This is the first of three or four posts about Rule #7.
In Rule 7, Mathieson moves us from rethinking the way we market the product to rethinking the product itself. The line between product and product marketing blurs when we’re able to add value, service and experience to what before was simply the “product.”
The big example provided near the top of the Rule write-up is Nike+. In the past, you’d simply choose a pair of Nike running shoes at a retail outlet, pay for them, take them home, then put ‘em on sometimes and run. Now, the same purchase provides a rich, technology-enabled experience.
Your shoes interact with your iPod and your laptop. They provide statistics and feedback. They connect you to other runners and new routes. They feed updates to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. The product is the shoe, as well as all these integrated services.
Several new Nike+ services are in development, including performance comparison to similar runners, monitoring of shoe wear, recommendations on technique, GPS location awareness (elevation gain, speed, heading, calories burned).
Rule 7 is really this simple: the product itself is just the start. Find ways to add valuable utility. In this way, products can become “the new services.”
“Technology is something that is invented. If it’s any good, you use it. If it’s insanely great, it changes your life.” – Bob Greenberg, founder, R/GA (p 160)
“To give the average consumer the opportunity to order pizza while never getting up from watching Sunday football … is pretty amazing” – Rob Weisberg, BP-precision and print marketing, Domino’s Pizza (p 160)
“And I do think most of the best work has a kind of an application and a kind of utility to it” – Derek Robson, managing partner, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (p 163)
“If you look at most mature categories, the way you can continue to generate decent margins, and the way you can continue to deliver increased value and increase relevancy to customers is to take your products and turn them into services” – Andy Bateman, CEO, Interbrand (p 165)
"Interactive TV, in general, is the future" - Rob Weisberg, VP-procision and print marketing at Domino's Pizza Is the quote: a) right on, b) mildly insightful or c) grossly overstated? Why?
Can you think of a technology so "insanely great" that it changed your life? Tell us what and how.
Can you think of another good example of a product infused with utility such that it became a service (like Nike+)? Tell us what and how.