The Head Down Revolution

Woman on city street looking at smartphone

If you live in a major metro market, then you know what it’s like to walk down the street and see 90% of the people with their heads down buried in their phone. I was one of those people, until I found myself standing in the middle of the street in Manhattan writing a text and nearly getting hit by a taxi. From that point on, I made sure that I was always looking up. But I am definitely in the minority. And this post is not about the safety, or lack thereof, when it comes to texting. It’s about how marketers can capitalize on this Head Down Revolution.

According to Statista, the U.S. mobile phone penetration has reached 81%, representing 223 million consumers. And those consumers spend an average of 4.7 hours per day glued to their smartphones. More importantly, is the role that texting now plays in our everyday lives, especially when it comes to marketing. For an eye-opening example, texts have a 99% open rate compared to 20% for email*. Pretty amazing, huh? Now I imagine that smartphones are currently in the midst of fine tuning their hardware to introduce features that can block such correspondence. But who knows when that will come?

So until that day, marketers have a humongous opportunity to take advantage and focus their outbound efforts on the behaviors of the smartphone user. A behavior that is now second nature, and while receiving a text from a brand may seem like a nuisance at first, it is certainly less of one than an email. Also, if you’re sending info or content that isn’t selling, but more serving them something of value, then you’re more likely to be able to maintain that dialogue.

And isn’t a dialogue what we want? It opens the door, and leads to traffic. And when you have enough traffic, ultimately it will lead to transactions. It’s this approach to marketing, partnered with the aforementioned tactics, that can build the awareness and engagement you’re looking for.

Now how about a little “social experiment”: The next time you’re walking down the street, take note of how many people’s’ heads are down. It truly is a sight to see. Just think, those eyes could be engaged in your brands message. And if the message is “timed” to when your customer is in the market for a new product, it becomes relevant and timely — a very powerful combination.

*Credits: Jack Loechner — Editor of The Center for Media Research; SinglePoint; Statista

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.

An Object Of Desire: Elemoon

10636749_264615793729578_2573413548389599085_oWearable tech bracelets are often known to be rather bulky and downright ugly but not this time. Meet Elemoon, the jewelry that combines technology and style. Elemoon is a techy and pretty LED bracelet for the fashion conscious. Elemoon changes color to match your outfit, notifications, has step tracking (like fitbit), displays time and you can even use it to find your phone by swiping the bracelet when sync and it will make the phone emit a sound alert. You can also design individualized icons that light up when various contacts call or message you. For instance, set a heart when your boyfriend calls. Isn’t it fabulous. Inside Elemoon are an array of 75 brilliant LED lights that helps the accessory be colorful and stylish. In terms of battery usage, the magnetically charged device can last from one day to one week depending on user habits. We think the concept of Elemoon opens up the wearable market to a more fashionable crowd.  So, if you think Elemoon is something you could benefit from, visit the website now to pre-order to benefit from great deals.

What Sparks Our Fire: customizable jewelry that syncs with you

Would you consider bringing stylish technology to your wrist everywhere with Elemoon?

Unlock All Sort of Possibilities With Flic

Flic-Button-3

In one way or another we are all becoming smart phone addicts. But if you think about it, we use our devices for the same functions most of the time. For instance, we listen to music, text the same people, check our social media feed, and the list goes on and on. So, if you are just like everyone, then you are constantly doing the same thing on your phone. And maybe you wish there was something that could make it easier, like a button you could press instead getting your phone out for every little thing. Well, you’re in luck. Flic will be your new gadget to cherish and to pet. Especially if you appreciate a little ‘real-world’ interaction.

As far as smart gadgets go, Flic is about as simple as it gets. It’s a stylish magnetic button that communicates wirelessly with a smartphone to carry out certain favorite actions, such as launching GPS navigation, controlling lights, snoozing a phone alarm, playing music, controlling the camera’s shutter and even allowing hands-free texting. The button can also be programmed to access the controls of a smart home, with different ‘clicks’ (long hold, double-click, single click) activating certain functions. And you can have as many buttons as you wish. Check out the video below to get an idea of how this tiny device works.

What Sparks Our Fire: A simple and stylish wireless button that can change the way we live every day.

Are you ready to create a button for anything? If so, hurry and check out Flic’s Indiegogo to snatch great deals before they fade away.

Coffee As Unique As Your Handprint

Memory-by-Wenyao-Cai-Electrolux-Design-Lab-2012-finalistA small but important part of many people’s lives is the intimacy of having a barista who remembers who you are and more importantly how you have your coffee. Memory is a coffee maker that uses hand print recognition to act as your personal barista and make the right cup of coffee for the right person. Set it to your preference of weak, medium or strong coffee or even an espresso to a ristretto. When you’re ready for your perfect cup of coffee, Memory will scan your hand and get it right every time. The machine was designed by WenYao Cai from China, an Electrolux Design Lab 2012 finalist.

No matter how hard we wished it wasn’t, Memory is still in the concept phase and isn’t ready to be on the market just yet.

What Sparks Our Fire: An innovative gadget that allows you to get your perfect cup of coffee with a simple scan of the hand.

Do you wish Memory was out on the market? Let us know your thoughts.