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    • 06/14/16
    • Consumer Goods
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    Living together: What happens when you invite a product home

     

     

     

    The difference between buying a product and then actually living with it is a bit like choosing a flatmate. Your first choice might automatically be the person you have most fun with: the one who makes you laugh and who’s always up for an adventure. But is that always the right decision?

    When it comes to co-existing seven days a week, wouldn’t you be better off with somebody a little quieter – someone who’s happy to share the chores and understands the occasional need for a night in front of the TV?

    Similarly, do you want to live with the product whose packaging is designed for one thing only – to silently shout at you from a crowded supermarket shelf, ‘buy me, buy me, take me home’?

    From salesman to companion: A product’s transformation

    The reality is that packaging only operates as the ‘silent salesman’ it’s designed to be for 1% of your relationship. Then it morphs into the ‘silent companion’ you have to live with.

    The toothpaste you see every morning and evening. The shampoo in your shower, sharing intimate moments with you. The coffee in your cupboard.

    These and countless other touchpoints have at least as much influence on brand equity and esteem as the few seconds we tend to spend with a product in an aisle. Far more, in all probability, as they are there to share the minutiae of our lives (often in ways that you wouldn’t dream of sharing with your flatmate…).

    The first moment of truth: A dangerous obsession?

    The reality is, however, that many marketers remain obsessed with that fleeting but still vitally important first moment of truth (FMOT). As a result, they remain oblivious to packaging’s potential for enriching and deepening the brand-relationship, and enhancing the value that people get out of the product.

    Thought and investment: Adding brand personality

    It’s an occasion to savor when we do see products that clearly have benefited from some proper thought and investment. Package shapes that amuse – think children’s drink cartons that waddle like penguins.

     

    Packaging designed by Mats Ottdal. See more innovative package designs.

    Even bar codes can add to the brand personality – a notable example we’ve seen is a panda’s head peering out from behind a bar code ‘fence’. In another, a couple of stickmen are helping each other up a barcode ‘cliff’.

    Very clever stuff.  It takes quite a lot to make me want to share a barcode with a friend, but both of these did. In doing so, not only has the brand reached a new customer but the experience they had was one endorsed with a personal touch.

    Not stuck on the shelf: Differentiation from competitors

    These examples represent part of a genuinely new and powerful way of looking at packaging beyond the in-store shelf. Packaging that creates and supports a consistent, potent user experience that does everything good brand communication can ever do. It properly conveys positioning and personality. It builds good will. And it creates clear and meaningful differentiation from its competitors.

    Much like the perfect flatmate, it might even understand if you just want to watch TV. But don’t expect it to help with the washing up.

    Bill Rodi is the Vice President of Consulting at GfK. Please email bill.rodi@gfk.com to share your thoughts.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Interested to find out more about packaging?

    Join our webinar ‘Embracing the future of packaging’ on the 23rd June at 10.30am (GMT).

     

     

    Register Now

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • GfK Awards Annual NextGen Prize to Undergraduates Studying Millennials, Mobile Apps, and Quick-Serve Restaurants
    • 06/09/16
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • Point of Sales Analytics
    • User Experience (UX)
    • United States
    • English

    GfK Awards Annual NextGen Prize to Undergraduates Studying Millennials, Mobile Apps, and Quick-Serve Restaurants

    A team of four students from Aurora University has won GfK’s fifth annual Next Generation (“NextGen”) Competition, which gives undergraduates firsthand experience in designing and executing market research projects.

  • GfK Awards Annual NextGen Prize to Undergraduates Studying Millennials, Mobile Apps, and Quick-Serve Restaurants
    • 06/09/16
    • Press
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • Point of Sales Analytics
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    GfK Awards Annual NextGen Prize to Undergraduates Studying Millennials, Mobile Apps, and Quick-Serve Restaurants

    A team of four students from Aurora University has won GfK’s fifth annual Next Generation (“NextGen”) Competition, which gives undergraduates firsthand experience in designing and executing market research projects.

  • Creating user-friendly instructions for a new medical device
    • 06/08/16
    • Health
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    Creating user-friendly instructions for a new medical device

    We designed new autoinjector pen instructions that made the device easier for patients to use.

