The world's first city as a service

Updated On: September 26, 2019

Today, we introduce you to the world's first city as a service — CaaS. We're also breaking down Salesforce's new app helping companies go sustainable, Morning Brew launching a new podcast, the re-emergence of Gin Lane as Pattern, and how to build the ultimate retail experience. 



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Experiential Retail for All

Last month, Gin Lane ad agency announced that it would no longer be branding guru for rising companies like Hims, Everlane, Warby Parker, Recess, Harry’s, SmileDirectClub, and Quip. Instead, it would fold and re-emerge as Pattern, an online consumer goods retailer. Pattern went live yesterday backed by $14 mill in funding with Equal Partsa part cookware, part home cooking coaching brand.

Purchases will give customers access to eight weeks of “guidance,” or a cooking coach they can text for recipe suggestions and kitchen hacks. This new retail approach could provide enough of an edge to trump the traditional subscription retail of yesteryear.  

Emmett Shine, Pattern co-founder and creative director, says their overall goal is cross-brand retention. “If we can build a deeper relationship with one customer, that’s more our goal than trying to get a hundred that are making one purchase and leaving.” 

The Retail Customer Experience 2.0

Sprout Social releases an extended piece on building the retail customer experience 2.0, highlighting the influx in hyper-personalization and relationships. The key takeaways:

  • Everything is hyper-personal now
  • Customization does not equal personalization
  • Leading retailers know to listen to their audience
  • Brands need to be everywhere at once
  • The value of moving from acquisition to relationships

The 411 on Salesforce Sustainability Cloud

Salesforce is building an app to help companies gauge and manage their carbon footprint, the Salesforce Sustainability Cloud. Neel Desai, product manager at ProfitWell dropped some insight into the app's development. He said,

"As an existing Salesforce customer, I'm looking to try this out pretty soon. It seems like the tool just plugs directly in and helps customers track their carbon emissions, how much renewable energy they're using, and are you on track to hit your sustainability goals?"

Desai said one challenge Salesforce may have to hurdle is aggregating all the data from different sources. He added,

"I think we're moving in a direction where caring about sustainability and the effects we have on the earth needs to be baked directly into your business model. This gives companies a chance to really stay on top of that everyday."

Morning Brew Podcast Coming in Hot

Morning Brew is launching a newsletter for your ears, aka, a podcast called Business Casual. Hosted by Morning Brew's business editor, Kinsey Grant, Business Casual will air every Tuesday. Grant will interview experts, leaders, and CEOs to get an in-depth perspective from business leaders.

Business Casual reminds us a bit of our series, Protect the Hustle, where ProfitWell's Patrick Campbell sits down with CEOs to talk about building a company from the ground up. If you're in the same realm, give it a listen and let us know if you think the insight stacks up. 

The first episode of Business Casual rolls out this Tuesday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. 

Deep Dive

The World's Very First City as a Service

Welcome — to the world’s first city as a service. Helsinki is calling for demo users, branding itself as the world’s first “city as a service” (or CaaS) — a brilliant move for Finland’s capital in marketing their space as an all-inclusive service bundle that unlocks the entire city. 

They’re “on a mission to motivate, guide and help international tech talent feel at home in Helsinki,” showcasing their first-ever demo this November. 

The Helsinki-as-a-service website generously highlights Helsinki as a wonder for “serious neighborhood touring, hot saunas, ice dipping, exceptional Finnish cuisine, a laser-focused tech festival, and many other life-changing experiences. All in the world’s coldest capital.” — at first glance seeming like a tourism promo, but upon further look aiming at techies globally.

Their pricing page breaks down their “freemium model” of zero Euro per month, offering a list of dozens of perks like hanging out with the happiest folks in the world and breathing the cleanest air — acting as the sot of equivalent to product features on what would be a product’s pricing page. The site also spotlights Helsinki’s #1 rankings in many aspects like “The Best City for Work-Life Balance” and “The City for Startups.” 

The site also offers an application for a free demo trip to get to know the tech world's underdog from head to toe.

With us today we have ProfitWell’s Devin Bhatia with his take from a consumer and pricing strategist standpoint. 

"They really are trying to source tech talent into their city."

And we hear Devin’s a library nerd himself, so we're sure access to the best public library in the world would get him paying premium. 


Fresh Product Friday

On Our Radar 

  1. Clockwise: an intelligent calendar assistant
  2. Station: unifies all web applications into one clean and productive interface
  3. Frienda: a formalized NDA agreement for secret keeping between friends
  4. Animal Text: sends you animal images at random, simply to make you smile
  5. Imperfect: delivers ugly produce for 30% less than grocery store prices

Weekend Wisdom

In this weekend's wisdom, SurveyMonkey CMO Leela Srinivasan drops the knowledge on why she’s so hellbent on feedback for marketing success, and how starting her career in the shower cleaner business got her headed for greatness.

And that’s a wrap for your September 20th subscription news. Recruit your friends into the subscription know by sending them to to sign up for episodes on the daily.

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