A curated Flipboard Magazine on Marketing, Design & Technology

Experimenting with Flipboard and curating content consumed on the interwebs that is worth sharing (at least in my book or in this case magazine) using their Magazine platform. Happy flipn’…

A curated collection of inspiring, thought provoking or just great content on the subject of marketing, design and technology via (and sometimes by) Mattias Kindell

View my Flipboard Magazine.

 

It’s beautiful, but do we really need another one?

A very nice interface, some nice integration of features, got games, got music, got movies… Sounds kinda main stream now a days, right. Question is, do we really need another closed platform and content property? Is this driving innovation or just making islands out of it? I would spontaneously say no, lets go open and make the user make the decision on their terms.

Non the less, this thing is gorgeous – but will it make me move all my stuff…

GCN – one more channel that works?

google_cpa_preformance

Google just released a white paper on the performance of Google Content Network vs Google search. Interesting reading and some worth thinking about findings. Find it through the Inside AdWords blog or get the PDF here.

How do Content Network ads perform for advertisers? We recently analyzed conversions, cost, and cost-per-acquisition (CPA) on the Content Network, and compared them to performance metrics on the search network across thousands of campaigns and many geographic regions.

This white paper presents the findings from this analysis. It shows that advertisers who advertise on the content network see good results on a number of levels:

  1. Ads on the Google Content Network are likely to be as cost-effective – or even more cost-effective – than ads on the search network.
    • The median advertiser has a content CPA that’s about 2% lower than their search CPA.
  2. The Content Network drives a significant share of total conversions.
    • The Content Network drives nearly 20% of total conversions for the median advertiser.
  3. Conversion rates are higher for advertisers who used either of two AdWords campaign management controls: the Conversion Optimizer and site exclusion.

Po.P shop


Well, here we go, after 71 days of not blogging why not start with a clean sopping experience form a kids store. Polarn o. Pyret a Swedish quality kids brand just (recently I believe) launched a web shop. After looking around for some short for my son I realized, Po.P got e-commerce. A clean and intuitive interface which is “on brand” to use a cliche, but this is Po.P straight through. Good clean product shots, color picker, complete info surrounding the products with a great cart function. And almost everything is within one click… Even got a blog this function (somewhat basic) and a used section (köp o. sälj) where you can sell your used Po.P. This makes me realize that a good shop experience can defiantly strengthen a brands… surprisingly uncommon . Lesson learned, if you are thinking of e-commerce, think before you launch… don’t pick an “out of the box” solution, build a branding experience and conversion will follow.

That extra effort

Seth and his brilliant illustrative blogging got me thinking about the one thing that all brands should do but usually market them self out of doing. It applies to even the most mediocre and “one in a million” boring  brand.

Give your “customer” something to talk about – a.k.a give them more that they expect.

Promise you that this is cheaper then that Super Bowl ad (OK, a little over pretentious example maybe), product space at that “in” store, or that exclusive address. + in the long run will build better brand.

Let me illustrate – you just bought designed paper clips (you know the curly kind in mat black) in an typically standard online store. It arrives 3 days later, stuffed in a brown box with the receipt. Fairly typical, right? What if instead you bought the same paper clips (mat black an all) in a beautifully designed online store (easy to use, easy to look at) that gave you some interesting examples on use and pointed you to  relevant info around the product. It arrives in 1 day (you paid for 3 day deliver) in a brown box with company logo nicely applied. You open it an see a neatly packed box (tissue paper and a branded sticker maybe) and a personal letter thanking you for your purchase (this was not your first purchase, they remember), asking how they can make the experience even better and offers rebates on relevant to you list of products.

Which shop and paper clip brand would you recommend to your friends?
Even if the there was two different brands would not both win? Even if you do not go all the way, just talking a step and give something more, unexpected will be worth the effort.

TED on Objects That Tell Stories


Found on TED, a worth while video to watch – Yves Behar, Designer – speaks on Objects That Tell Stories. The approach is spot on and translate to any design or communication. Very inspiering design and thought. Check out fuseproject site as well…
A quote from the profile page summarize this quite well:

“[Behar] has the ability to strip something down to its basic functional logic and then apply a set of emotional and aesthetic considerations to create something unique. It’s an art.”Chris Hacker, chief design officer at Johnson & Johnson

Addictive Word Clouds

 CV Cloud by Wordle
(Generated from my CV)

Found this cool site that makes visual sense out of text – Wordle. Generates word clouds form any text you past in or takes info from your del.icio.us account. Great part is that you can then play around with the clouds design by changing color schemes, fonts and positions. This is ye candy for a visual guy like me. And it actually gives you a great overview on what the texts are about. Created one form my CV and one form my del.icio.us account. Thanks to  Dion Hinchcliffe for pointing this out and  Jonathan Feinberg for creating this great tool. Now go create @ Wordle.

deliciousM Cloud by Wordle
(Generated from my Del.icio.us account)

Thinking Flexible, Acting Flexible

On the subject of evolution.. we have a new iPhone and now a new BMW… love when companies let go of old restrictive thinking and go down a new path. BMW’s Gina is a step in that direction (video).

While your at it check out this and this. Thanks to Johan for the heads up.

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think user

Volkswagen UK

OK, now why is it that the (many) car manufacturer do the best job and push the envelope when it comes to a engaging product experience? True the product is desirable to most of us but when looking beyond they really know how use the medium to their advantage. Take Audi, they recently revamped there site and updated the way you approach and navigate the range as well as added AudiTV, which is filled with great stuff on technology, engineering, design, and motor sports. There is also some great use of video, sign-ups and other goodies stuffed in there. Then we have Ford and it’s multiple brands. Ford.com gives a good overview of the product and brand offering. Here the category navigation (ex. SUV) is very interesting, where one gets to see the full product offering form all the brands in on go. This is supported by an interactive filtering tool with a good range of sorting options. Lincon’s site offers a very cool “in environment” fly-over 3D presentation of the exterior and interior of the car which include a color picker. Nice. While Volvo’s site offer a more sober and clean product presentation but still to the point. And then Jaguar with its stylish and sexy take on imagery and video. Overall these examples have on thing in common, a great engaging branding product experiences.

Now lets move on to the future – user centric – welcome Volkswagen UK.
Surfing around I found this spot promoting the new site:

VW is know for it innovative site and campaigns, just take the current (now old) US site or the GTI campaign. But with this new UK one they have changed the focus – it is now all about the user and providing right tools for the experience.Just take the landing page – just brilliant, quick right to the point questions and entry to what you are looking for, new, used, own (finally sometime for the new buyer with feature like my cars etc.) as well as some clever campaign/model highlight integration. And the main sell/lead generators are always present in the top nav.
This user centric approach continues while navigating the site. Take the new car section, the complete range of vehicles presented in one view and a preference side bar with relevant options. Continuing on the model page we have a nice qucik animation intro and a straight forward nav. 3D model with hotshots are nice but I really like the overlay with detail images, creates nice impact. The gallery has a fresh approach, maybe not that user friendly but, with a nice layout options. As does the reviews/awards section.
Now, one of the more important, or even the most important section of a car manufacture site is the car configureator. Taken their last try into consideration one can do nothing else that applaud their efforts. Simple and intuitive with just the right amount of cool/effectfull animations.Believe that all of these site are examples of a great user experience and should be copied/modeled after more, especially the later. Just one thing missing in my point of view, social web integration, and we will have the best product site ever.