Coors Light: not just a beer purchase
- Facebook apps, maps, "brew crews"
- MySpace pages, happy hour locations, photo uploads
- Personalized website, progress-tracking tools
- Support groups, on-call coaches
- Care for your pet online, play games, earn KinzCash, buy things for your pet
- Video: girl has her Webkinz dog give you a tour of its favorite rooms built in the Webkinz world
- Barbie's boosted this animal/virtual animal model
- "Special K Challenge"
- share weight loss frustrations and triumphs, customize meal plans, schedule telephone wake-up calls, read their "celebrity" blogger
- viNe mobile application
- combining GPS, camera and media player to let you leave photos, videos and songs tagged to physical locations
- others find your tagged stuff or you can share it directly with others
- Order Domino's pizza through the TiVo and track delivery time
- Still can't pay through TiVo, though
- "Social viewing rooms"
- Video conference and chat with friends, take polls and quizzes, throw virtual objects at the screen
- Mathieson tested social baseball game viewing with MLB.com
- Like Nike+, watch records data in real time
- Heart rate and calories burned
- Website to upload and analyze your routine, help choose new exercises, get training programs specific to your fitness level and goals, challenge your friends, find training partners
- Widgets for travel offers, packing to-do lists, weather comparisons, trip countdown
- All widgets customizable
- Old school! Set up Turkey Talk-Line for Thanksgiving food prep advice in 1981
- Updated to include website, blogs, mobile sites, live chats and SMS
- This Is Now dashboard widgets
- Things happening right now (cups of coffee being produced, 911 calls being made)
- Voice with witty banter and odd "now" facts ("It's currently now in all time zones")
- Buzz Meter showing what's hot online right now (Bieber Meter?)
The Rule has a few very strong examples, the best of which is Nike+, a full-scale, broad-array
service offering that ties into some of the world’s biggest brands (Nike, Apple, Facebook, etc).
The service is built right into the product.
Polar’s approach seems similar to Nike+, but less developed. This is not inherently bad; Polar’s data, the basis of its service add, is distinct from Nike’s and very specific to the individual (heart rate, for example). Interestingly, a recent update to Polar’s wearlink+ transmitter now allows it to link to the Nike+ products.
We lump Coors Light, Chantix and Special K roughly into the same category – community-
building attempts around product and lifestyle themes. The service is complementary to, but
separate from the product itself. The service element does not enhance the product or even
product experience directly, instead enhancing a broader lifestyle aspect of it. Coors Light is
obviously more fun and shallow than the other two. Chantix’s strength is in support and support
group offerings. The Special K Challenge is kin to a watered-down Weight Watchers; both
benefit from the fact that food product purchases are built into their programs. Where Nike+
and Polar products themselves generate data for enhanced service, the service aspect in the
Coors Light, Chantix and Special K are wholly separate web properties.
STA and Sprint are similar in that they give customers simple, fun software add-ons. They’re
of modest utility, but provide a layer of fun and personality beyond the initial product/service
offering. Nokia blends the STA/Sprint style with location-based tagging and tracking for a
more interactive experience, but the closed network (viNe) likely limits participation. With
Foursquare, Gowalla, Twitter, Flickr and others working in the same space with significantly
larger user bases, I don’t know where viNe is going.
We give Butterball huge points for an old school, event-based service add that is the Turkey
Talk-Line. Though they’ve expanded the concept into new channels, these updates are not
especially impressive. The senior VP’s quotes are classic “corporate speak,” with such cliché
offerings as: “we as a brand needed to evolve and provide expert holiday advice the way
consumers want it – online and on-the-go” and “provide helpful holiday information to Thanksgiving
cooks the way they consumer it – anytime, anywhere.” I agree they’re smart and necessary
updates, but they’re not remarkable.
CBS has formalized what’s already happening in Facebook and Twitter – real time reaction to
big broadcasts. Mathieson explicitly states that their social viewing rooms would be “much more
compelling if they integrated fan Twitter feeds.” I agree, but I like where CBS has been and
seems headed. I wonder what Google TV and Apple TV might bring to this kind of viewing
Finally, ordering pizza from the couch seems quintessentially American … in a bad way.
Do you strongly agree or disagree with any of our takes on the examples provided?
Did you think of any good product-as-service examples not mentioned in the chapter?
Would you be interested in using a CBS-style "social viewing room?" Why? With what kind(s) of programming?
Either through Google TV, Apple TV or some other yet-to-be-developed internet-based watch/talk/interact service ... will CBS's efforts be rendered obsolete, despite being visionary at the time?
What did you see, like, dislike or wonder about in Rule 7 that we missed?