Tag Archives: product design

When it comes to credit cards, it’s no longer just a choice between Visa, Mastercard or Amex. Consumers are now tasked with selecting the reward program they want partnered with their cards ( Air Miles, Scene, WestJet, etc.). While the reward programs may be a nice addition, if you’re like me, you aren’t concerned with reward programs and you certainly aren’t willing to pay a yearly fee in order to receive them. You just want a credit card with a low interest rate and no bells and whistles. And this is how Barclaycard Ring Mastercard was created.

Are you familiar with Itty Bitty Ballers? I think they’re hysterical. When I saw the tv commercial last month, I knew I had to have one! I immediately went to www.ittybittyballers.ca and – to my surprise, of the nine original figurines, six were sold out! But what is the story behind this viral internet success? GoDaddy, the world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to empowering small, independent business ventures, has just closed out their Itty Bitty Ballers campaign featuring Toronto Raptors center, “big man” Jonas Valančiūnas (JV). The campaign was focused around JV’s mythical business, www.ittybittyballers.ca.  The site displays his nine lifelike figurines that capture him in action poses, such as riding a Raptor, dabbing, and giving high fives.  GoDaddy positioned our 7’0 centre as spending his spare time creating these miniature works of art. This juxtaposition was amusing and intriguing enough to drive customers to want to adopt the itty bitty JV’s as their own. Two of the nine figurines sold out the day the campaign launched, and then once the campaign went viral on social media, the remainder sold out in less than 24 hours.  From the outset, the advertising campaign (seen both on tv and online) seems comical, but through their product promotion, the team at GoDaddy managed to virally promote the ease of their solutions while supporting a small local business… all through the power of one itty bitty baller.

When actor Chris Hemsworth is not on screen swinging Thor’s hammer, you can usually find him in the gym crushing a weight training workout with Luke Zocchi of Zoco Body Pro. Hemsworth uses Zocchi’s expertise to get in shape for major movie roles, but Zoco Body Pro’s target market is the regular joe. Having A-list clients was enough to attract viewers to the company’s social media, but they have stayed for the incredible content. Zoco body pro has used their social media presence to create a new avenue for a business that started as a personal training, and while they still do that, their new market is global. When training local clients, Luke prefers hands on training. Some people like to be yelled at, that old-school, drill sergeant approach, but I normally train alongside the people I work with and that’s how I like to do it. This strategy is excellent for customers lucky enough to live near Zoco Body Pro, but the company has made a move on social media that will also help potential customers that can’t travel to “The Iron Temple”. They have recently launched a program called Twenty40 training that allows anyone on Earth to try the same workout regimen that has produced world famous results. This is an online venture that provides customers with step by step instructions on how to sculpt their goal physique, as well as giving nutrition tips to help fuel the new body. Zoco Body Pro uses many aspects of social media effectively to run their organization, and this new program will help spread their fitness message world wide.

Rolling around on a skateboard is a right of passage for most children growing up in North America, many of them dreaming of becoming the next Tony Hawk, or Nyjah Huston. While many of these people will never attain these goals, they will still have a blast pushing around town on their boards. Skateboarding is a wonderful tool for transportation, but it has a few key limitations. The main problem is hills, and everyone who has ever stepped on a skateboard has a deep fear of the dreaded “speed wobble“. While going down a hill on a skateboard, you don’t have many options for braking and going up hills is also an issue, as it becomes a battle against gravity. Boosted Board is a company that was founded to improve some of the issues that have plagued skaters for years. Boosted Board is an electric skateboard controlled by a small handheld remote. You can adjust your speed and even brake! Skateboarders everywhere now have a solution to some of their problems. Boosted Boards has turned to social media to showcase their product to the skateboarders of the world and get everyone skateboarding again.

When Lululemon was founded in 1998, it was a yoga studio. As the business grew, it became a brand committed to selling the best yoga wear that the company could manufacture. Lululemon understood that their target market valued sustainability, and they designed their supply chain with that in mind. They strive to manufacture products that are free of cruelty, whether that be human or animal, and they try to keep environmental damage to a minimum. Social media has helped the company monitor the current values of their customers. They then update their practices to stay true to the beliefs of their core consumer base. This not only helps their supply chain stay committed to the company’s values, but also provides Lululemon with a chance to market its product.

Eight years ago, Brian’s Custom Sports occupied a vastly different space than the one they currently hold. A hockey goalie equipment manufacturer, Brian’s was known as a custom graphic company. They made high end equipment, but customers were drawn to the custom designs they could put on the pads, rather than the specifications of the gear itself. Brian’s changed the game in 2008 when they did something no other company was doing at the time, they created a Facebook page. The introduction of this page not only gave the company a massive new following, but also started them down the path of becoming the leader in technological innovation. Brian’s used there social media reach to innovate products for the high and low end markets.

