You’ve likely heard the phrase “Internet of Things” — or IoT — at some point, and you might also be scratching your head figuring out what it is or what it means. IoT – the current ‘buzz’ term for connected or ‘smart’ devices, refers to rapidly growing network of connected objects that are able to collect and exchange data using embedded sensors. The IoT is connecting more devices every day, we’re headed for a world that will have 24 billion IoT devices by 2020. According to a recent report from Gartner, Inc., the number of connected IoT devices is forecast to reach 8.4 billion by the end of 2017 – up 31 percent from 2016. Here are some examples: Wearables (Fitbit) – that sends data on your daily activity to online servers, which could then be viewed on your smartphone. Smart Home (Amazon Alexa) – that learn and adapt to your lifestyle, adjusting temperatures in the home for comfort or energy efficiency. Smart TV (Samsung) – that can stream music, videos or photos from online services or other computers in the home. It can also interact with other smart devices, for example, displaying content from baby monitors and security cameras. So chances are, if your using any of these connected devices, you’re already involved with the ‘Internet of Things.’ These devices show how IoT can add convenience to our lives, and ultimately offer us more control over the things we interact with every day. How IoT devices work – Connected devices typically connect to the Internet through a home Wi-Fi network and router. These connected devices can sometimes talk to other related devices on the same home network and act on the information they get from one another. People can interact with the connected devices to set them up, give them instructions or access data, but the devices do most of the work on their own. All of this is made possible by tiny, embedded mobile components that allow almost anything to become ‘connected’. They rely on the always-online nature of our home and business networks, and often process data online via cloud-based software where huge amounts of data from many different users can be analyzed together. Internet of Things devices have an extremely broad range of applications across almost all industries, other benefits across a range of areas include: Engineering – An IoT device in an engineering plant can alert maintenance personnel to an… Read more »
From goofy grins to stand-out chins, the extraordinary expressions of more than 3,000 candy-faced hopefuls came in fast and furious in the Make Your Face a Maynards search – the first contest of its kind to transform one lucky Canadian into a delicious candy treat. Oshawa, Ontario’s own Jessica Winacott was randomly selected from the top 10 finalists to become a bite-sized confectionary celebrity as the face of Maynards, Canada’s #1 candy brand. (Legaspie, 2011) Maynards was a confectionery manufacturer in the United Kingdom and Canada. It was best known for manufacturing wine gums, Sour Patch Kids and Sour Cherry Blasters. Following acquisition by Cadbury in the 1990s, it is now a brand of Mondelez International. In 2016, the brand was joined with Bassett’s to create Maynard Bassetts. (Wikipedia, 2017)
To a child of the ’80s it still seems unbelievable that vacations today are researched and booked almost exclusively online. I remember visiting travel agencies with my parents. I can recall flipping through the glossy pages of snazzy magazines, always trying to sneak that Disney booklet into a place of prominence on the agent’s desk. I can picture how every “Sunshiny Holidays” guide was divided into country-specific sections, and hotels had a single picture depicting what they were all about. One picture. That was all. To help with the limited visuals were 5-7 sentence descriptions written by the proprietors themselves. So you’d thumb through the guide, gaze at the photos and dutifully try to convince your parents to choose the spot with the best-looking pool. All the while the agent typed away on her keyboard, telling you what was available and at what price. It felt like a simpler time, even if it was a comparatively powerless one for consumers. Alas, I won’t be offering the same memories to my kids (hey!…remember when Mom spent 4 hours staring at her cellphone reading reviews for our one-day getaway to Great Wolf Lodge?). The limited technological sophistication available “back then” unfortunately meant very limited access to accurate, reliable information when booking a holiday. Transforming the Industry The transformation of the Tourism & Hospitality industry caused by the influence and upsurge of social media is nothing short of astounding. Approximately one-fifth of leisure travelers worldwide turn to social media platforms for inspiration within different categories of their travel planning including: Hotels (23%) Vacation activities (22%) Attractions (21%) Restaurants (17%). Along with these sweeping changes, the Travel Marketing Industry has had to adapt to the ever-shifting landscape, finding innovative ways for determining how to create desirable experiences, and secure a high number of bookings. As early as 2011, Ryan McElroy, a recognized leader in the travel and hospitality industry, discovered that many travel agencies were still operating from old blueprints. They were missing opportunities to generate bookings because they weren’t harnessing the social media and digital platforms available. As a solution, McElroy created Travel Agency Tribes. Travel Agency Tribes is a SaaS (software as a service) company that creates all the technology required to make a travel agency’s online presence dynamic, easy to update, and adept at crossing all the new channels that today’s savvy travel consumer expects. This Canadian company has its ear firmly glued to the ground. It’s leveraging the very best that social media… Read more »
With roots dating back to 1943, Ikea has a history of creating affordable home furnishings for families in over 50 countries around the world. Ikea has 500 stores worldwide. Ikea’s vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. The Ikea business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at affordable prices. Ikea makes it their mission to understand customer lifestyles. Before creating any product, Ikea works tirelessly to understand its customers so that products can be created with the sole purpose of making life easier and better. Over the last several years, Ikea has incorporated various social media tactics to engage customers and to generate the feedback necessary to continuously improve and evolve existing products and to create new innovative products. Ikea is committed to solving real needs for life at home and customer feedback is absolutely critical to the successful development of its products. Ikea has been welcomed in the homes of countless families around the world in their quest to understand human behaviour patterns.
Organization Name: Oreo (The Kraft Heinz Company) Industry: Biscuits & Snacks Web references: Oreo, Business Today, Forbes, China Business Review Social Media & Business Performance OREO has always involved its customers with product development. In fact, it’s in their DNA! That’s how the product has expanded into the international baked goods market, with continued YOY (Year-over-Year) growth. Customer engagement with… Read more »
Organization Name: SAP SE Industry: Software Web References: Company Website Twitter Facebook SAP SE is a leading global software company based out of Waldorf, Germany. SAP specializes in the field of enterprise software, which helps leading organizations around the world manage their business operations and customer relations. SAP operates in over 190 countries affecting over 293,500 customers. SAP has been on… Read more »
Organizations Name: The Adidas Group Industry: Sporting and apparel products Name of Contact: Herbert Heiner CEO Web References: Adidas, facebook.com/adidasoriginals, youtube.com/adidas, instagram.com/adidas, twitter.com/adidas Adidas has created an extraordinary app that allows customers to create their own shoes with their own ideas, not only letting clients to buy what they want, but also empowering Adidas’ creative team by learning about what people… Read more »