4 Ways The Cloud Is Impacting Your Customers – And They Don’t Even Know It

Shelly Dutton

Few buzzwords have changed the mindset of entire industries and societies like “customer experience.” Whether you call it the “buying journey,” customer journey,” or any other creative term, the customer experience is putting the customer in charge. They can now interact with businesses through the channel of their choosing. They are experiencing more targeted and personalized marketing 24×7. They have more access to information. They can purchase almost anything they want – anytime and anywhere. And they have a global forum to air their opinions and concerns.

The customer experience has never been more empowering. At the same time, there’s another buzzword working behind the scenes to make all of this happen: the cloud. And most customers don’t even know it and understand it.

The cloud: Customers are impacted unknowingly – and why you should tell them

When people think of their experience with any brand, very rarely does the use of cloud technology come up. Instead, they focus on the quality of the interaction and whether the anticipated result was delivered as expected. Is it because the process is so seamless? Does it even matter?

At any given moment, an overwhelming majority of customers are using cloud services. Whether it’s for file sharing, storing music, or exchanging information between call centers separated by eight time zones, the cloud is quickly becoming the engine behind the customer experience. As customers become more knowledgeable about the risks associated with our digital world, a brand’s technology practices will factor heavily on their final buying decision.

By proactively educating customers, brands can quell common concerns (including cost, security, and privacy) and bring awareness to potential opportunities. Unfortunately, this can be a tall order when you consider that most of your customers may not have even the foggiest clue about what the cloud is and how it is used. By addressing four key areas, companies can get the conversation started and build customer awareness:

1. The cloud is the engine powering the experience customers want

One of the biggest challenges in creating the right experience is the growing number of employees involved in handling customer interactions that are geographically dispersed across a network of call centers.

By adding a cloud-based digital work stream that eases access to the right information at the time of need, barriers between the contact center and internal organizational silos are broken down. Not only does this mean faster resolution times and greater knowledge sharing, but it also delivers the outcomes customers want without unnecessary frustration.

2. The cloud creates and uses data – and a lot of it 

Any information a person releases – including tweets, product reviews, voter registration, health statistics, weather forecasts, or personal information given to a competing brand – is fair game in the cloud. All of this data is accessed and analyzed to predict buying behavior, proactively engage with customers, and manage the overall experience in every channel more effectively.

3. The cloud complements the digital-driven lifestyle of today’s customers

For the customer, that means an opportunity to experience the best-possible service and receive offers that make sense. Long gone are the days when customers receive a coupon for free ice cream on a Tuesday in the middle of a blizzard – especially if they typically buy it on a weekend during the height of the summer season.

4. The cloud is safe, and your brand has the right safeguards in place

Nothing is more important that reassuring customers that their information contained in your internal systems are safe. It protects your brand – and it builds customer relationships based on trust and transparency. What are your customers’ concerns, and how are you addressing them? Does your cloud bring any risks such as availability and data integrity? Are there security policies and monitoring in place? Is it compliant? And is it secure from the latest threat of hackers and malware?

Most companies with cloud-based customer experience initiatives and processes have been focused on unifying their internal organizations and business network. But as customers become savvier with digital technology, isn’t it time that they get a behind-the-scenes look?

Want more insight on the power of the cloud? See Cloud: The Ultimate Competitive Advantage For Small Business.

Comments

When It Comes To Rock, Brands Matter

Ken Demma

Next week, 3 concerts will be held at Soldier Field in Chicago to  commemorate both the 50th anniversary and the end of the Grateful Dead, to a combined audience of 200,000 in-person attendees and tens of thousands more through pay-per-view options.

While this may not seem surprising given the Grateful_Dead_at_the_Warfield-02bands longevity, popularity, and dedicated following, what is interesting to marketers is, why the unprecedented demand? Thousands of mail order ticket requests, more than 500,000 Ticketmaster online requests, and outrageous secondary market prices — for a band whose central figure, Jerry Garcia, died in 1995, and whose members continue to perform regularly in more modest settings.

At the same time, the Rolling Stones are playing stadiums across the U.S. and the Who are  celebrating “The Who Hit 50” with arena-sized concerts across the U.S. and Europe throughout  2015. It is also worth noting that the face value ticket prices for these shows can range up to $600.

What can we, as marketers, take from this?

Certainly one lesson is the hold that music, and specific iconic acts, have as a hallmark of the boomer generation, and adjacent ones who aspire to boomer culture and values (how else can you fill all these seats?).

What seems more apt is that brand names matter, even when it comes to music. Consider the following:

  • The remaining Grateful Dead members have actively toured since 1995; those remaining “core 4” members tend to play as part of small festivals (often not headlining) or playing 2,000-4,000- seat theaters and outdoor amphitheaters. Even the band Furthur, which reunites 2 of the 4 more popular members (Bob Weir and Phil Lesh) failed to achieve even a fraction of the demand of the event in Chicago.
  • Led Zeppelin (also missing an original member, John Bonham, whose death in 1980 led to the band’s breakup) has received many offers to reunite, which have been rumored to be in the range of several $100s of millions (a rumored Richard Branson offer of close to $1B was never confirmed). Yet lead singer Robert Plant is currently touring, playing 2,000-5,000 seat theaters, with a set list loaded with Led Zeppelin songs — far from the demand that Led Zeppelin would expect if that brand were to tour. In fact, when the 3 remaining members plus a substitute drummer billed as Led Zeppelin to play a one-time charity event in 2007, more than one million ticket requests were received for 20,000 available tickets.
  • Pink Floyd, whose main writer and creative force Roger Waters left the band in 1983, continued to tour and play stadiums as Pink Floyd, while Waters, outside of the band, occupied smaller halls and had little brand recognition. Only when Waters recently toured the signature Pink Floyd album “The Wall” (where the name “The Wall” appeared as the name of the event) was he able to move into larger venues.
  • Solo albums and tours by key members of these bands have paled in comparison to album and tour sales by the groups themselves, even the re-constituted touring versions of these groups. For example, Pete Townshend (The Who) and Keith Richards (The Stones) touring solo (most recently in the ’90s) have played theaters and small arenas, not the larger halls and stadiums their main bands occupied then or now, even though they often play the songs of the bands they’re known for.

You might argue that in a band context, the other members bring intangibles and chemistry that make the music “better,” thus advantage of seeing the Stones over only Keith Richards. But none of these bands have all their original members. In fact, only 2 of the original 4 members of the Who are part of the band’s current 10-member on-stage group, and the Rolling Stones have lost not only original members Brian Jones and Bill Wyman, but even Jones’ first replacement.

Speaking of replacements, we can see this trend even with the 80’s Indie band The Replacements, which boasts 2 of its 4 original members. But through the power of the brand, The Replacements headlines festivals and plays larger rooms than leader Paul Westerberg plays with his non-Replacements band, even though he performs the same songs he made famous as part of The Replacements.

Digging deeper, we see brand benefits accruing to these bands.

Brands provide consistency and expectations. In their branded forms, these bands produce the experience expected by their audience. They will play the songs expected, strike the well-known poses and “sound as they should.” For the Grateful Dead, it means “the scene”…the parking lot full of Deadheads selling food and clothing and enjoying the experience. While this scene exists at a smaller scale for other bands in the vein of the Dead, it isn’t perceived in the same way.

Brands create and hold emotional ties. And here there are plenty, along with nostalgia. Particularly in American culture, where optimism and fond memories abound, perhaps having shared this music, these bands, and times with friends and lovers, it’s not just the song — it’s the song by this band that adds vividness to our memories.

Brands create affiliation and signal others. Branded merchandise, full of iconography and related associations to values, beliefs, and attitudes, signals our affiliation with bands and what they and their music represent. We gain personal and generational identity through this affiliation.

So as The Grateful Dead bids “Fare Thee Well” with its final concerts, Pete Townshend earns big cheers playing his signature windmill-style guitar that reminds us of earlier times, and Mick Jagger preens and poses like all those photos and videos of a younger Mick that are part of our consciousness, the bands…the brands…that the audience knows, loves, and are emotionally connected to are alive and well. (…Are you listening, Led Zeppelin?…)

Want more marketing strategies that work? See How to Create Better Marketing Stories: Find the Heroism.

Comments

David Parrish

About David Parrish

David Parrish is the senior global director of Industrial Machinery & Components Solutions Marketing for SAP. Before joining SAP, he held various product and industry marketing positions with J.D. Edwards, PeopleSoft, and QAD going back to 1999.

When It Comes To Rock, Brands Matter

Ken Demma

Next week, 3 concerts will be held at Soldier Field in Chicago to  commemorate both the 50th anniversary and the end of the Grateful Dead, to a combined audience of 200,000 in-person attendees and tens of thousands more through pay-per-view options.

While this may not seem surprising given the Grateful_Dead_at_the_Warfield-02bands longevity, popularity, and dedicated following, what is interesting to marketers is, why the unprecedented demand? Thousands of mail order ticket requests, more than 500,000 Ticketmaster online requests, and outrageous secondary market prices — for a band whose central figure, Jerry Garcia, died in 1995, and whose members continue to perform regularly in more modest settings.

At the same time, the Rolling Stones are playing stadiums across the U.S. and the Who are  celebrating “The Who Hit 50” with arena-sized concerts across the U.S. and Europe throughout  2015. It is also worth noting that the face value ticket prices for these shows can range up to $600.

What can we, as marketers, take from this?

Certainly one lesson is the hold that music, and specific iconic acts, have as a hallmark of the boomer generation, and adjacent ones who aspire to boomer culture and values (how else can you fill all these seats?).

What seems more apt is that brand names matter, even when it comes to music. Consider the following:

  • The remaining Grateful Dead members have actively toured since 1995; those remaining “core 4” members tend to play as part of small festivals (often not headlining) or playing 2,000-4,000- seat theaters and outdoor amphitheaters. Even the band Furthur, which reunites 2 of the 4 more popular members (Bob Weir and Phil Lesh) failed to achieve even a fraction of the demand of the event in Chicago.
  • Led Zeppelin (also missing an original member, John Bonham, whose death in 1980 led to the band’s breakup) has received many offers to reunite, which have been rumored to be in the range of several $100s of millions (a rumored Richard Branson offer of close to $1B was never confirmed). Yet lead singer Robert Plant is currently touring, playing 2,000-5,000 seat theaters, with a set list loaded with Led Zeppelin songs — far from the demand that Led Zeppelin would expect if that brand were to tour. In fact, when the 3 remaining members plus a substitute drummer billed as Led Zeppelin to play a one-time charity event in 2007, more than one million ticket requests were received for 20,000 available tickets.
  • Pink Floyd, whose main writer and creative force Roger Waters left the band in 1983, continued to tour and play stadiums as Pink Floyd, while Waters, outside of the band, occupied smaller halls and had little brand recognition. Only when Waters recently toured the signature Pink Floyd album “The Wall” (where the name “The Wall” appeared as the name of the event) was he able to move into larger venues.
  • Solo albums and tours by key members of these bands have paled in comparison to album and tour sales by the groups themselves, even the re-constituted touring versions of these groups. For example, Pete Townshend (The Who) and Keith Richards (The Stones) touring solo (most recently in the ’90s) have played theaters and small arenas, not the larger halls and stadiums their main bands occupied then or now, even though they often play the songs of the bands they’re known for.

You might argue that in a band context, the other members bring intangibles and chemistry that make the music “better,” thus advantage of seeing the Stones over only Keith Richards. But none of these bands have all their original members. In fact, only 2 of the original 4 members of the Who are part of the band’s current 10-member on-stage group, and the Rolling Stones have lost not only original members Brian Jones and Bill Wyman, but even Jones’ first replacement.

Speaking of replacements, we can see this trend even with the 80’s Indie band The Replacements, which boasts 2 of its 4 original members. But through the power of the brand, The Replacements headlines festivals and plays larger rooms than leader Paul Westerberg plays with his non-Replacements band, even though he performs the same songs he made famous as part of The Replacements.

Digging deeper, we see brand benefits accruing to these bands.

Brands provide consistency and expectations. In their branded forms, these bands produce the experience expected by their audience. They will play the songs expected, strike the well-known poses and “sound as they should.” For the Grateful Dead, it means “the scene”…the parking lot full of Deadheads selling food and clothing and enjoying the experience. While this scene exists at a smaller scale for other bands in the vein of the Dead, it isn’t perceived in the same way.

Brands create and hold emotional ties. And here there are plenty, along with nostalgia. Particularly in American culture, where optimism and fond memories abound, perhaps having shared this music, these bands, and times with friends and lovers, it’s not just the song — it’s the song by this band that adds vividness to our memories.

Brands create affiliation and signal others. Branded merchandise, full of iconography and related associations to values, beliefs, and attitudes, signals our affiliation with bands and what they and their music represent. We gain personal and generational identity through this affiliation.

So as The Grateful Dead bids “Fare Thee Well” with its final concerts, Pete Townshend earns big cheers playing his signature windmill-style guitar that reminds us of earlier times, and Mick Jagger preens and poses like all those photos and videos of a younger Mick that are part of our consciousness, the bands…the brands…that the audience knows, loves, and are emotionally connected to are alive and well. (…Are you listening, Led Zeppelin?…)

Want more marketing strategies that work? See How to Create Better Marketing Stories: Find the Heroism.

Comments

David McCann

About David McCann

David McCann is deputy editor at CFO magazine and CFO.com.

When It Comes To Rock, Brands Matter

Ken Demma

Next week, 3 concerts will be held at Soldier Field in Chicago to  commemorate both the 50th anniversary and the end of the Grateful Dead, to a combined audience of 200,000 in-person attendees and tens of thousands more through pay-per-view options.

While this may not seem surprising given the Grateful_Dead_at_the_Warfield-02bands longevity, popularity, and dedicated following, what is interesting to marketers is, why the unprecedented demand? Thousands of mail order ticket requests, more than 500,000 Ticketmaster online requests, and outrageous secondary market prices — for a band whose central figure, Jerry Garcia, died in 1995, and whose members continue to perform regularly in more modest settings.

At the same time, the Rolling Stones are playing stadiums across the U.S. and the Who are  celebrating “The Who Hit 50” with arena-sized concerts across the U.S. and Europe throughout  2015. It is also worth noting that the face value ticket prices for these shows can range up to $600.

What can we, as marketers, take from this?

Certainly one lesson is the hold that music, and specific iconic acts, have as a hallmark of the boomer generation, and adjacent ones who aspire to boomer culture and values (how else can you fill all these seats?).

