• 'World's Greatest?': Kiosk and digital signage company lands on TV

'World's Greatest?': Kiosk and digital signage company lands on TV

An Indiana-based kiosk and digital signage manufacturer is being featured on a TV show that claims to showcase "the world's greatest" things.

And while it would be hard to argue that added exposure for digital signage and self-service kiosks is a bad thing, slapping "the world's greatest" tag on any firm in the two industries is probably only asking for trouble.

Marion, Ind.-headquartered firm ZIVELO will be featured on "The World's Greatest!..." television show on the ION network after the show's producers selected it as "the greatest manufacturer of self-service kiosks and digital signage in the world."

Sounds a little like someone kicking a hornet's nest, doesn't it?

The show, now in its fourth season, features behind-the-scenes footage and interviews of some of the "most amazing and unique companies, products, people and travel destinations the world has to offer," according to the show's website.

ION is an upstart network usually found at the end of the station dial, best-known for reruns and the associated qubo channel for kids. The producers of "The World's Greatest!..." show are the How 2 Media Company in Delray Beach, Fla.

According to a release sent out by ZIVELO and the show,  ZIVELO is top-notch in the kiosk world, said Josh Kessler, the show's production manager.

"The ZIVELO brand stands out within the interactive kiosk and digital signage sector, very similar to how Apple stands out in the computer sector," he said. After doing extensive research within the kiosk market, that brand awareness, along with their unique trigger-based automation processes played a big role in our selection."

There might be some within the kiosk and digital signage sectors who would differ with that assessment, particularly the comparison to Apple. Is there any company in either sector that stands out like Apple?

Although, to be fair, there is a quote on ZIVELO's website that has an IT manager from Coca-Cola saying exactly that, calling the company "the Apple of the kiosk industry."

Longtime digital signage industry presence Dave Haynes, though, was one of the first to lash out at the perceived hubris of "the greatest manufacturer of self-service kiosks and digital signage in the world."

Here's what Haynes had to say on his Sixteen:Nine blog:

I find the best way to deal with the many knuckleheads out there who either have tenuous grips on reality or no shame is to just flat ignore them. It would be easy to post a dozen or more things a day if it didn't go through my b__s__/crazy filter.

But sometimes, you see something that just gets the eyes crossed and the head shaking, and it gets attention for the wrong reasons.

Haynes none-too-subtly suggests that ZIVELO might want to re-think its PR strategy.

But it could also be argued, of course, that even the most bombastic PR is good PR, and while both self-service kiosks and digital signage are fairly ubiquitous in this country already, it can't hurt to have them brought just a little more into the mainstream of public perception. Can it?

ZIVELO shut down its 250,000-square-foot manufacturing facilities for two days in August to allow film crews to capture its production processes as well as interviews with employees, ZIVELO CEO Ziver Birg and the mayor of Marion, Ind.

"We're very excited to have the honor of being featured on this show," Birg said. "We have focused much energy into our brand development to create a modern and minimalistic design. Combining this unique design with our automated CRM systems has allowed us to consistently deliver a quality product that is more affordable and shipped more quickly than any other product on the market. Turning this art into a science has been the main ingredient in our recipe for success."

ZIVELO has more than 50 resellers and distributors in the U.S., Canada, Europe, South Africa and Australia has been used by customers throughout multiple industries such as Coca-Cola, Nike, Verizon, Hilton, US Steel, CIA, FBI, Siemens, Boeing, MIT, NASA and the US Army. The design, engineering and manufacturing of its public terminal systems are located in the United States, allowing it to offer rapid turnaround of product delivery, Birg said.

The ZIVELO episode airs today at 7:30 p.m. EST on the Ion Network and will run again on Nov. 7 and 11.

Tune in and check it out, then let us know what you think.

Read more about manufacturers.

Do you agree with "The World's Greatest's" pick? If not, whom do you believe should get the title of the best kiosk and digital signage manufacturer? Leave your comments below.

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User Comments – Give us your opinion!
  • Steve Gladden
    The "best" kiosk is the one that best serves the customer. Yes, that may be obvious, bordering on cliche, but a kiosk is nothing more than a monitor built into a piece of metal (and touch - which I like of course). What about the interface, the hosting of the application, the connectivity, the metrics, and so on and so on...

    Any respectable company in the DS/Kiosk industry can build a Zivelo kiosk - so where does this greatness begin? If I may be so candid, it begins with ignorance and fragmentation. The collective "WE" have done such a poor job in educating the business world on this technology (opting rather to operate and make margins via confusion) that TV producers can be fooled to believe a "great" product exists, just because that producer has never seen, nor been educated, on such a product before.

