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It’s Incredible How Much Reputation Matters For Brands

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/its-incredible-how-much-reputation-matters-for-brands-2012-12

In a time where trust in companies is at an all time low, it’s more valuable than ever. That’s not a moral or values based statement, it’s about the impact on the bottom line.

This chart, from a presentation at McKinsey’s Chief Marketing And Sales Officer Forum, shows how much investors and consumers reward an outstanding reputation: 

McKinsey

Despite the incredible value of reputation, according to McKinsey’s Betsy Holden, companies aren’t taking full advantage of their opportunities to increase it:

McKinsey reputation

One thing they can do to improve their reputation is bolster their social media presence. They can publish material related to the above, like information about transparency or environmental efforts, and can use it as a customer service tool. Being accessible and accountable increases trust.

That route may be particularly effective because social media is trusted by consumers at a rapidly increasing rate:

Social trust

NOW READ: McK insey Predicts The War For Talent Will Go Nuts By 2020

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Tuesday, December 11th, 2012 news No Comments

Starbucks Is Charging $450 for a Specially Etched Metal Gift Card to Buy Coffee Flavored Water

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5966108/starbucks-is-charging-450-for-a-specially-etched-metal-gift-card-to-buy-coffee-flavored-water

Starbucks Is Charging $450 for a Specially Etched Metal Gift Card to Buy Coffee Flavored WaterStarbucks, purveyor of coffee flavored water, builder of coffee scented corner stores and shelter for no coffee drinking Wi-Fi leeches, has a new shtick: a premium gift card. It’s made of steel! It’s ‘specially etched’! And it’s a super, limited edition that inanely costs 450 bucks.

The gift card itself costs $50 to make, the other $400 will be loaded as Starbucks credit and can only be bought on Gilt. I guess Starbucks people go to Starbucks enough that the $400 will manifest destiny itself in the caffeinated brown liquid but damn if this isn’t some elitist craziness. The card, which will surely make its owners feel good about themselves, comes with “with gold-level Starbucks card membership benefits, such as gifts and freebie refills on brewed coffee and tea.”

Jason Goldberger, executive vice president at Gilt.com, told the USA Today it’s all about exclusivity:

“When you’re waiting in line at Starbucks, the next person in line won’t have it.”

Ugh. [USA Today]

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Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 news No Comments

Google Lowers Prices To Try And Kill Amazon’s Cloud (GOOG, AMZN)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/google-lowers-prices-to-compete-with-aws-2012-11

Google Shailesh Rao

Remember Compute Engine, Google’s Amazon-killer cloud that launched in a “limited preview” this June?

So far it hasn’t exactly knocked Amazon from its pedestal.

So Google’s trying an age-old tactic: lowering prices.

At the time it was announced, Google said it would be faster and cheaper than Amazon’s cloud, offering “50% more power per dollar” – which translated to being 37% cheaper.

But that apparently wasn’t cheap enough, because Google just dropped prices another 5%, Shailesh Rao, director of new products and solutions in the Google Enterprise unit, told InformationWeek

It also added a bunch of new configuration options to make it more in line with all the things Amazon offers.

Rao says that Compute Engine wants to bring more startups onto its cloud. Startups are what propelled Amazon’s cloud services to become the most popular. One reason why startups are wary is because Compute Engine is still in “limited preview.” That’s a fancy way of saying that its still in beta mode.

Google hasn’t committed to a timeline when it’s cloud will leave beta and become a full-fledged service, Rao says.

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Happy election day! Surely you’re not already tired of social media updates about politics, or the self-congratulatory Twitter messages from your friends who got up earlier than you did to stand in line. Now you can also see a map of everyone who used Foursquare to get an I Voted badge.

It’s kind of interesting because it includes user info like gender, and where and when votes were concentrated. Check it out.

mf Live Map Shows Every Foursquare User Whos Voting Today, Where and When