What seems more apt is that brand names matter, even when it comes to music. Consider the following:

  • The remaining Grateful Dead members have actively toured since 1995; those remaining “core 4” members tend to play as part of small festivals (often not headlining) or playing 2,000-4,000- seat theaters and outdoor amphitheaters. Even the band Furthur, which reunites 2 of the 4 more popular members (Bob Weir and Phil Lesh) failed to achieve even a fraction of the demand of the event in Chicago.
  • Led Zeppelin (also missing an original member, John Bonham, whose death in 1980 led to the band’s breakup) has received many offers to reunite, which have been rumored to be in the range of several $100s of millions (a rumored Richard Branson offer of close to $1B was never confirmed). Yet lead singer Robert Plant is currently touring, playing 2,000-5,000 seat theaters, with a set list loaded with Led Zeppelin songs — far from the demand that Led Zeppelin would expect if that brand were to tour. In fact, when the 3 remaining members plus a substitute drummer billed as Led Zeppelin to play a one-time charity event in 2007, more than one million ticket requests were received for 20,000 available tickets.
  • Pink Floyd, whose main writer and creative force Roger Waters left the band in 1983, continued to tour and play stadiums as Pink Floyd, while Waters, outside of the band, occupied smaller halls and had little brand recognition. Only when Waters recently toured the signature Pink Floyd album “The Wall” (where the name “The Wall” appeared as the name of the event) was he able to move into larger venues.
  • Solo albums and tours by key members of these bands have paled in comparison to album and tour sales by the groups themselves, even the re-constituted touring versions of these groups. For example, Pete Townshend (The Who) and Keith Richards (The Stones) touring solo (most recently in the ’90s) have played theaters and small arenas, not the larger halls and stadiums their main bands occupied then or now, even though they often play the songs of the bands they’re known for.

You might argue that in a band context, the other members bring intangibles and chemistry that make the music “better,” thus advantage of seeing the Stones over only Keith Richards. But none of these bands have all their original members. In fact, only 2 of the original 4 members of the Who are part of the band’s current 10-member on-stage group, and the Rolling Stones have lost not only original members Brian Jones and Bill Wyman, but even Jones’ first replacement.

Speaking of replacements, we can see this trend even with the 80’s Indie band The Replacements, which boasts 2 of its 4 original members. But through the power of the brand, The Replacements headlines festivals and plays larger rooms than leader Paul Westerberg plays with his non-Replacements band, even though he performs the same songs he made famous as part of The Replacements.

Digging deeper, we see brand benefits accruing to these bands.

Brands provide consistency and expectations. In their branded forms, these bands produce the experience expected by their audience. They will play the songs expected, strike the well-known poses and “sound as they should.” For the Grateful Dead, it means “the scene”…the parking lot full of Deadheads selling food and clothing and enjoying the experience. While this scene exists at a smaller scale for other bands in the vein of the Dead, it isn’t perceived in the same way.

Brands create and hold emotional ties. And here there are plenty, along with nostalgia. Particularly in American culture, where optimism and fond memories abound, perhaps having shared this music, these bands, and times with friends and lovers, it’s not just the song — it’s the song by this band that adds vividness to our memories.

Brands create affiliation and signal others. Branded merchandise, full of iconography and related associations to values, beliefs, and attitudes, signals our affiliation with bands and what they and their music represent. We gain personal and generational identity through this affiliation.

So as The Grateful Dead bids “Fare Thee Well” with its final concerts, Pete Townshend earns big cheers playing his signature windmill-style guitar that reminds us of earlier times, and Mick Jagger preens and poses like all those photos and videos of a younger Mick that are part of our consciousness, the bands…the brands…that the audience knows, loves, and are emotionally connected to are alive and well. (…Are you listening, Led Zeppelin?…)

Want more marketing strategies that work? See How to Create Better Marketing Stories: Find the Heroism.

Comments

Michelle Schooff

About Michelle Schooff

Michelle Schooff is a global marketing director in the retail and wholesale distribution industries for SAP. She is responsible for the marketing strategy, messaging and positioning for SAP solutions in the global marketplace. With over 20 years experience in technology and marketing, Michelle builds strategic marketing plans that drive growth, innovation and revenue.

When It Comes To Rock, Brands Matter

Ken Demma

Next week, 3 concerts will be held at Soldier Field in Chicago to  commemorate both the 50th anniversary and the end of the Grateful Dead, to a combined audience of 200,000 in-person attendees and tens of thousands more through pay-per-view options.

While this may not seem surprising given the Grateful_Dead_at_the_Warfield-02bands longevity, popularity, and dedicated following, what is interesting to marketers is, why the unprecedented demand? Thousands of mail order ticket requests, more than 500,000 Ticketmaster online requests, and outrageous secondary market prices — for a band whose central figure, Jerry Garcia, died in 1995, and whose members continue to perform regularly in more modest settings.

At the same time, the Rolling Stones are playing stadiums across the U.S. and the Who are  celebrating “The Who Hit 50” with arena-sized concerts across the U.S. and Europe throughout  2015. It is also worth noting that the face value ticket prices for these shows can range up to $600.

What can we, as marketers, take from this?

Certainly one lesson is the hold that music, and specific iconic acts, have as a hallmark of the boomer generation, and adjacent ones who aspire to boomer culture and values (how else can you fill all these seats?).

What seems more apt is that brand names matter, even when it comes to music. Consider the following:

  • The remaining Grateful Dead members have actively toured since 1995; those remaining “core 4” members tend to play as part of small festivals (often not headlining) or playing 2,000-4,000- seat theaters and outdoor amphitheaters. Even the band Furthur, which reunites 2 of the 4 more popular members (Bob Weir and Phil Lesh) failed to achieve even a fraction of the demand of the event in Chicago.
  • Led Zeppelin (also missing an original member, John Bonham, whose death in 1980 led to the band’s breakup) has received many offers to reunite, which have been rumored to be in the range of several $100s of millions (a rumored Richard Branson offer of close to $1B was never confirmed). Yet lead singer Robert Plant is currently touring, playing 2,000-5,000 seat theaters, with a set list loaded with Led Zeppelin songs — far from the demand that Led Zeppelin would expect if that brand were to tour. In fact, when the 3 remaining members plus a substitute drummer billed as Led Zeppelin to play a one-time charity event in 2007, more than one million ticket requests were received for 20,000 available tickets.
  • Pink Floyd, whose main writer and creative force Roger Waters left the band in 1983, continued to tour and play stadiums as Pink Floyd, while Waters, outside of the band, occupied smaller halls and had little brand recognition. Only when Waters recently toured the signature Pink Floyd album “The Wall” (where the name “The Wall” appeared as the name of the event) was he able to move into larger venues.
  • Solo albums and tours by key members of these bands have paled in comparison to album and tour sales by the groups themselves, even the re-constituted touring versions of these groups. For example, Pete Townshend (The Who) and Keith Richards (The Stones) touring solo (most recently in the ’90s) have played theaters and small arenas, not the larger halls and stadiums their main bands occupied then or now, even though they often play the songs of the bands they’re known for.

You might argue that in a band context, the other members bring intangibles and chemistry that make the music “better,” thus advantage of seeing the Stones over only Keith Richards. But none of these bands have all their original members. In fact, only 2 of the original 4 members of the Who are part of the band’s current 10-member on-stage group, and the Rolling Stones have lost not only original members Brian Jones and Bill Wyman, but even Jones’ first replacement.

Speaking of replacements, we can see this trend even with the 80’s Indie band The Replacements, which boasts 2 of its 4 original members. But through the power of the brand, The Replacements headlines festivals and plays larger rooms than leader Paul Westerberg plays with his non-Replacements band, even though he performs the same songs he made famous as part of The Replacements.

Digging deeper, we see brand benefits accruing to these bands.

Brands provide consistency and expectations. In their branded forms, these bands produce the experience expected by their audience. They will play the songs expected, strike the well-known poses and “sound as they should.” For the Grateful Dead, it means “the scene”…the parking lot full of Deadheads selling food and clothing and enjoying the experience. While this scene exists at a smaller scale for other bands in the vein of the Dead, it isn’t perceived in the same way.

Brands create and hold emotional ties. And here there are plenty, along with nostalgia. Particularly in American culture, where optimism and fond memories abound, perhaps having shared this music, these bands, and times with friends and lovers, it’s not just the song — it’s the song by this band that adds vividness to our memories.

Brands create affiliation and signal others. Branded merchandise, full of iconography and related associations to values, beliefs, and attitudes, signals our affiliation with bands and what they and their music represent. We gain personal and generational identity through this affiliation.

So as The Grateful Dead bids “Fare Thee Well” with its final concerts, Pete Townshend earns big cheers playing his signature windmill-style guitar that reminds us of earlier times, and Mick Jagger preens and poses like all those photos and videos of a younger Mick that are part of our consciousness, the bands…the brands…that the audience knows, loves, and are emotionally connected to are alive and well. (…Are you listening, Led Zeppelin?…)

Want more marketing strategies that work? See How to Create Better Marketing Stories: Find the Heroism.

Comments

Michelle Schooff

About Michelle Schooff

Michelle Schooff is a global marketing director in the retail and wholesale distribution industries for SAP. She is responsible for the marketing strategy, messaging and positioning for SAP solutions in the global marketplace. With over 20 years experience in technology and marketing, Michelle builds strategic marketing plans that drive growth, innovation and revenue.

When It Comes To Rock, Brands Matter

Ken Demma

Next week, 3 concerts will be held at Soldier Field in Chicago to  commemorate both the 50th anniversary and the end of the Grateful Dead, to a combined audience of 200,000 in-person attendees and tens of thousands more through pay-per-view options.

While this may not seem surprising given the Grateful_Dead_at_the_Warfield-02bands longevity, popularity, and dedicated following, what is interesting to marketers is, why the unprecedented demand? Thousands of mail order ticket requests, more than 500,000 Ticketmaster online requests, and outrageous secondary market prices — for a band whose central figure, Jerry Garcia, died in 1995, and whose members continue to perform regularly in more modest settings.

At the same time, the Rolling Stones are playing stadiums across the U.S. and the Who are  celebrating “The Who Hit 50” with arena-sized concerts across the U.S. and Europe throughout  2015. It is also worth noting that the face value ticket prices for these shows can range up to $600.

What can we, as marketers, take from this?

Certainly one lesson is the hold that music, and specific iconic acts, have as a hallmark of the boomer generation, and adjacent ones who aspire to boomer culture and values (how else can you fill all these seats?).

What seems more apt is that brand names matter, even when it comes to music. Consider the following:

  • The remaining Grateful Dead members have actively toured since 1995; those remaining “core 4” members tend to play as part of small festivals (often not headlining) or playing 2,000-4,000- seat theaters and outdoor amphitheaters. Even the band Furthur, which reunites 2 of the 4 more popular members (Bob Weir and Phil Lesh) failed to achieve even a fraction of the demand of the event in Chicago.
  • Led Zeppelin (also missing an original member, John Bonham, whose death in 1980 led to the band’s breakup) has received many offers to reunite, which have been rumored to be in the range of several $100s of millions (a rumored Richard Branson offer of close to $1B was never confirmed). Yet lead singer Robert Plant is currently touring, playing 2,000-5,000 seat theaters, with a set list loaded with Led Zeppelin songs — far from the demand that Led Zeppelin would expect if that brand were to tour. In fact, when the 3 remaining members plus a substitute drummer billed as Led Zeppelin to play a one-time charity event in 2007, more than one million ticket requests were received for 20,000 available tickets.
  • Pink Floyd, whose main writer and creative force Roger Waters left the band in 1983, continued to tour and play stadiums as Pink Floyd, while Waters, outside of the band, occupied smaller halls and had little brand recognition. Only when Waters recently toured the signature Pink Floyd album “The Wall” (where the name “The Wall” appeared as the name of the event) was he able to move into larger venues.
  • Solo albums and tours by key members of these bands have paled in comparison to album and tour sales by the groups themselves, even the re-constituted touring versions of these groups. For example, Pete Townshend (The Who) and Keith Richards (The Stones) touring solo (most recently in the ’90s) have played theaters and small arenas, not the larger halls and stadiums their main bands occupied then or now, even though they often play the songs of the bands they’re known for.

You might argue that in a band context, the other members bring intangibles and chemistry that make the music “better,” thus advantage of seeing the Stones over only Keith Richards. But none of these bands have all their original members. In fact, only 2 of the original 4 members of the Who are part of the band’s current 10-member on-stage group, and the Rolling Stones have lost not only original members Brian Jones and Bill Wyman, but even Jones’ first replacement.

Speaking of replacements, we can see this trend even with the 80’s Indie band The Replacements, which boasts 2 of its 4 original members. But through the power of the brand, The Replacements headlines festivals and plays larger rooms than leader Paul Westerberg plays with his non-Replacements band, even though he performs the same songs he made famous as part of The Replacements.

Digging deeper, we see brand benefits accruing to these bands.

Brands provide consistency and expectations. In their branded forms, these bands produce the experience expected by their audience. They will play the songs expected, strike the well-known poses and “sound as they should.” For the Grateful Dead, it means “the scene”…the parking lot full of Deadheads selling food and clothing and enjoying the experience. While this scene exists at a smaller scale for other bands in the vein of the Dead, it isn’t perceived in the same way.

Brands create and hold emotional ties. And here there are plenty, along with nostalgia. Particularly in American culture, where optimism and fond memories abound, perhaps having shared this music, these bands, and times with friends and lovers, it’s not just the song — it’s the song by this band that adds vividness to our memories.

Brands create affiliation and signal others. Branded merchandise, full of iconography and related associations to values, beliefs, and attitudes, signals our affiliation with bands and what they and their music represent. We gain personal and generational identity through this affiliation.

So as The Grateful Dead bids “Fare Thee Well” with its final concerts, Pete Townshend earns big cheers playing his signature windmill-style guitar that reminds us of earlier times, and Mick Jagger preens and poses like all those photos and videos of a younger Mick that are part of our consciousness, the bands…the brands…that the audience knows, loves, and are emotionally connected to are alive and well. (…Are you listening, Led Zeppelin?…)

Want more marketing strategies that work? See How to Create Better Marketing Stories: Find the Heroism.

Comments

Daniel Smyth

About Daniel Smyth

Daniel Smyth started covering the iGaming industry in the early 1990s and has since moved to produce content about a broad range of topics in the tech space. Today, as well as producing articles covering the traditional aspects of the poker and casino gaming, his remit includes tracking the convergence between bitcoin, blockchain and the betting world.

When It Comes To Rock, Brands Matter

Ken Demma

Next week, 3 concerts will be held at Soldier Field in Chicago to  commemorate both the 50th anniversary and the end of the Grateful Dead, to a combined audience of 200,000 in-person attendees and tens of thousands more through pay-per-view options.