  • Creating user-friendly instructions for a new medical device
    • 06/08/16
    • Health
    • User Experience (UX)
    • United Kingdom
    • English

    Creating user-friendly instructions for a new medical device

    We designed new autoinjector pen instructions that made the device easier for patients to use.

  • Creating user-friendly instructions for a new medical device
    • 06/08/16
    • Health
    • User Experience (UX)
    • United States
    • English

    Creating user-friendly instructions for a new medical device

    We designed new autoinjector pen instructions that made the device easier for patients to use.

  • GfK’s Schumacher leads workshop on user experience in digital health
    • 05/26/16
    • User Experience (UX)
    • United States
    • English

    GfK’s Schumacher leads workshop on user experience in digital health

    Robert Schumacher, PhD, Executive Vice President of User Experience (UX) at GfK, will explore why UX is so critical in the evolving field of digital health at Czech Technical University in Prague. This half-day workshop, hosted by their Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) program, will showcase real-world examples of how poor usability impacts patients and providers and can result in huge productivity losses.

  • What pain points are holding back innovation and growth?
    • 05/19/16
    • Health
    • User Experience (UX)
    • United States
    • English

    What pain points are holding back innovation and growth?

    The health market continues to evolve beyond “product” to a “product +” mindset. Delivering a “product +” that goes beyond efficacy and enables an exceptional experience requires an innovation strategy with user experience at its core.  Great innovations can fail if the idea for the innovation itself is not coupled with a plan to ensure that the implementation of that idea keeps the end user experience central to the development effort. Executing to such a plan builds strong innovation pipelines and helps avoid pain points at launch.  So, how do you design a “+” innovation strategy?

  • At PBIRG AGM Session, GfK Will Focus on Designing Smarter Products, Services for Aging Populations
    • 05/12/16
    • Health
    • Health Technology
    • User Experience (UX)
    • United States
    • English

    At PBIRG AGM Session, GfK Will Focus on Designing Smarter Products, Services for Aging Populations

    GfK will play a major role at this year’s PBIRG Annual General Meeting (AGM), with Justin Edge (Global Head, Health) co-chairing the event and Korey Johnson (SVP, User Experience) sharing insights on designing products and services for aging populations. 

  • GfK to Present in 14 Sessions at 2016 AAPOR Conference
    • 05/11/16
    • Technology
    • Digital Market Intelligence
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • User Experience (UX)
    • United States
    • English

    GfK to Present in 14 Sessions at 2016 AAPOR Conference

    At this week’s 2016 American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Conference, GfK will have 14 speaking slots and poster presentations, on topics ranging from online election polling to mobile surveys. 

  • A compelling answer to the challenge of distracted driving
    • 04/27/16
    • Technology
    • Automotive
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    A compelling answer to the challenge of distracted driving

    One of our clients in the emerging connected vehicle space sponsored research to understand the impact of new technology that incorporates precisely- and logically-placed audio cues on the driver experience.

    • 04/26/16
    • Technology
    • Automotive
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    4 considerations for innovating the automotive industry

    I recently chaired the World Autonomous Vehicle Summit in Stuttgart, Germany where speakers and attendees peered into their crystal ball to understand what the future holds for the automotive industry. How do manufacturers innovate to embrace the future? What does ‘innovation’ really mean in terms of success? What impact will autonomous driving have on the industry? I reflected on these questions as applied to recent technological announcements and published research. Several themes emerged from these which resulted in four considerations for those innovating the next auto frontier.

    1. Educate consumers about the benefits of your in-vehicle innovation

    Data from our Automotive Technology Insights Report, The future is here…can you see it?, found that consumers are factoring in-vehicle technology as a purchase decision attribute. Moreover, the research revealed that new car intenders would be willing to pay more for new car innovation, such as emergency braking, self-parking control and pre-incident preparation (e.g., automatic seat belt tightening).

    On the downside, awareness of what the new vehicle features actually do is quite low. An example of a perceived benefit versus reality was highlighted when the study revealed 65% of respondents did not find autonomous driving appealing if it cannot be used after drinking alcohol. This suggests the need to educate consumers about the benefits and not just list the features as bullet points.

