Monday, October 31, 2011

Jasons Travel Media - Back to the Future?

I'm reading Steve Jobs - A biography by Walter Isaacson at the moment. It's funny when a book you are reading at the time can often relate to events in real-time.

OK, so Apple's founder Steve Jobs was a bit of a narcissistic, control freak, however his success in business by giving consumers what they want (often before they knew what they wanted) is self evident.  He was not one to waste time with consultation or consumer focus groups:
"He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology, so he built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering . He and his colleagues at Apple were able to think differently. They developed not merely modest product advances based on  focus groups, but whole new devices and services that consumers did not yet know they needed."
One of Jobs' many legacies was revolutionizing how music is purchased and delivered.

In order to sell product through Apple's iTunes, incredibly music companies had to agree to give-up dealing with their consumers.

By allowing their artist's material to be sold by iTunes, music companies gave up direct relationships with their subscribers. By handing over control, music companies gave-up access to their consumers' email addresses and credit card numbers. By relenting and using iTunes as a sales channel for what became a substantial portion of the music market, music companies handed over the control  of their consumers to a third party - they were unable to bill them, communicate with them, upsell or introduce new products to them.

On the face of it, this was a crazy notion, however iTunes commoditised music and the consumer purchase and delivery experience was suddenly made simple, consistent, seamless and intuitive.

History will show that Apple through iTunes were able to add substantial value to the music industry that was in turmoil at the time. iTunes successfully grew the music market by delivering music to consumers using creativity with technology better than anyone could have imagined at the time. Ironically Apple were able to deliver music to the consumer, better than the music industry could've achieved themselves.

So what's this got to do with the title of this post?

I see that the following email was sent to all MANZ branches over the weekend:
"Subject: Jasons Update from Nelson Branch

The Nelson Branch of the Motel Assn is pleased with the outcome of very good meeting we had with Jasons CEO Kevin Francis and Founder John Sandford.   The branch is pleased with the undertakings given by Kevin and John. These will allow the accommodation provider to wind back the very unpopular changes Jasons made earlier this year.

This windback will reconnect the accommodation provider with their guests directly, using Jasons as the advertiser on the web and in print.   Accommodation providers will be able to return to handling customer enquiries and to processing their bookings directly.

With these changes in place it will be great to have Jasons back as a media company and restore their point of difference in this competitive market."

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