While this may not seem surprising given the Grateful_Dead_at_the_Warfield-02bands longevity, popularity, and dedicated following, what is interesting to marketers is, why the unprecedented demand? Thousands of mail order ticket requests, more than 500,000 Ticketmaster online requests, and outrageous secondary market prices — for a band whose central figure, Jerry Garcia, died in 1995, and whose members continue to perform regularly in more modest settings.

At the same time, the Rolling Stones are playing stadiums across the U.S. and the Who are  celebrating “The Who Hit 50” with arena-sized concerts across the U.S. and Europe throughout  2015. It is also worth noting that the face value ticket prices for these shows can range up to $600.

What can we, as marketers, take from this?

Certainly one lesson is the hold that music, and specific iconic acts, have as a hallmark of the boomer generation, and adjacent ones who aspire to boomer culture and values (how else can you fill all these seats?).

What seems more apt is that brand names matter, even when it comes to music. Consider the following:

  • The remaining Grateful Dead members have actively toured since 1995; those remaining “core 4” members tend to play as part of small festivals (often not headlining) or playing 2,000-4,000- seat theaters and outdoor amphitheaters. Even the band Furthur, which reunites 2 of the 4 more popular members (Bob Weir and Phil Lesh) failed to achieve even a fraction of the demand of the event in Chicago.
  • Led Zeppelin (also missing an original member, John Bonham, whose death in 1980 led to the band’s breakup) has received many offers to reunite, which have been rumored to be in the range of several $100s of millions (a rumored Richard Branson offer of close to $1B was never confirmed). Yet lead singer Robert Plant is currently touring, playing 2,000-5,000 seat theaters, with a set list loaded with Led Zeppelin songs — far from the demand that Led Zeppelin would expect if that brand were to tour. In fact, when the 3 remaining members plus a substitute drummer billed as Led Zeppelin to play a one-time charity event in 2007, more than one million ticket requests were received for 20,000 available tickets.
  • Pink Floyd, whose main writer and creative force Roger Waters left the band in 1983, continued to tour and play stadiums as Pink Floyd, while Waters, outside of the band, occupied smaller halls and had little brand recognition. Only when Waters recently toured the signature Pink Floyd album “The Wall” (where the name “The Wall” appeared as the name of the event) was he able to move into larger venues.
  • Solo albums and tours by key members of these bands have paled in comparison to album and tour sales by the groups themselves, even the re-constituted touring versions of these groups. For example, Pete Townshend (The Who) and Keith Richards (The Stones) touring solo (most recently in the ’90s) have played theaters and small arenas, not the larger halls and stadiums their main bands occupied then or now, even though they often play the songs of the bands they’re known for.

You might argue that in a band context, the other members bring intangibles and chemistry that make the music “better,” thus advantage of seeing the Stones over only Keith Richards. But none of these bands have all their original members. In fact, only 2 of the original 4 members of the Who are part of the band’s current 10-member on-stage group, and the Rolling Stones have lost not only original members Brian Jones and Bill Wyman, but even Jones’ first replacement.

Speaking of replacements, we can see this trend even with the 80’s Indie band The Replacements, which boasts 2 of its 4 original members. But through the power of the brand, The Replacements headlines festivals and plays larger rooms than leader Paul Westerberg plays with his non-Replacements band, even though he performs the same songs he made famous as part of The Replacements.

Digging deeper, we see brand benefits accruing to these bands.

Brands provide consistency and expectations. In their branded forms, these bands produce the experience expected by their audience. They will play the songs expected, strike the well-known poses and “sound as they should.” For the Grateful Dead, it means “the scene”…the parking lot full of Deadheads selling food and clothing and enjoying the experience. While this scene exists at a smaller scale for other bands in the vein of the Dead, it isn’t perceived in the same way.

Brands create and hold emotional ties. And here there are plenty, along with nostalgia. Particularly in American culture, where optimism and fond memories abound, perhaps having shared this music, these bands, and times with friends and lovers, it’s not just the song — it’s the song by this band that adds vividness to our memories.

Brands create affiliation and signal others. Branded merchandise, full of iconography and related associations to values, beliefs, and attitudes, signals our affiliation with bands and what they and their music represent. We gain personal and generational identity through this affiliation.

So as The Grateful Dead bids “Fare Thee Well” with its final concerts, Pete Townshend earns big cheers playing his signature windmill-style guitar that reminds us of earlier times, and Mick Jagger preens and poses like all those photos and videos of a younger Mick that are part of our consciousness, the bands…the brands…that the audience knows, loves, and are emotionally connected to are alive and well. (…Are you listening, Led Zeppelin?…)

Want more marketing strategies that work? See How to Create Better Marketing Stories: Find the Heroism.

Comments

Glen Moffatt

About Glen Moffatt

Glen Moffatt is a presales enablement director at SAP Canada. He is a technical generalist and communicator, specializing in helping others understand the application of enterprise information technology. He expresses himself in a variety of ways: writing code, conducting software demonstrations, teaching, facilitating design thinking workshops, and presenting to the boardroom.

When It Comes To Rock, Brands Matter

Ken Demma

Next week, 3 concerts will be held at Soldier Field in Chicago to  commemorate both the 50th anniversary and the end of the Grateful Dead, to a combined audience of 200,000 in-person attendees and tens of thousands more through pay-per-view options.

While this may not seem surprising given the Grateful_Dead_at_the_Warfield-02bands longevity, popularity, and dedicated following, what is interesting to marketers is, why the unprecedented demand? Thousands of mail order ticket requests, more than 500,000 Ticketmaster online requests, and outrageous secondary market prices — for a band whose central figure, Jerry Garcia, died in 1995, and whose members continue to perform regularly in more modest settings.

At the same time, the Rolling Stones are playing stadiums across the U.S. and the Who are  celebrating “The Who Hit 50” with arena-sized concerts across the U.S. and Europe throughout  2015. It is also worth noting that the face value ticket prices for these shows can range up to $600.

What can we, as marketers, take from this?

Certainly one lesson is the hold that music, and specific iconic acts, have as a hallmark of the boomer generation, and adjacent ones who aspire to boomer culture and values (how else can you fill all these seats?).

What seems more apt is that brand names matter, even when it comes to music. Consider the following:

  • The remaining Grateful Dead members have actively toured since 1995; those remaining “core 4” members tend to play as part of small festivals (often not headlining) or playing 2,000-4,000- seat theaters and outdoor amphitheaters. Even the band Furthur, which reunites 2 of the 4 more popular members (Bob Weir and Phil Lesh) failed to achieve even a fraction of the demand of the event in Chicago.
  • Led Zeppelin (also missing an original member, John Bonham, whose death in 1980 led to the band’s breakup) has received many offers to reunite, which have been rumored to be in the range of several $100s of millions (a rumored Richard Branson offer of close to $1B was never confirmed). Yet lead singer Robert Plant is currently touring, playing 2,000-5,000 seat theaters, with a set list loaded with Led Zeppelin songs — far from the demand that Led Zeppelin would expect if that brand were to tour. In fact, when the 3 remaining members plus a substitute drummer billed as Led Zeppelin to play a one-time charity event in 2007, more than one million ticket requests were received for 20,000 available tickets.
  • Pink Floyd, whose main writer and creative force Roger Waters left the band in 1983, continued to tour and play stadiums as Pink Floyd, while Waters, outside of the band, occupied smaller halls and had little brand recognition. Only when Waters recently toured the signature Pink Floyd album “The Wall” (where the name “The Wall” appeared as the name of the event) was he able to move into larger venues.
  • Solo albums and tours by key members of these bands have paled in comparison to album and tour sales by the groups themselves, even the re-constituted touring versions of these groups. For example, Pete Townshend (The Who) and Keith Richards (The Stones) touring solo (most recently in the ’90s) have played theaters and small arenas, not the larger halls and stadiums their main bands occupied then or now, even though they often play the songs of the bands they’re known for.

You might argue that in a band context, the other members bring intangibles and chemistry that make the music “better,” thus advantage of seeing the Stones over only Keith Richards. But none of these bands have all their original members. In fact, only 2 of the original 4 members of the Who are part of the band’s current 10-member on-stage group, and the Rolling Stones have lost not only original members Brian Jones and Bill Wyman, but even Jones’ first replacement.

Speaking of replacements, we can see this trend even with the 80’s Indie band The Replacements, which boasts 2 of its 4 original members. But through the power of the brand, The Replacements headlines festivals and plays larger rooms than leader Paul Westerberg plays with his non-Replacements band, even though he performs the same songs he made famous as part of The Replacements.

Digging deeper, we see brand benefits accruing to these bands.

Brands provide consistency and expectations. In their branded forms, these bands produce the experience expected by their audience. They will play the songs expected, strike the well-known poses and “sound as they should.” For the Grateful Dead, it means “the scene”…the parking lot full of Deadheads selling food and clothing and enjoying the experience. While this scene exists at a smaller scale for other bands in the vein of the Dead, it isn’t perceived in the same way.

Brands create and hold emotional ties. And here there are plenty, along with nostalgia. Particularly in American culture, where optimism and fond memories abound, perhaps having shared this music, these bands, and times with friends and lovers, it’s not just the song — it’s the song by this band that adds vividness to our memories.

Brands create affiliation and signal others. Branded merchandise, full of iconography and related associations to values, beliefs, and attitudes, signals our affiliation with bands and what they and their music represent. We gain personal and generational identity through this affiliation.

So as The Grateful Dead bids “Fare Thee Well” with its final concerts, Pete Townshend earns big cheers playing his signature windmill-style guitar that reminds us of earlier times, and Mick Jagger preens and poses like all those photos and videos of a younger Mick that are part of our consciousness, the bands…the brands…that the audience knows, loves, and are emotionally connected to are alive and well. (…Are you listening, Led Zeppelin?…)

Want more marketing strategies that work? See How to Create Better Marketing Stories: Find the Heroism.

Comments

Jane Lu

About Jane Lu

Jane is a writer and marketing intern at SAP. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in English at the University of Waterloo. While Jane is currently studying in Waterloo, she is originally from Toronto.

When It Comes To Rock, Brands Matter

Ken Demma

Next week, 3 concerts will be held at Soldier Field in Chicago to  commemorate both the 50th anniversary and the end of the Grateful Dead, to a combined audience of 200,000 in-person attendees and tens of thousands more through pay-per-view options.

While this may not seem surprising given the Grateful_Dead_at_the_Warfield-02bands longevity, popularity, and dedicated following, what is interesting to marketers is, why the unprecedented demand? Thousands of mail order ticket requests, more than 500,000 Ticketmaster online requests, and outrageous secondary market prices — for a band whose central figure, Jerry Garcia, died in 1995, and whose members continue to perform regularly in more modest settings.

At the same time, the Rolling Stones are playing stadiums across the U.S. and the Who are  celebrating “The Who Hit 50” with arena-sized concerts across the U.S. and Europe throughout  2015. It is also worth noting that the face value ticket prices for these shows can range up to $600.

What can we, as marketers, take from this?

Certainly one lesson is the hold that music, and specific iconic acts, have as a hallmark of the boomer generation, and adjacent ones who aspire to boomer culture and values (how else can you fill all these seats?).

What seems more apt is that brand names matter, even when it comes to music. Consider the following:

  • The remaining Grateful Dead members have actively toured since 1995; those remaining “core 4” members tend to play as part of small festivals (often not headlining) or playing 2,000-4,000- seat theaters and outdoor amphitheaters. Even the band Furthur, which reunites 2 of the 4 more popular members (Bob Weir and Phil Lesh) failed to achieve even a fraction of the demand of the event in Chicago.
  • Led Zeppelin (also missing an original member, John Bonham, whose death in 1980 led to the band’s breakup) has received many offers to reunite, which have been rumored to be in the range of several $100s of millions (a rumored Richard Branson offer of close to $1B was never confirmed). Yet lead singer Robert Plant is currently touring, playing 2,000-5,000 seat theaters, with a set list loaded with Led Zeppelin songs — far from the demand that Led Zeppelin would expect if that brand were to tour. In fact, when the 3 remaining members plus a substitute drummer billed as Led Zeppelin to play a one-time charity event in 2007, more than one million ticket requests were received for 20,000 available tickets.
  • Pink Floyd, whose main writer and creative force Roger Waters left the band in 1983, continued to tour and play stadiums as Pink Floyd, while Waters, outside of the band, occupied smaller halls and had little brand recognition. Only when Waters recently toured the signature Pink Floyd album “The Wall” (where the name “The Wall” appeared as the name of the event) was he able to move into larger venues.
  • Solo albums and tours by key members of these bands have paled in comparison to album and tour sales by the groups themselves, even the re-constituted touring versions of these groups. For example, Pete Townshend (The Who) and Keith Richards (The Stones) touring solo (most recently in the ’90s) have played theaters and small arenas, not the larger halls and stadiums their main bands occupied then or now, even though they often play the songs of the bands they’re known for.

You might argue that in a band context, the other members bring intangibles and chemistry that make the music “better,” thus advantage of seeing the Stones over only Keith Richards. But none of these bands have all their original members. In fact, only 2 of the original 4 members of the Who are part of the band’s current 10-member on-stage group, and the Rolling Stones have lost not only original members Brian Jones and Bill Wyman, but even Jones’ first replacement.

Speaking of replacements, we can see this trend even with the 80’s Indie band The Replacements, which boasts 2 of its 4 original members. But through the power of the brand, The Replacements headlines festivals and plays larger rooms than leader Paul Westerberg plays with his non-Replacements band, even though he performs the same songs he made famous as part of The Replacements.

Digging deeper, we see brand benefits accruing to these bands.

Brands provide consistency and expectations. In their branded forms, these bands produce the experience expected by their audience. They will play the songs expected, strike the well-known poses and “sound as they should.” For the Grateful Dead, it means “the scene”…the parking lot full of Deadheads selling food and clothing and enjoying the experience. While this scene exists at a smaller scale for other bands in the vein of the Dead, it isn’t perceived in the same way.

Brands create and hold emotional ties. And here there are plenty, along with nostalgia. Particularly in American culture, where optimism and fond memories abound, perhaps having shared this music, these bands, and times with friends and lovers, it’s not just the song — it’s the song by this band that adds vividness to our memories.

Brands create affiliation and signal others. Branded merchandise, full of iconography and related associations to values, beliefs, and attitudes, signals our affiliation with bands and what they and their music represent. We gain personal and generational identity through this affiliation.

So as The Grateful Dead bids “Fare Thee Well” with its final concerts, Pete Townshend earns big cheers playing his signature windmill-style guitar that reminds us of earlier times, and Mick Jagger preens and poses like all those photos and videos of a younger Mick that are part of our consciousness, the bands…the brands…that the audience knows, loves, and are emotionally connected to are alive and well. (…Are you listening, Led Zeppelin?…)

Want more marketing strategies that work? See How to Create Better Marketing Stories: Find the Heroism.

