Friday, 12 February 2010

Relevant, Differentiated, Believable

To be interested in a product or service (or even other activites, like voting etc etc), you need to think and feel that it's:
- Relevant
- Differentiated
- Believable

Perfume ads etc get round the last one of these by showing you some imagery that's relevant to your needs and reasonably different. Then they short-circuit the believability by just making an association. They never say the product will make you beautiful/rich/attractive, they just show the imagery and then flash up the product and create a unconscious association between the two.

So why doesn't everyone do this? Why aren't all ads just full of writhing beauties, beaches and puppies? Because in order to create the sub-conscious link, the viewer has to be in a light trance. That's quite hard to do, and takes a while.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Co-Creation diagram

Nothing new theoretically, but a very nicely done diagram from:

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Augmented Reality Interfaces

At the moment everyone's talking about augmented reality (see as a visual overlay on the real world. But I don't believe we're anywhere near permanently wearing glasses and contact lenses that constantly beam info to us (and yes, I have seen Avatar's revenue figures).

I agree augmented reality will be a big deal, but we'll have to get more information through other senses. We've been training for years to quickly take in tiny visual cues from our electronics. How good can we get with other senses?

How about:
  • Wearing a tiny earpiece all the time. Seen how fast a 13-year old texts? How fast could next gen teens learn to take in audio? What's the optimum mix between voice and other audio alerts?
  • All types of vibration - I can feel the difference between my phone ringing and getting a text. How more things could I differentiate between?
  • Other kinaesthetics - How about a device that warms slightly when I pass a particularly good restaurant??
  • Smells and tastes - maybe one day? Aside from any other limitations, generating smells and tastes from an electronic device can't be that easy technically.
Obviously once we've got an initial audio or kinestetic alert we can pull out a screen to look at.

Stew Leonard and the Perfect Eggnog

Stew Leonard credits his ultimate success to a change in attitude he made shortly after his first store opened.

He was standing at the store’s entrance when a customer came up and said in an angry voice, “This eggnog is sour.” Stew took the half-gallon container, opened it, and took a taste. He then looked the customer in the eye and said, “You’re wrong; it’s perfect.” And to prove that he was right, he added, “We sold over three hundred half-gallons of eggnog this week, and you’re the only one who complained.” The angry customer demanded her money back and said, “I’m never coming back to this store again!”

That evening, Stew reflected on the incident and came to the conclusion that he had made two huge mistakes. First, he had not listened to the customer, and second, he had humiliated her by saying that three hundred other customers had not complained. He decided that the success of his small store would depend on good customer service that would generate repeat business.

He decided to adopt two basic store policies, which have been chiseled into a three-ton rock next to the front door of the store:


Source: Leonard, S. (1988, June 27). Love your customer. Newsweek quoted in L. Ukens, 101 Ways to Improve Customer Service (full PDF of the book currently available here)