Most members own BOSE products, and the noise cancellation head sets have become an essential travel companion. In our hero powered network we wondered “How does BOSE maintain it’s leadership position and continues to develop great products?”.
Here are some clues we found;
BOSE website; “But maybe the most important principle we live by is that innovation is not a destination, but a journey requiring new ideas from new players. So we invite creators, inventors, dreamers and talented people from all walks of life to bring their big ideas, passion and enthusiasm to Bose. See how you can be part of our innovation.”
The origin of the company lies with the founder’s passion to create better sound, Dr. Bose: “1956: The passion for better sound begins
Dr. Bose celebrates earning his PhD by buying himself a new hi-fi. Though he chooses the system based on his analysis of specifications, the sound quality of the winning design disappoints him. His curiosity about the discrepancy compels him to study and research acoustics at MIT in his spare time.“
Bose headphones are worn today by professional pilots and have been worn by space shuttle astronauts. Its car audio systems have been factory-installed in luxury brands such as Maserati and Maybach. And it still sells updated versions of its first product, the Bose 901 speaker. CNBC
One way the company achieved it’s technology leadership position is by staying a private company; “Bose was fond of saying that if he had been a public company CEO, he would have been fired several times over.
He once said, “If I tell you that ‘better’ inspires fear — that even in the corporate world, people are scared of something better, you’d say that’s ridiculous; everybody wants something better. Well, something better is always different. It isn’t possible to make something better that isn’t different. Whatever it is, if it’s exactly the same, it isn’t better. So it’s the ‘different’ that scares people. When something’s different, it’s a heck of a gamble. And that’s where ‘courage’ comes in.” CNBC
Living and working in Dubai
Siegrid Althuizen is CEO of Skyne creative visionaries. The Dutch company is based in the prestigious design center of the Middle East, Dubai Design District (D3). She has extensive experience in the media and was responsible for growth and innovation within this sector in the Netherlands and other European countries. She is best known for her people management, commercial management and structuring of organizations.
With her creative vision, commitment and motivation she inspires people around her.
“I am convinced that the distinctive character of a brand lies in putting the focus first on the customer and I always strive for this. She combines her down-to-earth and result-oriented approach with humor and a touch of “Brabant” (province in the Netherlands) cosiness. A few years ago Siegrid met her husband Dennis de Rond who has been living in Dubai for more than 10 years: “During a trade mission to Istanbul, the first year we traveled back and forth, we married two years later and I moved to Dubai. “Together they make Skyne a success, with strategy and design as basis, for local, Dutch and international brands: as an entrepreneur you are looking for market share and profit in a constantly changing market.
The most challenging moments offer the greatest opportunities to grow. Competitive advantage and brand relevance have never been as urgent as today, due to economic reforms, the increased use of digital technologies and competition from emerging markets. We have a broad geographic presence. Althuizen: “Our global expansion enables us to be closer to our customers and to serve them even better”.
The Dutch business spirit and expansionism are as old as the Dutch themselves. Now that the growth and thus the stability in the Dutch market comes back we see that the Dutch entrepreneur is looking for outside opportunities again and is increasingly finding it outside the country’s borders. A step that is made less is that to the Middle East. ‘A missed opportunity,’ according to Siegrid Althuizen, “People sometimes have a wrong perception of the Middle East, but really; it is in several ways a good decision to imigrate here, both business and personal. Although I came here for love, I have also built up a certain love for the country. “
The image that exists in the Western world of the Middle East is not always positive. Before leaving Althuizen received a lot of reactions from fellow citizens. “It is often thought that women can not do anything, it is unsafe and everything is about oil. But the reality is much different. The area is currently in change. A positive change that ensures that entrepreneurs business climate is becoming increasingly attractive. And I can just here unknowled as a woman on the street hear, and drive, and work as much as I want. “
Benefits; why the Middle East
Entrepreneurship in the Middle East is more attractive than ever. New markets are opening, governments stimulate growth, innovation & diversification, the tax system is attractive and the population is young, curious and wealthy. The Middle East is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. There is a constant demand for expertise and foreign investments. Dutch companies have played an important role in the progress of this region and are seen here as innovative, thorough and knowledgeable. The market is flourishing and therefore offers many opportunities.
