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Why The Cost Of New Cars Has Not Decreased Over The Year

aamco-newcar

In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield. –Warren Buffett

If anyone can be said to understand business, it would be billionaire Warren Buffett. His statement is apt, especially when discussing the reasons for car prices over the years not really falling as would be assumed in an industry with economies of scale, an ever growing demand, and decades of experience. Those three reasons alone should tell the average businessman that over time, the cost to produce a product should decrease, and the cost for the consumer should fall as well. However, in the automotive industry, that is not really the case.

When you look back to the Model-T being sold in 1908, the cost was $850, and when that is adjusted for inflation, the cost today would come to about $22,000. Over the course of 12 years, the Model-T fell to an overall price of $260 by 1920, which when adjusted for inflation would cost around $3,500 in today’s dollars. Now an average low-cost vehicle nowadays will generally run anywhere from $16,000 – $22,000, however, that asking price has been at that level for many years, with no real sign of change. Conversely, there are vehicles for sale under $3,500, the Tata Nano sells for $1,800 new in India. But these cars are very few and far in between, and are certainly not common in America. So why then, over the course of a century, are we paying nearly the same price for new vehicles?

Associated Costs for Production

Back in 1908, Ford only had a handful of things to worry about, mainly that being to make an automobile. Sure you could have it in any color you want, so long as it’s black. But what would the color matter if you were one of only a handful of people that owned one. Ford originally didn’t have to worry about much about their automobiles being unique, innovative, or stylish because they were really the only manufacturers in America. Their costs, due to this, were drastically less. However, they were trailblazers, and it always takes more effort, energy, and time when you’re the one creating the trail rather than following it. As such, their costs reduced drastically over the course of 12 years because they no longer had to forge ahead, but merely follow the path they created.

But since then, the numbers of costs have grown as well as the associated costs. Nowadys you have to consider labor unions, the multitude of materials required, the design phase, the countless funds that go into research and development, additional features to be offered, marketing, manufacturing plants, transportation, and the list goes on. All of this costs money, and those costs have to transfer into a vehicles asking price otherwise no money could be made. Imagine if the original Ford Model-T had color options, interior material choices, different engines, sun roofs, fancy rims, and anything else your mind could imagine. The cost would be drastically higher than it originally was, and that is because what was being offered was, with no insults intended, basic.

In order for all the add-ons and bonus features we have optional for new vehicles we purchase nowadays, there are a lot of costs associated with that. And the costs are not simply for the material, time to install, etc. Many of the vehicles produced never get sold, or in the least, take a long time to finally sell. Once a vehicle has a sun roof and leather interior installed, that car has a sunroof and leather interior. This means that in order for it to sell, there needs to be a person who wants exactly that, and is willing to pay a little bit more to get it. When you produce a lot of one thing, you have to hope that people are going to want that one thing; otherwise you have just wasted a whole lot of money. As insurance against this, as car manufacturers know not every car will be sold for their asking price, they need to bump the price a bit on all of them up to cover the gamble they are taking. Sometimes they win big, and other times, they lose the house.

Competition

Finally, we have to consider the number of competitors in the market. In the time when the first Model-T rolled off the line, there were very few other automobiles in the world. They quite literally had a very tight grasp on their market. Now generally, competition drives prices down because a lower cost usually drives more sales so long as everything else is equal for a product. However, competition in the automotive industry does nothing more than increase the total number of costs, as this is based on those few listed above, as well as many others.

With competition, options are now required to drive attention toward your product to differentiate it from everyone else. There are certainly manufacturers whose business model is to keep their automobiles cheaper, but even those have competitors and generally, car sales in this area don’t do so great. Though the number of them have been increasing over the year. Hyundai, Scion, and many others now compete in the affordable automobile market, and are making traction. But how long until the price of those go up as well?

