Spokeable

turning average joes into local spokesmodels


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Businesses are from Mars and Consumers are from Venus: Part 3

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Break down the barriers!

Last Wednesday’s post emphasized the importance of direct relationships between consumers and businesses. Forget Mars and Venus, we want both parties within the Spokeable Solar System where we fight to forge true win-wins.

The prevalence of social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest demonstrate how willing and enthusiastically consumers present themselves online. People eagerly tag photos of their lifestyles along with their desired goods and experiences. In the existing platforms individuals are uploading their most valuable assets (consumer data) for free. Because of the barriers which exist between consumers and businesses, the result is a zero sum game. Local businesses can’t access or analyze the plethora of data on the one hand. Consumers don’t receive anything in exchange for their valuable information, on the other.

Spokeable serves to break down the barriers, insuring that businesses and consumers can interact in real time as business partners. Through our platform, consumers become spokesmodels and evangelist for specific businesses. In exchange, they recieve exclusive and coveted rewards for that action. Simultaneously, the business can grow and expand their addressable market and customer base by leveraging their social capital. They create interactive relationships with their loyal customer base and target marketing for that group and their likeminded followers. The interaction proves engaging for both parties. It offers consumers the opportunity to show exactly what they want. It allows the business to tailor individual rewards based on these displayed wants of their customer base. Spokeable proves itself an excellent platform through which we transform traditional concepts of advertising into tailored services and demand fulfillment.

We create partnerships of equals between consumers and businesses.   You want in?

 

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#cincodemayo

 

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Happy Monday….and #CINCODEMAYO!

Here at Spokeable we are always looking for reasons to celebrate. Cinco de Mayo is a stellar one. How do we suggest you commemorate the famous Batalla de Puebla

1) Find a local Mexican eatery.

2) Order a margarita.

Salud!

While you’re at it, snap a photo of the spicy mole enchiladas and upload it to Spokeable! Don’t forget to repeat with the prickly pear margarita too!

New York City (Spokeable’s second home) is brimming with authentic Mexican restaurants smelling of epazote and lime. Tonight, all of them will be bursting at the seams with salsa music, smooth tequila and Spokeable worthy photos. Get out there and dance some Tapatio! But don’t forget to download the app and upload some photos! 

Spokeable’s recommendation for tonight? The Lower East Side’s Cafe El Portal. Tucked away on a small corner on Elizabeth St, Café El Portal is a haven for Mexican food lovers. Their selection of tamales, enchiladas, tacos, fajitas and chiles rellenos is large enough to satisfy any craving for flavors south of the border. Ask about the specials, like Duck Sopes, which come smothered in pungent tomatillo sauce. If you’re feeling brave try the cactus burrito.

Lunches here are an extravagant, leisurely affairs. Treat them as such. Begin the meal with the chicken soup, a Mexican specialty, with homemade broth and abundant lime, epazote, cilantro and roasted poblano peppers. Don’t forget the guacamole made with  buttery, flavorful avocados.  A spoonful of this green goodness, wrapped in a fresh tortilla and dragged along the bottom of a nearly empty bowl of chicken soup is an experience like none other. Provecho! That’s all I can say.

Enjoy the day and remember to patron your local outposts!

Un Abrazo,

Team Spokeable

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Springtime Means Shopping. Locally Please!

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Spring is nature’s way of saying let’s party. Friday says that too. So, on this beautiful Friday in May the entire city of New York is itching for fiesta. Men are sporting kaki suits. Women are wearing floral print dresses (no stockings, madame). Everyone, children and adults alike, are happily getting their fingers sticky with Mister Softee swirls. The air is practically stinging with spring. Let’s get this party on, Friday.

If you haven’t already switched your closet over from wool coats and chunky scarfs to something with chiffon or taffeta pastel, you best buzz an Uber to your Queens storage unit. It’s May folks!  We only have one more month of Spring! Seize the sun and dress in light paisley! If you aren’t up for the trip to storage this weekend, at the very least go buy a new outfit for tonight’s DJ-set at Brooklyn Bowl.  Black turtlenecks be gone! Get to a local boutique and purchase something spring.  Emphasis on “local” of course. And Spring.

