Friday, September 30, 2016

Securing Our Digital Lives

By Jen Hyde, Freshmade

Imagine arriving home and walking to your door. You push the key into the lock and click, it swings open. Stepping inside, you feel warm. Too warm. Maybe the air is broken. You realize that's not the case when you read the message on the thermostat: Pay $100 or your temp stays at 99º. 

You’ve been hacked. With the rise of smart devices, hacking the Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming more attractive to bad actors. Security companies have demonstrated how Internet-connected thermostats can be hacked to gain control of other devices in your home. It’s simple, really, explains Bruce Snell, Cybersecurity and Privacy Director at Intel Security. Once criminals have your wifi access point, they have access to all your devices. All are hackable and interconnected. And cyber criminals don’t just want your credit card number. That information only goes for about $1 on the black market. Instead, they want your patterns. They want your patterns so they can build a profile to be used for identity theft or phishing. So who are these hackers? 

Nation states have the time and materials to put into hacking. Organized crime groups use existing malware to launch attacks. Hacktivists such as Anonymous attack systems based on a political/ideological bias. Script kiddies don’t really have the skills, but they know how to get tools and launch attacks. 

Malware and ransomware are trending up:

Malware (viruses, trojans, etc.): up 34% over the last quarter

Mobile malware: up 137% since last year

Mac OS malware: up 533% in one year
Ransomware: up 120% over last year

Ways To Protect Yourself

For smart devices, Intel Security advises:

• Update your router to secure your WiFi network; disable guest network access. 
• Know which smart devices you have in your home and how they’re connected. 
• Buy smart devices from trusted brands with high levels of security. 
• Install security software on mobile phones and tablets.

Also, mind those passwords. The Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report showed 63% of data breaches involved weak, default, or stolen passwords. The #1 most common password? “12345”, followed by “password” at #2. “starwars” makes the list at #25.

For more tips, visit

Image by Bruce Snell

Using Storytelling To Build Iconic Brands

By Jen Hyde, Freshmade

For more than 30 years, Vince Voron has been driving strategic design at some of the world’s biggest brands including Apple, Coca-Cola, and Dolby. You’ve likely seen his work before, though you didn’t know it to be his. Voron developed the form and user interface design for Coca-Cola’s Freestyle® soda fountain and also the company's 3D and 4D visual identity systems. At Apple, he led teams responsible for the iMac®, PowerBook®, iPod®, and iPhone®.

At the Foresight & Trends conference, Voron took the stage to talk about storytelling and design, and how companies can use both to improve their bottom line. The key to a great story, Voron says, is an iconic brand, a great product, and a compelling experience.

Iconic Brand

Apple has made big changes since 1978, both to their brand mark and advertising. In the early days, Apple talked about product. But in 2004, they turned advertising on its head with their silhouette iPod campaign. The story shifted from product to experience. Today, Apple’s campaigns are very much focused on photography and emotional moments.

In 2006, Coca-Cola’s brand was unfocused and losing equity. So they updated their look and feel, putting a modern spin on historic elements and emphasizing the red and white. The iconic polar bear forges a warm connection with the brand through story – even if you don’t use their product.

Dolby too has evolved from product-focused marketing to emotional storytelling. As Voron says, “Good brands bring out emotion first, then the brand story.”

Great Products

It’s hard to design a great product without a consistent design language. At Apple and Coca-Cola, Voron developed identity systems to harmonize designs. Special attention was paid to “jewels”, touch points such as the laptop power button or the Freestyle® touch screen.

To sell designs internally, Voron pushed teams to bring people along on their agenda and invite them to help design a solution. He worked to merge the finance and design areas at Apple. At Coca-Cola, designers would place prototypes in conference rooms to spark conversations with executives. While working on the Freestyle®, Voron traveled to visit with company execs. “Tell me a story about a Coca-Cola machine that you interacted with...which one had the best memories?” In this way, executives helped design the product while appreciating subtle design elements.

Compelling Experiences

From in-store experiences to websites and more, there are a number of ways to create compelling experiences. Dolby is using experiential marketing. Their short animated film Silent won a One Show Silver Pencil. It illustrates the evolution of film technology from the silent film era to the present day, and celebrates the magic of cinema.

