Innovation Inspiration : Innovating the customer experience

11 Jun 2012|Added Value

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 For years now, clients have been asking us to pull apart the experience they offer to customers, compare it to direct and indirect competitors and help them build towards the ideal. The challenge became more pressing as it emerged that the internet would be playing an increasingly critical role in brand experience. As companies have grasped the new dynamics at play and begun to create enhanced experiences, we thought it was time to share some of the more interesting examples.

IKEA: “smartphones are changing consumer behavior”
IKEA Canada has created a smartphone app that helps customers navigate their store, create shopping lists and check for availability of items at different locations.
IKEA’s shopping app does away with those mini-pencils

Tesco goes virtual in South Korea
In South Korea, “grocery shopping once a week is a dreaded task.” So, Tesco re-named themselves Homeplus and created a virtual store: reproducing life-size photos of product displays in subway stations with barcodes for commuters to scan. The order is delivered to your home.
Tesco: Homeplus subway virtual store

Everyday Zara stars
In opposition to the route taken by key competitors in using global supermodels, Zara has launched its People initiative. You submit a photo of yourself sporting the store’s clothing, and the best shots are selected to appear in the on-line catalogue, with cash awards for winning submissions.
Zara People

Role reversal: from on-line to off-line – Threadless + Gap and Groupon
While most traditional organizations have been wrestling with how to integrate clicks into their bricks, some successful start-ups of recent years have been exploring the opposite. The iconic t-shirt brand, Threadless, has linked up with Gap to augment its presence and distribution; and coupon phenomenon Groupon has dipped its toe in the real-world water with physical kiosks.
Design the next iconic Threadless + Gap tee

Groupon kiosks the streets of Chicago

Walmart’s PayNearMe initiative
It’s estimated that anywhere between 18% and 24% of the US population doesn’t use traditional banks, which makes online shopping next to impossible – and they’re growing. PayNearMe allows customers to pay bills or shop online and pay in cash within 48 hours at one of 6,400 7-Eleven stores. One analyst estimates the un- or under-banked represents a $45 billion market in the States alone.
Walmart Is where the unbanked shop and why it matters
Which brands have jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon and why, and what’s their strategy? Take a look at the Wholefoods example: no hard sell here, just lots of lovely recipes, seasonal content, healthy eating tips and even holidays.
250+ brands on Pinterest

Wholefoods and Pinterest
Creating digital loyalty: Belly
For every hot topic, there’s a start-up. So, digital loyalty is hot and Belly provides a universal loyalty program via a smartphone app. According to the co-founders, “we put an iPad in store, and then we create a fully customized digital loyalty system for that store based on their personality, culture, business objectives.”
An iPad In Every Store: Belly Wants Local Merchants And Their Customers To Ditch Those Paper Loyalty Cards

 Changing the face of education: Harvard and MIT
And finally: thought it was just happening in the for-profit world? Think again. Harvard and MIT have recently announced a $30M partnership called edX designed to make faculties and courses free to anyone with an internet connection.
“The single biggest change in education since the printing press”
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Written by Jonathan Hall, CEO Added Value Cheskin.

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