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Uber and Lyft drivers are just 1 click away, Amazon offers free same-day delivery, and Deliveroo can get us food from our favorite restaurant in under 32 minutes… Gone are the days in which consumers agreed to invest effort and wait to be served. In a fast-paced world, we look for consumption that is time- and labor-saving.
What matters to consumers is the time and effort they have to expend – the less, the better. ‘Fast’ and ‘easy’ are keywords that should be high on any marketer’s agenda. Take the example of Uber. Its success is not based on a strong emotional connection with customers. What makes the platform so successful is captured by a single word: convenience. Uber’s interface is intuitive and user-friendly. You open the app, type in your destination and immediately receive pricing information. Upon agreement, a driver is immediately connected to you and knows where to pick you up. Reaching your destination, you just get out of the car and Uber charges your credit card automatically.
So, what is convenience then exactly? Academic research by Len Berry and colleagues in the Journal of Marketing suggests that there are five different levels of convenience.
1. Decision Convenience
The first is decision convenience or the time and effort needed to make a purchase/consumption decision. A great example here is Netflix’s recommendation system, driving more than 80 per cent of content watched on the platform. To avoid subscribers getting lost in the vast library, the company goes to great lengths to serve up its content in the most fun and easy way possible. The success is undeniable with Netflix being the dominating streaming platform of the moment.
2. Access Convenience
Second comes access convenience or the time and effort needed to get hold of what is desired. Chinese Hema Fresh puts strong emphasis on this dimension. Being part of Alibaba’s new retail concept, the highly popular grocery chain seeks to integrate the best of offline and online. Hema, among other things, has an in-store on-demand kitchen (just like Whole Foods), is able to deliver any order under 30 minutes within a specified delivery radius (just like Instacart) and sells pre-packaged meal kits to make consumers’ lives easier (just like Hello Fresh). At the basis of this model is a sophisticated and data-driven logistics systems, setting the example for the entire retail industry.
3. Transaction Convenience
Third is transaction convenience or the time and effort needed to pay for products. A prime example here is Amazon that put an easy and transparent payment experience at the core of its business. Its new Amazon Go stores even go further and remove any checkout hassles by automating the payment system, completely eliminating the cashier and waiting lines. The successful concept is set to grow to as many as 3,000 new U.S. stores in the next few years, while also expanding to other countries worldwide.
4. Benefit Convenience
Fourth is benefit convenience or the time and effort needed to consume the product. Consumers today are looking for simple and efficient consumption experiences, allowing them to make the best of their time. The popular navigation app Waze, owned by Google, offers its users such a simple and intuitive user interface, providing highly contextual information like traffic, obstructions and other hazards to minimize travel time. In 2016, Waze partnered up with Dunkin’ Donuts, a U.S. coffeehouse chain, and integrated an ‘Order Ahead’ function. Wazers, as Waze calls its user base, may order coffee within the app and speed past the line when picking up their order inside a DD restaurant.
5. Postbenefit Convenience
Finally comes postbenefit convenience or the time and effort needed to deal with such factors as product maintenance, exchange or failure recovery. One example here is Tesla’s mobile service teams allowing cars to be serviced when and where customers are in need. More recently, the U.S. carmaker introduced an automated service feature allowing Tesla cars to order parts that require replacement on their own. Doing so, Tesla reduces the time needed for car maintenance and proactively prevents any failures.
To successfully interact with today’s hyper-connected and impatient consumers, marketers should be obsessed with delivering ‘fast’ and ‘easy’ solutions to customers. But how?
Regular audits to understand improvement points along the entire customer journey are recommended. A strong customer mindset should be driven by questions like What is it that customers are looking for? How can we further enhance/simplify the customer experience? What levels of convenience matter most? A deep understanding of customers based on solid metrics and a thirst to experiment in search for better customer solutions are key to any organization seeking success. Netflix is well-known for its continuous use of A/B-testing to optimize the platform’s interface. Any major change to the Netflix experience is preceded by extensive testing. Nothing is left to chance.
Artificially intelligent technologies now allow for cost-effective real-time service delivery, 24/7. Despite clear limitations still there, the growing occurrence of chatbots, personal (voice) assistants and humanoids at the service frontline is rapidly making real-time service delivery a minimum requirement to compete on the market. It is imperative for any organization to look into this exciting new world of possibilities and to see where technology can be used to enhance the customer experience. KLM, the Dutch airline, is fueling its customer service with AI to automate over half of all inquiries through Facebook, Messenger, Twitter and WhatsApp. The result? A doubling of its case volume and service agents freeing up time to focus on cases requiring a human approach.
