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New brand, who dis? | On rebrandings

On My Mind
New brand, who dis? | On rebrandings
By Martin Wiesemborski • Issue #15 • View online
It’s been a week of rebrandings.
🦸‍♀️💪🏻Sagmeister&Walsh is now &Walsh, with Jessica Walsh taking over the famous agency
🦸‍♀️🔨Thor got a rebranding as well and will be female in the next movie, played by Natalie Portman
🏝🎵 An design update turns into a Mac from the 90s and the hottest place to listen to music right now
🍎📱 Apple is slowly rebranding itself as a service company, reducing its dependency from the iPhone

Jessica Walsh announced she launched her own agency - called &Walsh, which is basically the same as Sagmeister&Walsh with the same people, the same office and mostly the same clients. But without Sagmeister. After decades of work, he decided to step down from his daily duties to focus more on art and other stuff. But it would be wrong to say that Walsh only is in this position now because Sagmeister stepped down. Quite the opposite.
Walsh has been in the lead for a long time now and was willing to start her own agency if she must, with Sagmeister only then handing over the scepter. That she is incredible talented became clear in 2012 when she became partner at Segmeister’s firm, only two years after she joined. At this point, she was only 25 years young.  
Her new agency will focus more on branding, especially on finding ‘the weird’ in brands again. Starting with her own brand. 
But she not only cares about the work they create but also how they work. Her goal is to create a healthy working environment with a focus on equality and diversity. Walsh always had to deal with sexism:
When I was named partner with Stefan at the age of 25, many men and women said (publicly!) that I only got the position because I slept with him.
And with her new agency, she is one of the very few female agency founders. 
The numbers say it all: 70% of design students are women, but only 5-11% of creative director positions are held by women. Only .1% of creative agencies are women-owned. 
Sadly, this is the truth and it has to change.
That’s why I love how much passion and attention she brings to these very important topics and I hope many more will follow her example. Please do yourself the favor and read her incredible open and smart articles on starting &Walsh and her mission.
Yas girl!
Yas girl!
Mighty Thor ⚡️
Talking about powerful women: there is a new Thor movie coming, starring Natalie Portman as a female Thor. Even if you’re not into Marvel movies, this is pretty cool news. 
So hot. So cool.
Poolside was easily the most fun website I visited in the last few weeks. It’s been around for several years but only after a website relaunch this week, the site blew up. The interface now looks like a Macintosh from the 90s, the music collection is lit 🔥(as my dear friend Lucy would say), and the old videos match perfectly with the overall vibe and experience.
Apple, the service company
For many years, the iPhone has been the major source of growth and profit for Apple. But starting with iPhone 6s, Apple reached peak growth. Demand was way lower than expected, leading to a surprise cut in production. People started using their devices for a longer period of time, going from a 2-year replacement cycle to almost 3 years. To counter the decline, Apple increased the prices, resulting in higher profits but overall shrinking sales.
At the same time, they started working on a future where they wouldn’t be as reliant on iPhone sales as they were back then. Apple was always very strong in creating an ecosystem where its own hardware and software would match perfectly while at the same time creating high barriers for third-party solutions. So it was only natural for them to look at the areas close to the iPhone: Accessories and Services
Apple Watch and AirPods both have seen incredible success, although they faced harsh skepticism when they launched. The HomePod on the other hand, Apple’s smart speaker, is considered to be a flop, not really fitting into any niche or customer segment to sell it to. With Siri, it’s not as smart as say a Google Home and as speaker alone, it’s not that impressive. 
But in the end, these accessories created an additional profit off from existing customers, further enhancing the customer lifetime value.
The other big area Apple is focusing on is what they sum up under the term Services. It became so important actually, that this year, Apple held their first ever keynote where no new hardware was announced, only new services.
Why am I talking about this right now? Well, Apple reported earnings for Q3 on Wednesday and services revenue is going through the roof, surpassing almost every other division for the first time. And the iPhone? It’s not nearly as important for Apple’s income as it was a few years ago.
As you can see in the chart below, services quickly became on of the biggest driver of growth at Apple and many of the services announced at the keynote I mentioned earlier are set to launch later this year.
What are services?
It’s everything from sales of apps, games, movies, music, iCloud and Apple Pay fees. As you probably know, Apple charges developers 30% for using the App Store, so with every app purchased, Apple earns money (while giving many things in return, obviously). Apple Pay is already one of the bigger moneymakers for Apple and with the launch of Apple Card and broader adoption of Apple Pay worldwide, its importance will only grow. And bundles like Apple Arcade and TV+ could also prove to be big moneymakers.
What does it mean for Apple? What’s next?
It’s hard to say but with a recurring revenue coming from subscription services and fees, it might be less interesting for Apple to work on hardware, which would be sad. One thing is for sure, though: Apple will continue to push services to become even bigger and probably slowly rebrand itself as a services company.
Fail of the week
DHL thought it would be a good idea to start a photo competition on Twitter. Well, it wasn’t. Instead it quickly grew into something like a shitstorm with many users posting photos of delivery trucks blocking the bicycle lane.
DHL Paket
📸 #DHLFanfoto 2019 gesucht! 📸
Jetzt mitmachen und tolle Preise gewinnen.💛📸 Einsendeschluss ist Sonntag, der 25.08.2019. Hier geht es zu den Teilnahmebedigungen 👉 #DHLFotowettbewerb #Gewinnspiel
Neuralink update
Well, it’s not directly about Neuralink, the startup I wrote about 1 or 2 weeks ago, but about a brain-computer-interface that Facebook is working on. Their goal is to use the interface to control… an AR headset? Hm 🤔
One more thing
Wondering about what the future might bring for tech and design? Thank god for Tarot-o-bot. He might tell you the future. Who knows, really.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Martin Wiesemborski

I'm a freelance UX strategist. Think of this newsletter as everything that is on my mind (hence the name): New and emerging tech and design trends, tools and ideas that I stumble upon and think are worth talking about.

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