STATE OF AMERICA
The Four Year Career – According to recent statistics, the median number of years a U.S. worker has been in his or her current job is just 4.4, down sharply since the 1970s. Statistically, the shortening of the job cycle has been driven by two factors. The first is a marked decline in the “long job”–that is, the traditional 20-year career. Simultaneously, there’s been an increase in “churning”– workers that have been at their current job for less than a year. Shorter job tenure is associated with a new era of insecurity, volatility and risk. And yet, many members of the American workforce aren’t pining for a return to the era of the long career because they now have a the opportunity to try their hand in different fields and pick up new skills.
BRAVE NEW CONSUMER
Clothing Swap Meets –
Retailers from Gap Inc. to Urban Outfitters Inc. are already struggling to persuade consumers to pay full-price for clothes. Now, it turns out, many of their younger customers prefer trading T-shirts, jeans and designer dresses among themselves than actually buying new gear. Clothing swaps are a hot ticket for Americans aged 18 to 34. Millennials attend swap house parties from New York to San Francisco. And they gather online, frequenting such sites as Swapstyle.com. Frugality has become a way of life for a cohort weighed down by student-loan debt and high joblessness, according to WSL Strategic Retail. “They can stay engaged in fashion without getting themselves in more debt,” said Wendy Liebmann, CEO of WSL. “This generation has also grown up in an online world of Craigslist and EBay where selling something or swapping something has become somewhat second nature.”
Pepsi Pulse –
Pepsi has just launched its first global campaign “Live for Now.” After an exhaustive and rigorous consumer insights-led process, the core insight that inspired the campaign was this: Coke is timeless; Pepsi is timely. “Brands that are timeless want to have museums, ” Brad Jakeman, President – Global Enjoyment and Chief Creative Officer said referring to the World of Coca-Cola attraction. “Pepsi is not a brand that belongs in a museum.” One of its first initiatives to “capture the excitement of now,” is its newly launched Pepsi Pulse – a dashboard of pop culture. The real-time platform lives on Pepsi.com and curates trending pop culture and trending news as well as tweets from celebrities. There is also original content that includes deals and celebrity challenges. Pepsi wants Pulse to invite and inspire consumers to live in the moment by knowing what’s hot across the web so they’ll be the first to share the information with their friends.
Pebble Watch: The Most Successful Kickstarter Project Ever – The Pebble, a watch with an e-paper screen that runs apps from a smartphone, has – in its first three days on Kickstarter – attracted almost 19K backers and raised over $2.6 million, surpassing their initial $100,000 goal for putting the watch into production. The project has now exceeded $10 million and it still has eight days to go. How did it become so successful? Here are a few key insights into their success:
1) Having a proven track record – the team behind Pebble have been designing smartwatches for 3 years
2) Building an incredibly useful product – the watch is not bogged down with useless apps and keeps the design simple and clutter free
3) Connectivity with the right devices – works for both iPhone and Android
4) Continually improves itself – in surpassing their monetary goal, the team has invested in additional features to improve Pebble’s appeal.
ON THE RADAR
Read This: Passion and Purpose, published by Harvard Business Press Books, surveys 500 students from the top U.S. business schools and draws insights from the young leaders who are tackling today’s biggest challenges, including globalization, sustainability, technology and diversity. These firsthand accounts of successes and setbacks – from launching start-ups to taking on the family business – reveal how the next generation of ideas and aspirations are shaping business and redefining leadership around the world.
Play This: Habro wants to make board games more social by releasing zAPPed editions of three of their most famous games. The Game of Life, Monopoly and Battleship will soon be available as ‘zAPPed’ versions, offering enhanced social elements and additional content through iPhone/iPad integration. For example, Monopoly zAPPed will handle all of the banking transactions and will also turn the Chance and Community Chest cards into mini games that affect the player’s progress.
Try This App: Time To Enjoy is a new time-driven app that focuses on the “when” instead of the “what” in regards to finding something to do. Designed to sync with a user’s calendar, this app sorts through details of hundreds of hyper-local events ranging from sports and concerts to art exhibits, yoga classes, and book readings. Events are only shown if they align with the exact amount of time a user is available.