... and I would argue lowering the bar. I have to question AT&T's decision to take over the Cingular brand identity. For the last two years Cingular has grown their customer base and launched a successful ad campaign around the concept of raising the bar. Two weeks ago Apple announces the new iPhone product with a multi-year exclusivity contract with Cingular. Just about three days after that, out of the blue the decision is made to move back to the AT&T identity. I have to ask why ?
Why would you squander all the money and time that has been spent on advertising ?
Why would you go back to a company name that many younger people have never worked with ?
Why would waste all the free publicity from the iPhone announcement ?
Why would you confuse a sector of the market that has already seen brand loyalty questioned?
AT&T it not too late to go back.
... you want one... it is pretty freakin' cool looking.
The flash demos show some really interesting functionality. Apple may have changed the the way we look at mobile devices. The design is exceptional. We will have to wait until June to see if the customer experience with it is as good as it is hyped.
Today I was cleaning out my closest and found several old coffee cans filled with change. The thought about having to roll all of it mad em queasy. I remembered that my local Stop and Shop had a coinstar rolling machine. Recently I saw that if you convert your change into gift certificate you do not have to pay the 8.9% fee. I checked out the site and they have affilitae realtions with a lot of stores including Apple iTunes,Timberland® and Starbucks to name a few. I opted for Amazon and started the process. When my change was finished being counted the Coinstar booth dialed out ( you could hear the modem) and tried to connect to Amazon. After 3 attempts it did not and I was a little concerned. Then a message popped up on screen apologizing that they were not able to create the certificate I wanted but in exchange they were going to give me a cash slip and not charge me any processing fees ! I walked over to the counter , handed the woman my slip and she handed me back $187.54 in cash.
This situation could have created a negative expereience but instead it was a great one. Thanks Coinstar for doing the right thing before someone asked you to.
Last weekend I bought a new laser printer for my home office. I wanted something that was fast quiet and affordable. While I have always been an HP fan I decided to try a Brother printer based on the great consumer reviews. One of the things that attracted me to the printer was the built in networking (USB and Ethernet).
The day I set the printer up I cleared my slate assuming that this would be a several hour effort. The printer was very straight forward, removing tape and inserting the toner cartridge. Time spent : 5 minutes. Next I attached it to my Apple Airport Express via the USB cable and went to add the printer in the preferences panel. I opened the interface and the printer was there - I did not need to do anything ! Apples communication protocol called Bonjour (formerly known as Rendezvous) did all the work. I sent a test page over and it printed. I was blown away. Time spent: 5 minutes.
Now I just had to get it to work with my Dell work laptop. The Dell is also on the Airport Express network and works fine but I had no idea how to get the remote printer working. I vaguely remembered reading something about Bonjour being offered for windows. I did a quick Google search and it lead me to the Apple downloads. I got the file, ran the setup and the printer appeared in the Bonjour panel. I downloaded a current print driver for Windows XP and sent a test page to print. Time spent : 5 minutes.
In under 15 minutes I was able to network 3 different hardware manufacturers, 2 different operating systems across 1 wireless network. I would love to see more devices connect like this. This is the kind of integration all companies should strive for.
I live in a community where we recycle. We are not hardcore about it but we separate
paper/cardboard, cans/plastic, metal and yard waste. It is amazing how much you can reduce your trash by doing this. The problem comes with the odd items...propane tanks, appliances etc. We are lucky that out local transfer station allows you to drop these items off. In some cases there may be an added expense but overall they are all very fair. The other day I had some large rechargeable batteries that were dead. I could ship them back to the manufacturer but with the weight it would have been about $25.00. The manufacturer recommended a local Sears that accepts car batteries...they were rejected there. I went to the dump (transfer station) and asked if they recycled them and what the fee was....rejected there as well. Though I could have thrown them in a Hefty bag and put them in with the household trash it just did not feel right .
Some where along the line during the merger Sprint and Nextel failed to remember what their most important asset is.... their customer! Since I switched to Sprint a year ago, I have been very happy with the connectivity and their pricing of their plans. Today my opinion has gone down a few notches. I have a Palm Treo 650 which I really like. Recently it started locking up on me so I called the store today and explained the problem and asked if it could be replaced if necessary. They told me to let one of their technicians look at it but they were confident the problem could be resolved. I drove 25 miles to the store and checked in. Once the paper work was filled out they told me to come back in 2 hours. I asked if I could wait and they said yes but it would be 2 hours and there was no place to sit. I left and went to a local bookstore to kill time. When I returned I expected they would have swapped the phone out since I had the Total Equipment Protection policy(TEP) and I had several issues.
I spoke with the customer service representative and he told me the technician could not reproduce the problem and handed it back to me. I read the steps he used to correct the problem and they were the same one that I had also done...baiscally a soft reset I asked if they could swap the phone out and I would pay the deductible on the insurance and he handed me a brochure and told me to call this other company and they would send it to me in 5 days...like that was going to help me.
I recently got back from vacation. During the trip I spent a lot of time in airports before flights and during the lay overs. I would estimte that one in 4 people were traveling with a laptop. What I find amazing is the different customer expereiences I had at each of the airports. I was in 4 different airports during the trip. Providence, Tampa, West Palm and Baltimore. In each airport I opened my laptop and tried to get connected. In Providence there was no connectivity at all. In Tampa there was high speed access and the airport provided additional tables and chairs for you to work comfortably. Everywhere you looked they advertised and encouraged people to use it. The West Palm beach airport experience was very similar. Baltimore had access but not accessible by anyone but staff.
So my question is who owns the customer experience at the airport ? Do the airlines ? Why do some airports recognize the value of wifi for business travelers and others completely ignore it?
Now this is what I call Nano technology !
Palm changed their logo the other day (again). Mike Rohde and Russell Beattie have written great posts about the new logo, so I will try not to cover to much of the same material. As I look at the before and after I keep asking myself is it better ? What is it tring to convey ? Or do I even care ? There are two things that jump to my attention. The first is just the fact that it has changed or morphed again. I think if you could the Handspring logos that were incorporated over the years there have been 4 or 5 since the companies inception. And we are not talking abount minor enhancements to the color or feel - I am talking wholesale forklift upgrades!
The other thing that jumps to my attention is how flat it looks and feels. The lack of dimensionality or convexness to me is a huge issues. The flatness of the logo reads to me like the status of the company. If nothing else, Palm should have attempted to smooth out the striations in color. In my opinion it looks like a student submission for homework in logo 101.