Bonus gem

In a classic move by the company, Coke gives "offsetting" a new strategic meaning (via NY Times):

"The Coca-Cola Company plans to erect 150 kiosks in 20 countries that will offer water, electricity and Internet connections; they may also sell Coke and other products."

Explanation by CEO Muhtar Kent:

"Why are we doing all of this? Because when there’s healthy communities, we have a healthy, sustainable business."

Translation: In case there's any doubt about the intention of this new business model, Coke's motivation is majority defensive. By having women in developing countries sell Coke products alongside health advice, clean water and Internet access, the business can make up for the obesity and other negative health impacts of its sodas. Now that's innovation.

Gem of the day

Tesco has a unique range of product available at everyday low prices (#googlefail):


Gem of the day

In the wake of a massive outburst of negativity towards British Gas from government, customers, media - pretty much everyone, and deservedly so - what could be a better gem than a self-serving case study from four years ago by an agency looking after the company's brand?

"British Gas was finding customer retention increasingly difficult...Carat insight showed that 88% of British Gas’ brand perceptions were driven by customer experiences rather than communications...In 2009 British Gas set out to become the first ever sponsor of British Swimming and turn around the perception of their brand."

So here's a valuable insight into the head-in-the-sand mentality of BG and its peers in the energy sector - rather than addressing the core problem with the service provided to customers, they decide to focus on brand perception. Now there's a short-lived investment.


Gem of the day

Yet another fact that proves how devastating the state of health is in the US (and why McDonald's, Coke and others need to be doing more than giving consumers a "choice" and encouraging them to burn off the calories, a legacy of obesity and malnutrition they're about to repeat in emerging markets. This insight via Nestle research, ironically):

  • Nearly 25% of 19–24-month-old babies in the US consume no vegetables or fruit 
  • French fries are the most common vegetable consumed by infants aged 15–18 months
Case in point.


Gem of the day

Irony in a nutshell: Major company in an industry ripe for disruption (banking) releases a report announcing another industry ripe for disruption (energy).

Given the state of its shares, Citibank would do well to listen to its own crucial piece of insight about the pace of change: "This is not a 'tomorrow' story."


Gem of the day

Jigar Shah on the water-energy nexus in India - a stark choice between power and hydration (via Gigaom):

"In India, like in the United States, the power sector is the single largest user of water – more than agriculture. Presuming that India could solve its problems and build more coal, they would run out of fresh water even faster...Water is literally killing India."


Another non-environmental wonder

Another inspired quest-for-growth quote from a public company (via Forbes):

"Looking at the map of the US, there’s still lots of white space for us. We can fill many new markets."


Another non-environmental wonder

More credence for the "no-one is in the driver's seat" theory of why banks are so dysfunctional - and even better, from another actual banker (via the Guardian):

"We rely upon self-declaration, upon what is presented to us by a bank's internal management. But often they don't know what's going on, because banks today are so vast and hugely complex. I don't think I have ever been deliberately lied to – though obviously I might not know about it. The real threat is not a bank's management hiding things from us: it's the management not knowing themselves what the risks are, either because nobody realises it or because some people are keeping it from their bosses."