Ever wondered how some brands are able to sustain solid brand retentions over decades? Have they always gone out and invented a new product? Well, not necessarily. Successful brands have maintained their bottom lines by always being able to reimagine and reinvent their products by infusing freshness and some spin into them.
The revenue impact from a 10% increase in customer experience rating can result in more than $1 billion.
Imagine going to your favorite restaurant, what draws you to the restaurant is the superior and consistent food quality, but you also appreciate the new additions or “chef’s specials.” Doesn’t the experience of trying a new or “limited menu” item give you immense joy and satisfaction? Would you go back to the same place over and over again if there was absolutely no change? The same analogy applies to other markets as well. While customers do expect consistency from brands as it plays an important role in building trust, they also seek some updates to the product or experience. That is where brands have to make a concise effort towards delivering simple, yet impactful innovations for their customers.
There are different types of product innovations that brands can implement to create brand retention and improve user experience. While some may upgrade a product’s technical features, others may focus on the design aspect; whatever the method may be, the saying holds true: brands need to reinvent themselves for continued success. Let’s understand how some of the famous brands have successfully reinvented themselves to improve user experience and brand retention.
Amazon - “1-Click Shopping”
Today’s one shop store for all your needs wasn’t exactly how Amazon started out. As highlighted in “The Everything Book,” Jeff Bezos started Amazon as an online book store. The strategy was simple - books are easy to ship and via the Internet, Amazon can offer a wider selection range than any brick and mortar store. However, Amazon reinvented this simple online bookstore by introducing its “1-click shopping” button. A simple add-on button changed everything. By focusing on designing an unparalleled shopping user experience, Amazon is now using artificial intelligence to deliver personalized recommendations to millions of customers to an extent that their name has become synonymous with shopping.
Cold Stone Creamery - Epitome of User Experience
We know that Cold Stone Creamery did not invent ice cream, neither did they invent the toppings, or flavors. Instead, what they did was reimagine how this universally loved product was presented. The product innovation was around allowing the customers to select and see how their beloved ice cream was prepared on the cold stone plate. This simple change added instant zingy freshness to their brand and user experience, just how mangoes add instant fruitiness to hot summer days (yum!). Till date, no other ice-cream brand offers the same level of customization or user experience like Cold Stone.
Apple - With the Highest A-Peel
Is there anything that Apple does that does not work? Well, yes, not too long ago, Apple was actually struggling against Microsoft in the personal computer market and was on the verge of bankruptcy! Today, it is one of the world’s most valued brands. Apple constantly kept users at the focal point of their product development. Apple turned the wheels on the entire music industry by reimagining how people listened to music; the iPod enabled people to carry over 1000 songs in their pocket. They continued to peak user’s attention by introducing vibrant colors and slimmer product variates like the iPod Shuffle. What followed (iPhone, Apple TV, etc.) is history!
But pay attention here: Apple never invented the first computer, digital music player, or smartphone, instead, they reimagined a product to deliver a knockout experience.
Google - “Ok Google” and More
In 1998, Google started out as a search engine based on algorithms, and today, it has grown significantly beyond. Using rapidly changing technology and listening to customers, Google has reinvented itself as a machine learning company. By using breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, Google has strengthened its core product offerings in search, Adwords, Maps, Drive, Mail (have you noticed “Smart Reply”?), Youtube content, and even introduced new products like Google Home and Nest. Like Apple, Google is always not innovating a brand new product, but constantly providing small updates that keep bringing customers back saying “Ok, Google…!”
NewBalance - Making Customers “Active”
According to Statista, By 2021, mobile e-commerce could account for $3.5 trillion (72.9%) of e-commerce sales.
The power of online shopping is definitely making its presence felt and brands are looking at delivering the same level of interactivity in their offline experiences. New Balance pulled its base of “active” customers to their flagship store in New York by designing an augmented reality game. Customers had to collect virtual batons across New York City and then run to the store to claim their free gift (shoes!!!). New Balance innovated existing technology and gaming to not only provide the track and field experience to people, and inspire them to be active, but also “run” customers back to their stores!
Ball Packaging - Helping Customer Have a Ball!
Ball Packaging, a manufacturer of tin cans, which is the cornerstone of the food and beverage industry, is using augmented reality to deliver a unique user experience. Their product development and marketing teams are working with brand owners to enhance customer interaction and brand retention. Users have to simply use an augmented reality app on their phone to scan the can and unlock a whole treasure of 3D animations and videos that come to life. In addition to product innovation related to physical product design and material, Ball Packaging tapped into augmented reality, social media, and gaming to literally get their customers to have a ball!
In a Nutshell
The writing on the wall is clear; as technology continues to accelerate and customers become more well-informed, brands have to adapt and change in order to stay in the game. Product innovations could be big or small, but they are critical to staying relevant in modern times. Failing to deliver updated and unique user experiences can prove disastrous for your brand; so, now is the time to start reinventing and reimagining your products!