These questions won’t be known until the future has occurred. But one thing is for certain, the overall cost of an automobile may not have decreased, comparatively, over the last 100 years. But the value of what is offered has increased more than any measurable amount. Before you got a steel carriage, 4 wheels, a seat and an engine. Nowadays… well, let’s just say we have cars that can drive themselves. So the cost may have indeed not gone down, but we’re sure getting a lot more bang for our buck.

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The author of this article is Damien S. Wilhelmi. If you enjoyed this piece you can follow me on Twitter @CustParadigm. If you are in need of a Transmission Repair and live in Colorado, please be sure to check out AAMCOColorado.com for available locations.

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The Office Of The Future

FE_DA_100318_FutureOffice_OpenAs technology advances, attitudes and ways of working shift over time, our perception of the modern office changes accordingly, too.  But what does the future hold for the typical office environment and what can we expect to find?  Read on for an insight.

Open spaces

In the future, office environments will be more focused on creating open spaces for their workers.  An open environment is thought to be better for allowing people to commune, share ideas, let communication flow easier and foster feedback.

There will be less emphasis on people having their own desk areas that they sit at solidly for eight hours.  Instead, workers will move to different hubs or zones within the office to complete specific tasks.

Managers will also need to show a more visible presence on the work floor, with the days of bosses being segregated into their own office areas diminishing over time.

Technology and equipment

With strides in technology, the office of the future will be less reliant on some of the bulky, cumbersome pieces of machinery that has served them in the past.  Equipment to help workers do their jobs will become smaller and more efficient.

Modular Smartphones could replace computers and tablets, and there will be greater emphasis on using mobile equipment on the go.  Virtual keyboards that fit onto any surface will make working anywhere much easier.  Cloud services will mean more workers can edit or comment on information at the same time.

Workers will be able to keep their technology skills updated with the increase in e-learning services.

Pressure to reduce our carbon footprint and conserve energy will see offices striving to achieve a paperless environment, as well as using apps and devices to monitor or control energy usage.

Flexibility

Flexibility in the workplace will become the norm and accepted way of working for the office of the future.  On the one hand, this means workers will increasingly be able to dictate the hours and environment where they work to fit in with their lifestyle.  Changes in technology will make this much easier to happen.  Workers will also have much more say in what they get involved with and how they manage projects, rather than being reliant on guidance from hierarchical superiors.

On the other hand, flexibility in the workplace will mean a less rigid and structured environment.  Workplaces will become more fluid, to meet the ever changing demands of the business.  Pop up work environments will become more commonplace, with workspace design focusing more on adaptability.

Health and safety

The office of the future will be more health and safety focused, with specific emphasis on the individual.  As more and more employers recognise the necessity for good ergonomic office furniture to boost productivity, there will be a shift towards providing an environment that nourishes the worker.  Health-conscious designs of office furniture will promote physical activity in the workplace, reducing the reliance on a sedentary environment.  Treadmill workstations and using exercise balls to sit on instead of the office chair will become the norm.

Written by Crispin who enjoys keeping up with the latest technology and this post is a prediction. Written for Automatic Access.

 

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When Should You Hire A Keynote Speaker When Planning An Event?

orator in public

Did you know that if you are having a meeting, event, or convention, that having a great keynote speaker is a critical part of making your gathering a success? Whether you are looking to have a light-hearted even, or a serious conference, it is critical to hire the right keynote speaker.

When Is the Right Time to Look Into a Keynote Speaker for a Big Conference?

But when should you hire your keynote speaker? In some cases, the sooner, the better. If you have  a big budget for your event, and it is a high-profile gathering in which you want a speaker at the level of former president Bill Clinton, who generally gets six figures for each speech, you may need to hire a speaker a year ahead of time, or even longer. After all, the most expensive speakers are in big demand, which means that they are hard to book.

On the other hand, keynote speakers for, say, political conventions pick their keynote speakers pretty late in the process. Instead of a year or two ahead of time, it could be only a month or two ahead of time. That is because such speakers are based on timeliness, and political victories.

