The origin of the Ice Bucket Challenge as a means to raise money for charity is not entirely clear. But I think it’s fair to say that the campaign’s meteoric success, generated once social media took its course ($110 million in donations and counting), was completely unpredictable. So, how and why did the Challenge catch on so fast? Is it possible that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has shed some light into an untapped advertising strategy? What could brands accomplish if they were to capitalize on this attention-seeking human behavior and use it to their advantage?
It’s fair to say that I’ve spent a lot of time with researchers in my short career: working with UX researchers at an ad agency, working with design researchers at a product innovation firm, and now working with qualitative, quantitative, and design researchers at a consumer insights and strategy consultancy. With that kind of influence in my life, you’d think I’d be a researcher by now. Not quite. But I’ve had the privilege to observe researchers in the field, be a respondent for many of them, and collaborate on analyses and deliverables together.
Generation Y is all about purpose-driven purchases. That’s old news. The rise of organic products, craft beer, and hybrid cars speak for themselves. In short, you could say that Generation Y believes that they are doing good – that their purchases reflect their values, their views, and what they seek to change in the world. Somehow, by purchasing fair-trade coffee beans and driving a Prius, the world will be, even if only slightly, a better place. We can go on and on about just how “good” a company is, but when it comes down to it: very few of us actually care.
In the course of the past 12 months, the so-called “Internet of Things," or IoT, has gone from semi-obscure forum fodder for the technorati to center-stage (literally) as the subject of keynotes and a major focus among the world’s biggest companies. With so many facets and such rapid, constant evolution, all of this can all be a little overwhelming to keep up with. As this space has emerged, we at Kelton have actively immersed ourselves in tracking and understanding it, and engaging our clients to help them navigate the myriad changes it’s already bringing (or will soon bring) to their businesses. For this same reason, across the coming months Kelton will be exploring some of the most salient aspects of the IoT. We’ll be producing and presenting a range of original content, all with a clear goal in mind: providing our clients the foundation for insight, strategy, innovation, and foresight around opportunity areas in the IoT. Context is always valuable, so let's begin by setting the scene with a IoT Timeline. This sharable companion graphic provides a concise history of the IoT - how it got to where it is now, where it's likely going, and the important milestones along the way.
While it’s tempting to dismiss Buzzfeed as little more than snippets of 90’s pop culture or vicarious living through others’ Instagram feeds, lately I’ve found myself increasingly intrigued by and spending more time on this site – and it’s not just because I’m a sucker for baby animal pictures. Buzzfeed is more than pop-culture lists, nostalgia, and “Where in the USA should you live?” quizzes. It is a news and content hub that fits the sensibilities of Millennials to a T, and is unique in that it captures the spirit and values of this generation, more so than its competitors.
Flipping through the TV channels last week, I landed on the Colbert Report just in time to see Colbert interview Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. As the interview was wrapping up, Colbert asked Musk: “What’s next? What’s the next thing you’re going to blow my mind with?” Musk’s response was brilliant. “What do you wish there was?” he pushed back on Colbert. It was a wonderful interaction – a company asking a consumer about the problems he is facing and his ideas on how to fix these issues. But consumers shouldn’t wait to be invited to a focus group or survey to share their ideas with brands. And – like Musk made Colbert realize – consumers shouldn’t sit around and wait to be wowed by the genius of others.