    2. Innovate with a solid user experience (UX) framework

    It should be no surprise to anyone that we are at the cusp of great changes in the auto industry. Just a few years ago, the introduction of new vehicle innovations used to be dependent upon the chassis of the car and with the traditional seven to eight year lifecycle, innovation took time. Today’s chassis is more akin to a computer where the product development lifecycle is flexible and fast.

    The challenge for manufacturers with this faster lifecycle is to ensure the technology features will work and leapfrog them over competitors. Involving users throughout the development process will result in technology that meets user needs, in a way that they expect it to work and where they want to use it. Stand out from competitors by delivering a great user experience.

    3. Consider global attitudinal differences regarding autonomous driving acceptance

    Another area the study revealed was the variable acceptance of autonomous-driving vehicles across countries. There was a strong emotional anxiety and fear associated with autonomous driving in the U.S., U.K. and Germany. I argue it’s because we like to drive our cars! Surprisingly, Brazil and China were open to autonomous-driving vehicles.

    These differences highlight the need to address attitudes when launching products into markets. In this case, manufacturers should address the fear and anxiety in the U.S., U.K. and German markets. But in Brazil and China, perhaps call out the ride-sharing benefits.

    4. Design the car of the future as a service, not a product

    An interesting result from our Future of Auto study was around market segmentation. The six segments of car buyers were:

     

    • Safe & Worry Free – Oldest of the segments, this group has below average use of in-vehicle technologies. Typically, they seek inexpensive, easy to use features that will make driving safer.
    • Keep Me Young – This segment enjoys driving and taking care of their vehicle. On average, they seek technologies that enhance the driving experience and performance of their vehicle.
    • Savvy Enthusiasts – This segment enjoys technology and the driving experience. Seek automotive technology that entertains driver and passenger and allows them to connect everyday technologies to their vehicle.
    • From A to B – Importance is placed on practical vehicle features so driving is a safer, more reliable way to get from place to place.
    • Livin’ & Lovin’ Cars – Youngest of the segments, this group highly enjoys both technology and vehicles. Their vehicle reflects who they are, while having entertainment and convenience items close at hand.
    • Young Ambivalent – View their vehicle as an appliance rather than a means freedom or enjoyment, and seek technology that streamlines their devices from home to vehicle.

     

    Of the six segments, the two that bubbled up for me were Young Ambivalent and Living and Loving Cars.

    The Young Ambivalent segment is the one that should scare the auto industry. These are consumers who don’t care. While the data only revealed this was 19% of the market (relatively low), when we looked deeper, two thirds of Millennials made up this segment. That is almost an entire generation who are ambivalent to car ownership. And, I don’t have to look too far to understand this – I remember how long it took my son to get his driver’s license.

    I am in the Living and Loving Cars segment. I don’t want someone driving my car for me or carpooling. When I asked the conference audience, who were largely from Germany, their feelings about carpooling and car sharing were very negative. People, like me, could not fathom letting someone else drive, eat and smoke in their car.

    But I started to rethink how car sharing and autonomous driving would impact how I looked at car ownership. If the car is autonomous, it becomes a service not a product. It is clearer to me that autonomous driving is changing car ownership to a service.

    And I’m not the only one thinking this. In June 2015, Deutsche Bank downgraded Progressive because they see this change. “We believe the concurrent rise of instant ridesharing and autonomous vehicles presents real questions as to whether there will even be an auto insurance industry as we know it in twenty years…Vehicle utilization will rise and cars on the road will decline as one car can serve the driving needs of multiple travelers per day, which, in-turn, means fewer cars,” said their analysts.

    Let’s focus our energy on getting it right for the user

    With this looming shift in the auto industry, I’m reminded of a quote from Bill Gates: “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.” (The Road Ahead, 1996). While everyone continues to speculate how autonomous driving will impact the future, let’s focus our energy on getting it right for the user.

    Please share your thoughts in the comments below or email me at gavin.lew@gfk.com (Executive Vice President, User Experience at GfK).

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