by: David Armano

Click to Enlarge Here’s something to pin up on your cube or office wall Download 12_values.pdf .  The next time you work on a major marketing or interactive initiative—ask yourself this question: “is what I’m doing hitting at least some of the consumer values on this list”?  The 12 Consumer Values to Drive Technology-related Product and Service Innovations was created by the Washington, DC-based research and consulting firm Social Technologies

12_valuesMy rationale for putting this into wall-friendly visual is simple: I think agencies run the risk of infatuation with YouTube and the temptation to put all their eggs in one viral video basket.  And we have to be careful about not neglecting other areas of marketing innovation.

Take this recent story from AdAge:

“With not a penny of paid media and in less than a month, "Dove Evolution," a 75-second viral film created by Ogilvy & Mather, Toronto, for the Unilever brand has reaped more than 1.7 million views on YouTube and has gotten significant play on TV talk shows "Ellen" and "The View" as well as on "Entertainment Tonight." It's also brought the biggest-ever traffic spike to CampaignForRealBeauty.com, three times more than Dove's Super Bowl ad and resulting publicity last year, according to Alexa.com.”

Now in my opinion, that video was simply amazing.  A powerful, compelling story that draws you in and inspires you to share it with others.  But what about the experience it links you to?  Complete with E-cards and a message board, CampaignForRealBeauty.com is a respectable site—but could it be doing more when you apply the 12 values to it?

My point here is that the gi-normous success of YouTube may tempt the Ad industry to hyper-focus on viral videos as an inexpensive way to generate buzz (and ROI).  Nothing wrong with this at all—but we cannot forget that at the end of the day, a video is a passive experience.  It can make us laugh, cry and want to share it with others—we just can’t interact with or actively engage with a video.  In contrast, you CAN interact with YouTube itself.  Imagine if an agency had come up with that idea?

So on that note, here is the full list as conceived by Social Technologies.  It’s worth chewing on.

User creativity
Consumers increasingly want to create, augment, or influence design and content, and share these creations with their peers. Supporting user creativity will be increasingly important to consumer technology, and will become more mainstream in coming decades.

Personalization
Consumers will increasingly look for products and services that align with their specific personal needs and preferences—whether in the aesthetics of a product or in its functional design. More goods will be created to match individuals’ unique specifications.

Simplicity
Simplicity will have growing value for consumers confronted with information overload, time stress, and technological complexity. Simplicity’s influence is already evident in new, stripped-down devices that offer just a few functions, as well as in minimalist interfaces that conceal breathtaking complexity. The common denominator of all these efforts is that they are human-centered—and thus easy to learn and integrate into busy lives.

Assistance
As consumers are bombarded with more tasks, choices, and information, and as demographic changes such as aging reshape consumer markets, they are looking to assistive technologies for help. Consumers will seek to bolster and extend their natural abilities—with technologies ranging from pharmaceuticals that enhance mental performance to robot aides for the elderly.

Appropriateness
Products and services will need to embrace the principle of appropriateness to ensure that they are suitably designed for users with varying physical needs, resources, cultural characteristics, literacy levels, etc. Appropriateness will aid in the spread of technology products and services to new markets and to diverse user segments.

Convenience
Already well-established in mature markets, demand for convenience will rise as a technology value for consumers all over the world. Consumers will look for technological products and services that give them what they want and need on demand and that reduce effort and relieve time pressure.

Connectedness
Connectedness gives consumers what they want, when they want it, and will grow exponentially with the expanding global information infrastructure. Consumers will look for products and services that seamlessly integrate with this global network.

Efficiency
Efficiency is the ratio of output to input—or, put simply, the ability to do more with less. It will become more important to technology as consumers search for products and services that let them manage emerging resource uncertainties, rising costs, and other pressures.

Intelligence
Intelligence will be enabled by innovations that increasingly shift information and decision-making burdens from the user to the device or service. The demand for greater intelligence will come in response to factors including complexity, aging, and the desire for personalized experiences.

Protection
Protection will be sought by consumers in a world that feels increasingly insecure. Consumers will look for technology-enabled products and services that strengthen their sense of personal security and protect their families, homes, wealth, and privacy.

Health
Consumers will look to technological products and services to maintain and, increasingly, improve their health and wellness. The search for health-enabling solutions will extend beyond traditional health and medical products and services to include more of the things consumers use in their everyday lives, whether at home, work, or play.

Sustainability
Consumers will increasingly look for products and services that embrace sustainability—reducing the “human footprint” on the environment while maintaining quality of life. A variety of technologies offer ways to minimize resource use, waste, and pollution while improving human welfare.

Original article: http://darmano.typepad.com/logic_emotion/2006/11/12_consumer_val.html

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