But what works in the Netherlands is not necessarily successful in the Middle East. You get to deal with a completely different market, new competitors and cultural differences. There may also be language barriers or lack of knowledge, local regulations make it difficult for you to work. There are many opportunities but the actual step towards success in the Middle East is not always easy. “We still see that things go wrong, that companies come up with enthusiastic plans but are disillusioned by a lack of insight and cultural adaptation, and finally return home. We ourselves have become wise through damage and shame, have a large network we have clients in the MENA region and together achieved successes and we would like to help Dutch companies be successful in the Middle East. “
For success in the Middle East, the smallest details make the biggest difference. It starts with knowledge of the local market. Even within one country there are already differences in social norms, traditions and values. How do you respond to the local culture? How do you ensure a distinctive position in the market? And how do you stay true to the values of your brand in the process? It starts with good insights of the market, the connection with the right people and institutions to ultimately become a valuable
brand. “There are, of course, cultural differences to take into account. Habits that are in
The Netherlands natural, need not be here. One of those little things that make a big difference could be a good Arabic logo, or maybe even the full re-branding of your brand because the name has a strange meaning in Arabic. In addition, entrepreneurship in the region starts with having a network. Skyne in this way supported Rituals, Henkes (Lucas Bols), Obesity Clinic and helped HEMA with their local strategy, branding and design.
“All companies with a specific challenge and different issues, but through the knowledge of the culture and a sober and energetic approach we always come to an appropriate, practical and fair solution.”
Dutch Design Center in Dubai
With Skyne, Althuizen also wants to strengthen the business ties between the Dutch and the Gulf regions. The Dutch Design Center (DDC), which opened in Dubai in 2017, DDC is the first platform outside the Netherlands dedicated to Dutch Design. The on- and
offline initiative stimulates international collaboration and focuses on the best and latest
the field of Dutch creativity. Skyne is the proud founder together with Royal Ahrend Group, Keller Kitchens and HunterDouglas; companies with a well-established reputation in this region.
Drop in for a coffee
Finally, Althuizen indicates that although she and her company have long been based in Dubai, the Dutch sobriety is still prevalent. “I may not live there anymore, but I will always be a “Brabander”. Both in Dubai and in the Netherlands coffee is always served for people who want to exchange their thoughts or want to know more about what Skyne can do for them. The only difference is perhaps the syrup waffle or date served next to the coffee 🙂 “
Siegrid Althuizen CEO Skyne Visionaries in branding and design
An organization is very much linked to it’s core brand. In order to facilitate express sales growth, through an aggressive short term campaign, it is recommended to operate at least one secondary “outlet” brand.
The second brand allows you to gain short term growth, and capture additional market share, without diluting your core brand. A “house of brands” approach is needed vs a “branded house”.
To be able to activate the secondary brand on short notice it is recommended to actively sell through this channel. With eg 10-20% of your sales. This way you can build on the active sales for a temporary quarter/6 month sprint.
The best way to manage this multi brand strategy, is to organize a separate team including e.g. marcom and customer service for the secondary brand. Allocate a limited volume and watch it grow.
OUTNR. member Andy Mosmans shares his view on what drives success;
Recently I read a very interesting article on Medium from Michel Bachmann, with the title ‘Start with Who’. It is off course a reaction to one of the most popular TED Talks of Simon Sinek in which he encourages people to ‘Start with Why’. That is, leaders should focus on articulating their organization’s purpose to move people into action.
An alternative way of thinking is presented by Bachmann in which the WHY still matters, but at the starting point of the dynamic Golden Spiral (instead of the – static – Golden Circle) model, the WHO is placed at the core, see below.
1. WHO are we and what do we stand for, I call this: PASSION.
2. WHY do we exist and what is our ambition, I call this: PURPOSE.
3. HOW do we work together to realize our ambition, I call this: PROCESS
4. WHAT’s our concrete offering to the world, I call this PRODUCT.
I like this model better, because, as Michel Bachmann states: ‘It’s all about people’! Because, people identify with people: ‘You attract who you are’, and: ‘The WHY is a good story, the WHO is the lived experience’!
The WHO is about the WAY a corporation or community of people comes to being, lives and behaves. And especially this is very fundamental. Because, as Bananarama once sang it: ‘It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it’. The Passion and/or I could also say the Personality, Principles and Pride of the people who are the corporation, community or brand make all the difference.
No surprise the world’s most popular song at funerals is ‘I did it my way’. Everyone aspires to be a truly unique personality, a one of a kind character who lives life purposefully to its full potential. And inspires others to do the same. In their own unique way. Why? Because we are creative by nature, and because – as Steve Jobs once told a class of MBA students – ‘Life is simply too short to live that of somebody else’.
