Brilliant Reads: Kodak moments, the anti-advertising arms race and searching for better metrics

Welcome to the latest edition of Brilliant Reads. We’re back from our Easter break with a fresh crop of fascinating stories for you. This week we look at why the financial industry needs to learn from Kodak’s inability to adapt to disruption, the arms race between ad-avoiding consumers and the publishers vying for their attention, and why Unilever wants better metrics.

Interesting ideas and innovation happen when things are brought together in fresh ways. At Brilliant Noise we are interested in the dots that are connected to create these new combinations.


Dot of the week: Financial services faces its “Kodak moment” (not in a good way)

In a blog post for the British Banking Association, we quoted First Direct’s CEO Tracy Garrad warning the industry that the next wave of disruptors in the financial services industry would come from things like Bitcoin and ApplePay.

This post, from Chris Skinner of the Financial Services Club, goes into a great deal of depth about the imminent, large-scale disruption of the financial sector and tries to draw lessons from why companies like Kodak and Nokia were able to see the disruption to their business models but were unable to adapt to that threat.

Are we going through a Kodak/Nokia moment in banking?
Blog post (20 minutes)

The digital future: anti-advertising, better metrics and the ideas that are shaping the future of design

The anti-advertising arms race is speeding up

Not everyone uses ad-blocking technology, but enough (5%) do to cause problems for the advertising industry. According the US Interactive Advertising Bureau, people using software plug-ins on their browsers to blank out ads is “beginning to have a material impact on publisher revenues”. This article from the Financial Times looks at how the arms race between ad-avoiding consumers and online publishers is playing out.

Publishers and adblockers are in a battle for online advertising
Article (5 mins)

See also Antony Mayfield’s previous post on the trend of crypto-consumers looking for ways to dodge “big brands and big brothers”.

Blog post (3 mins)

Unilever to industry: Get us some better metrics

Meanwhile, at an ad industry research conference, the CMO of Unilever – the second largest advertiser in the world – said that the current state of measuring clicks and attention online was woefully inadequate. “We’d prefer to find the answers with you guys. But we shall find the answers. And if not, we’ll have to look elsewhere,” he warned. Worrying news if you’re a media buying company – very interesting for companies working on new models for online evaluation.

Robots, ‘facial coding’ and instant focus groups: Unilever wants better metrics faster and cheaper
Article (3 mins)

BuzzFeed doesn’t care where it gets your attention

One publishing company that takes data very seriously is BuzzFeed. In an interview with Re/Code, Jonah Peretti talks about how the company wants to focus even more on making its content shareable and seen where the consumer wants it, rather than pulling eyeballs back to the BuzzFeed site. Whether you’re a brand or a publisher, Mr Peretti’s perspective on this needs to be taken very seriously.

BuzzFeed’s new strategy: fishing for eyeballs in other people’s streams
Article and video (15 mins)

The future of design

Fast Company is on a mission to find out what the design landscape will look like in 2020. In this article, it enlists the help of five innovative companies to give their predictions. Will more designers become CEOs? What will 4D design tools look like? Will more brands adopt atomic storytelling approaches?

25 ideas shaping the future of design
Article (5 mins)

Brilliant noises – what, where and when we are saying things

How to make a voice, tone and style guide

Our content strategy specialist, Lauren Pope, authored a brilliant article for GatherContent recently. If you want to find out why voice, tone and style guides are an essential part of a content strategy – and get some practical advice on how to start creating one – then this is a must read.

Voice, tone, and style: the whys, wheres, and hows
Article (8 min)

Do you need a mobile app?

In his latest blog, Antony delves into what brands need to think about before they spend money and resources on building mobile apps. Is it what the business needs? Is it what the customer wants? Find out what needs to be considered before committing to a mobile app.

Mind the app – reasons not to rush into building a mobile app
Blog post (3 mins)