Even the geopolitical changes aside, this February has been a rather eventful month- between the bankruptcy of Borders, the acquisition of The Huffington Post, the depletion of the Internet addresses, the creation of the Antilaser, the partnership of Nokia and Microsoft and the breakup of The White Stripes, there has been plenty of news for everyone.The articles below cover the most interesting stories from the worlds of branding and technology. 

 

Author

Progress read

Although, as many, we are quite fed up with endless ranking clones, this one is different. Admittedly, Fast Company’s “The World’s Most Innovative Companies 2011” does open with Apple (and it is hard to argue that that lot is indeed quite innovative), it gets interesting further down the page: Groupon over Google, Burberry over Nike and Huawei way over Samsung. Do not forget to click on the names to read the reasons for nomination.
The World’s Most Innovative Companies 2011

How to create perfect order out of chaos? How to introduce a biometric ID card in a country where hundreds of millions not just lack any documents but even addresses or surnames? The Indian government gives master class in digital society building whilst boosting local businesses along the way. The tender management strategy deserves an extra round of applause.
Identifying a billion Indians

Despite the impressive technogenic and social development, 2011 will not become the year of the mobile revolution. This post, one of our own, examines the current trends, the euphoric expectations and explains why you should not throw your laptop away just yet.
Mobile Marketing: Revolution Postponed

Celebrities

Marketing read

A riveting analysis of celebrity endorsement. Apparently, my face on the box of razors may sell more of them than that of Tiger Woods (and I promise to do it for less). The 11 month long study of over 2,600 ads showed that just under 12% of ads using celebrities exceeded a 10% lift, and 20% of celebrity ads had a negative impact on advertising effectiveness.
Celebrities In Advertising: A Marketing Mistake?

In spite of my creative predisposition, I have always been a passionate advocate of Sergio Zyman’s (more analytical) approach to marketing. This post argues the exact opposite, appealing to the intangible. I may not entirely agree with the rationale but it is an opinion rarely expressed in public these days.
The (Mis)Measurement of Marketing

Since we are getting sentimental, this piece on aspirational branding briefly examines the reasons behind our desperate desire for certain products and explains why appealing to the emotional may, under circumstances, turn a bunch of passive followers into an almost fanatic cult.
The things we want to have, the people we want to be

Mechanism

Asset management read

How do businesses make the most out of their brand investments? How do they make sure the assets are safe and deliver ROI? In this white paper written for the Leading Lights awards ceremony, James Waite of Adgistics explain how brand centres grow businesses through enhancing marketing efficiency and transforming a multitude of files into a self-sufficient organism, bringing brands to life.
Asset Management To Go… Where?

Laser

Science read

Science is obviously fundamental to technological progress- the gadgets are getting exponentially smaller, smarter and faster due to the years of research and developments. As I have learned many years ago by reading my father’s papers on theoretical physics, good science pieces make a perfect soporific. However, these two are too important to ignore.

First of all, some very clever people from Yale have challenged professor Dumbledore in the ability of making light disappear. The antilaser is expected to find its use in the future computer boards, making machines much faster. However, as Lisa Grossmann of Wired points out, the real trick lies in the unknown- we have invented something very clever but have not found the groundbreaking application for it just yet. Do not despair; after all, the laser itself was once branded “a solution without a problem”.
Physicists Build World’s First Antilaser

This article in ScienceNews has been written for the rather prepared audience, but even without getting into the technical details, the news is astonishing: invisibility cloaks are not exclusive to the fairy tale characters anymore. Imperfect today, used by the military in a few years, and in your wardrobe by 2020? Who knows
Invisibility cloaks hit the big time

Nokia vs Microsoft

Business read

Twitter has made headlines in December 2010 after growing in price by the unbelievable 370% in a year. Well, guess what? They have done it again. Allegedly, both Google and Facebook have approached the popular micro-blogging service and the sum between $8 and $10 billion has been mentioned. That would put Twitter’s growth at 243% in just over a month.
Twitter as Tech Bubble Barometer

Natural resources prices aside, the main business topics of February were Bing’s accusation of plagiarism (by Google) and the Nokia-Microsoft partnership. The first story is pretty straightforward- Microsoft doesn’t really deny borrowing the search results through its IE8 browser. Although the reason behind the Bing- powered searches growth is likely to be directly linked to the…approach, the public opinion is not strictly on Google’s side. From what I have heard, Microsoft’s stunt has surprised the tech bloggers by its creativity and, well… sense of humour.

Can it be true? Not only did Nokia renounce Symbian, it has made a blood pact with one of its competitors. The story has immediately cost Nokia 12% of its share value but the future is not as grim as it may seem. The previously elitist Finns promise to do good and even slash prices.

Experts seem to be unsure whether to applaud the Vikings for having chosen the only path that doesn’t end with certain death or invest in Apple shares. Nokia Chief Executive Stephen Elop has offered a few clues about how the company will work with Microsoft on smartphones.
Nokia CEO Offers Glimpse Of Future Windows Phone Strategy

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