TaoSquare has been involved in multiple digital media projects over the years with clients in retail, Telco, events, and product innovation to name a few. Digital is a difficult term to pin down. The pace of innovation is fast. For marketers, using digital media as just a part of a communications strategy is no longer enough. Solutions are pervasive and related to social media and e-commerce with analytics a vital part of predicting and understanding demand. It is at the heart of all brand strategy and communications media strategies. Changes in the way we consume content – Streaming, catch up and social, especially among millennials also creates constant challenges for brands to be relevant and meaningful.
adidas is a major client for Smoothweb with TaoSquare working in the background on strategy formulation for multiple digital solutions. As a leader in innovative retail solutions that drive preference and loyalty for the adidas brand, customer experience is also a driver for the brand and moves customers along the awareness of new seasonal brands to intent and purchase in its high street outlets.
In order to continue to innovate and lead, adidas has strict criteria for its channel partners. SmoothWeb has been developing its products and solutions to the point where the partnership is now a solid one of mutual trust and the waves of innovation to date include touch screens, Bluetooth-ready shoes that, when picked up, prompt instant recognition and streaming content and feeds relevant to the shoe in question on screens inside and outside the store. The ‘Tokyo market, supported by SmoothWeb, has installed Run Labs, a solution not originally offered by SmoothWeb but we were brought in at the last minute to execute for delivery. Run Labs is highly successful with 4-week waiting lists for customers to run the city of their choice in a Tokyo city store. Moving images and the running experience is realistic and helps sales growth.
Next season, Smoothweb is introducing its magic mirror which can recognise a shoe work by a customer and play out content on the mirror surface. This is a big step using AI and algorithms to give customers the best possible experience in-store. More solutions in the pipeline include 3D holograms but we are getting ahead of ourselves. For more information on each of these solutions, please see the Retail portfolio cases.
Working with Smoothweb, we developed the business model and brand identity for MultiStream, a proprietary thin client live streaming platform with on-the-fly editing on any device. This offers the possibility to have a studio on a laptop. MultiStream then became the platform for partnerships with sports broadcasters – The Asian Rugby Football Union, live events for event management companies and later the engine behind the touch screen business model which is now used in multiple locations around the Asia Pacific by adidas.
We partnered with PCCW to develop the business and go to market and brand concept for a live streaming internal employee communication system. Content is delivered to touch screens in corporate coffee lounges and meeting rooms with access on multiple devices to executives and other employees as required. Communal areas have touch screens which distribute the latest content from several sources for employees working in a separate office and regional locations such as HR announcements, Training courses, Industry news, new wins, performance results, new branding, and product launches. This has the benefit of allowing centralized resources for internal communications to bring the latest news. This pilot scheme was well received with the intention to offer it as a solution in PCCW Solutions for customers.
Executive Fight Night
A fixture on the Tokyo calendar each year is the EFN held at the Hyatt in Roppongi. With 200 guests from multiple business sectors and International Chambers, the fights raise money for charity with amateur fighters taking to the stage to try their skills before a passionate crowd. Working with Smoothweb digital team, we helped develop the live tools and modules to help the night go with a slam. Guest arrive at the event to see a row of touch screens and can search for their name and table location in lights. This is an exciting way to begin the evening and gets guests seated in record time. Tablets on the tables allow live and replay content to be viewed. Smoothweb also streams the event to multiple devices.
During an 8 month period, I worked with James Law, as Chief Strategy Officer in his leading Hong Kong-based offices. JLC is an innovative architectural design firm whose founder and CEO wanted to work on projects to extend the company beyond its core award-winning building designs into lifestyle products for the future.
Using the halo of the corporate brand’s innovative design attributes, the first product to be launched was the Cybertecture Mirror. We developed the hardware, software, apps platform, business model, pricing and marketing and sales playbooks. We identified appropriate distribution channels, events, trade fairs to attend, TV programs where it was to be featured and the mirror was launched at a Hong Kong developed penthouse as part of the new apartment’s offerings. Subsequently, the mirror went on sale in an upmarket retail bathroom brand in Hong Kong and we provided channel support through materials and sales training. The video you see here was produced in-house under my direction and I am the owner of the dulcet tones you hear as the voiceover artist!
SmoothWeb, based in Hong Kong, is one of those small companies that fly beneath the radar innovating and winning awards for leading-edge technology solutions that bring real benefits to customers and strategic value to businesses through salesforce improvement, the point of sale uplift, brand experience, and fun. Its disruptive model is based on a Platform As A Service offering a license for a one-stop solution for hardware and software solutions.
As Managing Director and latterly Consultant for the past eight years, I have worked with the team to develop the business from its early days as a transcoding solutions provider for multiple media to a company with patented multiple go to market digital solutions offering AI, data analytics, real-time media feeds and streams in a branded offering. Here is an early video we developed to communicate how useful the platform can be to a digital channel, partners we were working with back in 2010.
NTT-DoCoMo: Brand Valuation
NTT-DoCoMo, the incumbent Japanese telecommunications provider was an early leader in global, mobile rollout but its DoCoMo mobile platform brand encountered resistance in some markets with its licensing go-to-market model. Brendan led a project to understand the potential to continue with the licensing model or to recommend alternative strategies to maximise the potential to become the first global mobile brand. the brand valuation exercise looked at segments of the business including geographical territories, license arrangement by customers, ARPU forecasts, penetration levels, brand strength and share of voice among other metrics to deliver a future model of equity-based valuation. This report informed the client in their strategic planning and market development overseas.
PCCW: Post-acquisition Total Rebrand
Brendan McMahon was instrumental in winning the account for his previous company Interbrand and led the rebranding of Cable and Wireless-HKT in Hong Kong he went client-side to implement the brand rollout. This rollout included full execution of communications with internal brand systems, signage, collaboration with partner agencies to align the retail, B2B solutions and new media divisions to execute across the brand.