By fusing together iconic brands, great products, and compelling experiences, companies can tell a great story and command a premium for goods and services.

Images by Vince Voron

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Brands, Trends & Gender Norms

By Jen Hyde, Freshmade

In four years, Gen Z will represent 24% of the U.S. workforce and 40% of consumer spending. From a trends perspective, Millennials and Gen Z (roughly 6 to 20 years old) don’t want to be put in a box. They’re pushing back against gender labels.

What does this mean for brands?

In her Foresight & Trends presentation “Gen Z Goes Genderless”, trend forecaster Olivia Chow spoke about rising generations and trends. “More important than what is trending,” she said, “is who is trending and what’s trending for them.” 

Skirts & Spaceships

Jaden Smith, son of actor Will Smith, wears skirts, modeling them for brands like Louis Vuitton to combat bullying. A bit unsettling today, but not so far removed from the past. In 1884, a little Franklin Delano Roosevelt was photographed in a skirt, with shoulder-length hair.

It wasn't always blue for boys and pink for girls. It was actually the opposite. A June 1918 article from Earnshaw's Infants' Department said, "Pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl."

As fashion changes, so too do toys. Lego has gone back and forth following trends. In 1974, Lego included a letter to parents that read:

The urge to create is equally strong in all children. Boys and girls.

It’s imagination that counts. Not skill. You build whatever comes into your head, the way you want it. A bed or a truck. A dolls house or a spaceship.

A lot of boys like dolls houses. They’re more human than spaceships. A lot of girls prefer spaceships. They’re more exciting than dolls houses. The most important thing is to put the right material in their hands and let them create whatever appeals to them.

In 2014, Lego released its pink and purple Friends line, its first success with new products aimed at girls in about 20 years. Critics included a seven-year-old girl who wrote the company to ask why all the girl Legos “sit at home, go to the beach, and shop” while the boy Legos “went on adventures, worked, saved people, and had jobs, even swam with sharks.” Later, Lego released its Research Institute with a female paleontologist, an astronomer and a chemist.

Betting On Trends

People were outraged when Target decided to remove gender labels in stores. Alas, aisle E11: "Building Sets" and "Girls' Building Sets" is no more.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. As Chow says, “It’s not about gender any more, it’s about people and how they relate to your product.” 

Images by Olivia Chow

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Future of Food: Yuzu Eggs & Lickable Screens

Page from Pantone’s [EAT] S/S 16

By Jen Hyde, Freshmade

Insights by Mikel Cirkus, Firmenich; Karen Stanton, International Flavors & Fragrances; Manoj Fenelon, PepsiCo; Mel Coleman, Google Food; and Tom Savigar, The Future Laboratory

Food has become everything. Everything is a trend. The everything bagel. Everything hummus. Sight, sound, taste, touch, memories, experiences. Everything.

Food today is a palette for fashion and design, a signature scent that transports you instantly. That cornflake crunnnnnch worth trademarking for a memorable brand experience.
The Foresight & Trends Future of Food Summit opened with an exploration of the world of food and macro/micro trends. Over the centuries, food has evolved from sustenance into many things: an art form, political statement, collaboration driver, emotional crutch, etc. In the future of food, food will continue to evolve.

A lot of strange and a lot of smart

The future of food is strange and unusual, but tech-savvy and smart. There's cockroach milk with magic crystals, algae oil, edible perfume, eggs that smell like citrus, veggie burgers that bleed like meat, and lickable screens. (Okay, not that last one. Not yet.) But there are smartphone scents.

Google has microkitchens built on human behavior. There are chopsticks and forks that measure your every bite. And socially minded organizations are working together to engineer a better food system.


What Comes Next

As for trends, there are several, says Tom Savigar of The Future Laboratory:

1. Regenerative Consumption
With manufacturers like Harper Macaw and Hanger 1 Vodka, consumption might become a force for good, creating six degrees of nudge to solve the world's problems.

2. Culinary Diplomacy
Food is a soft power that allows us to forge closer relationships with people. Like arts and culture, food is a catalyst for connectivity. The Sambel Exchange Project fosters a patchwork of memories by swapping sauces and stories across communities. Google Translate has a pop-up restaurant with menus in different languages.