For example, if there is a state political convention, and there was a big battle to get the nomination for the U.S. Senate, the keynote speaker could potentially be the politician who won the battle for the nomination. On the national level, the keynote speaker could be an ally of the person who got the presidential nomination. For example, Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, was a longtime ally of Mitt Romney and one of the first major politicians to endorse Romney. He was rewarded for that role with the honor of being the keynote speaker at the 2012 Republican National Convention. Of course, his speech was overshadowed by Clint Eastwood and a chair, but still, Christie was given the honor.

Maybe your company is somewhere in the middle, where you need to spend some time looking for a keynote speaker, but you only need to get the speaker a few months in advance. It really depends upon your individual situation.

How Do You Get Everyone on Board for Agreeing to a Keynote Speaker?

Whether you are a business or an organization, it is important to have a policy in place in which you can decide on a keynote speaker. You do not want to have petty squabbles that prevent you from agreeing on a keynote speaker, and that could mean that you get either a lackluster speaker – or no speaker at all.

So depending upon your company or organization, you should have some sort of policy in place for picking a keynote speaker. Perhaps you have one person hiring the speaker. Perhaps it is a committee. At any rate, it is important to have some guidelines at selecting a keynote speaker. Are you looking for a motivator, a trainer, or somebody who simply puts everyone in a good mood? Deciding what type of keynote speaker you want can go a long way to finding the right keynote speaker for you. To learn more, click here.

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  •  License: Image author owned

Lisa Swan writes for a variety of business and technology sites. She lives in New York City.

 

 

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Make Your Mark And Build Your Brand

The need for marketing when it comes to building the image of your brand amongst your customers and clients is taken as a given in today’s marketplace. You would find very few people who would argue that there’s no benefit to investing in developing your brand image and increasing brand recognition amongst the people who make up your market for the products and services you offer. However, many companies overlook the importance of brand image when building a reputation as an employer.

In the contemporary jobs market, brand recognition is as important for companies looking for new members of staff as it is for attracting new customers or building consumer brand loyalty. When you have a recognisable image, when it comes to recruiting the right people to build your business you will much more easily attract people whose values chime with those of your company if your brand is something to which they can relate.

Branding – not just for customers

When the concept of employer branding first emerged in the late 1990s, the academic paper that coined the phrase defined the concept as covering the benefits of working for a particular employer. This included not just how much an employee was paid but also the psychological benefits and reputation that was associated with an organisation and how that would impact on an individual that worked for them.

Your brand makes you instantly recognisable to future employees as well as future customers

While the branding of an organisation for its customers may have an overlap with the way it is perceived as an employer, increasing numbers of organisations are recognising the need to build a brand image that allows potential future employees to connect with the company and identify positive attributes to working for them.

What do you stand for?

In order to give potential future employees a clear idea of your company’s employer brand, it’s important to have clarity on what you stand for as an organisation. In marketing speak; this would be called your proposition and sets out what you want people to associate with your company as an employer and what sets your company apart from the rest.

Stand for something and see the image it creates

Working with a marketing strategist, you can find a clear set of principles and statements that speak to potential future employees about your organisation and make them want to join your company above your competitors.

How to market your organisational brand

Once you have a clear idea of what you want to communicate about your company and your ethos, there are many ways in which you can go about communicating this with the world in general and the people you wish to recruit in particular. Depending on the size of your organisation, you may choose to go big and market your organisation widely to the general population, building a recognition amongst the public at large and helping to influence opinion before someone even considers wanting to work for you. Some of the big oil companies have done this, blending their customer marketing strategy with their employer brand and setting out their vision and values in large-scale public information campaigns that detail the organisation’s commitment to, for example, environmental causes and public responsibility.

Whatever you decide to make part of your employer brand and however widely you choose to communicate it, a carefully designed strategy can help you make the most of your marketing budget to get the right message to the right people.

Conclusion

Employer branding is becoming a more important part of attracting the right people to the right jobs. Making people aware of what you stand for will stand you in good stead when it comes to targeting your ideal future employees.

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Written by Nathan Griffiths who has done research on how branding works.

