We live in a world that moves so quickly that it takes a brave person to make forecasts. But looking at the way the market moved last year, here are a few trends I expect to play out in 2013 and beyond. Most of these trends are all about how technology is empowering consumers to shape brands more actively than ever before.
Sharing value for the win-win
Today’s consumers examine brands carefully and look for those with a genuine commitment to creating value for their customers and society at large. For this reason, companies should no longer focus only on maximising profits for shareholders, but must also reflect a true commitment to creating shared value for a broad range of stakeholders, including their customers.
Social innovation will be at the heart of any brand’s competitive advantage. Companies will not be able to claim in the future that consumers, employees, and the community are at the heart of their business – they’ll need to demonstrate it through actions that bring their values to life in a more meaningful way.
Look out for: The rise of shared value auditors, who score and certify companies’ shared value outcomes.
Tech objects in day to day life
Mobility isn’t only about smartphones and tablet computers any more. More and more objects featuring embedded sensors, image recognition technologies, NFC payment and wireless connectivity are being connected to the Web. And wearable computers, touch and gesture interfaces are creating new, easier ways for users to tap into the power of computers and the Web.
These technologies may offer competitive advantage for early adopters or offer potential for significant market disruption. However, companies need to use these innovations to power smart apps that help their customers and employees to improve everyday life. The challenge brands will face is to create real value, rather than creating and adopting tech products just for the sake of it.
Look out for: Technology will become embedded in more and more objects we use every day – from fridges and televisions to cars and clothing. One example is Google’s Project Glass, a set of computerised glasses that lets users take pictures and find information; another is the cool head-up display embedded in Oakley’s Airwave ski goggles for monitoring speed and reading text messages.
Social Web gets mobile
Mobile technology ensures that we are always available and connected – we have access to our social network on the go. We take our social identities on our mobile devices wherever we go. With a portable, durable online identity, users have the opportunity to share their data between sites to build, maintain relationships and stay up to date with the people they know and the things they care about.
Organisations must tap into the social identity and integration frameworks that drive the mobile Internet. They must apply social thinking at every level of their businesses to successfully speak to and engage with mobile consumers.
Look out for: The most successful brands will embrace the world of social mobility both inside their businesses for internal collaboration and communication as well as with the consumer.
Big insights from big data
Thanks to social media and always-on access to the Internet, companies are able to gather heaps of data about their customers. 2013 will be the year which challenges organisations to turn this data into a business advantage.
This data enables marketers to take personalisation to the next level. They can use the insights in this data to better understand the needs of their customers; predict consumer behaviour; and ultimately, personalise, refine and optimise marketing to each customer’s desires, behaviours and interests.
Look out for: The true data analyst will have one of the most important skills sets on the market since companies will need him or her to make more sense of the customer journey.
Retail moves beyond the storefront
Consumers are adopting online comparison shopping, mobile payments and other new technologies as part of their shopping experience. They don’t have to feel and touch to buy, but they do want a shopping experience they can access wherever and whenever it is convenient to do so.
Consumer behaviour together with new technologies means brands must rethink their “retail space”. Today, retail can be nearly anywhere, thanks to mobile. For example, Tesco in the UK did a 2012 pilot of a screen at London’s Gatwick airport that allowed travellers to order everyday staples from their smartphones. Their order was then timed to coincide with their arrival at home.
Look out for: The power of “AND”, it will matter. Consumers are continuously demanding value, freebies and novelty in their shopping experience.
Smarter urban living
Governments and businesses are harnessing technology to offer more sustainable solutions and better lifestyles to city dwellers around the world. These solutions drive smarter, greener cities for an increasingly connected global citizenry that is informed and aware about the environmental and social impacts of urbanisation.
2013 will continue to guide the rise of a new world of connectedness, networks, central databases which is already resulting in cities providing e-services – e-health, e-education, e-traffic, e-home, e-government and e-offices.
Look out for: The likes of Siemens and IBM are involved in creating collaborative solutions to proactively manage urbanisation, but consumers will demand more from governments and businesses alike.
A Look At Youth Mentorship During Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW)
Entrepreneur: A person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.
