Category Archives: Innovation

Bolder storytelling through actions

17th June 2011

This morning, I came across a Tweet from Mountain Khakis asking fans to share a story for a chance for free apparel. It always catches my eye how brands encourage users to take such a personal and impactful action such as sharing how a brand has impacted their lives. I was even more surprised when I saw where the link took me.

Bolder, a network built to encourage users to take action states on their homepage, “Everyone has influence. Bolder is a place where Challenges and Rewards inspire action.”

The challenges are simple, for example, that Mountain Khakis tweet doesn’t direct users to the brand after all, but a call for users to share their most memorable outdoor experience.

To complete an action, just share your story and post it to Facebook for your friends to return and Like the content. The top 100 actions, those with the most Likes, will be rewarded with $10 off their next Mountain Khakis purchase.

Encouraging action through the essence of the brand and through the power of a community – not just your friend list – allows the group mindset similar to that of Groupon and the power of social crowd sourcing to infuse. The result is a hyper-personalized community with rewards for both sides, physical rewards for the customer, deep user connections and content for the brand.

Visual Search Apps Offering Real Life Solutions

18th May 2011

If you know anything about me, you might know that I’m obsessed with anything Google and that that company pretty much runs my life. A few updates to two of my favorite Google apps are now making my life on the go easier as well.

The Google Shopper app, similar to other apps on the Market such as the Amazon app  allows users to easily compare product prices and make simplified purchasing decisions in-aisle. I found myself using this app often while Christmas shopping this past year, comparing product reviews, prices, etc. all while in store.

Google Shopper app now allows users to employ visual search to identify products. By scanning a barcode, or even the product itself, users are given information such as price, reviews and places to buy. After a recent scan of a DVD, I was even more impressed to see a link to a YouTube trailer of the movie right in the interface. Shopping made simple.

Not to leave visual search to shopping, the  Google Goggles app has been a favorite of mine for quite some time. The basic premise is to perform a Google search through a photo scan. Examples of items that work best include products, logos and even paintings hanging in a museum. However, the most recent update to this app really catches my  heart, translation. Simply scan any foreign text and the app will utilize Google Translate to give feedback into the desired language.

Though I don’t use these visual search apps as often as I should, this could be the next step to connecting our digital and real world experiences. As much as I love QR codes, I would much rather like to scan a photo, ad or product directly to be rewarded than scan a group of boxes. What do you think? Have you been satisfied with the accuracy of visual search apps so far? Do you think apps like these could ultimately replace our use of QR codes?

PS…if these examples didn’t win you over, this one from a few months back should do the trick. Yes, visual search can solve “real life” problems as well.

Klout Gets a Makeover

26th April 2011

Klout, the popular social influence score platform, has undergone a makeover, offering users a cleaner profile, direct access to Klout Perks and incentives to raise your score.

Take a look at the new homepage below:

In this improved version of the site, users are greeted with their score history highlighting information such as “You’re score dropped 2 points in the past 30 days, create more interesting content, engage with the topics that interest you.”

Quick access to Klout Perks in the top navigation allows users to see any current incentives as well as a glimpse into past promotions. Prior to this design, Klout Perks and their use were difficult to find.

The influencers and achievement tabs on the homepage allow users to easily see an expanded list of those in their network they interact with the most, while achievements show statustics for things like how many ReTweets or Likes a user has generated over time.

While the overall feel of the site is a great improvement, small nuances such as those mentioned above leave users with a distinct call to action on how to actually use and improve their score. Klout can often be mistaken as an arbitrary number and it’s clear they are looking to change that. Great step in the right direction Klout, I know I’ll be checking in more frequently to keep myself engaged.