 

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Why Social Media and the Music Business Still Fit Together

richard-branson-thumbs-upWhen one considers that the first major social network was the music website MySpace, one can appreciate how music and social networking have always been intrinsically linked. From YouTube to SoundCloud, social networking has not only allowed artists to build their overall brand and interact with fans, but also simply put their music out there in a new format. Some industry analysts have been disdainful of the effects of social media on the music industry, but in reality social networking has been a profit builder for music at a time when sales forecasts were anything but cheery. Social networking and the digital era of music were born together, and hopefully will grow together at the same pace in years to come.

The day the MySpace music died: the new era of musical social networking

MySpace was revolutionary in its time for bringing musicians and their fans closer together, and allowing artists of any size or stature to post their music, videos and tour dates online. The silent decline of MySpace was not a warning shot for the music industry; rather it signalled a new internet era with specialised websites for each of a musicians’ needs. They could post their tour dates as Facebook events while uploading new music to Youtube while also chatting with fans on Twitter. The diversification of the tools available to musicians is important, because it has allowed musicians at different stages of their career to place their efforts in different places. For a young band starting out, being able to post videos to YouTube and enable people to hear their music is the most important thing. For an established star like Taylor Swift, being able to tweet personal messages to fans or make them aware of tour dates, TV appearances and fan-voted awards is much more useful. 

YouTube and the Justin Bieber effect

Many people forget that not too long ago, global superstar Justin Bieber was one of thousands of musical hopefuls posting videos of himself on YouTube to build a fan-base and hopefully get spotted. Nowadays it is a different kind of social media that he rules: on Twitter, his ‘belibers’ are so powerful and numerous that they make Justin a trending topic every other day. Justin Bieber’s transition from one type of social networking to another demonstrates well why social networking has adapted (especially in the past two years) to fit whatever mould is needed for an artist. Moving away from established stars, this multi-platform ability of social media is particularly notable in the independent music scene, as it allows independent musicians either trying to sell their music themselves or find a label to develop a multi-pronged strategy. By using different social media and networking sites, they can build momentum and achieve their goals in a way that just was not possible before social networking.

Why social media helps, not hinders, sales

Why, many ask, would a person buy a single or an album when they can listen to it on social media sites like YouTube or SoundCloud for free? The answer is practicality: YouTube works best as a gateway and not as a permanent music player. Best of all social networking is actually helping to cut down on one of the most serious problems for the music industry in the past decade: music piracy. By providing a simple link to iTunes within a video or in a tweet, musicians can direct fans to legal downloading platforms which drive up digital sales. It is no coincidence that the rise of social media and the rise in legal downloading have ran parallel to each other: they each create a positive feedback loop which enables to other to grow—benefiting artists and their labels alike.

This is a post by Jefferson Vergo. Jefferson is a freelance writer and an occasional guest-blogger and a huge tech enthusiast. He is currently working for CLEAR wireless provider company. When he is has free time he likes to travel and read.

 

 

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Learn Spanish Everywhere You Go

pic_1322432694_6Learning is a constant process and to achieve mastery over any subject, including a new language, you should be able to learn wherever you may be. There are a few easy ways in which you can make learning a continuous process.

Some ideas and thoughts that will go a long way in making learning a language a hugely interesting and sustained operation are;

  • Keep reading wherever you may be. For instance, if you are waiting at the traffic lights, then try and read the billboards around you.
  • At the breakfast table, you may like to check up what the labels of various food products are saying.
  • At home, try and play audio tapes of the language that you trying to learn.

All these ideas will work really well if you are trying to learn Spanish. By paying attention to a few things around you, you can ensure that you can learn Spanish everywhere you go. You need not be stuck to a physical classroom or be sitting in front of your laptop in order to learn Spanish.

Using mobile applications

There are plenty of mobile applications for Android, Blackberry, iPhone and almost every other smartphone on the market today. Some of these mobile applications make learning Spanish an extremely easy affair. There are some free and paid versions as well and you can choose one depending on the kind of features you want from the mobile application.

