Archive for June 18th, 2008

Today’s bit of Marketing, Customer Experience, Design & Product Development advice comes from the archives of Kathy Sierra‘s blog:

“Your job is to anticipate… To give them what they want and/or what they need just before they have to “ask” for it – to be surprising yet self-evident at the same time. If you are too far behind, or too far ahead of them, you create problems, but if you are right with them, leading them ever so slightly, the flow of events feels natural and exciting at the same time.”

Walter Murch

iPod wasn’t designed by users. It was designed for users. No… wait… it was designed to be loved by users.

If your job deals with customer experience design, (product, web, retail, customer service, touchpoint ideation, advertising, etc.) print either the sentence that came just before this paragraph or Walter Murch’s bit of wisdom, and pin it to your office wall. Either one can (and probably should) become your new mantra.

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I know you guys can help me put a name to the concept of usage/time commitment a consumer subconsciously assigns to a product at the time of purchase.

For example: A tube of toothpaste probably requires a 30-day commitment. When you buy that tube of toothpaste, you’re probably going to be committed to using it for a whole month – or until it runs out. Same with a stick of deodorant, a gallon jar of pickles, or a giant can of powdered Gatorade. As a consumer, I am conscious that once I buy this item, I will be stuck with it for a while… so I had better like it. This surely influences my decision to buy a product I won’t get tired of before it runs out.

On theĀ  opposite end of the spectrum, you have the products that require almost zero commitment, like a bag of chips, a gallon of gas, or a cup of Starbucks coffee, where screwing up by buying the wrong thing doesn’t really matter.

If I wanted to gauge the notion of that time commitment at the point of purchase across product categories and brands, what would I call it?

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