Comments

Thomas Ohnemus

About Thomas Ohnemus

Thomas Ohnemus is the Vice President, Solution Marketing, Customer Value Office, at SAP. He is responsible for driving the go-to-market strategy, messaging, and demand generation. Thomas has over 25 years’ experience in business software solutions and his PLM expertise has awarded him key management positions in consulting, product management, service, and global marketing. He holds a master’s degree in engineering, and lives in Germany.

When It Comes To Rock, Brands Matter

Ken Demma

Next week, 3 concerts will be held at Soldier Field in Chicago to  commemorate both the 50th anniversary and the end of the Grateful Dead, to a combined audience of 200,000 in-person attendees and tens of thousands more through pay-per-view options.

While this may not seem surprising given the Grateful_Dead_at_the_Warfield-02bands longevity, popularity, and dedicated following, what is interesting to marketers is, why the unprecedented demand? Thousands of mail order ticket requests, more than 500,000 Ticketmaster online requests, and outrageous secondary market prices — for a band whose central figure, Jerry Garcia, died in 1995, and whose members continue to perform regularly in more modest settings.

At the same time, the Rolling Stones are playing stadiums across the U.S. and the Who are  celebrating “The Who Hit 50” with arena-sized concerts across the U.S. and Europe throughout  2015. It is also worth noting that the face value ticket prices for these shows can range up to $600.

What can we, as marketers, take from this?

Certainly one lesson is the hold that music, and specific iconic acts, have as a hallmark of the boomer generation, and adjacent ones who aspire to boomer culture and values (how else can you fill all these seats?).

What seems more apt is that brand names matter, even when it comes to music. Consider the following:

  • The remaining Grateful Dead members have actively toured since 1995; those remaining “core 4” members tend to play as part of small festivals (often not headlining) or playing 2,000-4,000- seat theaters and outdoor amphitheaters. Even the band Furthur, which reunites 2 of the 4 more popular members (Bob Weir and Phil Lesh) failed to achieve even a fraction of the demand of the event in Chicago.
  • Led Zeppelin (also missing an original member, John Bonham, whose death in 1980 led to the band’s breakup) has received many offers to reunite, which have been rumored to be in the range of several $100s of millions (a rumored Richard Branson offer of close to $1B was never confirmed). Yet lead singer Robert Plant is currently touring, playing 2,000-5,000 seat theaters, with a set list loaded with Led Zeppelin songs — far from the demand that Led Zeppelin would expect if that brand were to tour. In fact, when the 3 remaining members plus a substitute drummer billed as Led Zeppelin to play a one-time charity event in 2007, more than one million ticket requests were received for 20,000 available tickets.
  • Pink Floyd, whose main writer and creative force Roger Waters left the band in 1983, continued to tour and play stadiums as Pink Floyd, while Waters, outside of the band, occupied smaller halls and had little brand recognition. Only when Waters recently toured the signature Pink Floyd album “The Wall” (where the name “The Wall” appeared as the name of the event) was he able to move into larger venues.
  • Solo albums and tours by key members of these bands have paled in comparison to album and tour sales by the groups themselves, even the re-constituted touring versions of these groups. For example, Pete Townshend (The Who) and Keith Richards (The Stones) touring solo (most recently in the ’90s) have played theaters and small arenas, not the larger halls and stadiums their main bands occupied then or now, even though they often play the songs of the bands they’re known for.

You might argue that in a band context, the other members bring intangibles and chemistry that make the music “better,” thus advantage of seeing the Stones over only Keith Richards. But none of these bands have all their original members. In fact, only 2 of the original 4 members of the Who are part of the band’s current 10-member on-stage group, and the Rolling Stones have lost not only original members Brian Jones and Bill Wyman, but even Jones’ first replacement.

Speaking of replacements, we can see this trend even with the 80’s Indie band The Replacements, which boasts 2 of its 4 original members. But through the power of the brand, The Replacements headlines festivals and plays larger rooms than leader Paul Westerberg plays with his non-Replacements band, even though he performs the same songs he made famous as part of The Replacements.

Digging deeper, we see brand benefits accruing to these bands.

Brands provide consistency and expectations. In their branded forms, these bands produce the experience expected by their audience. They will play the songs expected, strike the well-known poses and “sound as they should.” For the Grateful Dead, it means “the scene”…the parking lot full of Deadheads selling food and clothing and enjoying the experience. While this scene exists at a smaller scale for other bands in the vein of the Dead, it isn’t perceived in the same way.

Brands create and hold emotional ties. And here there are plenty, along with nostalgia. Particularly in American culture, where optimism and fond memories abound, perhaps having shared this music, these bands, and times with friends and lovers, it’s not just the song — it’s the song by this band that adds vividness to our memories.

Brands create affiliation and signal others. Branded merchandise, full of iconography and related associations to values, beliefs, and attitudes, signals our affiliation with bands and what they and their music represent. We gain personal and generational identity through this affiliation.

So as The Grateful Dead bids “Fare Thee Well” with its final concerts, Pete Townshend earns big cheers playing his signature windmill-style guitar that reminds us of earlier times, and Mick Jagger preens and poses like all those photos and videos of a younger Mick that are part of our consciousness, the bands…the brands…that the audience knows, loves, and are emotionally connected to are alive and well. (…Are you listening, Led Zeppelin?…)

Want more marketing strategies that work? See How to Create Better Marketing Stories: Find the Heroism.

Comments

About Nick Quin

Nick Quin is Regional Manager, Southern Region for SAP New Zealand based in Wellington. Nick has been involved in the transformation of organisations across Asia Pacific for over 25 years, with a passion for leading & developing teams, who are committed to deliver the business outcomes sought by our customers.

When It Comes To Rock, Brands Matter

Ken Demma

Next week, 3 concerts will be held at Soldier Field in Chicago to  commemorate both the 50th anniversary and the end of the Grateful Dead, to a combined audience of 200,000 in-person attendees and tens of thousands more through pay-per-view options.

While this may not seem surprising given the Grateful_Dead_at_the_Warfield-02bands longevity, popularity, and dedicated following, what is interesting to marketers is, why the unprecedented demand? Thousands of mail order ticket requests, more than 500,000 Ticketmaster online requests, and outrageous secondary market prices — for a band whose central figure, Jerry Garcia, died in 1995, and whose members continue to perform regularly in more modest settings.

At the same time, the Rolling Stones are playing stadiums across the U.S. and the Who are  celebrating “The Who Hit 50” with arena-sized concerts across the U.S. and Europe throughout  2015. It is also worth noting that the face value ticket prices for these shows can range up to $600.

What can we, as marketers, take from this?

Certainly one lesson is the hold that music, and specific iconic acts, have as a hallmark of the boomer generation, and adjacent ones who aspire to boomer culture and values (how else can you fill all these seats?).

What seems more apt is that brand names matter, even when it comes to music. Consider the following:

  • The remaining Grateful Dead members have actively toured since 1995; those remaining “core 4” members tend to play as part of small festivals (often not headlining) or playing 2,000-4,000- seat theaters and outdoor amphitheaters. Even the band Furthur, which reunites 2 of the 4 more popular members (Bob Weir and Phil Lesh) failed to achieve even a fraction of the demand of the event in Chicago.
  • Led Zeppelin (also missing an original member, John Bonham, whose death in 1980 led to the band’s breakup) has received many offers to reunite, which have been rumored to be in the range of several $100s of millions (a rumored Richard Branson offer of close to $1B was never confirmed). Yet lead singer Robert Plant is currently touring, playing 2,000-5,000 seat theaters, with a set list loaded with Led Zeppelin songs — far from the demand that Led Zeppelin would expect if that brand were to tour. In fact, when the 3 remaining members plus a substitute drummer billed as Led Zeppelin to play a one-time charity event in 2007, more than one million ticket requests were received for 20,000 available tickets.
  • Pink Floyd, whose main writer and creative force Roger Waters left the band in 1983, continued to tour and play stadiums as Pink Floyd, while Waters, outside of the band, occupied smaller halls and had little brand recognition. Only when Waters recently toured the signature Pink Floyd album “The Wall” (where the name “The Wall” appeared as the name of the event) was he able to move into larger venues.
  • Solo albums and tours by key members of these bands have paled in comparison to album and tour sales by the groups themselves, even the re-constituted touring versions of these groups. For example, Pete Townshend (The Who) and Keith Richards (The Stones) touring solo (most recently in the ’90s) have played theaters and small arenas, not the larger halls and stadiums their main bands occupied then or now, even though they often play the songs of the bands they’re known for.

You might argue that in a band context, the other members bring intangibles and chemistry that make the music “better,” thus advantage of seeing the Stones over only Keith Richards. But none of these bands have all their original members. In fact, only 2 of the original 4 members of the Who are part of the band’s current 10-member on-stage group, and the Rolling Stones have lost not only original members Brian Jones and Bill Wyman, but even Jones’ first replacement.

Speaking of replacements, we can see this trend even with the 80’s Indie band The Replacements, which boasts 2 of its 4 original members. But through the power of the brand, The Replacements headlines festivals and plays larger rooms than leader Paul Westerberg plays with his non-Replacements band, even though he performs the same songs he made famous as part of The Replacements.

Digging deeper, we see brand benefits accruing to these bands.

Brands provide consistency and expectations. In their branded forms, these bands produce the experience expected by their audience. They will play the songs expected, strike the well-known poses and “sound as they should.” For the Grateful Dead, it means “the scene”…the parking lot full of Deadheads selling food and clothing and enjoying the experience. While this scene exists at a smaller scale for other bands in the vein of the Dead, it isn’t perceived in the same way.

Brands create and hold emotional ties. And here there are plenty, along with nostalgia. Particularly in American culture, where optimism and fond memories abound, perhaps having shared this music, these bands, and times with friends and lovers, it’s not just the song — it’s the song by this band that adds vividness to our memories.

Brands create affiliation and signal others. Branded merchandise, full of iconography and related associations to values, beliefs, and attitudes, signals our affiliation with bands and what they and their music represent. We gain personal and generational identity through this affiliation.

So as The Grateful Dead bids “Fare Thee Well” with its final concerts, Pete Townshend earns big cheers playing his signature windmill-style guitar that reminds us of earlier times, and Mick Jagger preens and poses like all those photos and videos of a younger Mick that are part of our consciousness, the bands…the brands…that the audience knows, loves, and are emotionally connected to are alive and well. (…Are you listening, Led Zeppelin?…)

Want more marketing strategies that work? See How to Create Better Marketing Stories: Find the Heroism.

Comments

Thierry Audas

About Thierry Audas

Thierry Audas is a senior director of Product Marketing with SAP and focuses on business intelligence and analytics. He works with SAP customers to help them better understand how SAP solutions help organizations to transform all their data, the foundation of a digital enterprise, into insight to drive innovation and create business value. Thierry has more than 20 years of experience in the BI and analytics field and has held various senior roles in presales, consulting, and product management.

Value Of The Brand: B2B, Technology, And Services Matter

Fred Isbell

As an occasional lecturer and presenter for MBA programs, I’ve discussed the concept of “modern marketing” and the elements of successful marketing in an era of unprecedented change. One aspect that remains important is the value of the brand.

While most MBA marketing programs focus on consumer marketing and business-to-consumer (B2C) brands, the dramatic shifts in business-to-business (B2B) and services-related companies deserve attention too. Working for SAP for nearly 11 years and specializing in high-tech marketing for close to three decades, I’ve had a front-row seat watching this unfold over the years.

A brand is more than just your identity in the marketplace

For most of us, doing a Google search is an innate behavior for learning about anything and everything – especially brands we are considering. But did you know that this one action is closely tied to brand value?

By definition, a brand is any combination of words, design, visual concept, or imagery that elicits an emotional response. And all of this is a recipe for differentiation, whether we are talking about the brand of a product or service or a person’s “personal brand.”

Every brand also has intrinsic value. This attribute is quantified on a balance sheet as economic value and represents a company’s “brand equity” in the marketplace and to customers. Companies with more-valued brands do better in terms of sales, market share, and stock performance.

To make demonstrate the two parts of brand value, I like to reach back into my “way-back machine” and pull out a chart from one of the great marketing professors of all time, Phillip Kotler. Though his numbers date back to 2006, the concept is still the same.Kottler

Kotler found that the value of a brand is directly related to the market capitalization of a company. In Kotler’s words, “branding strategies, brand performance, and a firm’s business performance are found to be positively correlated with (their) stock increase.”

2015: An era of amazing brand value and growth

So what does this have to do with modern marketing? A lot!

Let’s consider my employer, SAP. The company ranks 24th overall in the recently released BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand, with a brand value of US$38 billion. This status places us in an elite peer group with top B2B and B2C brands including American Express, Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nike, among others.

While the value of the SAP brand has increased 5% over the past year, it has also increased an astonishing 299% since Kotler released his study nine years ago. And when I think about my time at SAP and watching this incredible growth, Kotler’s observation makes complete sense. Over the last 15 years, SAP has invested in brand marketing in sporting events, on TV, at airports and conferences, and more. As a result, people can universally recall the SAP name without any assistance.

Why B2B, technology, and services matter

In BrandZ’s list of top 100 valuable global brands, technology-related brands account for nearly half (44%) and consumer brands account for about one-fifth (22%). And if you quickly scan this list, you’ll see many familiar technology names that are associated with solutions implementation, services, and support – such as SAP and our partners IBM, HP, Accenture, and Cisco. Since most of SAP’s revenues are attributed to service and support, it is easy to highlight the important role we play in this amazing growth in brand value.MBrown

One final statistic worth mentioning: 92 of the Fortune 100 run SAP. And again, with a quick look at BrandZ’s rankings, we see that the vast majority of brands listed in the top 100 run SAP software. Not only is SAP a tremendous brand success on its own, we are intertwined with the success of these top 100 brand companies. The networked and digital economy these top brands represent is fundamentally tied to SAP. Wow!

So in the era of modern marketing, the value of a brand matters – and so do B2B, services, and solutions matter more than ever. This is truly a great time to be in the high-tech industry!

Want more marketing strategies that will boost the bottom line? See How to Create Better Marketing Stories: Find the Heroism.

