Creatures of Habit

Brands and marketers spend a lot of time and money with “new and exciting” initiatives based purely on trends that are influencing their consumers. But what they should be doing is improving their existing products and marketing efforts based on consumer habits.

As consumers, we are programmed to intuitively select the products and brands we need based on what looks familiar (e.g., the easiest decision to make). And as marketers, “the goal is to make consumers repeat their purchases by matching the value proposition to their needs.” Consumers don’t want to spend the mental energy when shopping (online or in-store for that matter), so why make them?

Branding, Design, Advertising, MarketingThe solution for brands lies within understanding the habits of their consumers, and evolving or improving upon them based on what their brains are programmed to be looking for. And unless consumers are absolutely screaming for a change, and the return is solid for your business, then making a dramatic change is no bueno.

Brands like Coke, Tropicana, GAP, and many more have undergone redesigns in some capacity over the years. Consumers didn’t demand it. They weren’t educated on the change, nor provided a real rationale. The result was backlash, and even a decline in sales, which pushed the brands to quickly go back to the original. A lot of time and money lost. However, sometimes it pays off (only if the demand is there), but often times it doesn’t.

There are more examples and insights we could share, but we simply don’t have the time, nor blog post space to do so. That said, we want to leave you with this very simple message: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And if you decide to fix it, make sure you do it in a way that doesn’t disrupt the habits of your consumers.

Interpretive Planning Meets Design

06-karl-lagerfeld-exhibitionInterpretive planning is used in museums, science centers and cultural centers today. “It is a a decision making process that blends management needs and resource considerations with visitor needs and desires to communicate a message to a targeted audience.”according to Wikipedia.

By extension “interpretive design” is a powerful cornerstone for branding.

Let’s take technology and museums. In technology, IBM’s Watson was, and is, being utilized to humanize technology for brands in the financial, automotive and pharma industry, among others… And the original IBM Watson Jeopardy campaign was a huge consumer and awards success.

At the Pitti Palace in Florence, Italy, a recent exhibit combined Karl Lagerfeld’s lifestyle portraits (‘Karl Lagerfeld’s Visions of Fashion’ pictured above) with rooms of classic art masterpieces. The outcome, an exhibit with a riveting interpretive design experience. I experienced it myself.

Interpretive design… a line of thinking, planning and actions to power the future of branding.

Canopy can help you build and maintain a custom interpretive design plan for your brand. One that impacts the various mediums utilized in your marketing campaign. Contact Marc Sampogna at marc@canopybrandgroup.com or 646 767 6576. 

Photo credit: Proj3ct Studio

Don’t Rain On My (Mobile) Parade

phonebrella

Nature vs. technology– this eternal struggle is best exemplified in the image of a city dweller trying to text under a barely-stable umbrella. Let’s face it, umbrellas were not designed to protect us from rain and allow us to text our friends. And after last weekend’s Hurricane Joaquin touched New York City, there’s never been a bigger need for an umbrella re-design. Enter Korean firm KT Design’s latest idea, the Phone-brella.

The Phone-brella is an umbrella designed to hook around the user’s arm, instead of having to grip it. The Phone-brella, aided by counterweights at its base, can then rest comfortably on the user’s shoulder as he or she texts. This simple design fix allows the owner to use his or her smartphone in a rainstorm.

Even though the Phone-brella can only be ordered from a Korean website right now, we’re hopeful that this smart design idea will make it’s way to the U.S., especially after winning the prestigious Red Dot Design award. Check out the video below to see the Phone-brella in action.

What Sparks Our Fire: Creative design giving technology a leg up on mother nature.

Algae Has a New Look

bloom

Algae may not be the sexiest organism, but it may be one of the most useful ones. While it is already being used as artful home decor, a company called Bloom Foam may have found another use for it: the flexible foam used to make yoga mats, sneakers, and even bath toys.

The product was conceived by Algix, an algae biomass harvesting company, and Effekt, a product and material design and development firm. Algix collects algae from fish farms, lakes, and wastewater facilities and processes it into foam

 

The advantages of using algae-based foam are numerous. They lower the carbon footprint by using natural ingredients, and also make use of algae found in waste streams, which can be bad for wildlife.

Additionally, because of its anti-microbial properties, algae has the potential to replace silver compounds (which can often harm human and environmental health) in anti-odor products, which could be useful in yoga mats and sneakers.

What Sparks Our Fire: Finding sustainable ways to breathe new life into old products.