Raw, big, meta, Lt Cmdr – whatever Data you’re into, the real value comes when we can turn it into information. So the trick is to know what to focus on and how to bring it to life. And if that can be done in a playful, interesting way…well, so much the better.
Using a mixture of insight, live experience and wit, ”Data Illustrator" Stefanie Posavec has done just that at Facebook’s Menlo Park campus as part of their Artist-in-Residence programme.
We are creating a special experience for friends of our agency and we’re recruiting creative people to help us.
We’re commissioning small-format 2D art that can be digitally printed. It might be collage, word art, poetry, photography, digital illustration—we’re not precious, and hopefully neither are you.
We need fast thinking and fast styles that are quick and easy to apply. We’re looking for artists in 3 locations:
London – 11-12 December
Sydney – 12-13 December
New York – 16-17 December
Please send a link to your online portfolio to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to include #happystudio2014 in the subject line. Include your daily rate in local currency; remember, we’re less well-heeled than our clients, so we’re looking for competitive rates. It will be fast, fun and friendly – for sure.
“Every product and feature innovation is a potential story whose impact on the marketplace is a function of the brand that carries it. Innovation is not just about R&D efforts or new product and feature development. Without brands that consumers trust, the story of any innovation is incomplete. In other words, brands are just as critical to innovation success as are new products.”—HBR Blog, Make Sure New Features Match Your Brand.
2. Under Armour's “experience store” in Shanghai is the ultimate hybrid of entertainment and shopping. Visitors are first introduced to the space with an immersive video featuring Olympic athletes’ stories. After the video, performance trainers (read: sales reps) guide guests through the store’s selection of apparel. CEO, Kevin Plank put it brilliantly, “we lead first with our story and bring the people into the best Under Armour experience possible before we ask them to try our merchandise.”
3.Intel’s pop-up stores: The B2B brand makes a brave leap onto the streets with the launch of its line of pop-up shops targeting consumers. The dynamic space will transform 3x daily and will allow visitors to test-drive Intel products and enjoy free coffee and movies. Maybe, I’m just a sucker for free coffee and movies, but chances are I’m not alone. This is a smart move for a brand in major need of an awareness boost.
Tesco, the giant UK-based retailer, are having a rough time at the moment. They’re the second largest retailer (by profit) in the world and earn £3 for every £10 spent in UK supermarkets, but profits are down…and this can mean a loss of focus.
And when things do go wrong and standards slip, as they apparently have at east London’s Haggerston branch (aka “The Very Worst Tesco”), customers can document and share that fail in excruciating detail.
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”—Antoine de Saint-Exupery on leadership, vision and the importance of selling the big idea.
Touch has a memory, said Keats. Well now it also has global reach, thanks to Tactilu, a prototype device from Poland’s panGenerator.
It’s a bracelet for remote tactile communication. Think Nike+ crossed with a hug. You and a loved one each wear a paired bracelet. When the other person strokes, taps or otherwise touches the strip on the bracelet, that touch is transmitted to the other bracelet and delivered via little moving parts.
But that’s not what has piqued the EFF’s interest. Also nestling in the small print was consent to track individuals and their location via their RFID name badges, for internal use (for now, though the “possibilities are limitless”, say organisers). Now no-one is suggesting that this was for shady purposes: NYCC have said their primary goal is to unlock “a whole new level of awesomeness” for visitors. But the EFF are allergic to this kind of mission creep, and accuse them of “tainting the geek space”. Location tracking, they say, could restrict people’s enjoyment and free movement at the event. There’s a certain anonymity at a conference: people might not check out some controversial work, or cheesy childhood favourite comics, if they think this will be beamed out live. Or a young LGBT attendee, yet to come out to their parents but interested in that aspect of comic art, might not appreciate that piece of their personality being shared, perhaps with the world.
This debate has some interesting parallels with what we do. It’s a firm Jack belief that the digital and real worlds combine to create fantastic enhancements, especially to visitor experiences: in tech-aided networking, content personalisation and more. And there are some key differences between the brand experiences we create and Comic-Cons (less manga and fewer cosplayers for starters). But if people want to channel their inner Ghost Dog and slink wordlessly through our experiences…well that’s fine, especially if the alternative means holding back and not getting the most from it.
So there are some key learnings here:
1) Visitor data is a piece of their life. Look after it.
2) If you do want to unlock new levels of awesomeness, ask first. Manage expectations, and flag up anything unusual. If it truly is cool, attendees will love to hear about it.
3) Let people take a non-digital path: offer incentives to participate, but don’t hobble the experience just because someone hasn’t given you the keys to their social media networks.
“Maybe 6 or 7 years ago you had the luxury of doing more brand advertising, but we don’t have that luxury anymore. If we’re going to spend money [on advertising] we have to drive traffic. We’re very retail oriented. We think like a brand, but act like a retailer.”—Mike Kappitt, CMO, Outback Steakhouse, in today’s Advertising Age.
Just to confirm that user-centered this (experience and process) and user-centered that (design and development) isn’t a figment of our collective marketing imaginations, a team of researchers released a content analysis of “hundreds of thousands” of American books that showed the number of uses of “I” or “me” increased 42% while instances of “we” declined 10%.
“People talking to people is still how the world’s standards change…. Simple ‘awareness’ isn’t going to solve anything. We need our sales force and our seven easy-to-remember messages. And in many places around the world the concerted, person-by-person effort of changing norms is under way.”—Atul Gawande, “Slow Ideas,” an article in the New Yorker (http://nyr.kr/14LPAbN) on why person-to-person influence still plays such a critical role in social innovation — even in the age of social media.