T-Mobile, in many respects, has its back to the wall. It did not carry the iPhone until this week. Its 4G network still lags behind those of Verizon and AT&T. And one year ago, AT&T dropped its $39 billion acquisition plans, in light of opposition from the Justice department. And its relatively small hold on the US phone market has meant that the T-Mobile still lags among the big four phone carriers.
A once-dominant company, brought to its knees by competition from Apple and Amazon, is faced with dropping sales, a sinking share price, and angry shareholders. In walks the silver-haired founder of the company, who volunteers part of his reduced, if still substantial fortune, in order to buy the company and save the brand.
I recently rediscovered Apple’s 2008 commercial for the original Macbook Air, and was surprised to find that it packed the same visual, emotional appeal that it did five years ago – even in the post-PC, iPad-centric era.
If Twitter partners with Amex to take on eCommerce, you can be sure that Facebook will make its own effort, too.
Yesterday, I bought a $25 American Express Gift Card for $15. The neat thing is, I did it on Twitter. I’m not sure if this sort of selling is necessarily going to be the next big thing in eCommerce, but it is certainly a compelling development in how Twitter – which recently raised the per-day cost of its “Promoted Tweet” to $200,000 – is seeking to monetize its product. Similarly, Facebook is experimenting with a ticket purchase option for some events, demonstrating Social Media’s interest – and need – to expand from simple advertising platforms to facilitators of consumer engagement – and purchases.
There is a great metric by which companies’ success can be measured. Effectively, if the name of a corporation’s good or service becomes interchangeable with the product category as a whole, the company’s product – or at least its marketing – is probably pretty successful. Older examples would be the use of the word “Xerox” as a verb, or “Kleenex” as a catchall for tissues. In our generation, the use of “Google” as a verb is likely the best example.
I’ve written about Samsung’s shotgun approach to production vis-a-vis the Note – a different strokes for different folks view, as opposed to Apple’s one size fits all philosophy – and, over at Slate, Farhad Manjoo reiterates as much. Hit up the link for more. Continue reading The Shotgun