“The Hip” Way Social Media Can Influence Small Biz Product Development

TammySabourin   October 17, 2016

If you were using social media for personal or business use in Canada during the summer of 2016, you will have no doubt heard at least something about The Tragically Hip.  The favoured Canadian band was touring in what likely would be their last, due to frontman Gord Downie’s onset of brain cancer.  Concerts sold out and media of all sorts took note of what was developing into a notable time in our country’s music and lifestyle history.  As the final concert came to pass in August – complete with the attendance and interaction of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – an influential social media phenomenon was occurring. Ensight Canada reported, “In addition to multiple trending topics throughout the weekend of the concert, social media posts about The Hip and (Gord) Downie’s First Nations comments generated roughly 20 million potential impressions across Canada over the past week. What’s really telling is that Canada has about 14 million daily Facebook users, so when we look at the impressions generated, we can conclude almost everyone in the country who used the internet or social media came in contact with the story in some way.”

DeWALT Inc. is a leading worldwide consumer power tool company, founded in 1924 and acquired by Stanley Black & Decker in 1960. Currently, DeWALT manufactures and sells more than 200 different power hand-tools and 800 accessories. (Wikipedia, 2016). When DeWALT became a customer of Canadian company Vision Critical Communications Inc., an online Insight Community was launched and it would forever change how they develop and design their products.  

Social front end product development is a concept that is gaining traction in the business world. Why? Because it yields off the charts results! Front-end product development involves using social media to gain valuable insights on what customers want. But, it’s not just about social listening, it’s about engaging clients directly in the creation and development of a product or service.

In the 1950’s and 60’s Evelyn Ryan, a mother of 10 kept her children fed by entering and winning contests for jingles and advertising slogans of 25 words or less. She submitted multiple entries, under various names, for contests by Dial, Lipton, Paper Mate and Kleenex. Evelyn’s story, The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio  has been told in both print, with a biography written by her daughter and on the silver screen, where she was portrayed by Julianne Moore. What Evelyn and these other companies didn’t realize is they were one of the first to introduce what we now call Crowdsourcing.

In the Healthcare industry the gap between the providers and receivers is narrowing.  Technological advancements in particular Social Media is the catalyst of this. Crowdsourcing in health care has become a popular trend these days despite the meticulous requirements for specialization, limitations surrounding privacy and strict governance.  It is an instrumental tool in finding patient care solutions and cost reductions that previously would not have been possible. Barbara Prainsack (Professor in Sociology and Politics of Bioscience Brunel University London / GB), delivers an excellent presentation at at TEDxSalzburg about how Crowdsourcing is becoming more prevalent in the Medical field.  She stresses the divide between the two sides: the medical experts and those receiving the care is no longer tenable.  Dr. Prainsack explains, this is as a result of the way in which we as society use technology to communicate, and the need for us to be advocates in our own health care. The age old adage “Two brains are better than one,” is literally meaningful in this context. The more brains, equals more ideas, equals greater chance to solve a problem or find a solution. Jeff Howe, author of “The Rise of Crowdsourcing”, pointed out that: “Crowds are more than wise – they are talented, creative, and stunningly productive.”[1] The application of Crowdsourcing is extremely applicable within the healthcare industry. Whether it be doctors around the world collaborating on a patience diagnoses, or patients helping companies design prosthetics, so that they are able to lead better lives.  I believe that crowdsourcing is intrinsic to our very nature. Although, we may or may not be professionals in the field it is the idea of making a difference, that is the real motivation for most people. One ingenious crowdsourcing initiative was the Columbia Design Challenge. Realizing the urgency to control the outbreak, the deans at Columbia Engineering and the Mailman School of Public Health sponsored a rapid-fire design challenge to confront the Ebola crisis. The idea behind the challenge was to not only come up with rapid low-cost, real-time solutions, from concept to deployment, but also engage the Columbia community—from all disciplines—to take action, collaborate, and have an impact on this critical global issue.[2] For more on this extraordinary contest please listen to Anna Maria Tremonti’s Interview called  “Competition for Solutions finds new ideas to contain Ebola through crowdsourcing truly ground-breaking.” – The Current : Feature series By Design (3rd November 2014)  Listen 27:30 Dwayne Spradlin CEO of Health Data Consortium… Read more »

Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding together leading a path to Success

Lisa Taylor   October 21, 2015

  Company Name: Outdoor Edutainment, LLC Industry: Educational Gaming Contacts: Kristin Peppel, Management, Design, Advocacy, Sales Web References: Official Appalacian Trail Game Site, New Appalachian Trail Game Receives Full Funding Through Kickstarter in 48 Hours!, Hike the Appalachian Trail in your living room with new game, Kickstarter Campaign, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Mark Hanf is a middle school teacher, an avid hiker… Read more »

Madison Electric Products – Turning the telescope for innovative product development

ASeymour   October 20, 2015

Industry: Electrical Contact: Rob Fisher, Vice President of Marketing, Madison Electric Products References: The Brand Establishment myMadison blog Twitter YouTube LinkedIn tED Magazine (The Electric Distributor Magazine) Brad Huff Post Simply Measured Blog The challenge What began as a rebranding exercise turned into one of the most successful new product innovation programs that has garnered more than 400 suggestions, 7… Read more »