Fred Isbell is senior marketing director for SAP Services & Support Marketing for Thought Leadership, Demand Management, and Planning for the Worldwide Services & Support Marketing team. A 15-year veteran of SAP, he formerly led SAP Global Services Marketing Field EnI801826gagement, the North American SAP Services regional marketing team and SMB Channels Marketing for the SAP Small and Midsize Business team. Prior to SAP, he held a variety of senior solutions, services, and partner marketing roles with Compaq and Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Fred is an honors graduate of Yale University with a BA in Economics and Political Science, and has an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where he was a Fuqua Scholar. A passionate sports and hockey fan/player, he is a MA/USA Hockey advanced patch coach and includes coaching and playing hockey with his three kids among his favorite moments in life.

 

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David Parrish

About David Parrish

David Parrish is the senior global director of Industrial Machinery & Components Solutions Marketing for SAP. Before joining SAP, he held various product and industry marketing positions with J.D. Edwards, PeopleSoft, and QAD going back to 1999.

Value Of The Brand: B2B, Technology, And Services Matter

Fred Isbell

As an occasional lecturer and presenter for MBA programs, I’ve discussed the concept of “modern marketing” and the elements of successful marketing in an era of unprecedented change. One aspect that remains important is the value of the brand.

While most MBA marketing programs focus on consumer marketing and business-to-consumer (B2C) brands, the dramatic shifts in business-to-business (B2B) and services-related companies deserve attention too. Working for SAP for nearly 11 years and specializing in high-tech marketing for close to three decades, I’ve had a front-row seat watching this unfold over the years.

A brand is more than just your identity in the marketplace

For most of us, doing a Google search is an innate behavior for learning about anything and everything – especially brands we are considering. But did you know that this one action is closely tied to brand value?

By definition, a brand is any combination of words, design, visual concept, or imagery that elicits an emotional response. And all of this is a recipe for differentiation, whether we are talking about the brand of a product or service or a person’s “personal brand.”

Every brand also has intrinsic value. This attribute is quantified on a balance sheet as economic value and represents a company’s “brand equity” in the marketplace and to customers. Companies with more-valued brands do better in terms of sales, market share, and stock performance.

To make demonstrate the two parts of brand value, I like to reach back into my “way-back machine” and pull out a chart from one of the great marketing professors of all time, Phillip Kotler. Though his numbers date back to 2006, the concept is still the same.Kottler

Kotler found that the value of a brand is directly related to the market capitalization of a company. In Kotler’s words, “branding strategies, brand performance, and a firm’s business performance are found to be positively correlated with (their) stock increase.”

2015: An era of amazing brand value and growth

So what does this have to do with modern marketing? A lot!

Let’s consider my employer, SAP. The company ranks 24th overall in the recently released BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand, with a brand value of US$38 billion. This status places us in an elite peer group with top B2B and B2C brands including American Express, Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nike, among others.

While the value of the SAP brand has increased 5% over the past year, it has also increased an astonishing 299% since Kotler released his study nine years ago. And when I think about my time at SAP and watching this incredible growth, Kotler’s observation makes complete sense. Over the last 15 years, SAP has invested in brand marketing in sporting events, on TV, at airports and conferences, and more. As a result, people can universally recall the SAP name without any assistance.

Why B2B, technology, and services matter

In BrandZ’s list of top 100 valuable global brands, technology-related brands account for nearly half (44%) and consumer brands account for about one-fifth (22%). And if you quickly scan this list, you’ll see many familiar technology names that are associated with solutions implementation, services, and support – such as SAP and our partners IBM, HP, Accenture, and Cisco. Since most of SAP’s revenues are attributed to service and support, it is easy to highlight the important role we play in this amazing growth in brand value.MBrown

One final statistic worth mentioning: 92 of the Fortune 100 run SAP. And again, with a quick look at BrandZ’s rankings, we see that the vast majority of brands listed in the top 100 run SAP software. Not only is SAP a tremendous brand success on its own, we are intertwined with the success of these top 100 brand companies. The networked and digital economy these top brands represent is fundamentally tied to SAP. Wow!

So in the era of modern marketing, the value of a brand matters – and so do B2B, services, and solutions matter more than ever. This is truly a great time to be in the high-tech industry!

Want more marketing strategies that will boost the bottom line? See How to Create Better Marketing Stories: Find the Heroism.

Fred Isbell is senior marketing director for SAP Services & Support Marketing for Thought Leadership, Demand Management, and Planning for the Worldwide Services & Support Marketing team. A 15-year veteran of SAP, he formerly led SAP Global Services Marketing Field EnI801826gagement, the North American SAP Services regional marketing team and SMB Channels Marketing for the SAP Small and Midsize Business team. Prior to SAP, he held a variety of senior solutions, services, and partner marketing roles with Compaq and Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Fred is an honors graduate of Yale University with a BA in Economics and Political Science, and has an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where he was a Fuqua Scholar. A passionate sports and hockey fan/player, he is a MA/USA Hockey advanced patch coach and includes coaching and playing hockey with his three kids among his favorite moments in life.

 

Comments

David McCann

About David McCann

David McCann is deputy editor at CFO magazine and CFO.com.

Value Of The Brand: B2B, Technology, And Services Matter

Fred Isbell

As an occasional lecturer and presenter for MBA programs, I’ve discussed the concept of “modern marketing” and the elements of successful marketing in an era of unprecedented change. One aspect that remains important is the value of the brand.

While most MBA marketing programs focus on consumer marketing and business-to-consumer (B2C) brands, the dramatic shifts in business-to-business (B2B) and services-related companies deserve attention too. Working for SAP for nearly 11 years and specializing in high-tech marketing for close to three decades, I’ve had a front-row seat watching this unfold over the years.

A brand is more than just your identity in the marketplace

For most of us, doing a Google search is an innate behavior for learning about anything and everything – especially brands we are considering. But did you know that this one action is closely tied to brand value?

By definition, a brand is any combination of words, design, visual concept, or imagery that elicits an emotional response. And all of this is a recipe for differentiation, whether we are talking about the brand of a product or service or a person’s “personal brand.”

Every brand also has intrinsic value. This attribute is quantified on a balance sheet as economic value and represents a company’s “brand equity” in the marketplace and to customers. Companies with more-valued brands do better in terms of sales, market share, and stock performance.

To make demonstrate the two parts of brand value, I like to reach back into my “way-back machine” and pull out a chart from one of the great marketing professors of all time, Phillip Kotler. Though his numbers date back to 2006, the concept is still the same.Kottler

Kotler found that the value of a brand is directly related to the market capitalization of a company. In Kotler’s words, “branding strategies, brand performance, and a firm’s business performance are found to be positively correlated with (their) stock increase.”

2015: An era of amazing brand value and growth

So what does this have to do with modern marketing? A lot!

Let’s consider my employer, SAP. The company ranks 24th overall in the recently released BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand, with a brand value of US$38 billion. This status places us in an elite peer group with top B2B and B2C brands including American Express, Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nike, among others.

While the value of the SAP brand has increased 5% over the past year, it has also increased an astonishing 299% since Kotler released his study nine years ago. And when I think about my time at SAP and watching this incredible growth, Kotler’s observation makes complete sense. Over the last 15 years, SAP has invested in brand marketing in sporting events, on TV, at airports and conferences, and more. As a result, people can universally recall the SAP name without any assistance.

Why B2B, technology, and services matter

In BrandZ’s list of top 100 valuable global brands, technology-related brands account for nearly half (44%) and consumer brands account for about one-fifth (22%). And if you quickly scan this list, you’ll see many familiar technology names that are associated with solutions implementation, services, and support – such as SAP and our partners IBM, HP, Accenture, and Cisco. Since most of SAP’s revenues are attributed to service and support, it is easy to highlight the important role we play in this amazing growth in brand value.MBrown

One final statistic worth mentioning: 92 of the Fortune 100 run SAP. And again, with a quick look at BrandZ’s rankings, we see that the vast majority of brands listed in the top 100 run SAP software. Not only is SAP a tremendous brand success on its own, we are intertwined with the success of these top 100 brand companies. The networked and digital economy these top brands represent is fundamentally tied to SAP. Wow!

So in the era of modern marketing, the value of a brand matters – and so do B2B, services, and solutions matter more than ever. This is truly a great time to be in the high-tech industry!

Want more marketing strategies that will boost the bottom line? See How to Create Better Marketing Stories: Find the Heroism.

Fred Isbell is senior marketing director for SAP Services & Support Marketing for Thought Leadership, Demand Management, and Planning for the Worldwide Services & Support Marketing team. A 15-year veteran of SAP, he formerly led SAP Global Services Marketing Field EnI801826gagement, the North American SAP Services regional marketing team and SMB Channels Marketing for the SAP Small and Midsize Business team. Prior to SAP, he held a variety of senior solutions, services, and partner marketing roles with Compaq and Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Fred is an honors graduate of Yale University with a BA in Economics and Political Science, and has an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where he was a Fuqua Scholar. A passionate sports and hockey fan/player, he is a MA/USA Hockey advanced patch coach and includes coaching and playing hockey with his three kids among his favorite moments in life.

 

Comments

Michelle Schooff

About Michelle Schooff

Michelle Schooff is a global marketing director in the retail and wholesale distribution industries for SAP. She is responsible for the marketing strategy, messaging and positioning for SAP solutions in the global marketplace. With over 20 years experience in technology and marketing, Michelle builds strategic marketing plans that drive growth, innovation and revenue.

Value Of The Brand: B2B, Technology, And Services Matter

Fred Isbell

As an occasional lecturer and presenter for MBA programs, I’ve discussed the concept of “modern marketing” and the elements of successful marketing in an era of unprecedented change. One aspect that remains important is the value of the brand.

While most MBA marketing programs focus on consumer marketing and business-to-consumer (B2C) brands, the dramatic shifts in business-to-business (B2B) and services-related companies deserve attention too. Working for SAP for nearly 11 years and specializing in high-tech marketing for close to three decades, I’ve had a front-row seat watching this unfold over the years.

A brand is more than just your identity in the marketplace

For most of us, doing a Google search is an innate behavior for learning about anything and everything – especially brands we are considering. But did you know that this one action is closely tied to brand value?

By definition, a brand is any combination of words, design, visual concept, or imagery that elicits an emotional response. And all of this is a recipe for differentiation, whether we are talking about the brand of a product or service or a person’s “personal brand.”

Every brand also has intrinsic value. This attribute is quantified on a balance sheet as economic value and represents a company’s “brand equity” in the marketplace and to customers. Companies with more-valued brands do better in terms of sales, market share, and stock performance.

To make demonstrate the two parts of brand value, I like to reach back into my “way-back machine” and pull out a chart from one of the great marketing professors of all time, Phillip Kotler. Though his numbers date back to 2006, the concept is still the same.Kottler

Kotler found that the value of a brand is directly related to the market capitalization of a company. In Kotler’s words, “branding strategies, brand performance, and a firm’s business performance are found to be positively correlated with (their) stock increase.”

2015: An era of amazing brand value and growth

So what does this have to do with modern marketing? A lot!

Let’s consider my employer, SAP. The company ranks 24th overall in the recently released BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand, with a brand value of US$38 billion. This status places us in an elite peer group with top B2B and B2C brands including American Express, Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nike, among others.

While the value of the SAP brand has increased 5% over the past year, it has also increased an astonishing 299% since Kotler released his study nine years ago. And when I think about my time at SAP and watching this incredible growth, Kotler’s observation makes complete sense. Over the last 15 years, SAP has invested in brand marketing in sporting events, on TV, at airports and conferences, and more. As a result, people can universally recall the SAP name without any assistance.

Why B2B, technology, and services matter

In BrandZ’s list of top 100 valuable global brands, technology-related brands account for nearly half (44%) and consumer brands account for about one-fifth (22%). And if you quickly scan this list, you’ll see many familiar technology names that are associated with solutions implementation, services, and support – such as SAP and our partners IBM, HP, Accenture, and Cisco. Since most of SAP’s revenues are attributed to service and support, it is easy to highlight the important role we play in this amazing growth in brand value.MBrown

One final statistic worth mentioning: 92 of the Fortune 100 run SAP. And again, with a quick look at BrandZ’s rankings, we see that the vast majority of brands listed in the top 100 run SAP software. Not only is SAP a tremendous brand success on its own, we are intertwined with the success of these top 100 brand companies. The networked and digital economy these top brands represent is fundamentally tied to SAP. Wow!

So in the era of modern marketing, the value of a brand matters – and so do B2B, services, and solutions matter more than ever. This is truly a great time to be in the high-tech industry!

Want more marketing strategies that will boost the bottom line? See How to Create Better Marketing Stories: Find the Heroism.

Fred Isbell is senior marketing director for SAP Services & Support Marketing for Thought Leadership, Demand Management, and Planning for the Worldwide Services & Support Marketing team. A 15-year veteran of SAP, he formerly led SAP Global Services Marketing Field EnI801826gagement, the North American SAP Services regional marketing team and SMB Channels Marketing for the SAP Small and Midsize Business team. Prior to SAP, he held a variety of senior solutions, services, and partner marketing roles with Compaq and Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Fred is an honors graduate of Yale University with a BA in Economics and Political Science, and has an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where he was a Fuqua Scholar. A passionate sports and hockey fan/player, he is a MA/USA Hockey advanced patch coach and includes coaching and playing hockey with his three kids among his favorite moments in life.

 

Comments

Michelle Schooff

About Michelle Schooff

Michelle Schooff is a global marketing director in the retail and wholesale distribution industries for SAP. She is responsible for the marketing strategy, messaging and positioning for SAP solutions in the global marketplace. With over 20 years experience in technology and marketing, Michelle builds strategic marketing plans that drive growth, innovation and revenue.

Value Of The Brand: B2B, Technology, And Services Matter

Fred Isbell

As an occasional lecturer and presenter for MBA programs, I’ve discussed the concept of “modern marketing” and the elements of successful marketing in an era of unprecedented change. One aspect that remains important is the value of the brand.

While most MBA marketing programs focus on consumer marketing and business-to-consumer (B2C) brands, the dramatic shifts in business-to-business (B2B) and services-related companies deserve attention too. Working for SAP for nearly 11 years and specializing in high-tech marketing for close to three decades, I’ve had a front-row seat watching this unfold over the years.

A brand is more than just your identity in the marketplace

For most of us, doing a Google search is an innate behavior for learning about anything and everything – especially brands we are considering. But did you know that this one action is closely tied to brand value?

By definition, a brand is any combination of words, design, visual concept, or imagery that elicits an emotional response. And all of this is a recipe for differentiation, whether we are talking about the brand of a product or service or a person’s “personal brand.”

Every brand also has intrinsic value. This attribute is quantified on a balance sheet as economic value and represents a company’s “brand equity” in the marketplace and to customers. Companies with more-valued brands do better in terms of sales, market share, and stock performance.