At Spokeable this spring season we are all about local commerce. Actually, we are all about local commerce all the time. And although the shopping landscape has changed with the rise of e-commerce, we are most excited about bridging online and offline experiences. And about bringing together local customers and their local stores.

Street Fight Mag article this week outlines some of the key changes in local commerce to come up. The article sites important reasons why Spokeable is in an ideal position to facilitate satisfying relationships between customers and their favorite businesses. 

Here are five trends they think will shape the future of commerce over the next decade.

1) Marketplaces For X Marketplaces are the new mall. Why walk around for hours on end, when you can view millions of products online? Totes true. 2) The Death of Malls Big box outlets will close doors and focus efforts online. 3) New Logistics Amazon’s push into same day delivery will drive innovation within the logistic space.   

4) Connected Stores: As shopping malls close, local businesses need to work together to deliver new shopping experiences. New ways to attract customers and keep them in store/ on premise for as long as possible. Local businesses will need to focus on building relationships and environments where people want to be seen and heard.  Spokeable facilitates this exact happening. We create ongoing and relevant conversations for businesses and customers that feel like win-wins. Our platform builds correspondence, connection and collaboration in a new and unique environment that encourages in-store shopping.

5) Social Verification: Sales will depend upon local and relevant messaging as it relates to the individual consumer, their network, and their community. Consumers will depend on social networks, reviews, referrals, community, and how people they know and trust make purchases. Spokeable was built on the premise that word-of-mouth is the most effective marketing phenomenon. Why? Because when someone you trust vouches for restaurant or boutique you are likely to go. And enjoy! Social-commerce is the new terrain for local commerce and it will be so for some time.

The upcoming trends shaping local commerce have already begun. Spokeable works in conjunction with the new shopping terrain.  We are all about keeping up with Joneses. Especially this Spring. 

Happy Friday to All!

 

 


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Spokeable is Social

 

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In today’s addition of Business News Daily, Spokeable is front and center.  No, our name is not plastered on the front page headlines (at least not yet) but the crux of our product and business model is the theme of this morning’s top story. Our product, Spokeable, is an intelligently designed platform that capitalizes on a phenomenon which is only proving more and more important: social commerce. Social context is becoming the most important factor in purchasing decisions. This is especially true of younger populations who are just now coming into their purchasing power. A recent survey of millennials found that over 85% of spending habits are decided based on peers. These days everything is social. Everything needs familiar context.

The article, reported by BusinessNewsDaily managing editor, Jeanette Mulvey, interviews social commerce expert Scott Lachut. Lachut is the director of research and strategy at PSFK Labs, a trends-led business innovation consultancy.  The article outlines what we know: social commerce is not just an idea, it’s an undeniable fact to today’s purchases. Retailers of all sizes have to capitalize on social context or they’ll be left by the wayside of the 20th century.

Lachut explains that engaging with customers in a social commerce capacity is not only about the “commerce,” i.e. sale. Instead, people engage with companies for a variety of reasons. “Some are aspirational fans, who want content and experiences that they can share with their networks. Others may have issues and are turning to these platforms as a way to connect with a real human being who can answer their questions.” He concludes that people are looking for a combination of relevancy and utility and that brands/stores need to cater to that in order to insure conversions farther down the road.

In this interview Lachut speaks directly to what we’ve set out to achieve with Spokeable. We successfully create engaging and relevant conversations between local customers and local businesses. The channels that currently exist do not make this feat easily. Why? Because they weren’t created with this in mind. They are lifestyle sharing apps and curated news feeds. They connect friends with friends and were never intended to link customers and businesses. Which is why we made Spokeable. To serve a need. And this need, it seems, is growing and growing.


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Businesses are from Mars and Consumers are from Venus: Part 2

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Last week we asked you a question. Do we really need winners and losers in this business game? Today, we’re exploring further.

