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“There’s an App for That”: Is Your Business In Tune with Innovation?

September 10, 2011

In 1986, when I was 12 years old, I went to Disney World with my whole family. It was a send-off trip before my brother went to WVU for college. I will never forget the exhibits at Epcot Center regarding innovations of the future. I remember seeing a touch-screen tv for the first time (was a computer but looked like a tv to me).

Two weeks ago, I now at 36 was sitting at a conference table in Dallas, Texas, with tech-savvy lawyer coach Cordell Parvin. He kept saying two phrases throughout our session. 1) “There is an app for that” and 2) “There is a book out there re: that.”

Touch screen mobile device and ipad tablets are revolutionizing the way in which I myself am connecting to friends, paying our bills, keeping up with my work emails, tuning my guitar, doing yoga workouts, playing scrabble, reading professional publications, writing in a blog/diary. All through iphone applications.

Last week I met a client who mentioned integrating an iphone application in order to make her service that she offers more efficient and accessibile.

Check out this article titled “Coca-Cola Masters Flavor of Innovation” re: Coca-Cola and Dick’s Sporting Goods (Dick’s is headquartered in Pittsburgh- had to mention that) and how retailers are using technology to keep customers interested, engaged and buying despite our depressed economy which can particularly impact retailers outside of the luxury or discount markets. For example, making a custom-made coca-cola drink for yourself using your iphone to spit out a bar code and scan at a nearby Freestyle vending machine. Dick’s using an iphone app and the internet to engage and sell customized athletic wear or golf clubs to customers 24/7.

I keep thinking about Cordell’s blog post about lawyer’s staying ahead of the curve. He titled it, “Practice Law Like Wayne Gretzsky: The Great One.” Cordell wrote that Gretzsky, when asked the difference between a good hockey player and a great one, reportedly answered: “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”

BUSINESS OWNERS: How can you or your business predict where the puck is going to be? Are you behind the times when it comes to technology?

  • Do you use text message marketing for your business?
  • When a customer walks through the door of your business, does her facebook “Places” feed show your business as her check-in location?
  • Can your business develop a mobile application to engage consumers?

How would a business even go about doing these things? If you don’t know, the puck is a-coming and you should probably find out. Hint re: facebook “Places”-found this useful blog post re: how to go about setting this up.

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