Archive for the ‘Things Business should care about’ Category

When it comes to romance, experience is what really matters.

November 2, 2007

Start with the ideal experience people would like to have, and design everything around producing that desired experience! This is the message in a nutshell from Peter Merholz of Adaptive Path. Check out his UK presentation on Slideshare. Peter presents a very good explanation of this concept. (Plus to Futurelab for letting me know about this excellent presentation.) Watch his presentation and then think of all the money the travel industry spends on romantic vacations. How many of these push location, then features in the vacation package. How few of them really focus on what really matters, the romantic experience! Think of all the money spent on romantic vacations, romantic foods, romantic items that you have spent over your lifetime. How many of them really delivered or helped deliver the romantic experience you really desired? If you follow Peter’s presentation you can see how much better these could have been if the desired romantic experience was really understood and everything else was designed around producing this experience. Many times people try to take what may already exist and package it as ROMANTIC because it sells. I blogged a while back about how people do not buy products but purchase the ability to do something. For example, this Thanksgiving my wife and I will go shopping and buy a Turkey, Dressing, Cranberries, etc. We will not be purchasing these items as themselves. We will be purchasing the ability to have the Thanksgiving experience that we desire. You can look at your romantic experience the same way. The romantic vacation site, the package of dinners, sites, etc, the items you will take along really only have meaning when you think of the romantic experience that they will enable you to obtain. For when you really think about it, it does not matter if it is romance in the real world or romance in a virtual world, it will be the experience that you will remember.


If you want my loyalty, SHOW ME THE LOVE !!!

October 30, 2007


I define romance as how another person makes one feel about oneself. Can we say the same thing for companies who are trying to romance their way into our pocket books with customer loyalty programs? Customer Loyalty programs, either designed to bribe us or to make us feel special? I will skip the bribe part and look at a study by Colloquy that looked at preferential treatment in six customer segments.


Below are some figures from a 2007 Colloquy Demographic Loyalty Study.

The study looked at six groups below. For each group I have three numbers.

The first number is the percentage of people in that group who said that special treatment is “extremely important” to them. The second number is the percentage in that group who feel they receive preferential treatment in the customer loyalty programs they participate in. The third number is the gap between the people who want the preferential treatment and the people who believe they are receiving preferential treatment.


General Population            61.7              15.7            46.0%

Affluent buyers            61.7            24.0            37.7%

Young Adults               60.5            18.2            42.3%

Seniors             47.9     9.3       38.6%

Core Women               64.3            14.4            49.9%

Emerging Hispanic            73.3            17.0            56.3%


“This reports the number of U.S. adults that say they feel they receive preferential treatment in the programs they participate in and the % of US adults that say special treatment is “extremely important”.

Source: The 2007 COLLOQUY Demographic Loyalty Study”

 The message from Colloquy was The Wake-Up Call: “Show Me the Love!” Not much different than romance really, it is all about how does the relationship make me feel about myself. I want to be treated as if I am special, important, etc. From the study no group is really getting the emotional satisfaction they would really like. The ones that come the closest are the Affluent, which makes sense because they have money and money talks, and seniors because they have lower expectations to begin with. The rest are left asking for companies to “Show Me the Love”. It would seem that romantic relationships are not the emotional relationships that can be very one sided!

Will designers unlock the chemistry of romance?

October 24, 2007

Here is another take on the chemistry of romance. I am approaching the romantic picnic as an emotional experience. Location, food, accessories, etc. have emotional elements. I have also talked about research that shown different chemical changes related to romance. Do you realize that designers see dollar signs in your emotions? What science is increasingly showing is that the same places in the brain that register comfort and contentment also happen to light up when people are shown familiar products and brands.

Will romance be measured by chemicals like endorphins and Neuromarketing technologies like fMRI, EEG, and facial coding to gauge true emotional response? Is it possible that designers will use emotions and romance using these means to measure it? With companies going to 3D design and virtual environments such as Second Life it give one much to think about. Check out Futurelabs take on neuromarketing.

Is it easier to find romance in the land of beautiful people?

October 24, 2007

Is it easier to find romance in the land of beautiful people?


