Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - (Page 52)

BY STEVEN FEINBERG CHANNEL CROSSING: SUPPORT SERVICES Be the Apple of Your Consumer’s Eye with Smart Design The recent news that Apple is now the world’s most valuable brand is perhaps the ultimate reward for a culture that reveres and executes smart design with the greatest commitment and consistency. Apple appreciates that beyond its aesthetic appeal, brilliant design also supports the consumer’s initial usage of a given product because it is intuitive and easy to grasp. In the case of an iPod or Magic Mouse, that is literally so. In examining the Apple consumer experience and the roll that design plays in it, there are many valuable lessons that marketers can adopt to engineer their own success. Great design really begins when the consumer first encounters your brand, regardless of whether that is in a television commercial, on the web or in a brick-and-mortar retail location. In the case of Apple, everything about the brand experience is consistent – from the bright white space their stores occupy to the quick-to-read visual imagery displayed in their store windows that might consist of a giant iPad or a life-size tableau of the Beatles. Apple’s TV commercials for the iPad2, for example, are demonstration-based and combine the ability to do something cool with the notion that anyone, regardless of their technical aptitude, can easily do whatever it is that is being shown. Direct marketers have no less of an opportunity with their own marketing and products. While the direct model puts tremendous pressure on marketers to maintain a low cost of goods, a commitment to intelligent design should never be compromised. The reason is profound: Smart design helps establish an emotional connection with consumers who may buy on impulse and are still not sure about their purchase decisions until they actually get the product in their hands. Success in this arena begins with a true commitment to good design, an appreciation for how it can give the consumer tangible benefits that translate to the bottom line, and then the fortitude to stick with it on a consistent basis. Seen through the lens of the consumer experience, here are seven astute ways that design can help a marketer achieve its goals: 1. Packaging: Does your packaging make the consumer feel good about the decision to buy? Is it an appealing entrée to what could be an ongoing relationship that begins with an initial transaction? If you’ve ever bought anything from Apple, then you know that everything about the packaging is smart. By extension, the purchaser feels smart, too. 2. Instructions: Are your instructions simple and easy to follow? The days of a pamphlet that looks like the plans for a nuclear warhead are passé. Most consumers probably are never going to read it. Break your instructions into as few steps as possible, use visual icons if you can and think in terms of a “Quick Start Guide.” In the case of the iPod, the form factor of the product is so intuitive it hardly needs instructions. Why does this matter? Because the faster a consumer starts using a product, the deeper his commitment to it becomes. 3. Assembly: “None required” ought to be your mantra. But barring that, assembly should be as simple as possible, and, as stated above, use steps and visual icons to convey information. Direct marketers have a higher mountain of consumer skepticism to get over, but you can turn it into a molehill if the purchaser can take your product out of the box and begin using it with no fuss. 4. Physical materials: Are the physical materials of your product consistent with what a consumer would expect based upon your advertising? What sort of tactile response is a consumer likely to have to the product’s surface — is it smooth or rough-hewn? The days of over-promising and under-delivering for any As Seen On TV product are over because positive or negative word-of-mouth, which can now be broadcast with the click of a mouse, is absolutely paramount to your success. It 52 electronicRETAILER | June 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Electronic Retailer - June 2011

Electronic Retailer - June 2011
Contents
Calendar of Events
Your Association, Your Bottom Line
Industry Reports
FTC Forum
eMarketer Research
IMS Retail Rankings
Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories
Lockard & Wechsler’s Clearance & Price Index
Ask the Expert
The Evolution of a Global Business
UK Home Shopping Finds Its Niche
Guest Viewpoint
Brendan Condon Wants it All
Managing an Order from Start to Finish
Radio
Legal
Support Services
Fulfillment
Member Spotlight
Advertiser Spotlight
Bulletin Board
Advertiser Index
Classifieds
Rick Petry

Electronic Retailer - June 2011

Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Electronic Retailer - June 2011 (Page Cover1)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Electronic Retailer - June 2011 (Page Cover2)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Electronic Retailer - June 2011 (Page 3)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Contents (Page 4)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Contents (Page 5)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Contents (Page 6)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Calendar of Events (Page 7)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Your Association, Your Bottom Line (Page 8)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Your Association, Your Bottom Line (Page 9)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Industry Reports (Page 10)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Industry Reports (Page 11)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Industry Reports (Page 12)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Industry Reports (Page 13)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - FTC Forum (Page 14)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - FTC Forum (Page 15)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - eMarketer Research (Page 16)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - eMarketer Research (Page 17)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - IMS Retail Rankings (Page 18)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - IMS Retail Rankings (Page 19)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories (Page 20)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories (Page 21)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Lockard & Wechsler’s Clearance & Price Index (Page 22)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Lockard & Wechsler’s Clearance & Price Index (Page 23)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Ask the Expert (Page 24)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Ask the Expert (Page 25)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - The Evolution of a Global Business (Page 26)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - The Evolution of a Global Business (Page 27)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - The Evolution of a Global Business (Page 28)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - The Evolution of a Global Business (Page 29)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - The Evolution of a Global Business (Page 30)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - The Evolution of a Global Business (Page 31)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - UK Home Shopping Finds Its Niche (Page 32)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - UK Home Shopping Finds Its Niche (Page 33)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - UK Home Shopping Finds Its Niche (Page 34)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - UK Home Shopping Finds Its Niche (Page 35)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Guest Viewpoint (Page 36)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Guest Viewpoint (Page 37)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Guest Viewpoint (Page 38)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Guest Viewpoint (Page 39)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Brendan Condon Wants it All (Page 40)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Brendan Condon Wants it All (Page 41)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Brendan Condon Wants it All (Page 42)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Brendan Condon Wants it All (Page 43)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Managing an Order from Start to Finish (Page 44)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Managing an Order from Start to Finish (Page 45)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Managing an Order from Start to Finish (Page 46)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Managing an Order from Start to Finish (Page 47)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Managing an Order from Start to Finish (Page 48)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Radio (Page 49)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Legal (Page 50)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Legal (Page 51)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Support Services (Page 52)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Support Services (Page 53)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Fulfillment (Page 54)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Fulfillment (Page 55)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Member Spotlight (Page 56)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Member Spotlight (Page 57)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Advertiser Spotlight (Page 58)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Advertiser Index (Page 59)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Classifieds (Page 60)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Classifieds (Page 61)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Rick Petry (Page 62)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Rick Petry (Page Cover3)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Rick Petry (Page Cover4)
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