While some marketers would argue this thinking does not apply to their industry, nothing could be more wrong. Take the example of Lemonade. The U.S. insurance platform is rapidly transforming a seemingly rock-solid industry. Their approach? The promise of a zero paperwork and instant everything. Lemonade uses AI to sign up customers and to evaluate claims, boasting it takes a maximum of 3 minutes from approval to payout. The result? A four-year-old startup valued at $2bn.
It is clear, no organization is free from the push toward higher convenience. Time to become ‘fast’ and ‘easy’! The Uber’s and Amazon’s of this planet won’t wait for you to catch up.
Source: EDHEC Vox Written By: Arne De Keyser
We recently completed these presenation boards for Rona's award program. The impact of a simple printed presentation can't be over looked. A personal touch can make all the difference...
"Wow, the new board is perfect. You're service is amazing. I'm a loyal customer forever."
A lot of people are confused by the many ways print is viewed compared with online media. People often think they accomplish the same things, but the reality is these two distinctive products can serve very different purposes. Here's what makes us all think the same about print.
1. Print is For Keeps... read on »
2. Print is Portable... read on »
3. Print Drives a Higher ROI... read on »
4. Print is Beautiful... read on »
5. Print Plays Well... read on »
6. Buyers Seek Print... read on »
7. Print is Credible... read on »
8. Print Puts Them In Control... read on »
9. Print is Personal... read on »
10. Print is Everywhere... read on »
Attend the HP Wall Décor course for Your AIBC or IDCEC Core Learning Unit Credit » read on
1. Interior designers do the same thing as interior architects?
A lot of people are confused by the many different job titles there are in the design industry. However, a very common mistake is to think that interior designers and interior architects do the same job. The reality is that these professions can involve many different things which are more often than not, very far apart. Generally speaking, interior design has more to do with the art of the building, while interior architecture is more concerned with the science behind it.
2. Interior design is all about décor
Interior design involves much more than just a good knowledge of décor. As we’ve mentioned in our previous article on the topic, the practice of interior architecture requires designers to consider pretty much everything to do with the building of an interior space that will affect human habitation, including materials, finishes, electrical requirements, plumbing, lighting, ventilation, ergonomics, and intelligent use of space. Interior designers with training in interior architecture will usually be present at, and have an important say during all stages of the construction process, from the initial plans right through to the finishing touches.
3. Hiring an interior designer is very costly
Depending on the scale of the project, the budget and the time frame you have in mind for finishing it, the price of hiring a professional interior designer can vary dramatically. In most cases, interior designers charge very reasonable fees and the value you get for your money will be worth paying for. If you’re not sure how much your interior design project would cost, you can simply enquire and decide if you are ready to pay for it.
4. Interior designers only work with very expensive materials
As every other professional, interior designers can work with both expensive and cheap materials and products. More importantly, they will work within the limits of the budget and requirements you give them as their client. You have to remember that the price of materials is not always crucial to getting the end result you desire. If you’re working with an experienced interior designer, they should be able to recommend you the best quality products at the most reasonable price there is.
5. You don’t need to have AN education to become an interior designer
There are many people out there that claim that they are interior designers, without having any formal education. However, as explained in some of the other points above, interior design is a very challenging and exciting profession that includes a variety of tasks and requires a great deal of skills and knowledge. The only way you can ensure that you have all these on board when applying for a job, even at an intern level, will be to obtain a formal qualification from a recognised organisation. A career in interior architecture and design can be difficult to get started and an accredited course in the subject will give you a head start by providing you the knowledge, skills, and qualifications you need to succeed.
6. Interior designers make all the decisions for you
Don’t expect that all decisions on an interior design project would be made by the designer you have hired. He or she will have a lot of recommendations on the way ideas can be implemented, but the final decisions will lie with you.
7. Interior designers can’t work with existing structures, materials and objects – they always want to throw everything old away
The truth is that interior designers always work towards achieving the goals in an interior design plan. If this plan involves the stripping of a building to its bare bones they would definitely need to throw everything old away. This is not always necessary and you can keep as much of your old stuff in your new house or space as you want.
8. “I don’t need an interior designer – I can do it on my own”
As we outlined earlier in the article, interior design is a very complex job. You can try and do some of its components on your own, but unless you have the training and understanding of interior design concepts, we think you shouldn’t start any project, small or big without a professional eye. There are so many examples of terrible design decisions that show that it is not worth risking your dream project, if you can leave it to the professionals. At the end of the day, you wouldn’t operate on somebody if you’re weren’t a doctor, right?
