Raise your hand if you (fondly) remember a rock band from the 80’s called R.E.M.
In 1992, they released an album called “Automatic for the People” named after a restaurant called Weaver D’s in Athens, Georgia. Known for their dedication to customer service, the quaint restaurant’s slogan was dedicated to customer service – whatever the customers wanted, they could have automatically. Order a mac n’ cheese and the server would respond with “Automatic!”
A few decades later and this Automatic! approach has taken over our entire economy. Whatever you want or need, you can have within minutes with the simple swipe of a button – all in exchange for a few data points.
Savvy businesses are playing off the consumer’s dire need for immediacy to collect more information about their users and then using that data to examine things like their favorite sports teams, favorite hotels, and most frequented restaurants. This type of data allows them to hone in on the perfect partnerships for their users.
According to the HAVAS 2016 CES Report, the report states that “as software eats the world, it’s becoming clear that diverse groups of people and companies can create more consumer value through partnerships.”
Let’s take a look at a few companies who have intelligently crafted partnerships that benefit both the company and the user.
Uber & Starwood
Uber is notorious for keeping a close eye on their users and their whereabouts. This aggregate user data has helped the ridesharing company understand exactly which hotels their users are being driven to once they have arrived at their destination. Using this location data, they built a partnership with Starwood Hotel offering Uber riders Starwood points every time they take an Uber and hotel discounts when a user has landed in a specific city. With 72% of the approximately 290 cities where Uber operates features a Starwood hotel, this partnerships gives both companies the opportunity to scale and users the best of both worlds.
Nordstrom & Trunk Club
Trunk Club was inking thousands of orders amongst men who wanted to look their sharpest and Nordstrom took notice. Nordstrom has been wildly successful with their men’s department due to their superior personal styling option, which made curating clothes much easier. However, Trunk Club’s easy-to-use online platform deducted the need to visit a physical store and hand-selected items by a stylist showed up right at your doorstep. By acquiring Trunk Club, Nordstrom was able to promote their men’s line all while offering the ease of getting hand-picked items delivered directly to the customer’s door.
Watson & Under Armour
Fitness tracking is nothing new, but what if Watson is your personal trainer? Incorporating personal food, fitness and sleep data – and then pulling aggregate data from millions of users who fall into a similar demographic profile and then layering data from their recent Weather Channel acquisition, Watson can tell you things like the best time to run, how you’re stacking up against millions of other people in your age group and more. While Watson seems like a natural partner for several companies, Under Armour is helping IBM strengthen their entrance into fitness and health.
GM & Lyft
Recovering from a recent bankruptcy, General Motors is desperate to challenge all the recent innovation that has caused a huge rift in the car industry. Lyft, owning significantly less of the ride-hailing market share, gets financial assistance from the already established car company. GM gets to tinker around with being innovative by partnering with a modern technology company that is making waves. By collaborating, the two companies have formed a partnership that will help them edge out the competition for creating the first driverless ride-hailing car, giving Lyft riders an improved experience and giving both companies strength that they might have not had on their own.
Amazon & TaskRabbit
Frustrated with that unassembled desk you ordered on Amazon? Realizing that the services piece of their offering was missing, the Internet giant partnered with TaskRabbit to offer additional help for those who lack a DIY spirit or might be unable to handle the physical demands required after ordering something from Amazon. Capitalizing on the need for immediacy, this partnership gives Amazon patrons an immediate sense of happiness which ultimately has them coming back for more.
If your company is looking to form new partnerships, examine your user data to see what preferences and affinities your existing clients already have and then give them the Automatic! experience they deserve.