To make demonstrate the two parts of brand value, I like to reach back into my “way-back machine” and pull out a chart from one of the great marketing professors of all time, Phillip Kotler. Though his numbers date back to 2006, the concept is still the same.Kottler

Kotler found that the value of a brand is directly related to the market capitalization of a company. In Kotler’s words, “branding strategies, brand performance, and a firm’s business performance are found to be positively correlated with (their) stock increase.”

2015: An era of amazing brand value and growth

So what does this have to do with modern marketing? A lot!

Let’s consider my employer, SAP. The company ranks 24th overall in the recently released BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand, with a brand value of US$38 billion. This status places us in an elite peer group with top B2B and B2C brands including American Express, Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nike, among others.

While the value of the SAP brand has increased 5% over the past year, it has also increased an astonishing 299% since Kotler released his study nine years ago. And when I think about my time at SAP and watching this incredible growth, Kotler’s observation makes complete sense. Over the last 15 years, SAP has invested in brand marketing in sporting events, on TV, at airports and conferences, and more. As a result, people can universally recall the SAP name without any assistance.

Why B2B, technology, and services matter

In BrandZ’s list of top 100 valuable global brands, technology-related brands account for nearly half (44%) and consumer brands account for about one-fifth (22%). And if you quickly scan this list, you’ll see many familiar technology names that are associated with solutions implementation, services, and support – such as SAP and our partners IBM, HP, Accenture, and Cisco. Since most of SAP’s revenues are attributed to service and support, it is easy to highlight the important role we play in this amazing growth in brand value.MBrown

One final statistic worth mentioning: 92 of the Fortune 100 run SAP. And again, with a quick look at BrandZ’s rankings, we see that the vast majority of brands listed in the top 100 run SAP software. Not only is SAP a tremendous brand success on its own, we are intertwined with the success of these top 100 brand companies. The networked and digital economy these top brands represent is fundamentally tied to SAP. Wow!

So in the era of modern marketing, the value of a brand matters – and so do B2B, services, and solutions matter more than ever. This is truly a great time to be in the high-tech industry!

Want more marketing strategies that will boost the bottom line? See How to Create Better Marketing Stories: Find the Heroism.

Fred Isbell is senior marketing director for SAP Services & Support Marketing for Thought Leadership, Demand Management, and Planning for the Worldwide Services & Support Marketing team. A 15-year veteran of SAP, he formerly led SAP Global Services Marketing Field EnI801826gagement, the North American SAP Services regional marketing team and SMB Channels Marketing for the SAP Small and Midsize Business team. Prior to SAP, he held a variety of senior solutions, services, and partner marketing roles with Compaq and Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Fred is an honors graduate of Yale University with a BA in Economics and Political Science, and has an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where he was a Fuqua Scholar. A passionate sports and hockey fan/player, he is a MA/USA Hockey advanced patch coach and includes coaching and playing hockey with his three kids among his favorite moments in life.

 

Comments

Daniel Smyth

About Daniel Smyth

Daniel Smyth started covering the iGaming industry in the early 1990s and has since moved to produce content about a broad range of topics in the tech space. Today, as well as producing articles covering the traditional aspects of the poker and casino gaming, his remit includes tracking the convergence between bitcoin, blockchain and the betting world.

Value Of The Brand: B2B, Technology, And Services Matter

Fred Isbell

As an occasional lecturer and presenter for MBA programs, I’ve discussed the concept of “modern marketing” and the elements of successful marketing in an era of unprecedented change. One aspect that remains important is the value of the brand.

While most MBA marketing programs focus on consumer marketing and business-to-consumer (B2C) brands, the dramatic shifts in business-to-business (B2B) and services-related companies deserve attention too. Working for SAP for nearly 11 years and specializing in high-tech marketing for close to three decades, I’ve had a front-row seat watching this unfold over the years.

A brand is more than just your identity in the marketplace

For most of us, doing a Google search is an innate behavior for learning about anything and everything – especially brands we are considering. But did you know that this one action is closely tied to brand value?

By definition, a brand is any combination of words, design, visual concept, or imagery that elicits an emotional response. And all of this is a recipe for differentiation, whether we are talking about the brand of a product or service or a person’s “personal brand.”

Every brand also has intrinsic value. This attribute is quantified on a balance sheet as economic value and represents a company’s “brand equity” in the marketplace and to customers. Companies with more-valued brands do better in terms of sales, market share, and stock performance.

To make demonstrate the two parts of brand value, I like to reach back into my “way-back machine” and pull out a chart from one of the great marketing professors of all time, Phillip Kotler. Though his numbers date back to 2006, the concept is still the same.Kottler

Kotler found that the value of a brand is directly related to the market capitalization of a company. In Kotler’s words, “branding strategies, brand performance, and a firm’s business performance are found to be positively correlated with (their) stock increase.”

2015: An era of amazing brand value and growth

So what does this have to do with modern marketing? A lot!

Let’s consider my employer, SAP. The company ranks 24th overall in the recently released BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand, with a brand value of US$38 billion. This status places us in an elite peer group with top B2B and B2C brands including American Express, Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nike, among others.

While the value of the SAP brand has increased 5% over the past year, it has also increased an astonishing 299% since Kotler released his study nine years ago. And when I think about my time at SAP and watching this incredible growth, Kotler’s observation makes complete sense. Over the last 15 years, SAP has invested in brand marketing in sporting events, on TV, at airports and conferences, and more. As a result, people can universally recall the SAP name without any assistance.

Why B2B, technology, and services matter

In BrandZ’s list of top 100 valuable global brands, technology-related brands account for nearly half (44%) and consumer brands account for about one-fifth (22%). And if you quickly scan this list, you’ll see many familiar technology names that are associated with solutions implementation, services, and support – such as SAP and our partners IBM, HP, Accenture, and Cisco. Since most of SAP’s revenues are attributed to service and support, it is easy to highlight the important role we play in this amazing growth in brand value.MBrown

One final statistic worth mentioning: 92 of the Fortune 100 run SAP. And again, with a quick look at BrandZ’s rankings, we see that the vast majority of brands listed in the top 100 run SAP software. Not only is SAP a tremendous brand success on its own, we are intertwined with the success of these top 100 brand companies. The networked and digital economy these top brands represent is fundamentally tied to SAP. Wow!

So in the era of modern marketing, the value of a brand matters – and so do B2B, services, and solutions matter more than ever. This is truly a great time to be in the high-tech industry!

Want more marketing strategies that will boost the bottom line? See How to Create Better Marketing Stories: Find the Heroism.

Fred Isbell is senior marketing director for SAP Services & Support Marketing for Thought Leadership, Demand Management, and Planning for the Worldwide Services & Support Marketing team. A 15-year veteran of SAP, he formerly led SAP Global Services Marketing Field EnI801826gagement, the North American SAP Services regional marketing team and SMB Channels Marketing for the SAP Small and Midsize Business team. Prior to SAP, he held a variety of senior solutions, services, and partner marketing roles with Compaq and Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Fred is an honors graduate of Yale University with a BA in Economics and Political Science, and has an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where he was a Fuqua Scholar. A passionate sports and hockey fan/player, he is a MA/USA Hockey advanced patch coach and includes coaching and playing hockey with his three kids among his favorite moments in life.

 

Comments

Glen Moffatt

About Glen Moffatt

Glen Moffatt is a presales enablement director at SAP Canada. He is a technical generalist and communicator, specializing in helping others understand the application of enterprise information technology. He expresses himself in a variety of ways: writing code, conducting software demonstrations, teaching, facilitating design thinking workshops, and presenting to the boardroom.

Value Of The Brand: B2B, Technology, And Services Matter

Fred Isbell

As an occasional lecturer and presenter for MBA programs, I’ve discussed the concept of “modern marketing” and the elements of successful marketing in an era of unprecedented change. One aspect that remains important is the value of the brand.

While most MBA marketing programs focus on consumer marketing and business-to-consumer (B2C) brands, the dramatic shifts in business-to-business (B2B) and services-related companies deserve attention too. Working for SAP for nearly 11 years and specializing in high-tech marketing for close to three decades, I’ve had a front-row seat watching this unfold over the years.

A brand is more than just your identity in the marketplace

For most of us, doing a Google search is an innate behavior for learning about anything and everything – especially brands we are considering. But did you know that this one action is closely tied to brand value?

By definition, a brand is any combination of words, design, visual concept, or imagery that elicits an emotional response. And all of this is a recipe for differentiation, whether we are talking about the brand of a product or service or a person’s “personal brand.”

Every brand also has intrinsic value. This attribute is quantified on a balance sheet as economic value and represents a company’s “brand equity” in the marketplace and to customers. Companies with more-valued brands do better in terms of sales, market share, and stock performance.

To make demonstrate the two parts of brand value, I like to reach back into my “way-back machine” and pull out a chart from one of the great marketing professors of all time, Phillip Kotler. Though his numbers date back to 2006, the concept is still the same.Kottler

Kotler found that the value of a brand is directly related to the market capitalization of a company. In Kotler’s words, “branding strategies, brand performance, and a firm’s business performance are found to be positively correlated with (their) stock increase.”

2015: An era of amazing brand value and growth

So what does this have to do with modern marketing? A lot!

Let’s consider my employer, SAP. The company ranks 24th overall in the recently released BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand, with a brand value of US$38 billion. This status places us in an elite peer group with top B2B and B2C brands including American Express, Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nike, among others.

While the value of the SAP brand has increased 5% over the past year, it has also increased an astonishing 299% since Kotler released his study nine years ago. And when I think about my time at SAP and watching this incredible growth, Kotler’s observation makes complete sense. Over the last 15 years, SAP has invested in brand marketing in sporting events, on TV, at airports and conferences, and more. As a result, people can universally recall the SAP name without any assistance.

Why B2B, technology, and services matter

In BrandZ’s list of top 100 valuable global brands, technology-related brands account for nearly half (44%) and consumer brands account for about one-fifth (22%). And if you quickly scan this list, you’ll see many familiar technology names that are associated with solutions implementation, services, and support – such as SAP and our partners IBM, HP, Accenture, and Cisco. Since most of SAP’s revenues are attributed to service and support, it is easy to highlight the important role we play in this amazing growth in brand value.MBrown

One final statistic worth mentioning: 92 of the Fortune 100 run SAP. And again, with a quick look at BrandZ’s rankings, we see that the vast majority of brands listed in the top 100 run SAP software. Not only is SAP a tremendous brand success on its own, we are intertwined with the success of these top 100 brand companies. The networked and digital economy these top brands represent is fundamentally tied to SAP. Wow!

So in the era of modern marketing, the value of a brand matters – and so do B2B, services, and solutions matter more than ever. This is truly a great time to be in the high-tech industry!

Want more marketing strategies that will boost the bottom line? See How to Create Better Marketing Stories: Find the Heroism.

Fred Isbell is senior marketing director for SAP Services & Support Marketing for Thought Leadership, Demand Management, and Planning for the Worldwide Services & Support Marketing team. A 15-year veteran of SAP, he formerly led SAP Global Services Marketing Field EnI801826gagement, the North American SAP Services regional marketing team and SMB Channels Marketing for the SAP Small and Midsize Business team. Prior to SAP, he held a variety of senior solutions, services, and partner marketing roles with Compaq and Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Fred is an honors graduate of Yale University with a BA in Economics and Political Science, and has an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where he was a Fuqua Scholar. A passionate sports and hockey fan/player, he is a MA/USA Hockey advanced patch coach and includes coaching and playing hockey with his three kids among his favorite moments in life.

 

Comments

Jane Lu

About Jane Lu

Jane is a writer and marketing intern at SAP. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in English at the University of Waterloo. While Jane is currently studying in Waterloo, she is originally from Toronto.

Value Of The Brand: B2B, Technology, And Services Matter

Fred Isbell

As an occasional lecturer and presenter for MBA programs, I’ve discussed the concept of “modern marketing” and the elements of successful marketing in an era of unprecedented change. One aspect that remains important is the value of the brand.

While most MBA marketing programs focus on consumer marketing and business-to-consumer (B2C) brands, the dramatic shifts in business-to-business (B2B) and services-related companies deserve attention too. Working for SAP for nearly 11 years and specializing in high-tech marketing for close to three decades, I’ve had a front-row seat watching this unfold over the years.

A brand is more than just your identity in the marketplace

For most of us, doing a Google search is an innate behavior for learning about anything and everything – especially brands we are considering. But did you know that this one action is closely tied to brand value?

By definition, a brand is any combination of words, design, visual concept, or imagery that elicits an emotional response. And all of this is a recipe for differentiation, whether we are talking about the brand of a product or service or a person’s “personal brand.”

Every brand also has intrinsic value. This attribute is quantified on a balance sheet as economic value and represents a company’s “brand equity” in the marketplace and to customers. Companies with more-valued brands do better in terms of sales, market share, and stock performance.

To make demonstrate the two parts of brand value, I like to reach back into my “way-back machine” and pull out a chart from one of the great marketing professors of all time, Phillip Kotler. Though his numbers date back to 2006, the concept is still the same.Kottler

Kotler found that the value of a brand is directly related to the market capitalization of a company. In Kotler’s words, “branding strategies, brand performance, and a firm’s business performance are found to be positively correlated with (their) stock increase.”

2015: An era of amazing brand value and growth

So what does this have to do with modern marketing? A lot!

Let’s consider my employer, SAP. The company ranks 24th overall in the recently released BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand, with a brand value of US$38 billion. This status places us in an elite peer group with top B2B and B2C brands including American Express, Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nike, among others.

While the value of the SAP brand has increased 5% over the past year, it has also increased an astonishing 299% since Kotler released his study nine years ago. And when I think about my time at SAP and watching this incredible growth, Kotler’s observation makes complete sense. Over the last 15 years, SAP has invested in brand marketing in sporting events, on TV, at airports and conferences, and more. As a result, people can universally recall the SAP name without any assistance.

Why B2B, technology, and services matter

In BrandZ’s list of top 100 valuable global brands, technology-related brands account for nearly half (44%) and consumer brands account for about one-fifth (22%). And if you quickly scan this list, you’ll see many familiar technology names that are associated with solutions implementation, services, and support – such as SAP and our partners IBM, HP, Accenture, and Cisco. Since most of SAP’s revenues are attributed to service and support, it is easy to highlight the important role we play in this amazing growth in brand value.MBrown

One final statistic worth mentioning: 92 of the Fortune 100 run SAP. And again, with a quick look at BrandZ’s rankings, we see that the vast majority of brands listed in the top 100 run SAP software. Not only is SAP a tremendous brand success on its own, we are intertwined with the success of these top 100 brand companies. The networked and digital economy these top brands represent is fundamentally tied to SAP. Wow!