Global Entrepreneurship Week kicks off from 12 November – 16 November. Around the world, entrepreneurs are carving out their paths and are taking matters into their own hands.
Back home, Futureproof wants to instil a culture of curiosity, tenacity and risk taking in every South Africa – young or old, intrapreneur or entrepreneur.
In fact, we go as far as to teach young children from the age of 8-years-old about the art of entrepreneurship as part of our countrywide school program. Most recently, the company has seen success in the Orange Farm area and is teaching 110 Grade 3’s to master the art of entrepreneurship.
To celebrate this week, the team at Futureproof interviewed several well-known entrepreneurs and asked them the big question: ‘What do you wish someone had told you before you became an entrepreneur?’ Here’s what they had to say:
Clive Murray, the founder and CEO of World Water Exchange: “Making money is easier than keeping it. Don’t change the rules you make for yourself when times get tough.”
Marc Ashton, former MD of Moneyweb and CEO of Dynamic Body Technology:
- Don’t start a business…
- If you are feeling foolish and still wan to then do it with partners.
- If you are doing it with partners then lay out the terms of divorce upfront.
CEO and Co-Founder, Lisa Illingworth says that Futureproof has made it their life’s mission to aid children with the real-life, hands-on skills that they need to succeed as entrepreneurs.
“Text books just don’t teach the things that entrepreneurs really need to know. So much growth and economic activity can be realised out of entrepreneurial ventures, but we are all too scared to take the leap… why? Because we don’t feel supported and we would probably prefer to stay in our comfort zones”.
In fact, while entrepreneurship could literally catapult our country, an article in the Daily Maverick in 2017 described entrepreneurship in South Africa as ‘Sitting backwards on a donkey riding further away’.
Issues that entrepreneurs will come to face, even in their younger years is that of funding issues, lack of mentorship and opportunities, low skill levels, compliance and of course, poor standards of education and lack of access to education.
The current structure of the education system was initially designed in an entirely different age to achieve economic outcomes that are no longer viable due, in large, to the rapid innovation and adoption of technology.
“Gearing the country up for the forth industrial revolution is proving to be a challenge in both the public and private sectors. Are we really ready and how we use this particular week of the year to relook the problems and derive opportunities from them?” says Lisa.
Lisa provides context on the issues that entrepreneurs face. “Imagine this: you have a brilliant idea but no investment. You have no clue where to begin but you take it to the banks and a few potential investors. Without a solid plan and ‘street smarts’, the deals fall through, or you jump through hoops, give away more than half of your company and land up working tirelessly with no returns. This a reality for many who really don’t know how to launch an idea, understand its feasibility and raising the capital they need through mechanisms that won’t cannabalise the business at a later point.”
Lisa says that the country remains hopeful for President Ramaphosa to implement his vision for entrepreneurship as stated in the SONA 2018. “The President stated that ‘establishment through the CEOs Initiative of a small business fund – which currently stands at R1.5-billion – is an outstanding example of the role that the private sector can play. Government is finalising a small business and innovation fund targeted at start-ups’,” she continues.
“We need to change how and what schools are teaching for this to be realised on a large scale and providing the foundations so that these kinds of funding initiatives will have the best possible chance of growth and success”.
Make Your Travel Even More Rewarding
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Your Tier status will open up a world of opportunities and added benefits, such as fast track check-in, free seat selection and saving your meal preference selection as part of your Executive Club profile for future flights.
When travelling within southern Africa or internationally on British Airways, Executive Club members from Silver Tier status and up will experience a valuable and enjoyable ‘moment in time’ between checking in and boarding with lounge access into all British Airways eligible lounges. Some of these features include on-site spas, wine tasting from a monthly selection of the finest South African and international wines, a Living Library, private meeting spaces and business facilities to mention but a few.
The more Tier points you earn the sooner you will reach your next Tier status in the Club, which will result in additional benefits, such as bonus Avios, priority check-in, extra luggage allowance, access to over 170 lounges worldwide and enhanced opportunities to afford the luxury of travelling in the British Airways Club (Business Class) cabin.
