In today’s interconnected society you are a winner when you find new ways to make your customer a winner. With transparency run rampant, the brand and the consumer can become a twosome bound at the hip in a relationship that benefits both parties.
Bottom line results improve exponentially when producer and user act as an empowered twosome rather than drifting apart. The greater the degree of entanglement, the greater the consistent growth of the company.
Update June 20, 2016
Giving Better Eyesight to Over a Million People
When it comes to online start-ups disrupting entire industries what may come to mind is Dollar Shave Club’s and Harry’s assault on Gillette dominance. On a broader scale, Amazon changed how America shops for everything from books to groceries to electronics.
Then there is the fashion eyewear business. Warby Parker, when launched online in 2010, was given little chance of disrupting Luxoticca Group’s overwhelming control of the market. The Italian conglomerate has $10 billion in annual sales and an estimated 60-80% eyewear share.
Warby Parker proved them wrong. Early demand online led to opening shops and an eyewear store in a converted school bus that visited 15 cities. The company currently is valued at more than $1 billion.
By the start of 2016 there were more than 34 brick and mortar stores. Co-CEOs Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa told CNBC they are going to nearly double the brand’s retail presence this year.
The eyewear upstart offers designer glasses at a revolutionary low $95 while entangling buyers in a powerful “feel good” experience. With every pair of glasses sold another pair is distributed to someone in the developing world who cannot afford to buy glasses.
Almost one billion people worldwide lack access to better vision. Without improved sight they cannot effectively learn or find work. Warby Parker tells its customers: “With your help, we’ve distributed over a million pairs of glasses to people in need.“ The message is -- “Buy a pair. Give a pair. Make an impact.”-- prominently displayed on the company’s website. Brand and buyer are a twosome doing something together about an important problem.
Warby Parker looks to non-profit VisionSpring to bring the program to life. Their partner recruits and trains entrepreneurs who travel from village to village, checking eyesight and selling glasses. One pair, with case and cleaning cloth, costs from $2.50 to $4. Not only is good vision restored but much-needed jobs are created as well.
Being a Darby Parker customer – aside from being able to buy glasses at a fair price – provides the satisfaction of meeting a critical need. There is a powerful inducement to stay with the socially-conscious brand for a very long time.
You can be certain that the entangled twosome mindset will continue to play a key role in Warby Parker’s sensational success.
Update May 22, 2016
Samsung’s Twosome Entanglement
Samsung 837, the first Samsung flagship store in America, opened its doors in the fashionable Meatpacking District of New York City at 837 Washington Street exactly 90 days ago. With each passing week, Samsung introduces more ways to entangle visitors in an experience like no other on the planet.
The first thing to know about this amazing retail space is that it is not a store in the conventional sense. Nothing is for sale other than food at the restaurant. General Manager Zach Overton tells us on Mashable that Samsung is building “what we think is the future of retail. Which is not retail, but experience. This space is about the collision of culture and technology.“
What he might have added is that the Samsung 837 experience creates a heightened degree of involvement between brand and consumer best described as forming an entangled twosome.
The 55,000 square feet of space spans three floors and is divided into various specialized modules. There is the Selfie Station where you are invited to take a picture of yourself projected onto “The Screen,” a towering three story stack of close to a hundred 55-inch panels.
Christina Warren, on Mashable, describes her experience at Samsung 837: “I won’t lie. Seeing my smirk projected across three stories of screens was cool.”
For Christina the best part of her Samsung 837 experience was the mirrored VR Tunnel. “You walk through a tunnel where your photos, hashtags and Instagram descriptions are projected on screens covering all the surrounding space. And it talks. Words from your Instagram photos are read out load. It’s hard to truly describe what it’s like – except to say it’s highly futuristic – and highly cool.”
There are other cool, techie things to do. You can try out the VR chairs similar to what is found at amusement parks. The chairs have a mind of their own, moving your body left to right and back and forth. Sit in a chair, put on a pair of headphones and a Samsung Gear VR headset for a fully immersive Virtual Reality experience.
There is Samsung’s version of the Apple Genius Bar, a module called The Concierge, where techies sit next to customers for a chat, not across from them.
As important as being a new kind of space filled with awesome experiences 837 Washington Place is a meeting place for doing fun things beyond what’s inside.
The 837 Run Club is a weekly gathering that runs an expert-led scenic route on the elevated Highline starting at 837 Washington Street. Joggers meet every Saturday at 10:00 AM. If you are looking for relaxation, there is the Wanderlust Meditation group that gets together every Monday at 7;00 PM and the Yoga class every Sunday at 11:00 AM.
The brand and the person become an entangled twosome sharing a world where technology and culture collide.
Update April 28, 2016
Entangled in Saving Lives
The marketing blog -- Begin the Begin -- crafted by Jeff Hilimire, CEO of Dragon Army, continually provides intriguing content.
Jeff’s latest post tells us about his personal experience giving blood platelets 3-4 times a year. There is a dire need to entangle donors in doing this repeatedly. Otherwise, supply shortages are likely to occur.
According to Jeff, you sit uncomfortably squeezing a ball while the platelets are pulled from your body. That’s a squeeze every 15 seconds for two hours. It’s not something you ordinarily want to do often.
After the session, he was handed a note that said: ”You saved two lives today.” It conveyed to Jeff that he is part of a twosome entangled in doing something important. Remembering that message keeps Jeff and lots of other Americans coming back to blood donation centers.
So far so good. But more is being done digitally in Sweden.
When blood is given in Stockholm, you receive a warmly worded thank you text. Then there is another text message each time your blood is used to save an individual’s life. The donor is constantly reminded of the huge difference his or her donation made. People want to remain entangled in a personal connection to saving lives.
Another initiative in Sweden allows residents to view an online chart showing the nation’s blood supply at any given moment. Past donors who see the level dropping reach out on social media to ensure the blood stock is replenished.
Numerous countries are studying how Sweden saves lives by creating an ongoing relationship between the clinic and the person giving blood.
An Entangled Marketing™ approach that gets results in the commercial sector often can pay off in the non-profit sector as well.
Update March 15, 2016
NY Times VR Entanglement
The book’s Virtual Reality chapter includes an early report of how the New York Times surprised subscribers by including a free Google Cardboard VR viewer with delivery of a Sunday paper. Download the smartphone app and you can drop right into a VR film’s 360 degree action There is the sense of being part of what is happening all around you.
Of course, the $9.99 Google viewer doesn’t equal what can be experienced with Samsung’s $99.99 Gear headset or the Oculus expected to be on sale at Amazon next month. But it does make it possible to start enjoying the amazing new technology courtesy of the NYTimes. Marvelous VR films (also free) released every few weeks entangle a million subscribers in memorable experiences.
For the very first time, without leaving your home, you are taken straight to the Sundance Film Festival where you become immersed in three of the Festival’s VR films.
When the magazine section of the paper published a special issue devoted to popular music, you were treated to “Smile More: The Journey of a Song” as a VR film. It put you inside the behind-the-scenes creative process of the lead singer, Syd Tha Kyd, as she writes, rehearses and performs her newest hit.
Every few weeks there is another fantastic experience in 3D. The subscriber and the newspaper join in becoming part of an entangled twosome. What they do together is transforming what a newspaper can be in the digital age.
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