So in the era of modern marketing, the value of a brand matters – and so do B2B, services, and solutions matter more than ever. This is truly a great time to be in the high-tech industry!

Want more marketing strategies that will boost the bottom line? See How to Create Better Marketing Stories: Find the Heroism.

Fred Isbell is senior marketing director for SAP Services & Support Marketing for Thought Leadership, Demand Management, and Planning for the Worldwide Services & Support Marketing team. A 15-year veteran of SAP, he formerly led SAP Global Services Marketing Field EnI801826gagement, the North American SAP Services regional marketing team and SMB Channels Marketing for the SAP Small and Midsize Business team. Prior to SAP, he held a variety of senior solutions, services, and partner marketing roles with Compaq and Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Fred is an honors graduate of Yale University with a BA in Economics and Political Science, and has an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where he was a Fuqua Scholar. A passionate sports and hockey fan/player, he is a MA/USA Hockey advanced patch coach and includes coaching and playing hockey with his three kids among his favorite moments in life.

 

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Thomas Ohnemus

About Thomas Ohnemus

Thomas Ohnemus is the Vice President, Solution Marketing, Customer Value Office, at SAP. He is responsible for driving the go-to-market strategy, messaging, and demand generation. Thomas has over 25 years’ experience in business software solutions and his PLM expertise has awarded him key management positions in consulting, product management, service, and global marketing. He holds a master’s degree in engineering, and lives in Germany.

Value Of The Brand: B2B, Technology, And Services Matter

Fred Isbell

As an occasional lecturer and presenter for MBA programs, I’ve discussed the concept of “modern marketing” and the elements of successful marketing in an era of unprecedented change. One aspect that remains important is the value of the brand.

While most MBA marketing programs focus on consumer marketing and business-to-consumer (B2C) brands, the dramatic shifts in business-to-business (B2B) and services-related companies deserve attention too. Working for SAP for nearly 11 years and specializing in high-tech marketing for close to three decades, I’ve had a front-row seat watching this unfold over the years.

A brand is more than just your identity in the marketplace

For most of us, doing a Google search is an innate behavior for learning about anything and everything – especially brands we are considering. But did you know that this one action is closely tied to brand value?

By definition, a brand is any combination of words, design, visual concept, or imagery that elicits an emotional response. And all of this is a recipe for differentiation, whether we are talking about the brand of a product or service or a person’s “personal brand.”

Every brand also has intrinsic value. This attribute is quantified on a balance sheet as economic value and represents a company’s “brand equity” in the marketplace and to customers. Companies with more-valued brands do better in terms of sales, market share, and stock performance.

To make demonstrate the two parts of brand value, I like to reach back into my “way-back machine” and pull out a chart from one of the great marketing professors of all time, Phillip Kotler. Though his numbers date back to 2006, the concept is still the same.Kottler

Kotler found that the value of a brand is directly related to the market capitalization of a company. In Kotler’s words, “branding strategies, brand performance, and a firm’s business performance are found to be positively correlated with (their) stock increase.”

2015: An era of amazing brand value and growth

So what does this have to do with modern marketing? A lot!

Let’s consider my employer, SAP. The company ranks 24th overall in the recently released BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand, with a brand value of US$38 billion. This status places us in an elite peer group with top B2B and B2C brands including American Express, Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nike, among others.

While the value of the SAP brand has increased 5% over the past year, it has also increased an astonishing 299% since Kotler released his study nine years ago. And when I think about my time at SAP and watching this incredible growth, Kotler’s observation makes complete sense. Over the last 15 years, SAP has invested in brand marketing in sporting events, on TV, at airports and conferences, and more. As a result, people can universally recall the SAP name without any assistance.

Why B2B, technology, and services matter

In BrandZ’s list of top 100 valuable global brands, technology-related brands account for nearly half (44%) and consumer brands account for about one-fifth (22%). And if you quickly scan this list, you’ll see many familiar technology names that are associated with solutions implementation, services, and support – such as SAP and our partners IBM, HP, Accenture, and Cisco. Since most of SAP’s revenues are attributed to service and support, it is easy to highlight the important role we play in this amazing growth in brand value.MBrown

One final statistic worth mentioning: 92 of the Fortune 100 run SAP. And again, with a quick look at BrandZ’s rankings, we see that the vast majority of brands listed in the top 100 run SAP software. Not only is SAP a tremendous brand success on its own, we are intertwined with the success of these top 100 brand companies. The networked and digital economy these top brands represent is fundamentally tied to SAP. Wow!

So in the era of modern marketing, the value of a brand matters – and so do B2B, services, and solutions matter more than ever. This is truly a great time to be in the high-tech industry!

Want more marketing strategies that will boost the bottom line? See How to Create Better Marketing Stories: Find the Heroism.

Fred Isbell is senior marketing director for SAP Services & Support Marketing for Thought Leadership, Demand Management, and Planning for the Worldwide Services & Support Marketing team. A 15-year veteran of SAP, he formerly led SAP Global Services Marketing Field EnI801826gagement, the North American SAP Services regional marketing team and SMB Channels Marketing for the SAP Small and Midsize Business team. Prior to SAP, he held a variety of senior solutions, services, and partner marketing roles with Compaq and Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Fred is an honors graduate of Yale University with a BA in Economics and Political Science, and has an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where he was a Fuqua Scholar. A passionate sports and hockey fan/player, he is a MA/USA Hockey advanced patch coach and includes coaching and playing hockey with his three kids among his favorite moments in life.

 

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About Nick Quin

Nick Quin is Regional Manager, Southern Region for SAP New Zealand based in Wellington. Nick has been involved in the transformation of organisations across Asia Pacific for over 25 years, with a passion for leading & developing teams, who are committed to deliver the business outcomes sought by our customers.

Value Of The Brand: B2B, Technology, And Services Matter

Fred Isbell

As an occasional lecturer and presenter for MBA programs, I’ve discussed the concept of “modern marketing” and the elements of successful marketing in an era of unprecedented change. One aspect that remains important is the value of the brand.

While most MBA marketing programs focus on consumer marketing and business-to-consumer (B2C) brands, the dramatic shifts in business-to-business (B2B) and services-related companies deserve attention too. Working for SAP for nearly 11 years and specializing in high-tech marketing for close to three decades, I’ve had a front-row seat watching this unfold over the years.

A brand is more than just your identity in the marketplace

For most of us, doing a Google search is an innate behavior for learning about anything and everything – especially brands we are considering. But did you know that this one action is closely tied to brand value?

By definition, a brand is any combination of words, design, visual concept, or imagery that elicits an emotional response. And all of this is a recipe for differentiation, whether we are talking about the brand of a product or service or a person’s “personal brand.”

Every brand also has intrinsic value. This attribute is quantified on a balance sheet as economic value and represents a company’s “brand equity” in the marketplace and to customers. Companies with more-valued brands do better in terms of sales, market share, and stock performance.

To make demonstrate the two parts of brand value, I like to reach back into my “way-back machine” and pull out a chart from one of the great marketing professors of all time, Phillip Kotler. Though his numbers date back to 2006, the concept is still the same.Kottler

Kotler found that the value of a brand is directly related to the market capitalization of a company. In Kotler’s words, “branding strategies, brand performance, and a firm’s business performance are found to be positively correlated with (their) stock increase.”

2015: An era of amazing brand value and growth

So what does this have to do with modern marketing? A lot!

Let’s consider my employer, SAP. The company ranks 24th overall in the recently released BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand, with a brand value of US$38 billion. This status places us in an elite peer group with top B2B and B2C brands including American Express, Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nike, among others.

While the value of the SAP brand has increased 5% over the past year, it has also increased an astonishing 299% since Kotler released his study nine years ago. And when I think about my time at SAP and watching this incredible growth, Kotler’s observation makes complete sense. Over the last 15 years, SAP has invested in brand marketing in sporting events, on TV, at airports and conferences, and more. As a result, people can universally recall the SAP name without any assistance.

Why B2B, technology, and services matter

In BrandZ’s list of top 100 valuable global brands, technology-related brands account for nearly half (44%) and consumer brands account for about one-fifth (22%). And if you quickly scan this list, you’ll see many familiar technology names that are associated with solutions implementation, services, and support – such as SAP and our partners IBM, HP, Accenture, and Cisco. Since most of SAP’s revenues are attributed to service and support, it is easy to highlight the important role we play in this amazing growth in brand value.MBrown

One final statistic worth mentioning: 92 of the Fortune 100 run SAP. And again, with a quick look at BrandZ’s rankings, we see that the vast majority of brands listed in the top 100 run SAP software. Not only is SAP a tremendous brand success on its own, we are intertwined with the success of these top 100 brand companies. The networked and digital economy these top brands represent is fundamentally tied to SAP. Wow!

So in the era of modern marketing, the value of a brand matters – and so do B2B, services, and solutions matter more than ever. This is truly a great time to be in the high-tech industry!

Want more marketing strategies that will boost the bottom line? See How to Create Better Marketing Stories: Find the Heroism.

Fred Isbell is senior marketing director for SAP Services & Support Marketing for Thought Leadership, Demand Management, and Planning for the Worldwide Services & Support Marketing team. A 15-year veteran of SAP, he formerly led SAP Global Services Marketing Field EnI801826gagement, the North American SAP Services regional marketing team and SMB Channels Marketing for the SAP Small and Midsize Business team. Prior to SAP, he held a variety of senior solutions, services, and partner marketing roles with Compaq and Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Fred is an honors graduate of Yale University with a BA in Economics and Political Science, and has an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where he was a Fuqua Scholar. A passionate sports and hockey fan/player, he is a MA/USA Hockey advanced patch coach and includes coaching and playing hockey with his three kids among his favorite moments in life.

 

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Thierry Audas

About Thierry Audas

Thierry Audas is a senior director of Product Marketing with SAP and focuses on business intelligence and analytics. He works with SAP customers to help them better understand how SAP solutions help organizations to transform all their data, the foundation of a digital enterprise, into insight to drive innovation and create business value. Thierry has more than 20 years of experience in the BI and analytics field and has held various senior roles in presales, consulting, and product management.

Hack the CIO

By Thomas Saueressig, Timo Elliott, Sam Yen, and Bennett Voyles

For nerds, the weeks right before finals are a Cinderella moment. Suddenly they’re stars. Pocket protectors are fashionable; people find their jokes a whole lot funnier; Dungeons & Dragons sounds cool.

Many CIOs are enjoying this kind of moment now, as companies everywhere face the business equivalent of a final exam for a vital class they have managed to mostly avoid so far: digital transformation.

But as always, there is a limit to nerdy magic. No matter how helpful CIOs try to be, their classmates still won’t pass if they don’t learn the material. With IT increasingly central to every business—from the customer experience to the offering to the business model itself—we all need to start thinking like CIOs.

Pass the digital transformation exam, and you probably have a bright future ahead. A recent SAP-Oxford Economics study of 3,100 organizations in a variety of industries across 17 countries found that the companies that have taken the lead in digital transformation earn higher profits and revenues and have more competitive differentiation than their peers. They also expect 23% more revenue growth from their digital initiatives over the next two years—an estimate 2.5 to 4 times larger than the average company’s.

But the market is grading on a steep curve: this same SAP-Oxford study found that only 3% have completed some degree of digital transformation across their organization. Other surveys also suggest that most companies won’t be graduating anytime soon: in one recent survey of 450 heads of digital transformation for enterprises in the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany by technology company Couchbase, 90% agreed that most digital projects fail to meet expectations and deliver only incremental improvements. Worse: over half (54%) believe that organizations that don’t succeed with their transformation project will fail or be absorbed by a savvier competitor within four years.

Companies that are making the grade understand that unlike earlier technical advances, digital transformation doesn’t just support the business, it’s the future of the business. That’s why 60% of digital leading companies have entrusted the leadership of their transformation to their CIO, and that’s why experts say businesspeople must do more than have a vague understanding of the technology. They must also master a way of thinking and looking at business challenges that is unfamiliar to most people outside the IT department.

In other words, if you don’t think like a CIO yet, now is a very good time to learn.

However, given that you probably don’t have a spare 15 years to learn what your CIO knows, we asked the experts what makes CIO thinking distinctive. Here are the top eight mind hacks.

1. Think in Systems

A lot of businesspeople are used to seeing their organization as a series of loosely joined silos. But in the world of digital business, everything is part of a larger system.

CIOs have known for a long time that smart processes win. Whether they were installing enterprise resource planning systems or working with the business to imagine the customer’s journey, they always had to think in holistic ways that crossed traditional departmental, functional, and operational boundaries.

Unlike other business leaders, CIOs spend their careers looking across systems. Why did our supply chain go down? How can we support this new business initiative beyond a single department or function? Now supported by end-to-end process methodologies such as design thinking, good CIOs have developed a way of looking at the company that can lead to radical simplifications that can reduce cost and improve performance at the same time.

They are also used to thinking beyond temporal boundaries. “This idea that the power of technology doubles every two years means that as you’re planning ahead you can’t think in terms of a linear process, you have to think in terms of huge jumps,” says Jay Ferro, CIO of TransPerfect, a New York–based global translation firm.

No wonder the SAP-Oxford transformation study found that one of the values transformational leaders shared was a tendency to look beyond silos and view the digital transformation as a company-wide initiative.

This will come in handy because in digital transformation, not only do business processes evolve but the company’s entire value proposition changes, says Jeanne Ross, principal research scientist at the Center for Information Systems Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “It either already has or it’s going to, because digital technologies make things possible that weren’t possible before,” she explains.

2. Work in Diverse Teams

When it comes to large projects, CIOs have always needed input from a diverse collection of businesspeople to be successful. The best have developed ways to convince and cajole reluctant participants to come to the table. They seek out technology enthusiasts in the business and those who are respected by their peers to help build passion and commitment among the halfhearted.

Digital transformation amps up the urgency for building diverse teams even further. “A small, focused group simply won’t have the same breadth of perspective as a team that includes a salesperson and a service person and a development person, as well as an IT person,” says Ross.

At Lenovo, the global technology giant, many of these cross-functional teams become so used to working together that it’s hard to tell where each member originally belonged: “You can’t tell who is business or IT; you can’t tell who is product, IT, or design,” says the company’s CIO, Arthur Hu.

One interesting corollary of this trend toward broader teamwork is that talent is a priority among digital leaders: they spend more on training their employees and partners than ordinary companies, as well as on hiring the people they need, according to the SAP-Oxford Economics survey. They’re also already being rewarded for their faith in their teams: 71% of leaders say that their successful digital transformation has made it easier for them to attract and retain talent, and 64% say that their employees are now more engaged than they were before the transformation.

