Category Innovative

Insightful: Rahm Emanuel expands on the opportunities of crises

Back in October I mentioned that, just after Barack Obama was elected president, his incoming chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, told a conference of American captains of industry, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

Now, I’ve come across the following video in which Emanuel, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal expands on the idea. He’s talking politics – specifically the opportunity for bipartisan reform – but the principle is equally true of how businessnes can take advantage of the crisis: use it as a great opportunity to innovate.

Video after the break.

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Innovative: First Direct takes the lead amongst UK banks in reaching out to its customers

This morning I read this post by Chris Skinner praising First Direct for being the first UK bank to really ‘get’ social media. I was delighted to see a UK bank finally taking advantage of social media in a convincing way.

Ironically I first met Chris when we asked him to blog for SWIFT’s own social media platform: swiftcommunity.net. So, he and I both know how reticent the financial services industry can be when it comes to interacting with its customers and peers online.

Financial services – and banking in particular – remains in many ways a very old-fashioned business. Its practitioners are trained to be risk-averse, it’s part of the DNA. Indeed, as far as looking after my money and yours is concerned, we can probably agree that that’s no bad thing.

When it comes to retail banking though, customers increasingly expect to be able to have their say. Giving them the opportunity to do so, being transparent about it and – here’s the crucial bit – tackling the negative as well as the positive feedback in a public forum, would prove a fantastic brand building strategy for any bank that had the courage to do it first.

That bank is First Direct.

Head on over to the Financial Services Club Blog to read Chris’ full post.

Insightful: Rahm Emanuel on the opportunities provided by crises

Emanuel with Barack Obama

The Schumpeter column in The Economist last week recounts how, just after Barack Obama was elected president, his incoming chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, told a conference of American captains of industry, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

Quite right. It’s in a slump that innovative companies are created or come out fighting. As The Economist notes “Business is more likely to take advantage of this ‘serious crisis’ than the world’s politicians.”

Innovative: Get ahead in advertising

0_115_175_http---offlinehbpl.hbpl.co.uk-news-2RB-396C5879-C71B-F1F1-0C33619A84E1120BThe evening papers in London tonight are reporting the story of David Rowe, an unemployed history graduate who spent five days walking the streets of the capital last month wearing a sandwich board. His pitch? He’d work for free for a month. After that, you could either hire or fire him.

Well, his innovative advertising idea produced exactly the  result he was looking for. In addition to widespread media coverage and about 250 enquiries, Rowe attracted the attention of JCDecaux’s managing director Spencer Berwin who literally bumped into him on Fleet Street.

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“My name’s Andrew and I’m in marketing.”

From large networking events to small dinner parties, I’ve uttered that line more times than I care to remember. It’s normally met with a smile and a swift transition to another topic.