The future of Apple products is clear

If you’ve ever imagined doing any activity with earbuds in but without the cord getting in the way, then yes, AirPods are the greatest thing since canned beer and sliced bread. The immediate connectivity with your other Apple products works as expected and continues to be an overwhelming strong suit for the Apple brand. Sound quality and noise cancellation is the same as stock Apple earbuds but the ease if you use is the awesome perk with the current generation of AirPods.

The Bad:

The earbuds themselves are really no different than the ones you get stock with every iPhone purchase you’ve ever made – just without the cord. I have never been the person who uses the buttons on the earbud cords such as stop, play or volume, but if you are that person, you do lose some functionality with the introductory model.

Apple did try to add some positive feature in the form of easy-access Siri. By double tapping on your right Airpod, Siri is summoned and accessible via voice control through the AirPods. While this sounds ideal, it is fairly unreliable and often leaves users standing alone, violently tapping the side of their heads.

Conclusion:

AirPods (or something like them) are the future. The weirdness factor of having a white stem hanging out of your ear is weird at first, but quickly goes away after you realize how seamless they connect with your iPhone and/or Apple watch. Apple continues to dominate connectivity across devices and AirPods are a shining jewel of a compliment to the existing line. Bottom line, if you have an iPhone or Apple Watch, you will love AirPods. I will be ready to stake my spot in line for whatever comes next because the first generation of AirPods are likely a stepping stone to further breakthroughs in wireless connectivity in the not-so-distant future.

Millennials are killing the value of college degrees

A generation ago, a college degree was the symbol of elite academic achievement and a lifetime of unbridled earnings potential. Higher education was only available to exceptional students and those with the financial backing of affluent parents. Those who couldn’t go to college had a plethora of other options ranging from trade schools to apprenticeships to jumping straight into the workforce. Fast forward to today, it is almost demanded that 17 and 18 year-olds pick a school and go for the promise of a better future and the loans will all be worth it. As we now have statistics to analyze, millions of postgrads are crippled with combined debt of more than $1.3 Trillion. That is trillion with a “T.” Most recent data from the undergraduate class of 2016 finds the average debt of a graduating student at $37,172 (Forbes). So, huge chunks of debt are being assumed so more college graduates can be created. From a high level, we all understand supply and demand: employers are being supplied with an ever-growing influx of available postgrad talent which means the demand (price) they are willing to pay is continuing to plummet. The other side of this coin: degrees are being handed out at the highest rate in history, skewing the relative value of a college degree lower with every grad cap that gets handed out.

So what does this mean? Millennials are strapping themselves to a debt burden that they can’t repay and, in the process, making the value of a college degree less valuable. Students go to college to make themselves more attractive to their future employer and strive for an advantage over their peers. But, if everyone else is getting a college degree and it’s almost expected, students have thousands in debt and no real competitive advantage to show for it. Moral of the story, why take on this debt when there are a myriad of other career options that don’t demand you conscript a bulk of your future earnings in interest payments?

As the Caddyshack quote goes: “The world needs ditch diggers, too.”

Love him or Hate him – Donald Trump is a marketing magician

 

Love him or hate him, support or oppose him, promote or bash him – by many accounts, Donald J. Trump is a marketing genius. The 45th Leader of the Free World has made headlines for everything from global trade debacles to sexual transgressions but his stock has never been higher. While tiptoeing the line between politics and inappropriate dialogue, there are some revelations in effective marketing to be gained.

Early on in his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump identified his target demographics. Although easy in today’s two party system, there were a finite amount of consumers (voters) available and essentially only two products (candidates) to choose from. While Hillary Clinton dominated the left side of the political aisle, Trump was forced to identify what he could do well and target the voters that were most accessible to him. Policies aside, he developed a campaign that stoked the hot button issues that his targeted segments cared about most. Trump forced discussion and publicity of issues that divided consumers (voters) and Clinton would have had to sacrifice something she did well to compete with Trump’s popularity within his segment. Garnering support for polarizing opinions and platforms that Clinton could not easily replicate left him completely unopposed within the demographics he chose to target – similar to a monopoly in business context.

