Midlands-based Alison Smith of Pesky People and Birmingham’s ClustaLabs have emerged from an exceptionally strong field of creative businesses and developers as winners of Nokia’s Pitch ‘n’ Win mobile app development competition. Following an initial written application process that attracted entries from across the UK, teams behind the eight strongest ideas were invited to an exclusive one day event at Birmingham’s Zellig building at the Custard Factory, featuring top level speakers from Nokia and international creative agency, Wieden + Kennedy.
After keynote speeches from international guests including Nokia’s Head of Content and Partnerships, Keith Varty, and Wieden + Kennedy’s Interactive Creative Director, Andy Cameron, the eight teams each pitched their ideas to an expert panel, who were then faced with the difficult decision of picking just one winner. In fact, the quality of ideas presented was so strong that the judges ended up picking two.
Talking after the event, Nokia’s Keith Varty said "The panel was blown away by the breadth and quality of ideas presented at the Pitch ‘n’ Win event in Birmingham; we look forward to working with Pesky People and Clusta to deliver truly innovative apps for Nokia smart phones."
Birmingham’s ClustaLabs presented a groundbreaking app idea capitalising on Nokia’s exciting developments with NFC technology (Near Field Communication). This proved an irresistible proposal for Nokia, who decided to present a second award with an offer to take the app into further development. ClustaLabs’ Innovations Manager, Chris Harkin, said “Clusta was delighted to attend The Nokia Pitch ‘n’ Win event in Birmingham. We were proud to be announced as the winners and are now eager to continue our relationship with Nokia. As a leader in digital advertising, we understand the potential of designing NFC Apps for Nokia and hope that our concept will become a unique feature within Nokia’s Store. We thoroughly enjoyed the day and are very much looking forward to seeing how this project continues to evolve over time.”
Presenting the awards, Nokia’s Head of Developer Relations, Greg Merten, said “Alison’s Go Genie app will be a great example of ‘connecting people’ through innovation. We are also excited about developing Clusta’s innovative NFC app, and look forward to seeing both apps available to Nokia smart phones owners.” For further information, please visit: http://goo.gl/bo8Pl
ClustaLabs attended the Retail Business Technology Expo at Earls Court, London yesterday, where several seminars caught our eye, including ‘The C-Tailing Revolution: Consumers Rule, The Changing World of Retail by Rick Chavie, VP Marketing for NCR. He highlighted key consumer points for 2011, focusing on those starved of time but desire more control through digital solutions.
Since 2009, a rapid 70% growth in smartphones has resulted in mobile commerce becoming vitally important in the sustainability of brands, behind loyalty systems and 360 degrees view on consumers. 52% of all customers now research products online before visiting outlets, a vital area where brands can capitalise on offers and discounts.
The popularity in self service technologies is steadily rising, especially self service checkouts, mobile self scanning and kiosks for product information & location. There has now been a reverse shift towards consumer to business needs, meaning that they are now in control of the complete shopping experience, enabling them to update preferences through apps, online media, kiosks and consultation buttons.
Throughout 2011, 46% of the top application retailers plan to implement ‘One View of the Customer’ and CRM, 44% will be implementing loyalty system with customer data linked to buying patterns, whilst mobile commerce stands at 41%. For further results, visit www.globalretailciosurvey.com.
ClustaLabs attended Coventry University’s Technology Networks Event today in Birmingham. The main topic for discussion was the benefits of using overseas collaborations for SMEs and Researchers. Several sectors were highlighted, including Digital Media & ICT, Transport Technologies and Energy.
ClustaLabs has already taken direct steps into securing international relationships, as co-design is becoming increasingly more important within the market place. We welcome opportunities to work with other SMEs and Universities, as demonstrated through our placements and work experience programme for West Midland students.
We aim to strengthen our existing relationship with Birmingham City University whilst developing new bonds in the future, enabling the creation of world class digital innovation from the heart of England.
Many thanks to Coventry University Enterprises Ltd for hosting the event; we very much look forward to attending the following one.
At the moment, ClustaLabs is in the middle of a social revolution, where digital agencies have to change their business models in order to survive. The old ways of interacting and communicating with consumers is no longer relevant; hence it has now become even more important to employ the correct people, those that can lead progression in a world where society adapts to new behaviours, rather than new technology. We are now in a Network Society.
At Intersections 2011, it was continually highlighted that 50% of all designers were not trained, but why? Thousands of creative, eager students are coming out of university every year, so what is happening to them? Often, the majority end up in jobs where there creative knowledge is not fully utilised, isn’t this a waste for UK design?
At ClustaLabs, we give all students the opportunity to embrace their discipline. No other digital innovation lab in the world can say this. Yes, this is a big statement but our selection process for students enables in-depth technical research to occur in a vast array of subjects. Those that we appoint focus specifically on how technology and society will affect their discipline in the future, whether its fashion, history or medicine. As a result, ClustaLabs can proudly deliver fresh, insightful whitepapers and more importantly, solutions that are relevant to today and tomorrow’s brands.
If you would like to find out more or if you are interested in joining ClustaLabs, then please email us through the contact page provided.
ClustaLabs attended Business Link’s workshop, hosted by John Henderson from C-Tech Innovation. Stuart Scott-Goldstone and Adam Karr from Aaron & Partners Law Firm also presented, regarding protecting your Intellectual Property and commercialising your knowledge. It was well presented and covered a wide range of topics including Design Rights, Copyright and Trade Marks.
Several questions were posed; what is innovation and is it a social activity? Keep an eye on following blogs, which will dissect these questions and highlight ClustaLabs take on them.