Airbnb – The Social Housing Evolution

Siddiqi   October 20, 2015
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Title of Post: Airbnb – The Social Housing Evolution Organisation: Airbnb Industry: Hospitality (Powered by Good Design) Contact: Airbnb was contacted for comment through social media. At the time of publication, there was no response. Web References: Sharing Economy; eBay; Facebook; Airbnb; Marketplace.org Soundcloud; Cocreation Platforms; Uber; Lyft; Airbnb Verification; Symbol Creator; Data Mining; Nerd Blog; Meaning of Opening Source; Airbnb Open Source

Dell Takes Ideation and Product Innovation by “Storm” with Online Community

jvaishnav   October 19, 2015
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Organization name: Dell Inc. Industry: Computer hardware Name of contact: Michael Dell, Founder, Chairman & CEO Web references: Wikipedia, About IdeaStorm, Merriam-Webster Dictionary – crowdsourcing,  eWeek article – EMC Will Be Latest and Greatest of Dell’s Many Acquisitions, Business Computing World article – How to Make the Most Out of Crowdsourcing, FIR IndeaStorm Interview with Project Manager Cy Jervis, Video: Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding Explained About… Read more »

What are the “building blocks” for successful crowd sourcing?

Ken Lupton   October 19, 2015
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Organization Name: Lego Industry:  Toy Manufacturing CEO:  Jorgen Vig Knudstorp Web references:  LEGO IDEAS, YouTube, Lego , FaceBook, Twitter, About Lego The Lego Group based in Billund, Denmark is owned by the Kirk Kristionsen family and was founded in 1932.  Focused on the developing the creativity of children through learning and playing, it is one of the worlds largest manufacturer… Read more »

Texas Instruments’ E2E Community helps Facilitate Customer Innovations

kcress   October 19, 2015
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Organization Name:  Texas Instruments Industry:  Semiconductors Contact:  Mike Guillory, Worldwide Corporate Brand Communications, Texas Instruments Web Resources:Texas Instruments, E2E Community, Enterprise Social Collaboration Research Paper, Social Media Today, Vimeo, CMO Radio About Texas Instruments An” ingredient” brand within the world’s most recognized “host” brands such as Dell, Sony and Apple, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) is a B2B company with a diverse history.  Founded… Read more »

Quirky innovation company is too good to let fail

j2condon   October 19, 2015

Organization Name :  Quirky     Industry Name :  Crowd Sourced Innovation Company Founder & CEO : Ben Kaufman  ( no longer with company ) Web References :   london.edu,  nytimes.com, quirky.com, forbes.com, fortune.com   ” Innovation is the only insurance against irrelevance.  It is the only guarantee of long term customer loyalty and the only strategy to outperform a dismal economy. ”  … Read more »

SAP – How social media helps drive Product Innovation

pchatter   October 18, 2015

Organization Name:  SAP SE Industry:  Software Web References:  Company Website Twitter Facebook SAP SE is a leading global software company based out of Waldorf, Germany. SAP specializes in the field of enterprise software, which helps leading organizations around the world manage their business operations and customer relations. SAP operates in over 190 countries affecting over 293,500 customers. SAP has been on… Read more »

NASA’s Crowdsourcing Is Out Of This World.

David_Pearson   October 18, 2015
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Company: NASA Industry: Government Web References: NASA, NASA Solve, Twitter, Facebook   NASA in the 21st Century 2015 is a very big year for NASA.  Between missions to Mars, images from Pluto, landing probes on comets and seemingly daily breakthroughs in the search for extraterrestrial life – it is an exciting time to be a science and space exploration fan…. Read more »

Beta testing artists with NBC’s The Voice

ekastner   October 18, 2015
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Title of post: Beta testing artists with NBC’s The Voice Organization: NBC, Universal Music Group Industry: Entertainment CEO: Lucian Grainge Web references: Mashable, Shorty Awards, PTC Creo, Twitter, Carabiner Communications, Simply Measured Social media has expanded beyond the role it plays in people’s social lives – today, it plays an increasingly important role in the way people interact with the… Read more »

Business Bucket List: A Shiny New Intranet

Dianne McBride   October 5, 2015
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                                The Enticing Sheen of Intranet Continues to Fascinate Organization Name: Klick Health Industry: Digital Marketing, Health Services Web references:  Klick Health, Acordia Therapeutics Inc., Twitter With all the social media avenues open to companies today, one would think that Intranet would be essentially dead. And… Read more »

Altering the human experience through wearable technology

MGardiner   July 14, 2015

Organisation Name: Kovert Industry: Wearable Technology Name of contact if available: Kate Unsworth- Founder and CEO Web References: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Site Kovert and Wearable Technology: Wearable technology has become more and more popular in recent years. With the immersion of the Apple Watch and Google Glasses, it is apparent that this trend in technology is only on its way up…. Read more »

Oral-B and eYeKa: Creating something to really smile about

C. Laughren   June 19, 2015

    Organization: Oral-B Industry: Dental Health Care Web references: Oral-B, wikipedia, eYeka, YouTube, Peanut Labs, MaRS Once upon a time, product developers used blindfolded taste tests and home delivery (snail) mail campaigns to involve their customers. Those days have long passed into our collective nostalgia as trivia game questions. Today, we are truly on the cusp of formative changes… Read more »