Archive for the ‘technology marketing’ Category
My wife received an order of flowers today (from a friend, not me, which is another story). I took the box in her absence, and began the extraction process. My immediate impression: The company (ProFlowers) has put an immense amount of thought into innovating packaging that successfully delivers flowers to their customers that look as if they had been cut from the garden outside.
This is a laudable goal, as it significantly improves the customer experience.
Product Packaging as Art Form
Let’s examine what they created to deliver our excellent experience:
A. The box within the box: clearly designed to keep the heavy vase from moving. Plus, because the vase was secure, it could serve as a shield for the flowers rather than serving as a counterweight at the other end.
B. The flower wrapping: A hard plastic sleeve around the flower buds, and a separate wrapping around that.
C. Stem protection: A water-soaked foam plug to surround and keep moist the stem ends.
D. Special blossom wraps: These protected individual blossom petals that naturally radiated at 90% from the stem, keeping them from being crushed.
E. Instructions and plant food: ProFlowers does not assume that recipients know what to do with cut flowers!
I assume ProFlowers competitors go to similar lengths to deliver flowers freshly, but I got these today, so they get this tip of the cap from me for packaging well done!
What packaging designs have impressed you lately? Do you even notice the care with which packaging designer/engineers create what houses and protects the products you buy?
Progress had done in kodachrome, that wonderful, rich photography film that has brought such rich National Geographic-style images to us over the years.
See this “obituary” in the New York times. Digital technology has done it in, even as it has not yet completely replicated its quality. Aficionados the world over are bemoaning its loss.
Paul Simon was singing more about having a rich life full of colorful experiences, but his song lyric “Mama don’t take my kodachrome away” resonates nonetheless. A bit of Baby Boomer youth has passed away!
Back in the 50’s, any guy who wanted to be a “guy” worked on his car. Open the hood of one of those old jalopies and there was the engine block, with plenty of space around it to reach parts and tinker. Not so today, and the advent of hybrids has made car engines so complex that most Americans can no longer relate:
A recent poll by Mercedes-Benz revealed that “Americans are confused about the differences between hybrid, electric, plug-in hybrid, and alternative fuels of various kinds.”
This limits adoption, because these cars cost more than gas-powered vehicles and have different maintenance needs (often less, but that is still “different”.)
Here is what a consumer needs to say for you to know your green-focused product or service is going to be a hit:
“You mean this is the same price as that, and “green” too? I’ll do it, even if I am not sure how it works.” Clorox has done this very well with its Green Works product line, for instance.
As soon as you place a premium price on “green,” you will have to explain why, and suddenly you are having a complex conversation with the consumer that most will not sit through. In sum: A hybrid costs more, drives differently and is different to care for. Yikes. Too much change!
On the other hand, there are ways to tie hybrids to traditional cars memorably: Remember when Al Gore’s son got caught going 100 mph in a Prius? Here was the collective reaction from American society: “Ohhh, a Prius can go 100 mph? It’s not as different as I thought.”
Make “green” easy, and you will make money. Car companies have not yet found the magic formula to do that with hybrids.