3. Connectivity Connoisseurs
Companies are developing solutions around tech to enhance our life. Examples include spirits based on algorithms, a wine dispenser that learns and curates wines just for you, and a machine-learning RFID tea kettle. These inventions ensure you make no mistakes with guests.

4. Delivery-Only Dining
We live in a convenience culture, and convenience no longer means fast food or bad food. UberEATS, delivery-only restaurants, and David Chang’s Ando are reinventing everyday food.

5. Gastronomy Fetish
The language of food is becoming more erotic, with “momentainment” videos of people eating and hypersexualized commercials. #foodporn

6. Social Snacking
Restaurants are becoming only as good as they look on Instagram or Snapchat, putting added pressure on chefs to make food look even better than it tastes. For many millennials, the photos are more important than the food.

Stay tuned for more from the Foresight & Trends conference...

Friday, September 23, 2016

Don’t miss KNect365’s Fall 2016 Event Lineup!

Can you feel it? Fall is in the air, and so is conference season.

We’re excited to announce our fall 2016 event schedule of our Insights, Marketing and Innovation events produced for you to do your job better.  

Our goal through these events is to inspire, inform, and connect you with leaders from across industries to see, think, and act different.

Check out the full event lineup:

TMRE: The Market Research Event
Boca Raton, FL
October 17-20
Use code TMRE16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets:

Foresight & Trends
Miami Beach, FL
September 27-29
Use code FT16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets:

Future of Food Summit
Miami Beach, FL
September 27
Use code FT16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets:

FEI Europe
Berlin, Germany
October 5-7
Use code FEIEU16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets:

LEAN Startup in the Enterprise
Hoboken, NJ
October 24-25
Use code LEAN16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets:

Back End of Innovation
New Orleans, LA
November 15-17
Use code BEI16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets:

OmniShopper International
London, England
November 15-17
Use code OMNIINTL16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets:

ProjectWorld & World Congress for Business Analysts
Orlando, FL
November 15-17
Use code PW16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets:

FUSE London
London, England
November 30-December 2
Use code PW16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets:

We hope you will join us at one of our events this fall!


The KNect365 Insights, Marketing and Innovation Team

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Get your sales team on target with teaming science

By: Ciaran Nagle, Global Marketing Manager, OND LLC

As Hewlett Packard Enterprise has discovered, hitting your numbers is all about having the right talent in the right roles. Traditional recruitment can't achieve this. But a new science can help.

The sales team is the most important team in any business. If new customers are not being approached and sold to, it doesn't matter how good the service delivery, call centre or finance teams are. The company will flatline and eventually die.

A sales team that's fired up, isn't afraid to sell high value products and services and whose reps know how to turn a buyer's 'no' to 'yes' is worth more than money. Literally, you can't just buy a team like that. You have to grow it. And even after a lot of time and effort, there are usually as many misses as there are hits.

Which is why a lot of companies struggle, year in and year out, to hit target. This is not due to a lack of commitment by the management team. It's because it's been almost impossible, until now, to tell a) whether a particular candidate is up to the task, and b) whether they are the right candidate for that gap in your team.

Performance Management

Now there's a new science, teaming science, which can accurately answer both of those questions. Teaming science has been proven in top companies over the last 10+ years. It can accurately identify the natural strengths and talents in any individual and predict with complete precision how they will perform in your team. At a stroke it eliminates all doubt about the recruitment outcome.
There's a second major benefit of teaming science when applied to a sales team. That's the bit about knowing how to turn a buyer's 'no' to 'yes'. But that will have to wait for the next post. For now I need to explain the importance of natural talent in a sales any team.

Natural Talent and Employee Engagement

Deep inside our minds there is a layer of our make-up which has lain hidden for a long time. It is more fundamental to our being than any learned skills or qualifications that we build on top. These latter accomplishments are purely cosmetic.

We use phrases like 'my purpose in life' or 'what I was born to do' or 'I want to make a difference with my life' when we refer to this layer. The layer is our natural talent and it can be likened to six wild horses that are pulling us to achieve…something. Often it's hard for us to work out which direction our talent is pulling us in. But what is absolutely clear is that if our job role does not align with our talent, we become unproductive, disengaged and dissatisfied.