So, finding your flow and doing it your way is essential. For people, but also for brands and corporations of all kinds. To lead the way. Their way. To be a one and only. A rebel with a cause. A legendary that makes things happen. Not a laggard that watches things happen. Or worse, a loser that wonders what happened.
I’d like to call the WAY of a company, its ‘Corporate Spirit’. Which can be sensed immediately and is a a very sustainable force to provide genuine meaning, direction and community for corporations and brands. Or as Howard Schultz, ceo of Starbucks, puts it:
‘In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they are built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign. The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic’.
Some companies are more spirited than others and the spirit of one company can feel much better than that of another. Spirited means: ‘full of energy, enthusiasm, and determination, lively, vivacious, vibrant, full of life, vital, animated, high-spirited, sparkling, sprightly, energetic, active, vigorous, dynamic, dashing, enthusiastic, passionate, fiery; having a specified character, attitude, or mood and warm-hearted.
Corporate Spirit has a link to the concept of ‘Esprit de Corps’. If you’ve ever been on a sports team that had great morale and team spirit, you’ve experienced ‘esprit de corps’. The term is French, and it literally means “the spirit of the body,” with body in this case meaning ‘group’. Originally, esprit de corps was used to describe the morale of military troops. More general esprit de corps means: ‘the common spirit existing in the members of a group and inspiring enthusiasm, devotion, and strong regard for the honor of the group’.
Esprit de corps is also one of Henri Fayol’s 14 Principles of Management, a framework that he already published in 1916! He pointed out that managers should create and foster among their employees the morale, common spirit, sense of identification, feeling of pride, loyalty, devotion, honor, solidarity, unity and cohesiveness with respect to their organization or organizational department. So, esprit the corps here means team spirit and team work. This 14th principle emphasizes on team work. ‘Unity is strength’ is the essence of this principle. Fayol suggested that there should be a team spirit in the organization and all the employees must consider themselves as member of the organization. The organization should be considered as a team and all the employees as its member. When the employees are considered as member, it develops a feeling of belongingness among them and thus each of them contributes to the achievement of the organizational goal. This sense of togetherness helps the employees to perform with greater efficiency and positive attitude towards the work.
From this perspective, it is interesting to have a look a company that recently has been very visible as the top-level sponsor of the FIFA World Cup Soccer 2018 in Russia. I’m talking about (the for me so far unknown, but huge) Wanda Group. Wanda Group was founded in 1988, has a team of over 110.000 employees and is engaged in three key business activities – commercial properties, culture, and finance. Wanda Commercial Properties is the world’s largest real estate enterprise and the biggest five-star hotel owner in the world. Wanda Cultural Industry Group, meanwhile, is the largest cultural enterprise in China, and the world’s largest cinema operator.
The conglomerate is led by Wang Jianlin, who has served as Chairman of the Wanda Group since 1988. I don’t know the man, but purely the fact that he (alone) is glorified by a several pages long biography on the corporate website that mentions not less than 30 great awards, prizes and achievements, gives thought. Especially when he is quoted to believe (Principles) that: ‘The highest pursuit in life is that of the spiritual nature, and the pinnacle of business management is the management of culture’. And the mission of the company reads: ‘Charitable wealth, common prosperity’ and with ‘social value’ as the most important value.
So let’s keep an eye on (a fish called 😉 Wanda. Because, when it all starts with WHO, ‘to be or not to be’ is definitely the question!
By Alexis Burton – University of Texas – Among the countless energy drink brands, Red Bull stands out both nationally and internationally. The company has noticeably focused its efforts on marketing. Their marketing strategies are perfectly aligned with their target customers around the world. Red Bull’s marketing team has utilized modern strategies such as social media and events in order to reach their audience. Based on its messages, we can assume that Red Bull targets males 18-34. They often reach out to their audience during extreme sporting events. As aforementioned, they also focus on digital marketing such as blogs, viral advertisements and social media. They also reach out by organizing or attending events, and through ambush marketing and team ownership. Red Bull has proven to be one step ahead in the marketing world time and time again. (more…)
“As the pace of business quickens and the number of brands multiplies, it’s customers, not companies, who decide which brands live and which brands die.”
“Today’s real competition doesn’t come from other companies but from the extreme clutter of the marketplace. Fighting clutter with more clutter is like trying to put out a fire with gasoline. The human mind deals with clutter the best way it can – by blocking most of it out. What’s left, the stuff that seems most useful on interesting, gets labeled and stored in mental boxes” (more…)