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.

Get On Cloud 9

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 4.47.10 PMDo you sometimes wish you could fly? Well, Hong Kong-based designers David Koo and Zheng Yawei developed something close to sitting on cloud 9 with this astonishing concept design. Yes, a couch that floats in the air. The levitating couch uses a magnetic force from the bottom base to stay afloat. And is designed like a cloud for ultra comfort and relaxation. Sadly, this Cloud sofa remains a concept for now, but it looks like something anyone would try out for sure. And if this isn’t magical, we don’t know what is.

What Sparks Our Fire: Though only a concept, the Cloud may be the coolest idea and most aesthetically pleasing couch, ever.

What do you think of Cloud? Would you be willing to relax up in the air like the Mario Bros?

The Pen That Can Turn Your Drawing To Reality

Imagine if what you drew came to life? The 3Doodler pen by Wobble Works allows you to draw infinite variety of shapes and items in thin air or on surfaces. The pen works by releasing heated plastic, which quickly cools and solidifies into a strong steady structure. How cool is that?

All you need to do is charge the pen with the color pack of your choice then plug it into a power source to get started. Take a look of what amazing things you can create with the 3Doodle. 3Doodler also has a Pinterest page for inspiration.

6bd9c4b21565ef618416ddaac1125dbe_large

What Sparks Our Fire: A pen that can turn your favorite drawing into reality

What will you create?

Makeup Meet Your Match

make up genusEveryone is talking about wearable technology. In fact, Apple announced yesterday the release of its most anticipated product: the iWatch. But, in beauty land, L’Oreal is leading the conversation with augmented reality technology in its new app Makeup Genius, taking the way we look at beauty and cosmetic application to the next level.

The app took over 10 years to develop and uses an exclusive RT Track 64 facial-tracking-algorism to deliver the most precise facial recognition through a live mirror camera. It allows you to see what you really look like with certain shades of makeup on in real-time as you turn your face, change your facial expression and take various angles.

So, if you ever found yourself trapped in the makeup aisle at a drugstore for hours trying to figure out the perfect shade of lipstick, blush, eye shadow or eyeliner and end up covering every square inch of the back of your hand with different colors, you will love this app. Simply put, you can now test out the colors virtually and make your purchase without having to go to the store and make your hands look like a palette.

How it Works
1. Download the app (works on iPhone or iPad)
2. Take a selfie
3. Let the app scan your face
4. Apply virtual makeup (you can choose up to 300 color cosmetics plus it also works on all ethnicities and allows for 400 lighting situations)
5. Purchase your perfect match instantly

What Sparks Our Fire:  A free makeup app using the latest augmented reality technology to help save time in your search for the perfect makeup shade.

Have you tried Makeup Genius? Share your thoughts!