This week’s C Space Inspiration weekly focuses on where some of the most influential companies in the world are expanding. Not only is this interesting from a business growth perspective, but it’s a perfect opportunity for these companies to build and innovate with their customers to ensure growth and a proper vision.
You open the door to your Airbnb for the week, throw your bag on the bed, walk to the couch, and plop down. Now what? Well, according to Airbnb you should be doing some reading! In 2014, Airbnb launched Pineapple, a glossy hotel chain- or airline-style magazine intended for coffee tables at apartment rentals. The magazine boasted itself as one where, “honest stories are told by the unexpected characters of our community. It is a crossroad of travel and anthropology; a document of community, belonging and shared space.” However, despite the positive reception, only one issue managed to make it to print. Now, Airbnb is looking to develop “a new magazine as a joint venture,” which may or may not carry Pineapple’s name and branding.
Fresh off the success of the Times’ Cooking app, CEO Mark Thompson announced a plan for a new digital product focused on movies and TV, among other new lifestyle verticals. With the desire to be viewed as a company that stays true to its brand and provides content worth paying for, Mr. Thompson says, “the moment you start treating your audience as if they’re eyeballs are a commodity, I think you’ve gone wrong…” What could this mean for the development of these new verticals? I bet the audience would love a say.
MCX, the Walmart-led consortium that was formed in 2012 and has been desperately trying to roll out an Apple Pay competitor called CurrentC, has suffered a huge blow. Two weeks before Christmas, Walmart has announced its smartphone-based payment solution that will work with all credit cards, debit cards and Walmart gift cards at its own U.S. stores. Using the bones of the MCX technology, they’ve released their own single-merchant version – Walmart Pay. Will customers want to utilize a single-merchant offering or a digital payment system that functions at all of their favorite retailers? I guess we’ll find out soon enough.