9. Interior designers always want to be trendy
Interior designers always strive to be aware of the new trends in their profession. However, they wouldn’t force you to do something on your project if you don’t like it or you think it doesn’t suit your needs. Trends are interesting to follow, but they are not something every interior designer tries to implement in their work.
10. Interior designers don’t need a plan for their projects
Interior designers can’t work without a plan for their project. They need to think about every single detail and plan in appropriate time for it. A good plan means that as a customer you will get an idea on the cost involved as well as the deadline for completion of each stage. Planning is a crucial part of the job of the interior designer.
11. Interior design doesn’t require a lot of time
Interior design projects can take a lot of time and this usually happens because the whole process requires the attention, skills and knowledge of the many other specialists who work with the interior designer. The designer needs to be able to speak everyone else’s language – from the plumber to the conservation officer, to be able to make the project plan work. This doesn’t mean that all interior design projects take years to complete – a complex, but very well organised job on a residential property, for example, can take around five months from start to finish.
12. Interior designers don’t need to work towards a budget
A good plan always comes with a clear idea of the budget the client has for it. There’s no such thing as “open budget” – interior designers should know what is affordable and what is not, because this can help them make some very important decisions. Give your interior designer a budget to work with and leave the magic touch to them!
Source: Id! Blog Written By: The IDI Team
Last year was all about taking risks in graphic design. But most of the graphic design trends we predicted last year have become mainstream. Like incorporating a whole new world of colour, and breathing life into print with a rainbow of metallic huges. Click HERE to download the metallic ink design guide.
What are the BIGGEST graphic design trends of 2019 that you should be following?
That’s what this design guide will tell you. For an in-depth guide to the biggest graphic design trends in 2019, check out the full article and infographic HERE.
The blog post contains a ton of examples for each trend, as well as templates that you can use to stay on top of the trends. In the video above, we introduce you to the 8 graphic design trends that we predict are going to take over in 2019. We’ve included examples from some of the biggest brands in tech right now, including Apple, Spotify, MailChimp, Facebook and more.
If you want your branding to be ahead of the curve, try incorporating some of these graphic design trends into your proposals, marketing materials, packaging and internal communications.
Source: Venngage / Written By: Ryan McCready
The strategic use of psychology in direct mail can drive amazing results. Did you know that our brain is doing most of its work outside of our consciousness? If we are able to create a good direct mail psychology strategy that enables us to tap into subconscious decisions, we can generate a greater response from prospects and customers.
How Can This Work?
1. Emotional Triggers
Both men and women need emotional engagement for direct mail to work. This requires the use of both good emotional copy and imagery. Segmentation can really help you target the right people with the right emotional copy and images.
When there is too much clutter of messages, either copy or images, the brain cannot process it. Make sure that you leave white space and use concise copy so that the brain can easily process your message.
The brain likes puzzles and humor. Keep them simple for easy understanding. They are effective, with increased engagement.
4. Women and Empathy
If your audience is women, you need to tap into empathy. Women engage with images depicting faces and direct eye contact. Women also respond to group/community activity images and, of course, babies, too. Some women will pay attention to messages that make life easier, celebrate her or allow her to do multiple things.
A complicated mail message will most likely be ignored by the brain. There are ways to simplify your copy and images to capture attention.
How to Capture Attention
Novelty — This is the No. 1 way to capture attention. Our brains are trained to look for something new and cool. A novel message or layout can really help you stand out in the mail box.
Eye Contact — Humans are social beings. Images of people or animals making eye contact with your prospects or customers grab attention and draw them into the mail piece.
When you are able to integrate a multiple sensory experience into your mail piece, you create a richer and deeper engagement with your audience.
How to use the senses:
As you can see, the brain is powerful and is very good at ignoring messages. Taking the time to consider all of these psychological factors can really help you drive your response rates up. As always, focusing your messaging with targeted segments to really reach the right people with the right message will increase the success of your mail campaigns. Are you ready to get started?
Source: Target Marketing / Written By: Summer Gould
“Without trust, your relationship does not exist; all you have is a series of transactions,” says Rosa Sheng, architect and senior associate at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson.
Trust is the foundation of any relationship between architect and client, and cultivating trust has huge benefits: repeat clients, patience when challenges arise, and referrals to new clients. But a weak or eroded sense of trust can harm your reputation, cost you future business, and even drive clients toward litigation.
