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Tablet: Toy or laptop-succeeding tool?

  
  
  
  
  

describe the imageWith Amazon unveiling its Kindle Fire tablet today and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab series garnering more than a few good reviews, the tablet is poised to become an established piece of tech rather than an Apple-only gizmo.  While the iPad started the craze, the success of other (but not all) renditions hints at future price slashes and app-tastic innovations.  Touch screens, intuitive layouts and petite proportions have the digital slates on their way to becoming a household item.

 But what type of household device will it be?  Will it be a work-home hybrid like computers and smartphones that serves both professional and personal purposes?  Or will it lean more toward the unnecessary-but-fun luxury category where e-readers, mp3 players and gaming consoles reside?  The jury is still out to lunch.

In June 57, percent of owners polled by Resolve Market Research reported that they used their tablets to supplant laptop applications, including work-related tasks.  These findings might indicate a laptop-tablet battle for computing supremacy, but another study has come to a very different conclusion.  A survey by Citigroup revealed that of 1,800 polled in the U.S. and U.K., 62 percent would purchase a tablet as a new toy or leisure gadget.  Only 18 percent reported they would use the device for work.

Of course these surveys cannot be arranged into an apples-to-apples comparison— the most glaring distinction being that one polled tablet owners and the other asked would-be consumers.  As more companies, like Amazon, enter the tablet club, the market dynamic will continue to evolve; only time will tell if and how the tablet will fit into the tech ecosystem.  

In the meantime, marketers would be wise to keep an eye on the public’s sentiments.  So far tablet ads have focused on versatility and ease of use, but should iPads, Kindle Fires and Galaxy Tabs become common office tools, those themes will need an upgrade.

On a lighter note, Disney’s upcoming Appmates for Cars points toward the toy (albeit awesome toy) category. Now all I need is an excuse to race Lightning McQueen at the office.

Nicole Duncan

The Corporate Cure

  
  
  
  
  

Free People's playful blog

The business section of Sunday’s Washington Post speculated that corporate curation is becoming a popular marketing campaign for many brands. The article, which had appeared on newspaper’s website six days prior, asserted that companies (particularly fashion and luxury brands) are assembling their own collection of Internet snippets.  These “advertorials” combine the affable voice of web editorials with the appeal of stylish ad campaigns.

The Post sited Louis Vuitton’s Nowness and the Harley Davidson Ridebook as two buzz-worthy examples of corporate curation.  Here are a few other brands that are dabbling in advertorials and unorthodox content development.   

What do you think of these editorial/advertising hybrids?  If brands are open about the information they’re curating, can they become key influencers?  Please leave comments below.

Free People – The whimsical design and joie de vivre photos echo the spirit of fun fashion bloggers— both stylish and accessible.

Cleanest Line – Patagonia’s blog reads like an adventurist’s journal with a bit of environmental activism sprinkled in the mix.

The IKEA Blog – With quirky comics, product demonstrations and even clips of “Futurama,” the furniture superstore curates creative and eclectic content.

Open Forum – American Express eschews the typical self-promotion of other credit card companies by including timely business news stories and tips.

Secret Life of a Benefit Gal – While this makeup brand spotlights its products, the down-to-earth demonstrators and nifty tricks are reader-friendly.

Nicole Duncan

PS3 Worth Its Weight In Gold – Thanks, Ebay!

  
  
  
  
  

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$30,000.  A pretty good pay day for a few hours of work.  The job?  Camp outside Best Buy the night before Sony’s Playstation 3 is released, buy the system (if you’re lucky) and hock it on Ebay.

Today, November 17th, 2006, is the day of the PS3.  It’s also the pay day many people have been waiting for.  You see, for some time now people have not been buying video game systems on ‘launch day’ for personal use, but for the sole purpose of re-selling them on Ebay.  It started with the Playstation 2 over six years ago and today a new record has been set. 

This morning, a PS3 sold for over $30,000 on Ebay.  The retail price of this gaming system is $599. Lucky day for the seller. Can I say the same for the buyer?  What drives consumers to such madness?  Ebay has once again proven they are the definitive hype-meter for what is hot in the Holiday season.

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