What if you could be your idea of perfection? Would all the phobias and hang-up you have about yourself go away? In a 3D world such as Second Life you can be almost anything you want to be. You can create an Avatar that can be your idea of perfection. That was a point that came up last Saturday during the discussion about Romantic Picnics. It would seem that people, who decide to represent themselves with a human avatar, tend to only select attractive avatars. You see very few ugly human avatars in Second Life. In fact you tend to find people spending money to have the most attractive avatars possible. One can dress in a variety clothing to make different fashion statements to the 3D world. Many people have a collection of bodies as well as clothing. They trade avatar bodies more than most people change clothes. So again, what impact does this have on the self esteem and image people in Second Life have about themselves? Are they more at ease because they are now one of the beautiful people? Are they attracted to others in Second Life because of the appearance of another’s avatar? Do they put aside their own phobias and hang-ups about themselves in real life? For once you have become one of the popular branded avatars you have become one of the beautiful people. I have stated before that people enter relationships not because of how they feel about the other person, but because of how the other person makes us feel about ourselves. Can representing ourselves to others using beautiful bodies make us feel better about ourselves. If so does this make romance easier to achieve in a virtual 3D world?


Let me know what you think, comment on this.

Is upgraded picnic food in your future?

October 12, 2007

Are upgraded cupcakes items for a “Romantic Picnic”? Springwise has identified as makers of gourmet cupcake kits made from the highest quality ingredients, including Callebaut cocoa and Nielsen-Massey vanilla.
”If customers are willing to spend top dollar for haute cupcake batter, enterprising food & beverage manufacturers should be asking what else could be upgraded with similar sophistication”. Expect to see more of your common picnic foods upgraded in the future.

Its all in the recipe

October 12, 2007

When someone goes to the store and purchases an item, are they really purchasing that item or what the item enables them to do? Well when shopping for food items for a Romantic Picnic what matters? Retailwire thinks it is the recipes. Many people have Family Favorites when it comes to food. These can be regional, cultural, family traditions, or simply personnel tastes. The key to these types of foods many times is the recipe! Each of these recipes contains Key ingredients. Some of these Key ingredients are must have. They require a certain brand based on tradition, flavor, etc. to make the recipe really work. Without these you don’t get the full experience.

This bonding to certain ingredients in a recipe can be further explained by a blog form Futurelab. In it they identify “four factors that can influence product attachment: self-expression (can I distinguish myself from others with the product?), group affiliation (does ownership of the product connect me to a group?), memories (related to the product) and pleasure (provided by the product).

  1. The first item certain foods can set one apart. Think of drinking Champaign, eating caviar, etc. Many gourmet foods can fall into this.
  2. The second can relate to many foods that link people to cultural, ethnic, social, and other groups. These recipes make us part of something.
  3. Memories, here is where the recipes for romantic picnics can really come to play. How about what you ate the first time you met. Or the lunch you had on the best day of your life.
  4. Pleasure – here I only need to say Chocolate.

 When creating a romantic picnic you are creating an overall experience. So don’t overlook the importance of that recipe and those ingredients.

Some insite into experiences and co-creativity.

October 10, 2007

This blog has a category call “Romantic Picnic Experiences”. Furturelab has an interesting take on going from Viral marketing to Shared value which sheds some light on this. They give some very good examples in their article “Beyond Viral: 3 ideas for Co-Creative Marketing”. For the Romantic Picnic there is now a wealth of shared experiences on the Internet. If you look at the examples that Furturelab gives you will see this co-creation of valuable content, and the means for this valuable content to be easily shared. In most cases people are sharing experiences, some good, some bad, but all important enough to them to take the time to put them on the Internet for others to share. This co-creativity is what makes Web 2.0 work.

Do eco-friendly products matter on a romantic picnic?

October 10, 2007

Will Eco-Friendliness Labels on products be required to select food for picnics and accessories to be used on picnics? Futurelab identified “French supermarket Casino intends to label its products according to their eco-friendliness.  The move follows an earlier announcement by Britain’s Tesco who will start tracking the CO2 footprint of its products.” For some people products that are not eco-friendly are products that have a negative image. Much like trying to sell a PETA person on a mink coat. Companies that are providing goods and services for a romantic picnic may wish to consider if eco-friendliness is a factor with the couples who will uses their goods or services on a romantic picnic. For eco-friendly couples out there, finding yourselves on a romantic picnic surrounded by eco-unfriendly product may KILL the romantic mood.

Something for companies and couples to think about.