3. Become a Consultant

Good CIOs have long needed to be internal consultants to the business. Ever since technology moved out of the glasshouse and onto employees’ desks, CIOs have not only needed a deep understanding of the goals of a given project but also to make sure that the project didn’t stray from those goals, even after the businesspeople who had ordered the project went back to their day jobs. “Businesspeople didn’t really need to get into the details of what IT was really doing,” recalls Ferro. “They just had a set of demands and said, ‘Hey, IT, go do that.’”

Now software has become so integral to the business that nobody can afford to walk away. Businesspeople must join the ranks of the IT consultants.

But that was then. Now software has become so integral to the business that nobody can afford to walk away. Businesspeople must join the ranks of the IT consultants. “If you’re building a house, you don’t just disappear for six months and come back and go, ‘Oh, it looks pretty good,’” says Ferro. “You’re on that work site constantly and all of a sudden you’re looking at something, going, ‘Well, that looked really good on the blueprint, not sure it makes sense in reality. Let’s move that over six feet.’ Or, ‘I don’t know if I like that anymore.’ It’s really not much different in application development or for IT or technical projects, where on paper it looked really good and three weeks in, in that second sprint, you’re going, ‘Oh, now that I look at it, that’s really stupid.’”

4. Learn Horizontal Leadership

CIOs have always needed the ability to educate and influence other leaders that they don’t directly control. For major IT projects to be successful, they need other leaders to contribute budget, time, and resources from multiple areas of the business.

It’s a kind of horizontal leadership that will become critical for businesspeople to acquire in digital transformation. “The leadership role becomes one much more of coaching others across the organization—encouraging people to be creative, making sure everybody knows how to use data well,” Ross says.

In this team-based environment, having all the answers becomes less important. “It used to be that the best business executives and leaders had the best answers. Today that is no longer the case,” observes Gary Cokins, a technology consultant who focuses on analytics-based performance management. “Increasingly, it’s the executives and leaders who ask the best questions. There is too much volatility and uncertainty for them to rely on their intuition or past experiences.”

Many experts expect this trend to continue as the confluence of automation and data keeps chipping away at the organizational pyramid. “Hierarchical, command-and-control leadership will become obsolete,” says Edward Hess, professor of business administration and Batten executive-in-residence at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. “Flatter, distributive leadership via teams will become the dominant structure.”

5. Understand Process Design

When business processes were simpler, IT could analyze the process and improve it without input from the business. But today many processes are triggered on the fly by the customer, making a seamless customer experience more difficult to build without the benefit of a larger, multifunctional team. In a highly digitalized organization like Amazon, which releases thousands of new software programs each year, IT can no longer do it all.

While businesspeople aren’t expected to start coding, their involvement in process design is crucial. One of the techniques that many organizations have adopted to help IT and businesspeople visualize business processes together is design thinking (for more on design thinking techniques, see “A Cult of Creation“).

Customers aren’t the only ones who benefit from better processes. Among the 100 companies the SAP-Oxford Economics researchers have identified as digital leaders, two-thirds say that they are making their employees’ lives easier by eliminating process roadblocks that interfere with their ability to do their jobs. Ninety percent of leaders surveyed expect to see value from these projects in the next two years alone.

6. Learn to Keep Learning

The ability to learn and keep learning has been a part of IT from the start. Since the first mainframes in the 1950s, technologists have understood that they need to keep reinventing themselves and their skills to adapt to the changes around them.

Now that’s starting to become part of other job descriptions too. Many companies are investing in teaching their employees new digital skills. One South American auto products company, for example, has created a custom-education institute that trained 20,000 employees and partner-employees in 2016. In addition to training current staff, many leading digital companies are also hiring new employees and creating new roles, such as a chief robotics officer, to support their digital transformation efforts.

Nicolas van Zeebroeck, professor of information systems and digital business innovation at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management at the Free University of Brussels, says that he expects the ability to learn quickly will remain crucial. “If I had to think of one critical skill,” he explains, “I would have to say it’s the ability to learn and keep learning—the ability to challenge the status quo and question what you take for granted.”

7. Fail Smarter

Traditionally, CIOs tended to be good at thinking through tests that would allow the company to experiment with new technology without risking the entire network.

This is another unfamiliar skill that smart managers are trying to pick up. “There’s a lot of trial and error in the best companies right now,” notes MIT’s Ross. But there’s a catch, she adds. “Most companies aren’t designed for trial and error—they’re trying to avoid an error,” she says.

To learn how to do it better, take your lead from IT, where many people have already learned to work in small, innovative teams that use agile development principles, advises Ross.

For example, business managers must learn how to think in terms of a minimum viable product: build a simple version of what you have in mind, test it, and if it works start building. You don’t build the whole thing at once anymore.… It’s really important to build things incrementally,” Ross says.

Flexibility and the ability to capitalize on accidental discoveries during experimentation are more important than having a concrete project plan, says Ross. At Spotify, the music service, and CarMax, the used-car retailer, change is driven not from the center but from small teams that have developed something new. “The thing you have to get comfortable with is not having the formalized plan that we would have traditionally relied on, because as soon as you insist on that, you limit your ability to keep learning,” Ross warns.

8. Understand the True Cost—and Speed—of Data

Gut instincts have never had much to do with being a CIO; now they should have less to do with being an ordinary manager as well, as data becomes more important.

As part of that calculation, businesspeople must have the ability to analyze the value of the data that they seek. “You’ll need to apply a pinch of knowledge salt to your data,” advises Solvay’s van Zeebroeck. “What really matters is the ability not just to tap into data but to see what is behind the data. Is it a fair representation? Is it impartial?”

Increasingly, businesspeople will need to do their analysis in real time, just as CIOs have always had to manage live systems and processes. Moving toward real-time reports and away from paper-based decisions increases accuracy and effectiveness—and leaves less time for long meetings and PowerPoint presentations (let us all rejoice).

Not Every CIO Is Ready

Of course, not all CIOs are ready for these changes. Just as high school has a lot of false positives—genius nerds who turn out to be merely nearsighted—so there are many CIOs who aren’t good role models for transformation.

Success as a CIO these days requires more than delivering near-perfect uptime, says Lenovo’s Hu. You need to be able to understand the business as well. Some CIOs simply don’t have all the business skills that are needed to succeed in the transformation. Others lack the internal clout: a 2016 KPMG study found that only 34% of CIOs report directly to the CEO.

This lack of a strategic perspective is holding back digital transformation at many organizations. They approach digital transformation as a cool, one-off project: we’re going to put this new mobile app in place and we’re done. But that’s not a systematic approach; it’s an island of innovation that doesn’t join up with the other islands of innovation. In the longer term, this kind of development creates more problems than it fixes.

Such organizations are not building in the capacity for change; they’re trying to get away with just doing it once rather than thinking about how they’re going to use digitalization as a means to constantly experiment and become a better company over the long term.

As a result, in some companies, the most interesting tech developments are happening despite IT, not because of it. “There’s an alarming digital divide within many companies. Marketers are developing nimble software to give customers an engaging, personalized experience, while IT departments remain focused on the legacy infrastructure. The front and back ends aren’t working together, resulting in appealing web sites and apps that don’t quite deliver,” writes George Colony, founder, chairman, and CEO of Forrester Research, in the MIT Sloan Management Review.

Thanks to cloud computing and easier development tools, many departments are developing on their own, without IT’s support. These days, anybody with a credit card can do it.

Traditionally, IT departments looked askance at these kinds of do-it-yourself shadow IT programs, but that’s changing. Ferro, for one, says that it’s better to look at those teams not as rogue groups but as people who are trying to help. “It’s less about ‘Hey, something’s escaped,’ and more about ‘No, we just actually grew our capacity and grew our ability to innovate,’” he explains.

“I don’t like the term ‘shadow IT,’” agrees Lenovo’s Hu. “I think it’s an artifact of a very traditional CIO team. If you think of it as shadow IT, you’re out of step with reality,” he says.

The reality today is that a company needs both a strong IT department and strong digital capacities outside its IT department. If the relationship is good, the CIO and IT become valuable allies in helping businesspeople add digital capabilities without disrupting or duplicating existing IT infrastructure.

If a company already has strong digital capacities, it should be able to move forward quickly, according to Ross. But many companies are still playing catch-up and aren’t even ready to begin transforming, as the SAP-Oxford Economics survey shows.

For enterprises where business and IT are unable to get their collective act together, Ross predicts that the next few years will be rough. “I think these companies ought to panic,” she says. D!


About the Authors

Thomas Saueressig is Chief Information Officer at SAP.

Timo Elliott is an Innovation Evangelist at SAP.

Sam Yen is Chief Design Officer at SAP and Managing Director of SAP Labs.

Bennett Voyles is a Berlin-based business writer.

Read more thought provoking articles in the latest issue of the Digitalist Magazine, Executive Quarterly.
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Cloud Computing: Separating Myth From Reality

Misa Rawlins and Krishnakant Dave

Across industries, many enterprise leaders believe and understand that cloud computing is here to stay. Globally, public cloud services market revenue is projected to reach US$411 billion by 2020, compared with $260 billion in 2017, according to research firm Gartner, Inc. Cloud technology in all its forms—software, platform, or infrastructure as a service—is rapidly becoming essential to the needs of business today. With cloud computing, organizations can simplify IT, save costs, scale rapidly, drive standardization and user adoption, and start getting ahead of tomorrow’s needs when it comes to customer engagement, the supply chain, the workforce, a simplified finance function, and more.

Despite the short- and long-term advantages, some executives remain uncertain about the next steps or have lingering questions about the benefits of moving to the cloud. For many leaders, separating the cloud myths from the facts can prove daunting. Start here, with these insights that can help you bust big myths about the cloud and start moving confidently toward a cloud-enabled transformation of your organization.

Myth No. 1: Moving to the cloud is too costly. “Costly” is a relative term. The cloud can be costly – but costs should be weighed against benefit and return once requirements and migration plans are in place. Rapidly evolving business demands, for example, can dramatically alter cloud-related requirements. Meanwhile, new technologies are dramatically redefining the art of the possible with the cloud. Because migrating to the cloud is not a true “plug-and-play” proposition, and many enterprise leaders underestimate what a migration or implementation involves, some organizations can be surprised by the costs of a cloud transformation. Without a clear understanding of the potential benefits—without a clear business case for moving to the cloud—the focus on costs can overshadow the return on investment. Knowing the value that cloud solutions can bring—not just the costs—can help manage expectations.

Myth No. 2: The benefits of the cloud aren’t substantial enough. As vendors adopt a “cloud-first” stance for many solutions and product updates, organizations that move to the cloud may have a competitive advantage—no matter the size of the enterprise. Cloud solutions continue to offer abundant and increasing functionality. And with the help of an end-to-end solution provider, you can configure cloud solutions to the specific needs of your industry and your business. For larger organizations, rapidly deployable cloud solutions can help support growth or the unique needs of certain business units, such as new acquisitions or foreign subsidiaries, for example. For smaller organizations, the cloud can help you position your organization to tap new opportunities and tame growth challenges.

Myth No. 3: Cloud is too risky. All digital technologies and all business models come with inherent risk. In a hyperconnected world, no system is immune from cyber attacks, insider threats, data leakage, or related risks. No transformation project is a guaranteed success. Market changes, new competition, regulatory issues, and other factors can require you to change your cloud strategy overnight.

Because the risks are real, take advantage of resources and capabilities that can help reduce risk and ensure that your technology investments align tightly with clear business objectives. The maturity of the software goes a long way toward mitigating risk with cloud projects. You can add an extra layer of capabilities such as managed cloud services to provide active, hands-on oversight of cloud applications and infrastructure—helping you to avoid service interruptions and address issues proactively.

Myth No. 4: Cloud computing is still an immature technology. Like other evolving technologies, cloud is advancing every day. Those who wait for the next generation of cloud offerings may find themselves missing out on tangible benefits as competitors leverage cloud technology to sharpen their edge. Across industries, leading organizations are not waiting. Many view cloud technology as evolving but necessary, and they are leveraging it effectively today. Some, for example, are tightly integrating cloud software solutions to streamline supply chain processes, boost information transparency, and improve decision-making across the board—all the while tapping the cloud benefits of cost savings and scalability. Others are confidently turning to infrastructure solutions delivered and running solutions in a private or hybrid cloud. Still others are turning to cloud platform solutions to extend the power of existing applications, build modern analytics platforms, or support new Internet of Things business models. Turning the cloud to your advantage may depend less on the maturity of the technology and more on the power of your imagination.

Myth No. 5: Moving to the cloud will be easy. Cloud technology can help organizations streamline and simplify their IT landscapes and their business processes, reducing needs around capital expenses and infrastructure while helping to save costs. But migrating to the cloud requires more than simply plugging in technology. It requires an ability to address a host of considerations—data migration, the business-specific capabilities of solutions, change management, governance, systems integration, security, and more.

A cloud transformation is more than a plug-and-play project or a traditional system implementation. It requires progressive thinking and an ability to align technology with your business needs and processes— for today and for the future. Migrating to the cloud is a journey. Moving forward with the cloud will require a vision of your “to be” state—your destination—as well as a strategy for getting you there.

To learn more, and to find out what IDC thinks about the future of the cloud, please read this study that presents a strategic blueprint for enterprises on their digital transformation journey.

For more information on how to simplify innovation with cloud technology, learn more about SAP Cloud Platform.

Ready to reimagine the potential of the cloud? Contact us to get the conversation started.

Contact Krishnakant Dave at kdave@deloitte.com and follow him on Twitter: @kkdave

Contact Misa Rawlins at mrawlins@deloitte.com and follow her on Twitter: @misa_rawlins

www.deloitte.com/SAP

SAP@deloitte.com

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This article originally appeared on Deloitte.com and is republished by permission.

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Misa Rawlins

About Misa Rawlins

As a senior manager and consultant in Deloitte’s SAP practice, Misa Rawlins enjoys helping her clients not only to figure out how to solve their current business problems, but also to envision how a modern cloud platform can transform their organizations moving ahead. Within the practice, she has specifically chosen to take a leadership role around the sales and delivery of SAP S/4HANA Cloud because she considers it the wave of the future. She has made it her mission to deeply understand this technology to better advise clients on what moving to a cloud infrastructure really means.

Krishnakant Dave

About Krishnakant Dave

As a principal in Deloitte’s global SAP practice, KK Dave is a consulting leader for Deloitte’s largest clients; part of the U.S. SAP leadership team where he spearheads Deloitte's cloud offerings; and leader of global go-to-market efforts in the wholesale distribution and manufacturing sector. In these roles, he assists clients in their business transformation journeys using the absolute latest SAP toolset, which presently comprises SAP S/4HANA, SAP Cloud Platform, and SAP S/4HANA Cloud, among other technologies.