Do remember that in most cases, the paid versions are the ones that have all the features loaded within. So if you are trying to learn Spanish at a really intensive level, you may be better served by opting for a full featured mobile application.

Carrying your study material

If you are the “old-fashioned” type of person who loves to read from a book, then you can carry your lessons for the day along with you. Most Spanish-language books come in a pocket friendly size so you can easily carry them around.

While you are commuting, all you need to do is pull out your book and go through it and even do your exercises for the day by the time you reach your destination. It may also be useful to find somebody who is fluent in Spanish and who is commuting with you! You could check your newfound skills in conversation with him or her!

Taking newspapers and books along with you

Another thing that you can do when you are trying to learn Spanish, is to pick up a Spanish newspaper or even a small Spanish book. If you are a beginner, even a children’s story book will do nicely.

But, the one thing that you should do is to go through these newspapers and books whenever you get the time. So, if you are on a coffee break at office, it makes sense to skim through the paper and figure out whether you are able to make sense of the language.

Keeping all these aspects in mind, you are sure to make Spanish learning a continuous process which is actually one of the most effective ways in which you can master this language with ease.

James is a writer and blogger with 5 years experience.

 

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What Type Of Furniture A Company Should Buy For Its Employees

Office furnitureEmployees, equipment and even clients rely on the furniture that is in an office or other work setting every day. Chairs, desks, tables and filing cabinets contribute to productivity and comfort during working hours. It is not always easy to choose the furniture for an office. Many companies must decide between different features in order to find the right balance of size, comfort and functionality. Every business should look a few key features when choosing furniture for employees.

Adjustable

The furniture that employees use in an office or other setting should be adjustable. This means that tables or workstations can be raised or lowered as needed. Chairs should be adjustable as well. Chairs that have adjustable armrests and the ability to tilt in different directions will fit the shape and size of any body. Additionally, adjustable furniture is important in order to prevent workplace injuries that result from poor ergonomic positioning. Employees who are forced to operate in an awkward or uncomfortable position will be less productive and might even require regular medical attention for aches, pains and conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Comfortable

Comfort is very important. This is especially true for employees who will be using a few pieces of furniture for an entire day. Uncomfortable furniture will create problems that lower morale and that could affect performance. An uncomfortable metal chair will force employees to stop working and stand up or walk around frequently. An uncomfortable desk with hard edges and an overly high surface will make it difficult to stay organized. Some poorly designed furniture might even contribute to injuries because of hard edges and surfaces. Comfortable furniture will allow employees to focus exclusively on work.

Environmentally Friendly

Many offices are looking for ways to become greener. Part of this is done to lower the environmental impact of the business. It is also done to help the surrounding community and to address the environmental concerns of customers. Businesses should purchase green office furniture whenever possible. These are pieces made from sustainable materials like bamboo or recycled materials like steel or plastic. This reduces the footprint of the business. It will also encourage employees to follow good recycling and energy conservation practices while working.

Mobile Or Modular

The furniture that employees use needs to be functional and flexible. Modular office furniture is becoming increasingly popular for this reason. Modular furniture allows employees to assemble several small components into a single desk, workstation or cubicle. Employees can change the design of an area to meet personal needs and preferences. Mobile or lightweight furniture is also useful. This makes it possible to rearrange an office quickly or to move items to a new area in order to accommodate seasonal workers or construction.

 

Easily Repaired And Cleaned

Businesses will benefit from furniture that is easy to maintain and clean. Employees will be using the furniture constantly every day. This can wear down even the most durable chairs and cabinets. Furniture that has simple connections and solid construction will last for a long time and can be repaired in a few minutes when necessary. Pieces of furniture that are easy to clean because of the materials or the design are very convenient. This prevents spilled coffee or other accidents from ruining the appearance of the piece.

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  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: depositphoto.com

Eleanor Parson is a blogger and suggests Coopers Office Furniture for employers looking to build or improve their office space.

 

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