Category Archives: Insight

Ruining The User Experience at The Last Mile

Even some of the best web services fail with the last mile. It took minutes for me to fulfill all the password requirements for this web service:

password

The whole process with the passwords is unsatisfying at best and downright painful at worst (like in the example stated below). The passwords in general are not safe and the whole idea of doing a random list of characters, numbers mixed with upper and lower case is quite outdated. It is more annoyance than something that truly improves your security.

If even Edward Snowden is advocating passphrases, I would recommend majority of web services to change their password policies to favor passphrases (e.g. icanuse4wordsbaby instead of tRes4$Ce). It would improve both security and user experience. And as a user you would also remember your passwords better.

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Show That You Care and Don´t Screw Up

If waiter repeats customer´s order, he is more likely to get a tip. Just by repeating order, 78% gave tip compared to 52% when waiter just confirmed the order. It is a simple thing, but how many waiters really do it?  It is also good rule to live by every time you are serving customers. You need empathy but you need to deliver as well.

Show that you care
People love their own words and decisions. Repeating the order confirms that you have done the right decision. Customers will experience sameness with the servers, like them more and will leave bigger tips.

Don´t screw up
When waiter repeats the order, there are higher likelihood that the order will be right. By doing something that showcases interest of your customer´s needs, you are also securing your own back.

It is win-win situation: you appreciate the customer and same time you minimize your probability of doing mistake. In Singapore context though, I don´t know what would be the result on tip when waiter repeats your order but is still able to mess it up.

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The Difference Between a Champion and a Mere Competitor

ashtoneaton

“He (Ashton Eaton) loves the limelight when it means seeing his name on record boards,” Metcalf said. “But he doesn’t like to beat other people. As a high-school boys’ coach, you can kind of get in the grill a bit and pump them up, say ‘Let’s get this guy.’ But Ashton never worked that way.”

Metcalf told him to think of the decathlon as a competition against the self—a common enough approach, but one that continues to come in handy for Eaton, who, at this point, is often competing against his own records.”

Mary Pilon: Can Ashton Easton Save Decathlon? (New Yorker)

 When you truly don´t care about others and don´t enjoy winning other people than yourself, you have reached the highest level of mastery.

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Caveman Cleaner and The Art of Standing Out in Gym Shower

There are no low-interest categories, there are just boring run-of-the mill products and more interesting ones.

Despite growth in male grooming sector, men´s beauty products remain still low-interest category. Guys generally could not give a less about what shampoo, body wash or other beauty product they use. Our main heuristics usually are what is cheap, available (hence we use our spouse´s products) and little smell has never hurt anyone, ay?

I bumped into this product in the shower of our gym and immediately caught my attention:
 cavemancleaner

Caveman Cleaner from Bad Labs is perfectly branded product in low-interest category for two particular reasons:

1. Value proposition is clear
I remember when 2-in-1 shampoos came out and you immediately started to wonder why you still need a separate shower gel? Shower is not about pampering yourself, it is a daily chore, you want it to be over quickly. Why would you not put toothpaste or maybe deodorant on that stuff as well? This is a hectic, fast world, there is no time for separate beauty products.

2. Branding is attention-grabbing and focused
Modern life is already too complicated and brands wants us to use different beauty products for different body parts. That just adds stress for modern man. We want to return back to time, when we were hunter-gatherers and did not need to worry about trimming our eyebrows. Our ancestors did only need water from rain, some leaves and charcoal and they seemed happy (until they became extinct). As paleo diet is becoming increasingly popular, why would not you go caveman on your grooming ritual as well?

Our gym shower has probably 20 different male grooming products, this is the only one I noticed and remember.  Saying that you work in low-interest category is not a reason to not be interesting. It is just easy excuse.

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Anatomy of An Insight: Blood

nobloodshouldholdusback

This Bodyform ad might be my favorite ad of the year.

Insight: It´s ok to draw some blood when you do sports.

Especially FMCG category is filled with fake images of shiny happy people who are so detached from reality that I wonder how the brand managers and agencies can live with themselves. Our audience is not stupid. Having blue liquid in sanitary pad commercials has been a running joke for as long I remember seeing advertisements.

Many of the brands might have been toying about showing actual blood in the ads; the idea is not that novel. What instead is novel, that Bodyform had the balls (or ovaries in this case) to actually do what none of the other brands had not dared to do before.

Because of popularity of Game of Thrones, Crossfit and MMA, our audience is accustomed to more rough and rugged imaginary. Many of the marketers have not realized this sense of aesthetics and that is why many of the ads nowadays look over-polished and just plain fake.