Let’s look at typical software solutions for businesses and consumers. Most businesses, regardless of size, use packaged business software to support their operations. These softwares run the gamut from Finance and Purchasing all the way to Sales and Payroll. They range from Oracle and SAP, to cloud-based solutions like Workday and Salesforce.com. They even include open source alternatives like Open ERP. Each of of these solutions have one thing in common: they treat customers as “master data.”  In essence, they assign attributes like name, address and credit history in order to make a “customer model” based on these points and assumptions. They  integrate this model into process chains like “order to cash.” In essence, these softwares convert the customer into an object, managed and exploited for monetary gain. They don’t facilitate real-time interaction and they do not foster a win/win relationship.

If we examine models built for for consumers, such as Groupon and Amazon, the landscape is both different and similar. These companies afford the customer bargaining power by bundling demand. They offer access to a competitive market place and the best deals. The businesses are positioned in a favorable light, giving opportunities to their customers. A platform which guarantees the lowest price for customers seems reasonable. Everyone wants the lowest price, right? If we think more critically, though, we understand that is not always the case. Yes, it takes time and effort to find well-priced offerings. But these offerings are often not tailored to individual needs of the consumer or the business. Indeed there have been a number of studies posted which explain how these models are not helpful for local businesses. What these platforms do is fulfill the needs of Groupon or Amazon’s business model. That’s the goal.

In each of these scenarios we witness a third party standing in between the customer and the business. Win-win relationships aren’t easy to forge without an actual relationship between the business and the customer.  I say, get out of the way. Breaking down the barriers between local businesses and their local customers is how we make win-wins. And that is Spokeable’s foundation.  

So! Do you want to talk with your favorite boutique owner? 

Yeah, i thought so.


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Fighting for the Little Fish

Customers shop at Rizzoli Bookstore on 57th Street

Many storeowners believe city government should take on advocating for longtime, local stores. A DeBlasio spokesperson, Wiley Norvell, said in a comment that the administration will work to preserve longtime stores and venues. But we haven’t seen any new policy come out fighting for small businesses or at least nothing significant to enough to create a stir.

In an interview between Pereira and Rolando Pujol, who runs city history blog The Retrologist, the historian said the trend of closing longtime businesses has increased over the last five years. “People pay a premium to live in New York because of the interesting funky shops and the weird little places to grab a bite. But every time you lose that, it begins to erase the value that New York has.”

As I’ve discussed in previous blog posts, this phenomenon of local businesses not surviving is what drove Spokeable co-founders to create their solution for local businesses. They wanted to support local business owners and their establishments and help them thrive. They’d seen a lot of their favorite shops close in Miami and wanted to find a way to prevent further closings from taking place. Spokeable is a tool that helps local businesses grow in a sustainable way through their existing customers. We want the little fish to swim, everywhere.

If you’re in a town or city where you can support your local stores, do so. And download the app.  Also definitely check out Pereira’s article where you can see the list of stores recently closed or closing in NYC.

 


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Businesses are from Mars and Consumers are from Venus: Part 1

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“We are unique individuals with unique experiences.” ― John GrayMen Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus

John Gray has made a fortune helping millions of people better understand and participate in their relationships with loved ones. The world is grateful. But romantic relationships aren’t the only ones requiring reconciliation.

What about the relationship between consumers and businesses?

At Spokeable, we strive to overcome the barriers that exist between consumers and businesses.  We focus on creating more value for both parties. And making it simple, engaging and fun.

Sounds straightforward, right? Yes. But it still deserves some inquiry. Why is there a barrier in the first place? Where did it come from? Shouldn’t it be natural that a business transaction creates value for all involved parties?

Many agree it should. But many still see business transactions as a zero sum game. One side wins and the other side loses. This notion is also present in many software solutions that businesses use and many apps used by consumers.

We think it’s time to change that “win/lose” paradigm and introduce a “win/win” philosophy not only in our attitude towards consumers and businesses, but also in our software solutions.

There must be winners and losers?? Really??  We don’t think so, but we’d love to hear your thoughts!