Due to the complex nature of architecture projects, a number of factors can make or break an architect-client relationship. Here are seven tips from architectural experts to help you build and maintain trust.
1. Have an Effective Online Presence.
The first way to build a client’s trust—before you ever meet in person—is with your online presence. An unsubstantial or outdated online presence can be a red flag for prospective clients, so keep your website and professional profiles (including LinkedIn) updated with information about your firm and projects. “How is the client supposed to build trust if they look you up and can’t find anything about you?” Sheng asks.
2. Communicate Well Consistently.
Good communication is the cornerstone of building trust. “We get lost in the design process, and then we forget to communicate what’s happening and how it’s happening in an effective way and on a regular basis,” Sheng says. A regular check-in can bring potential problems to the surface early in the process and show the client you’re fully engaged.
Communicating your design intent to clients in a language your clients can understand is also essential to building trust. Make sure you don’t use “archispeak”—words such as “parti” and “trombe wall.” Architects often assume that clients can read drawings well and share the same technical vocabulary, which is usually not the case.
3. Show Your Vision With BIM.
Using 3D-modeling software like BIM, you can convey design and site-planning concepts via virtual walk-throughs and visualizations, leaving little room for clients to misinterpret your designs. This process also allows you to anticipate conflicts that may come up in construction with more accuracy so you can solve problems and reduce change orders.
“With BIM, you can go in with a wider array of tools and answer questions that would never have come up if you were just looking at 2D plans,” says Philip Noland, design visualization artist and owner of Noland Design Studio. “It brings about new exploration. The questions aren’t glazed over—they’re really looked at.”
For architect Lionel Scharly from Scharly Designer Studio, using BIM visualizations instills trust because clients can see the whole picture. “The more the client has details of the project, the better they understand, the more you accumulate their trust,” he says. “They are the ones paying, but they often don’t have a background in architecture, yet they want to be ‘in the project.”
4. Don’t Overpromise.
One of the most fundamental ways to build trust is to deliver what you’ve committed to doing. “The fear of saying no is rampant in our industry,” Sheng says. It’s especially hard to say no when it’s a down market and architects are starved for work. But in the long run, when you’ve said yes to something you can’t deliver just to get a job, your client will stop trusting you.
To avoid biting off more than you can chew, talk your clients through their project goals to confirm what they want can be done. “If it passes the three-question challenge, then it might be okay,” Sheng says. “Ask about the desired goal in three different ways—with a focus on design, budget, and schedule—to make sure they thought through their idea.”
5. Do Your Homework.
Designing a building entails a lot of moving parts. It’s important that you do your homework on factors such as applicable codes, the properties of materials you want to use, and what things cost. Clients rely on architects to be the experts in many arenas, and by doing your homework, you will convey the correct information and make fewer mistakes. “You definitely have to know what you’re talking about, so when you tell the client something, always double-check that it is accurate,” Sheng says.
6. Be Honest in Setting Expectations.
If you discover a problem, it may be tempting to cave to your client to curry favor. For example, if you learn the project will cost more than the client can afford, it’s important to deliver the message without wavering—even if the client pushes back. “There’s an expectation for an architect to push the boundaries, be innovative, and stretch the dollar, but the architect still needs to be financially responsible,” Sheng says. “Show conviction and maintain integrity in your professional expertise. Trust is built on consistency.”
Clients may also have unrealistic demands to squeeze the budget and schedule, and it’s your job to be honest about what’s feasible. “Sometimes the truth is hard to swallow, and in some cases, we lose out,” Sheng says. “But in the long term, the client realizes that you were right, and the truth prevails.”
Being up front about cost and viability can also prevent you from absorbing costs outside your initial scope, which can negatively impact your profit margin on the project.
7. Offer New and Creative Solutions.
When trust is lost due to a mistake or failed promise, it may take a long time to re-establish it. The best way to regain trust is to acknowledge where you went wrong, apologize, and offer solutions.
A contract BIM manager in the Facilities Management Group at Carolinas HealthCare System, Meghan Ruffo regularly collaborates with architects. For her, defaulting to problem solving within a linear 2D process—design, then engineer, then build—can erode confidence. “The willingness to think about how to solve the problem is important, rather than relying on the traditional approach or what an architect has always done in specific scenarios in the past,” she says.
For Sheng, creative problem solving is particularly important when the stakes are high: “Because construction is such a costly endeavor, costing hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, it is a huge responsibility for architects to be the steward of that kind of money in the form of a building.”
Source: Redshift by Autodesk / Written By: Taz Khatri