Talent Management

In order to be a successful salesperson it is essential to have a particular set of talents. Many people are attracted to sales because of the potential rewards. But if they don't possess the right underlying talent set they will never achieve what their intelligence and energy suggests they should. They will be constantly swimming against the tide of their own talent.

Teaming science can accurately identify whether candidates and current reps possess the right natural talents. If not, it doesn't necessarily mean they should be let go. Rather, teaming science will highlight roles where they will thrive.

But if candidates do have the right talent set, managers can hire them in full confidence knowing that they will be successful. They will also know exactly where to put them (new business, account management, networking, business development, sales management etc). Risk is avoided. This ability of teaming science to accurately predict the success or failure of individual candidates is unique. It is also 99.7% accurate.

Strategic Tool

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is a Fortune 50 business with thousands of sales reps globally. After implementing a program of teaming science for more than 300 of these reps, Steve King, HPE's General Manager, Technology Services, Americas said in 2016, "Method Teaming ( a proprietary form of teaming science) has been the most strategic and foundational element of success on every business and team transformation effort I have led over the past decade. There is simply nothing more important than having the right people in the right roles interacting effectively with others in a purpose driven way.  Method Teaming works every time, and there is nothing else like it in the marketplace."

Also in 2016, the first of HPE's sales teams to undergo a teaming science program achieved full year quota in only six months. (To obtain the full case study email

Sales recruitment, engagement and retention are too important to be left to intuition. That's why companies like HPE have turned to teaming science to build their sales teams. How much do you enjoy taking risks when recruiting?

About the Author: Ciaran was introduced to Method Teaming, OND's ground-breaking science for effective business team formation four years ago. Realizing that his marketing skills, honed at GE over 10 years, could help OND break out of their narrow client set (HPE, Big Four Consultancies) into the wider corporate world he was excited to become their world marketing head. He is based in London and can be reached at 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Removing Barriers for Idea Submission: Awareness and IP Protection

By: Steven Telio, Director of Product Management at ideaPoint

Barrier 3: Initial Awareness

“I did not know anyone was even looking for solutions to that problem.”

“I had no idea I could submit ideas directly to your organization since I don’t work there.”

The first step in getting people to participate in your innovation process and submit ideas, is to admit that you have a problem. You may be looking for possible solutions to a specific problem, sponsoring an organization-wide challenge, or more generally soliciting interesting or novel ideas. But, if your target audience is not aware of your innovation program, if they do not know how to submit an idea, if they do not know the process involved in submitting an idea, if they are unsure what will happen to their idea once it is submitted, they will never share their idea with you.

Mitigation: Broadcast your need – either to people within your organization and especially to those outside of it – and clearly communicate how people can participate, and what will happen to their ideas once submitted.

Barrier 4: Idea Ownership / IP Protection

“It’s my idea. Do I automatically own the rights to it?”

“What are my rights if I submit an idea? Who owns it? How can I track what is being done with it?”
Non-employees may be unwilling to part with an idea because they are unsure how the organization will use it, and what IP protections will be put in place to retain original ownership. Unless an organization already has a track record or reputation of credible and reliable attribution, others may be reluctant to work with them without putting a substantial paper trail in place.

It’s worth noting that IP which originates outside of the organization needs to be treated differently than native IP. Employees, as a condition of employment, are often required to agree that any of their inventions or innovations created while on the job are the property of the company. This applies whether the invention is created as a direct result of the employee’s responsibilities, or if it ancillary to their day-to-day role.

Mitigation: Be explicit about who will retain ownership over the idea and how it is being treated. Also be clear about what might happen to ownership as it progresses through the innovation pipeline. For example, a user may be asked to license their idea if the organization chooses to go forward with it. Academic institutions may assist with patent filing to ensure both the original inventor and the institution can rightfully claim access to the intellectual property. Regardless of the approach, strive for transparency.

This is the fifth post in a series of blogs titled “Removing Barriers for Idea Submission.” Each blog will address different barriers, and challenges that innovation programs are faced with. For further information about a software solution to streamline your process for gathering ideas and accelerating innovations, visit or contact Pat McWilliams (

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