Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness                             Brands and Christmas:            ...
Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness                                      Brands and Christmas:   ...
Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness                                                          insu...
Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness                                   we’ve realized that we’re n...
Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness                               RedEnvelope, ThinkGeek, Hot Top...
Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness                                 intention and in a unique man...
Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness                           Prototyping uniqueness             ...
Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness                           References                         ...
Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness                           Appendix                           ...
Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness
Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness                              In the blogs and forums, the    ...
Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness                                                              ...
Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness                           “Kids basically like whatever they ...
Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness
Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness
Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness
Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness
Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness
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Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness by Nurun Lab

  1. 1. Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness As explored by the Nurun LabQuick TakeawayTo build loyalty, brandsshould offer a uniqueway for consumers tonurture their existing re-lationship during theholiday season. Digitalmakes it possible.
  2. 2. Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness Brands and Christmas: fordable ways to make their product Better Use Digital To Offer (s) unique. Digital can accomplish Uniqueness this. Introduction What makes the Christmas This sign indicates an The celebration of family and friends insight, a concept or a ritual special. marks the holiday season, however in prototype imagined by the nurun Lab the past few decades, this ritual has based on research. been overwhelmed with gift giving. Ac- “It is not a matter of rationalizing cording to the New Yorker, the Christ- why children like Father Christmas, mas shopping season can account for as but rather, why adults invented him much as 40 per cent of a retail store’s in the first place.” – Claude Levi- annual revenue and as much as three- Strauss, Father Christmas Executed quarters of its annual profit. Christmas (1952) enables people to assert relationships through things, which can be as excit- ing as it is stressful. As a gift is symbolic In an age of secularization and the de- of the relationship that exists between cline of ritual, the winter holiday sea- the giver and the recipient, the focus son, championed by Christmas, has should be on finding gifts that perfectly become the most promising candidate represent the relationship rather than for the first global festival. The Christ- what type of object is involved. The mas ritual can be traced to ‘pagan’ past 15 years of globalization has Rome, however similar celebrations heightened this stress; with people get- were occurring in Scandanavia and ting richer, products getting among the South West American na- cheaper and the mass production of tives. These festivities of light over stuff, it has become more difficult for darkness or life over death during the the receiver and the gift-giver to get a winter months are not an exclusivelyBetter safe than sorry: 39% of peo- clear idea of a gift’s true value. In fact, Christian ritual; they materialized inple hope for money & gift cardsfor Xmas except for a few iconic brands (such as many cultures through gift exchanges, Apple and Nike), brand-name goods solidarity between the rich and poor are becoming a less desirable option for and feasting. those seeking an unforgettable gift ex- perience. Since the end of World War II the im- portance of festive decorations, cele- At Nurun, we believe people are look- bratory meals, travelling, and in par- ing for ways to transform generic gifts ticular gift giving, has increased (in into unique presents. conjunction with the general rise in Brands should take advantage of this living standards) to such an extent that all of these activities have become an opportunity by providing smart, af- essential part in asserting, forming and
  3. 3. Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness insuring relation- Unlike a simple object, a gift is a tangi- ships in Christian ble representation of a unique relation- and non-Christian ship that exists between people. The countries gift in itself is secondary to how alike. For exam- “unique, specified by the people ex- ple, in China, changing and the unique moment of young people cele- the exchange” (2) it is. In other words, brate Christmas by Christmas is an occasion for people to sending each other assert relationships through things, gifts such as ‘holy whether it’s their mother or coworkers. apples’ that cost up to five times “He [my husband]’s funny. I’m the more than the av- one sewing bad scarves and drinking erage fruit. (1) Egg Nog while he’s out at The Bay getting our family PR together .” “Yes, I do like see- Jennifer, 29. ing them happy. A visualization of the correlation between But the event itself This process is as exciting as it is stress- Christmas and stress based on words used in is sort of secondary ful. forums. to being able to “I don’t get Barbies or Bratz… Christ- travel with my girlfriends. I mean I mas is probably the real first reflec- love my kids, and everything… but tion of the values you want your chil- Christmas is a build up of music, dren to have about sharing, lovingPressure, Depression aroundXmas time travel, shopping, drinking, thinking and generosity… So I get books, andIt’s a common and popular belief about what you really value.” Lesley, shoes, mini kitchen appliances. It’sthat the depression rates rise 39, interviewed at Macy’s. pressure, but it’s worth it,”around Christmas time with peo- “For me Church, like Christmas, is a Delphine, 35.ple feeling excluded from the feeling of love and connectedness. Imerry spirit of the season.Even if this is statistically