Forward-looking brands are creating digital products and services that give consumers something useful in exchange for their attention.
Why create a digital product or service instead of a campaign?
It’s the obvious question. Here’s the answer:
Your customers are not begging you to give them more marketing.
What people want is usefulness, fun, relevance – something they’ll choose to engage with. Physical products now exist as part of an ecosystem where they can offer more value or tell deeper stories via digital channels and devices. You can give consumers something useful in exchange for their attention. That’s what marketing is now about, even in so-called ‘low engagement’ or commodity categories.
As an example, let’s take one that could use some disruption: shaving.
I am a man. I wet shave at least 5 times a week. Here are some ideas for useful services you can give me in return for which I will upgrade my razor, buy blades more often or both. What’s not to love?
1. Save me from a bad shave
Save me from that regular week of bad shaves because I’ve forgotten to replace my razor blades and have to use that last one for too long. Give me an online service like Dollar Shave Club where I can schedule monthly home deliveries and incentivise me to upgrade to your latest system. Not only will I buy more often but I’ll actually thank you for it. Promote the service to me in my favourite men’s magazine alongside branded grooming content.
2. I’m travelling and forgot my razor
I’m travelling and forgot to pack a razor. Integrate with retail partners to show me the nearest stockist based on my location with a click and collect service. I’ve got to buy a new razor anyway so incentivise me to upgrade to the latest system. Partner with travel providers for attention and relevance.
3. Capture me in-store
Create point-of-sale which drives me to do product discovery on my phone and tell me about your latest shaving technology. You’ll be able to give me much more detailed product benefits than I could get on pack or with regular POS. I’ve given you my mobile number so you can also send me a text a with a promotion a couple of days later in case I don’t buy there and then. You don’t need an app or wifi to do this – you can use a proven touchpoint like SMS shortcodes to drive me to a 3G optimised web service.
You don’t need me to tell you that the benefit of all these approaches is that they give consumers something useful and persuasive, offer an immediate point of purchase and capture CRM data. Like I said, what’s not to love?
In part 2, we’ll have a look at how you can create digital products & services using rapid prototyping.
Joylab creates digital products and services for brands. We specialise in:
- Ideation workshops
- Collaboration with in-house teams
- Omnichannel strategy: online, mobile, in-store
- Rapid prototyping and live user-testing