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Anatomy of An Insight: Cornetto Commitment Rings

cornettocommitmentrings

My wife and I seldom quarrel, but when I started to watch Orange is The New Black alone without her, there was a heated exchange. Therefore this is brilliant execution tapping into current life of target audience:

Insight: The biggest time commitment you make in this digital world is the 10+ hours you decide to invest to a TV series. You should want to share those moments with your loved ones, but quite often the temptation to be the first trumps the consideration for your other half.

I am not exactly sure whether Cornetto exactly the right brand to do this, but idea is rooted on a true insight.

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God´s Hand and The Art of Differentiation

On recent work trip to Tokyo, I stumbled upon these products in Don Quijote:

godshand

Guess which one I bought?

The role of marketing is to make the product/brand desirable. That is something that quite often is forgotten while marketers spend their efforts on creating the first ever “smart shoes” and other “innovation” projects. More often than not, brands should go back to the basics to make their products truly desirable:

Have memorable name: When I start working with the brand, I always try to find ways to differentiate. Other handgrips don´t even have name, but the hardest (70 kg) is called God´s hand. That already sets the tone that this product is not for the faint-hearted or the weak.

Catch the attention with striking visual: Other handgrips have normal people showing the product, the hardest of the handgrips has the gorilla. You should always separate your spearhead product from the others (with the name and the visuals).

Fulfill emotional not rational needs: Before entering the store I didn´t know I wanted handgrips. There is no rational reason for me to even improve my grip. Although I play basketball and do CrossFit, the grip has never been a concern for me. However, because I am vain guy (usually women don´t have this problem), I am sucker for things that tests your strength. After seeing this video, I had to immediately test one-finger dead lift. 70kg is totally arbitrary limit to handgrip because you don´t have baseline to compare. They could have named the 40kg product as the God´s hand and I would still be happy with the purchase. If you target people with competitive nature, there are no limits on how far they will go to win.

Double the price: You should try to get customers who want the best. God´s hand costs the double of the normal handgrip. I don´t know how much handgrips should cost but when I saw the product I just had to get it. The price didn´t play any role in buying the product. The initial price was something like 10 SGD, which is actually really cheap. They should have asked even more, I would have happily paid it.

I have been really happy with the product as well. I use it almost daily during my workday, especially if I am feeling pissed off about something (usually daily affair). The biggest enjoyment is when people visiting my desk try to grip the God´s hand and cannot. God´s hand is 10 SGD, but feeling stronger than your friends is priceless.

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Anatomy of An Insight: +46 771 793 336

swedish number

Insight: When thinking about travelling to other country, you don´t necessarily know how the people are like. What if you could talk to the people before you are booking your holiday? In the spirit of being the first country in the world to ban censorship Sweden enables you to have unfiltered conversations with swedes, just because they can.

That number above works, but it is regarded as international call so you might need to pay for the privilege. Thus far there have been already over 150k calls and callers from 182 countries. As a Finn, cannot say anything else but Swedes beat us again (luckily we were better in ice hockey this year).

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The Thin Line Between Serving or Screwing You Up

“The easier you make the refund process, the more refunds happen”
Morgan Hermand-Waiche (CEO, Adore Me)

You could sell almost anything with subscription model. The dilemma for the company is how difficult or easy you make it to opt-out. On the one hand you don´t want be regarded as a fraud by having too difficult billing scheme. On the other hand, you don´t want to make it too easy to get away from the program either.

“Any recurring billing scheme is problematic from a customer service standpoint unless you err on the side of the customer even when you may not be legally obligated to.”
-Sucharity Mulpuru (Forrester research)

The ugly truth of business is that majority of our loyalty is actually laziness. The best situation is that you truly love your subscription service and it gives a great diversity and value (e.g. Spotify, NetFlix, your gym and other entertainment services). Quite often your subscription is quite boring and if you could end your subscription right now with one-touch of button you would do it. But because there is no that button, you keep on going on because it is ok.

The perception of difficulty is sometimes more valuable than being truly difficult.

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Anatomy of An Insight: Kraft Macaroni & Cheese It´s Changed But It Hasn´t

macandcheese

“This is like the largest blind tasting ever”

Insight: Brand is all about perception. When you are changing the recipe of an iconic food item, you have to be careful. Expectations play important role on what we taste and how we experience it. Taste is shaped by our past experiences, our current mood, our expectations, and any number of incidental details.

“What we think is going into our mouth actually changes what we taste, down to the level of the taste buds themselves.”

Michael Norton, assistant professor of business administration in the marketing department of the Harvard Business School

So instead of doing big bang like New Coke and failing miserably, Mac & Cheese starts sneakily by just testing it out. Not surprisingly people didn´t notice any difference and generally having no artificial ingredients should be good thing. macandcheese2

I also recommend watching this longer story about the project and to visit the website.

Powerful, simple, big and real (not scam or some crappy innovation) campaigns are not that common nowadays, so this definitely deserves some praise.

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