

In the new groundbreaking campaign,  KSwiss allows people to apply for a position on The Board, a group of 100 creatives, led by Diplo, whose ideas for brand outreach and growth will actually be implemented to put the legacy sneaker icon back on the map.

According to KSwiss they are “committed to outfitting and inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs” with their new campaign.

This week, the heritage tennis brand announced the curriculum the selected board applicants will be learning.

The goal is to have members of the board study the footwear and fashion industries and work on assignments with the intent to improve the K-Swiss brand.

The courses include “Brand Positioning,” instructed by streetwear brand 10 Deep founder and designer Scott Sasso; “Ideas with a Conscience,” instructed by Tyler Gage and Dan MacCombie, co-founders of the Fair Trade Certified beverage company Runa; “Sneaker Design,” instructed by Staple Design’s founder and creative director, Jeff Ng; “Lookbook Shoot,” instructed by Style.com fashion market director Rachael Wang; “Social Media Best Practices,” instructed by social media personality Jopsh Ostrovsky; and “Writing Your Business Plan,” instructed by Sharmadean Reid, brand consultant and founder of London-based nail company WAH Nails.

Through the curriculum, members will learn how to create a new tagline for K-Swiss, create a lookbook, build a brand with a socially responsible mission, design shoes, build a social media voice and learn about the components of a business plan.

In the age of #WeCommerce everyone is an entrepreneur as much as they are a creator. Consequently, the global economy is becoming increasingly powered by a new generation of innovators called “artists of business.”

While it will be fascinating to see how the idea of crowdsourced marketing unfolds and what new “chairmen of the board” it inspires, it will be most interesting to see if a #WeCommerce approach to marketing that enables consumers to co-create the next chapter of KSwiss’s legacy succeeds.

I sure hope it does. Why? Because if the concept prevails, the power of storytelling will become inextricably linked to a brand’s performance and profitability, thereby catapulting marketing to the very beginning of the supply chain of invention.

http://video.style.com/watch/diplo-k-swiss-the-board-campaign-video

You can read more about Billee Howard’s book “WE-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy” right here!

Billee Howard is Founder + Chief Engagement Officer of Brandthropologie, a cutting edge communications consulting firm specializing in helping organizations and individuals to produce innovative, creative and passionate dialogues with target communities, consumers and employees, while blazing a trail toward new models of artful, responsible, and sustainable business success. Billee is a veteran communications executive in brand development, trend forecasting, strategic media relations, and C-suite executive positioning. She has a book dedicated to the study of the sharing economy called WeCommerce due out in Fall 2015 as well as a blog entitled the #HouseofWe dedicated to curating the trends driving our economy forward.