Image by: Aameerule
By Michael Sterling
We’re living in a futuristic world and we’re reminded of it every day. This year we’re going to see much more sophistication in existing products that are sure to start a new wave of inventions. Consumers are being spoiled with cool gadgets, but today’s customer wants a product that’s more than something to brag about.
Products are turning into incentives. It’s all about rewards, convenience, assistance, benefits and spectacle – all in one. In today’s world, inventing has turned into upgrading. Products are including ways to better their owner’s life in long term ways. Here are a few approaches we’re starting to see:
#1) Self-Controlling Systems
It’s true that consumers are definitely paying more for convenience nowadays, especially when it makes their personal lives easier. Systems are now beginning to shape themselves into being an all-in-one techno machine, whereby a customer will be able to control everything in their lives in one place. One area we’ll see more of this idea blossoming is in home automation.
ADT Plus, for example, is connecting consumers with their home in more ways than one. Originally focusing on security such as locking and unlocking doors, arming alarm systems and receiving security alerts, it now allows for lighting and thermostat control if fully installed. All their products include motion sensors, door and window sensors and a central panel that runs off a tablet.
Not only are people paying up to $85 a month for this kind of convenience, it’s also the spectacle of it all. Everyone wants to feel like The Jetsons. When it comes to creating an experience for your customers, all it takes is added systems to get the “Wow” effect they desperately search for. When they feel in control of their lives, they’ll likely view the purchase as a self-investment.
#2) Telematics Systems With An Incentive
Telematics services are going to become much more sophisticated, but also more rewarding for the consumers. This is why we buy products in the first place. When it benefits not only our lives, but our pocket books as well, that’s when we know we ‘ve made a good purchase. Direct Line is taking this idea to new heights.
The DrivePlus app is a good example. The service is used to gauge how a customer drives and allows the insurer to tailor its prices depending on how safe you are. The app measures GPS detail such as acceleration, speed and cornering. Every 200 miles, the driver receives an average score. If you’re a good driver, your insurance can very well be lowered.
Take this as a lesson. An app like this isn’t only benefiting the driver, but everyone on the road. If the incentive is cheaper insurance, imagine how many safe drivers we’ll have. That idea is bled into the consumer’s mind. They’ll reap the rewards and have a clear conscience. It’s a win-win. When you’re thinking of a new strategy, consider both sides.
#3) Digital Assistance
Technology has taken a giant leap in the last few years. Much of its intention is to assist the customers they’re attached to. Companies like Uber and Lyft have certainly proven that. But lately it’s gotten more than just convenient. It’s become personal and helpful to one’s wellbeing.
CarePass by Aetna is a prime example. The system links with fitness services to help people achieve their fitness goals. Because Aetna is a health insurer for businesses, the service also is used to reduce premiums – similar to how DrivePlus is used to reduce car insurance. Its assistance isn’t just about creating a better “you,” it assists you towards a better life.
British Gas is also doing cool things with their Mobile Energy app, allowing you to check your energy bill and being able to split it evenly with your roommates with little hassle, among other features. Digital assistance needs to be more about helping, it has to benefit and reward. Keep that in mind when designing your next strategy.