Customer centricity is a must for any firm hoping to find a lasting success in marketing their product; Trump used this theory in a unique way. The Republican ticket in 2016 made primarily conservative, working class Americans feel like there was a “product” tailored for them. Trump knew these demographics favored an anti-establishment movement; subsequently, the “drain the swamp” slogan was created that his supporters immediately latched onto. As the saying goes, consumers don’t want a quarter-inch drill bit, they want a solution for a quarter-inch hole – Trump made just enough voters believe that he was providing the solution for their unique problem.

5 reason why the Lakers should not have signed Lebron

LeBron can be disruptive to the team brand because of the following reasons:

1. It’s all about Bron Bron

If the team does not win championships, he moves on. He has done it to Cavaliers and the Heat.  After he moves on to greener pastures, ticket sales slump and fans are left with a Lebron induced hangover.  The lack of  superstar presence impacts the local community negatively while Lebron is focused on his next career steps.

2. Super teams are bad for the NBA

Wherever Lebron James is playing, he will bring other talented players with him. The concentration of stars in a single team makes the league unbalanced.  Think about Cavaliers Vs Golden State Warriors playing on last finals for 4 years in a row.  Average viewership per finals game was down 16% in 2018, also the Warriors dominance prevented games 5,6 and 7.  Can you say lost revenue?

3. Jordan Legacy

Lebron’s obsession with beating Jordan’s stats can affect his performance and dimish team morale. Not a good idea when the team is at the playoffs and need emotional stability. The comparison itself is not fair, Jordan played in a different time. LeBron would benefit from ditachig himself from Jordan’s legacy.

4. Haters gonna hate

Basketballs fans either love him or hate him. Team brand exposure will definitely be boosted by Lebron presence, but it can have a negative impact on how fans of opponent teams perceive Lebron’s side. At the first moment, other team fans would help boost the ratings, but eventually, it would fade and more fans will ended building animosity agains LeBron’s team .

5. Getting Old

Let’s be honest, his best days are gone. He is playing for 14 years, the average player tenure is less than 5 years. Is the price tag worthed? Maybe signing more players will have a better return on investment.

5 ways to use social media like a pro

1) differentiate yourself 

What do Drake, LeBron James, Nicki Minaj, Kevin Hart, Christiano Ronaldo, The Rock, and Justin Timberlake all have in common?  They follow this guy.

Meet Omar Raja.  This 23-year-old Instagram guru has over 9.7 million followers and adds an average of 12,000 a day.  What’s his secret to success?  He figured out a way to connect fans to athletes.  Sure, he shows highlights of athletes performing amazing feats, but his real success stems from showing fans what they don’t see on ESPN, he shows stars acting human.  Unique clips showing fans what they want to see and delivering it to them how they want to see it.

2) diversify

Nice try Ron…

We all know you don’t want to put all your eggs in 1 basket.  The same applies for the social media platform you choose.  Not sure where to start?  Here’s a list of the top 8 social media sites in the U.S.

    1. YouTube
    2. Facebook
    3. Instagram
    4. Pinterest
    5. Snapchat
    6. LinkedIn
    7. Twitter
    8. WhatsApp

Facebook and YouTube are most popular for U.S. adults, while younger Americans continuously embrace newer platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram.  Want to reach college grads?  Try LinkedIn, 50% of users have a college degree.

3) create a fan base

Building relationships is essential to your success in social media.  Identify what your purpose is and connect with others that match your passions and goals.

    1. Be Consistent – Aim to post at least once a day
    2. Use Multiple Platforms – Use different sites to target specific demographics
    3. Stay True to your Message – Have a strategy and stick to it
    4. Share Content – See something you like? Chances are your connections will feel the same way
    5. Respond – Engage with your followers and encourage feedback

4) know your audience

Before attempting to promote your new content, it is important to understand habbits and characteristics of the segment that you want to reach. The content should be readily available when the audience is consuming information or making a purchase decision. Cookies are the most common tool used in web browsers to track user behavior. There is a whole industry dedicated to harvest and sell consumer data that can be used to target your audience based on internet browsing.

5) specialize

The content that you want to promote will have better traction when focused on a specific segment. Your message should be crafted in a way to better captivate the audience, this can be achieved by targeting groups that share the same interest with specific messages. For example: The benefits of a whole food diet should be promoted with different messages to mothers concerned about theirs kids health and athletes looking to improving their performance.