Jonathan Salem Baskin

The Innovator's Dilemma Continues

Clay Christensen has died. Debate about his theories should live on.

His concept of disruptive innovation is a brilliant encapsulation of the role of unexpected effects on markets and businesses, often driven by technology innovation.

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Boeing's Warning to Corporate Communicators

Boeing’s widening woes are a warning to every communicator tasked with creating or sharing company purpose.

The headline in today’s New York Times says it all: Cascading Crisis Reveals ‘Sick’ Culture at Boeing. Recently revealed internal documents show employees regularly cutting corners, dissing one another and insulting customers, feeling remorse for having deluded regulators and, above all, obsessing about meeting deadlines and budgets.

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The Coming Crisis Over Corporate Purpose

The World Economic Forum (“WEF”) is gearing up for its annual confab in the Swiss Alps by publishing a “Davos Manifesto” about company purpose. It smacks of dishonesty and desperation.

I caught the full-page ads in the Financial Times and New York Times which, interestingly, had different headlines: The FT called it “The Universal Purpose of a Company in the Fourth Industrial Revolution” while the NYT headline just read “A Company’s Purpose…”

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Nobody Cares About Your Sustainability Report

As many large companies prepare next year’s sustainability reports, it’s important to note that nobody cares.

Well, very few people care, and they fall into three little buckets:

First, specialized interest (or pressure) groups await the reports so they can check on how badly companies are falling short on whatever idealized goals the groups have set.

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Could Nestlé Disrupt Its Brands?

With Nestlé facing pressure to break up the company and a CPG market that is no longer obediently accepting of its practices, its CEO is committed to buying and promoting the value of its brands.
 
It could disrupt them instead. Here’s why:
 
Brands ain’t what they used to be.
 
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Corporate Values Are Worthless

Corporate values are all the rage these days. They’re worthless unless companies are willing to sacrifice for them.
 
I say this because it’s just too easy to spend money, especially on topics that marketers have identified as important to customers. “Doing good” has been a function of communications outreach for decades; wether you call it cause marketing, corporate philanthropy, or corporate social responsibility, it’s easily rationalized as a marketing expense. The budgets are already there, most of the time.
 
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I Kinda Like The New Best Buy Ad

I kinda like Best Buy’s new ad campaign focused on its employees as problem solvers. I wish they’d gone further.
 
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Starbucks Isn’t The Only Brand With Nonpaying Customers

Recent events in Philadelphia revealed that Starbucks needs to address issues of racial bias in its stores. It also showed that it doesn’t have a clear company policy on handling visitors who haven’t bought something, called nonpaying customers.

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Marlboro Shows The Way Forward For Pepsi Brand Strategy

Soda pop consumption in the U.S. has fallen for the 8th straight year, dropping by 1.2% in 2012 to its lowest level since 1987. First lady Michelle Obama is leading a national charge to get kids to stop drinking it, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to limit consumption legislatively. Alternatives to soda are cranking on as many sales cylinders as there are flavor options, from sports drinks and flavored waters, to energy drinks and teas.

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Social Media Marketing Advice, According To Doctor Who

Fans who ordered DVDs of this season’s BBC series Doctor Who have started receiving them, only there’s a catch: The disc contains the season’s final episode, which has yet to air on TV! The show’s producers have made a big deal about that finale, including promises of plot twists and revelations that will be huge for Whovians.

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