    This reminds me of the post Roman Empire Dark Ages. A bunch of disparate tribes and rogue warriors running around pillaging for loot, fighting each other in the process, bringing little civil value while serving only their selfish needs. It may seem great to each of our "tribes" that we can sell our products at exorbitantly high prices and profits, but when the Age of Enlightenment arrives - who will be left out in the cold?

    Is Dave Haynes our Michelangelo? I'd vote for him!

    With Sincere Jest,

    -Steve Gladden - Horizon Display
  • James Mead
    Good Grief, that's just plain silly. There are companies out there that have been providing kiosk and what we now called digital signage systems for many years, and there are a select couple of dozen fine providers of the multiple parts that create one of these systems. There is no single "greatest" company in the market. I personally have been involved with this stuff since it was a panel array of buttons, hidden behind a mylar overlay that called up a chapter on a CD-ROM. I think the company that I used to work once upon a time thought they were the greatest. Guess what? They weren't. They were good, but not ultimately the greatest.
    What Steve says below is right on. Pretty much any high quality DS/kiosk provider can create a fine product, and it is about way more than simply an enclosure and a touch screen.
    Each project has its own unique functional requirements and there is generally a pretty obvious best system brand that matches up to those requirements.
    I would challenge that the team I work with (which includes mfgrs, fixture builders, software & hardware providers, content/programmer and our integration team) can come up with something equal or better almost every time by combining the talents of specialists providing their individual elements of a project. However, I would never say (or allow someone to say) that we are the "greatest" because that just isn't the case. We are one of a lot of great providers. If anyone out there would like an additional take on their project, by all means, get in touch.
    Jim Mead - Delta AV
  • Frank Yoder
    Gentlemen, gentlemen, gentlemen...
    Try not to let this marketing strategy get you so worked up.
    I saw a sign in the window of an eatery that touted that their establishment sold the best cup of coffee in the world. I believe I would have gained little by arguing the point with them.
    I understood that they are using a marketing strategy to draw customers. It is my belief that most modestly informed consumers in our society today will immediately recognize that whether a company’s product or service is truly the actual ‘BEST’ in the world is irrelevant. The fact that they are willing to advertise it means that they are striving for a darn good cup of coffee at the very least. I don’t know about you, but I'd be glad to have a really good product or service from a company that strives to be the best and isn’t afraid to announce their commitment to do so. They know, and I know, it’s a subjective statement so there’s no harm done.
    Incidentally, ZIVELO didn’t claim to be the best kiosk company in the world. They were simply asked to appear on the ION network television show entitled: "The World's Greatest!...". If the company that you or I work for was asked if they’d like to be showcased on the show, would any of us turn down the offer?
    By the way, I am an actual client of Zivelo as well as other Kiosk manufacturers and Zivelo is definitely a step above the rest; based on my experience. I’d even venture to say they make the best cup of coffee I’ve had in a long time.
    And apparently their marketing is pretty good too. Look at the buzz this article by Mr. Christopher Hall has created. Great marketing! Think about it; who would have read an article that was titled: “Another kiosk manufacturer gets to be showcased on some show somewhere.”
    … LOL … smart marketing indeed.

  • Judy Hoffman
    "World's Greatest?" Come on, get real. That's a little pretentious.
  • Steve Gladden
    Thanks for the perspective Frank. You are absolutely correct, but just to clear my name from any bad business karma, my frustration was more with ION, than Zivelo.

    I just get miffed every time a "modestly informed consumer" (or business) acts so compelled with relative commodities - and then make hyperbolic statements like "world's greatest" or "apple-esque."

    I'll stop whining now ;)
  • Digital Signage Company
    This company is far, far, far from the best. We wish to remain annonymous for business purposes, but let me describe our encounter with "the best" in the kiosk industry. Specs were provided, discussed, and agreed upon along with delivery date, etc. Not once, not twice, not three times, not even four times did they get our order right. In fact nothing was shipped to us months after the due date. Extremely poor communication on their part. And, when they did finally ship us something it wasn't at all correct to the specs discussed. I've never had such a terrible experience in this industry such as this. I would strongly NOT recommend Zivelo to anyone. Ever. I've never posted anything bad about any bad experience working with anyone before, but this one will be hard to top, so I felt obligated to warn others.
  • robert duran
    No doubt that kiosk has been widely used and is increasing in demand because of its flexibility which it can be used for various purposes. And now it has been more great becausekiosk manufacturers have improved the gadget and became more effective in businesses. You can choose design on whatever product or service that would fit also to the gadget.
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