Doing it differently

Every now and then, a new product is launched which stands out as being different from its competitors – not because it is doing something new, but because of the way it does it.

Alessi-juicer

Photo credit: http://www.alessi.com

The underlying drivers may be design as in the case of this iconic Alessi juicer, efficiency as in the case of Dyson, or necessity as exemplified by the Pompidou Centre. Continue reading

Delivering compelling value propositions with video

A good customer value proposition can work wonders for a new product. Indeed, the lack of one can break an otherwise great product. This post presents a selection of products which have successfully used short video clips to grab the viewer’s attention, each with a recognisable problem and clear explanation of how the product solves the problem.

Video can clearly communicate value propositions. And with such content becoming increasingly easy to create and distribute, we will see more of them being used in this way.

VideosInValueProps
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Augmented reality delivers consumer wow

New technology brings new features, surprises and delight – almost daily. As expectations ratchet up with every passing month it becomes ever harder to impress consumers. From time to time a great new service or product grabs the attention of key influencers, the wind blows in the right direction, all the stars line up perfectly and the whole thing takes off. More often than not though, it doesn’t work out like that and great products fail to reach critical mass.

Augmented reality app Blippar recently caught my eye with its “Talking pack” label. It is a great app, with tremendous potential for consumers, brands, retailers, merchandisers and advertisers. They have already launched more than 750 campaigns for many big name brands, with more than 3 million users.

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Marketing smartphones is becoming tougher

Coordinating a marketing campaign (in-store, TV, print, OOH) is a hugely complex and costly task for mobile network operators and manufacturers – particularly when it needs to match the availability of new product. And addressing a rapidly saturating smartphone market presents a major challenge – consumers are becoming entrenched in an increasingly polarised market.

Consumers have good reasons not to change phones, but at the same time it is this churn which drives innovation forwards, so it is important to convince them to change. And for mobile network operators, traffic generates revenue so it is important to attract new consumers for them too. Perhaps these operators hold the key to the next battleground in the smartphone war? Maybe we’ll start to see more and more incentives for switching operators.

1200-nokia_lumia_1020_color_range_small

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When the packaging is part of the product itself

What happens when the packaging is part of the product itself?

Packaging performs different tasks:

  • Presentation (keep forever) – expensive watch; jewellery
  • Protective (discard immediately) – computer; bicycle; shoes
  • Functioning (continuous use) – cling film; washing detergent

Each of these types has different requirements. Each creates a particular set of user expectations.

RolexCase

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Requirements definition – something’s missing from online and embedded dictionaries

Online and embedded dictionaries fail to deliver the same features as their printed predecessors. They’re brilliant at quickly providing a definition, but that’s all they do.

In defining the original requirements for these dictionaries, it seems likely that only those features directly relating to the specific application were implemented (ie providing a definition for a selected word). Printed dictionaries do more than that though:

  • Printed dictionaries provide definitions of alphabetically adjacent words.
  • Printed dictionaries lend themselves to browsing.
  • Printed dictionaries reinforce the alphabet sequence.

Where online and embedded dictionaries clearly succeed is with their near-instant response times which cannot be matched by their printed versions. Their portability cannot be ignored either. Other enhancing features such as example uses and integration with online thesauri suggest that these dictionaries are here to stay.

Dictionary Continue reading

Customising physical products – how far to go with smartphones?

Is “being different” becoming a new differentiator itself?  As websites deliver an increasingly personal experience, can we expect more from physical products? Will the arrival of the Moto X raise the bar in terms of what can be achieved in consumer-customisation, or is it merely a short-term profile-raiser? Will the manufacturers of monolithic plastic slab phones continue to concentrate on black and white, leaving third parties to provide colour through after-market covers? And why can’t phones be designed to survive the real world?Umbrellas Continue reading