When travelling in Club, priority boarding is on offer giving passengers a minute or two to reflect as they settle into the comfort of the business class seats, meaning significantly more space, which can be utilised to work on your next business pitch, read a book on your digital device or stretch out and relax before touching down.
Be welcomed with pre-drinks and a hot towel as you get seated and wait for the rest of boarding to complete as the flight embarks to your chosen destination. On-board hospitality will include a variety of delicious meals, which gets your day off to the best start or ends your trip on a tasteful note. Being an Executive Club Member, your meal preferences can be stored and offered where possible.
As part of the Executive Club you will collect Avios every time you fly and you can even top up your Avios with ease and make use of a collective balance by pooling Avios together within a household account, to reach your dream destination sooner. By calculating earnable Avios and Tier points with the simple calculator available on ba.com, an estimation can be done before booking your next flight.
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For more information and to become an Executive Club Member visit ba.com
How Schindlers Attorneys Became Involved In The Landmark Cannabis Case
Everything you accomplish accumulates and eventually comes back to assist you further along in your career. This is how a final year LLB assignment became the basis for a Constitutional Court case.
Schindlers Attorneys are the law firm that were involved in the landmark Constitutional Court judgement on cannabis use within a private space. Paul-Michael Keichel, Partner at Schindlers Attorneys shares how they came to be the foremost legal experts on cannabis and how they became involved in the Constitutional Court case:
How the journey began
“In 2005, my first year at Rhodes University, whilst studying for Intro to Law, it occurred to me that there were strong constitutional points that could be raised to objectively justify the decriminalisation of cannabis in South Africa,” explains Paul-Michael Keichel.
“In my final year LLB, 2009, I took Constitutional Litigation as an elective (largely motivated by the creation of a timetable clash, which meant that I’d not have to sit another semester of lectures for a module that I had failed the previous year). This provided me with the opportunity to write an assignment titled “A Critical Analysis of Prince and an Objective Justification for the Decriminalisation of Marijuana in South Africa”, in which I composed my argument (based on the right to equality in our Constitution).”
The start of the partnership
“Fast forward to 2013 and the Dagga Couple find themselves at Schindlers (where I am a first-year associate) to register their NPC, “Fields of Green for All”. The attorney handling the registration (who I’d also bored with my argument) suggests to the Dagga Couple that they speak to me. It turns out that they already knew of me, because my assignment had (unbeknownst to me) done the rounds on the underground cannabis networks. We get chatting and I rope-in my brother, Maurice Crespi, the managing partner of Schindlers,” explains Keichel.
“We are the only firm out of many approached by the Couple who are willing to take on their trial action against 7 state departments and Doctors for Life to push for a declaration of constitutional invalidity of the laws prohibiting cannabis use/possession/dealing in South Africa. We decide to run the challenge for them pro bono.”
The Cape ruling that started it all
“Prince and Acton et al have their matter heard in the Cape, which resulted in the 2017 Judgment. We run a portion of our trial (including expert evidence from international scientists and doctors – the best in field), but it is rendered part-heard. We then heard that Prince and Acton et al’s matter will be heard by the Constitutional Court in November 2017 and we decide, with the Dagga Couple, to intervene in that matter, upon which it is confirmed that my 2009 assignment forms the on-record basis of a major chunk of Prince and Acton et al’s arguments in support of legalisation.”
“Our involvement in the Constitutional Court was such that we provided clear legal argument and authority to support and expand upon what Prince and Acton et al were trying to say to the Court. Ultimately, much of what we submitted has found its way into the judgment of the Constitutional Court.”
How a final assignment became the foundation for a Constitutional Court case
“So, an idea (bolstered by wanting to create a timetable clash) resulted in an assignment, which provided certain credibility and impetus to cannabis activists. Two of these activists ended up being our clients, which, despite being handled pro bono, has brought Schindlers immeasurable positive publicity, and which, ultimately, contributed to the decriminalisation (and potential future legalisation and commercialisation) of cannabis in our country.”
“Schindlers now has a dedicated “Medicinal and Recreational Cannabis Law” department, through which we will continue to make submissions to parliament, apply for licenses on behalf of our clients, support those who have been arrested and charged.”
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