Friday Five: 3/30-4/3

Happy Friday! Here’s a round-up of some of this week’s top news in the tech industry:

Amazon launches Home Services—The Verge

On to the next venture, Amazon continues to find new ways to be a go-to source for consumer needs. This time, the leader in eCommerce has launched its new home services program allowing Amazon to assemble and repair purchases. So that cabinetry you bought on Amazon can also be installed through the company OR that fancy espresso-maker you bought, but then broke can be repaired by Amazon professionals.

(Image courtesy of Tech Crunch)


3 Tips for Transforming Consultants into Thought Leaders with PR

Take a B2B company with no products, but an array of distinct services—how would you market it?

If you’re a professional services firm marketer, this scenario should sound familiar. Whether your organization specializes in law, architecture or management consulting, generating leads and closing new business starts with selling your experts.

Professional services marketers depend on a variety of methods for promoting their people, from industry conferences and webinars to email newsletters. Increasingly, firms are adding public relations to the mix to elevate their subject matter experts into recognized thought leaders. Compared to other marketing tactics, generating media placements brings awareness and third-party credibility to professional services brands and their people.

Business Meeting in an office

With the number of marketing tools and channels growing exponentially, why invest in PR?


Friday Five: 3/23-3/27

Hey, it’s almost Spring! Here’s a round-up of industry news for the week.

Facebook’s Timehop Clone “On This Day” Shows You Your Posts From Years Ago – TechCrunch

Facebook is taking some hints from the wildly successful “Timehop” app that most people use solely for the #tbt feature on Instagram. Though sometimes nostalgia can be a touchy subject, Facebook is claiming the feature was inspired because “we see behaviors from our community and we try to build on top of them.” Facebook is furthering their On This Day feature by allowing for a subscription service with a daily notification reminding you to check out that date’s nostalgia feed. Here’s to hoping this doesn’t bring up any bad memories for most of Facebook’s 890 million daily users.

Heinz will buy Kraft Foods in mega-merger for American food – The Washington Post

Better call that friend who puts ketchup on her macaroni, because two of the top tier American food companies that we know and love (usually), are getting married. Both companies have been on a downward slump having experienced some recalls so they’re doing a revamp of sorts which will hopefully expand business. This new collaboration was orchestrated by Warren Buffett and some other big money makers to produce a household-name powerhouse that will slash costs and ultimately, jobs.

(Image courtesy of NBC News)

Amazon rolls out Prime Now delivery to Dallas – Internet Retailer

One week after it debuted in Miami and Baltimore, Amazon, the number one Internet retailer of 2014 is launching its newest delivery service. Termed “Prime Now”, the service will allow for one-hour delivery to major U.S. markets later this year. For now, only folks living in New York, Miami, Baltimore and 24 Dallas ZIP codes are the chosen ones for Amazon’s newest service.  Customers who want to use Prime Now can choose any time between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. to have their favorite products delivered, seven days a week.

Soft Drinks Hit 10th Year of Decline – The Wall Street Journal

As America becomes a more health-conscious country, diet soda consumption is dropping and bottled water is picking up the slack. By the numbers, bottled water jumped up 7.3% from 2013-2014, where soda consumption dropped 1% in a tenth straight yearly decline. Experts predict that by year 2017, bottled water consumption will surpass soda, America’s long-time favorite beverage. This decline could be because consumers are worried about exactly makes up an artificial sweetener, such as aspartame. So, by the looks of it, Americans have backed off of the classic ‘Coke or Pepsi’ debacle, and chosen nature’s drink instead.

(Image courtesy of ADWEEK)

This Vodka Brand’s App Uses Beacons to Light Up Bottles With Custom Messages – ADWEEK

You can personalize just about anything these days. Medea vodka is taking this a step further by using an LED band which wraps around the bottle to display text. The bottles come pre-programmed with six options of common expressions such as “happy birthday” and “congratulations”. Starting next week, Medea will be offering customizable messages for their bottles. Another helpful (to be used lightly) feature of the LED screens is one that alerts you when the bottle is running low on vodka.

Have you read anything interesting lately? Tweet us @WalkerSands.

Friday Five: 3/16-3/20

Happy Friday! Here’s a round-up of industry news for the week.

The Internet Is United in Despising Starbucks’ ‘Race Together’ Cup Campaign – ADWEEK

Starbucks is encouraging their baristas to write the hashtag #RaceTogether on their cups to spark conversation about racial issues with customers, but their bold attempt has seemingly backfired. Inspired by the incidents in Ferguson, Mo., the campaign is causing many to question the lack of diversity within Starbucks’ leadership itself and scoff the poor taste of “reducing a serious, impossibly complex national conversation to a hashtag on a coffee cup.”

Starbucks Race Together
(Photo by ADWEEK)


Walker Sands 2015 Study – Webinar Key Takeaways

This week Walker Sands’ Mike Santoro, President, and Dave Parro, Director of the Retail Technology Practice, shared their thoughts on this year’s Walker Sands’ Future of Retail Study via a Webinar. While they took a closer look at the study to shed light on 2015 trends, they also addressed questions and provided some insight on other forward-looking technologies retailers can expect to see in the coming years.


In case you missed the Future of Retail webinar, here are some of the key takeaways:

  • Online shopping
    • The race is no longer for retailers to drive consumers online, but to push for them to make online purchases more often.
    • When it comes to online shopping, consumer expectations are already the reality and the battle has moved to optimizing from enabling the e-commerce experience.
    • Retailers must improve the e-commerce experience.