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

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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.

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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

Dummies

Restaurants in Japan have always understood the value of dressing their windows attractively in order to entice prospective customers inside. Indeed, an entire industry has emerged based entirely on the manufacture of restaurant food models. They are effective because they are so mouthwateringly appealing – at least in appearance, when viewed through a glass window.

JapaneseFood

[Photo courtesy of Kenton]

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“It just works”

For many years Apple fans have pointed out to detractors that the reason they love their latest Apple product is simple – “It just works”. This is a phrase which Steve Jobs repeatedly used at product announcements and it has become a generic catch-phrase to describe anything which works in a manner which doesn’t require the user to know how it works.

Steve Jobs recognised that most of us aren’t interested in what’s under the bonnet – we’re more interested in what it does for us, rather than how those clever Cupertino people managed to make it work like magic.

It’s an easy message to spread virally, and it’s positive – people like that.ItJustWorks_2

But it’s just not good enough. You can’t say “It just works” and expect to leave it at that. Continue reading