untrue, feel inspired by the feeling all around Sometimes it places such pressure onthe pressure of the alleged happy me... everyone is in a good mood, people that they discharge themselvesmoment can be daunting for smiling and singing. We are with our of the responsibility entirely. Louise, 57,some, magnifying the feeling of children amidst Jesus. It’s nice.” owns a public relations firm with herloneliness or even triggeringsome radical measures. Monito- Maria, 36. husband, and while she identifiesring the frequency of "break Christmas “as an opportunity to be inup","broken up" and relationship touch [with old or potential clients] Choosing the right gift is astatus changes on Facebook, a without sounding needy or creepy,” shestudy revealed the Holiday season source of stress proportional to and her husband have stopped shop-as the years second highest the love and joy of the offering ping for themselves and their childrenbreak-up period. The Holidayseason is the most intense and and the nature of the relation- for Christmas:emotionally loaded period of theyear. ship. “Progressively, with my husband,
  4. 4. Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness we’ve realized that we’re never en- Consumers invent strategies to lower tirely satisfied with our gifts, so we the pressure by offering money or gift stopped giving each other gifts. Some- cards, by choosing expensive gifts, or by times we’ll get our kids gifts, but relying on iconic brands and trendy more often it’s just a money transac- items. This year, iPads and tablets are tion. It sounds a little blasé, but I the most desired gifts, followed by don’t care about gifts. The music clothing.(3) Other consumers are opting makes me nauseous and really if I for more unique gifts, by personalizing want a computer I’ll just go on the standard items. Consumer brands 27th or whatever.” want to make their products highly val- ued (difficult), become an iconic brand It is socially accepted that a gift’s main (very difficult) or focus on uniqueness role is to demonstrate how much you (probably easier, especially during care for someone. Every relation you Christmas time). have, whether to a spouse, child, parent or friend requires a gift that is unique Brands and retailers try to to that specific relationship. Making imagine digital solutions to ad- dress this situation. Retailers try to provide useful tips and tools such as gift idea generators. Un- fortunately these digital tools hardly prove to be efficient, nor relevant enough to help consumers. An idea from the Lab to remind to customers that losing or forgetting a Walmart’s latest app, Shopycat, gift cards is like losing real money. searches a friend’s Facebook profile and the wrong choice translates to “He/she generates recommendations based on is going to believe I don’t love him/her what has been liked and posted on their that much.” With an over-abundance of wall.(4) Although objective in its recom- goods available, the stress of selecting mendations – it suggests products from the right one can be overwhelming. other retails including, Barnes & Noble, An idea from the Lab to make digital gift choosers more accurate by anonymously validating ideas with the gift receiver .
  5. 5. Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness RedEnvelope, ThinkGeek, Hot Topic – interest, however, for broader circles of it fails to take into account the meaning acquaintances, it could be tolerated. of gifting (making efforts to demon- strate love) and the proximity of the Making the gift unique is a relationship that exists between the customer’s strategy that smart giver and recipient. brands should embrace rather The gift becomes a fluke. than fight. Another interesting initiative in the In the sea of potential consumer goods same vein is the I am Saint Nick tool coming from all over the world, there is that gets Santa to call your friends and a decline in local artisanal labour and family, asking for their wish list.(5) Once an increase in Do-It-Yourself (DIY). Far the conversation is over, a recording is from the grandmother scarves and chil- sent to you. Even though the call is dren drawings, today’s DIY culture de- anonymous and the information gath- mands time, financial resources and ered increases the chances of getting a taste, all of which are appropriated by gift that pleases, the gift may still fail to the dominant class. The result of this represent the meaningfulness of the endeavour is the prized unique gift. relationship between the giver and the Based on a want for custom products, recipient. For close relatives, such a consumers have developed methods to tool could be perceived to be deceptive meet their desired level of uniqueness. as it clearly reveals a lack of personal Rare, existing objects are widely per- ceived as being unique due to their lim- ited availability. This can also be achieved by giving customized items, edited selections (playlists, wine), self- created content and objects (photo al- bums). “I think Theo needs to know what’s up and that good things don’t come in packages they come in things like Malva pudding and happy families.” Jennifer, 28. The relationship between face value, uniqueness and perceived value is something difficult to define quantifia- bly. But from our interviews it was clear that a “cheap" gift can be perceived to The perceived value of a cheaper iPad preloaded with selected content be of great value if it is selected with an can be the same as the perceived value of a more expensive one.
  6. 6. Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness intention and in a unique manner. can be raised from luxury to priceless. There are different ways to make a gift For instance, luxury brands such as unique, and the Lab built a working Louis Vuitton My Monogram offer cus- grid to put brands in creative condi- tomizable products to help gifters cre- tions for them to imagine their best fit. ate uniqueness.(6) The whole range of products can be adapted to this business model. In the apparel business, high-end brands such as Burberry could offer platforms to customize trench coats, while in the lower-end this shift has already taken place with Zazzle.de, a t-shirt customi- zation platform that proudly an- nounced 12 million unique visitors and a total of 11 million items shipped in November 2011. (7) Some unique prod- ucts can also uphold treasurable memories. Books are interesting objects in this regard. “The book of the reasons why I love you” is a professional look- ing book with personalized content The unique gift grid explores patterns to extend traditional approaches perfect for a significant other.(8) For a to digital child, his or her teddy bear can be up- loaded and made into the book’s pro- Ideas in practice tagonist.(9) Some brands have capitalized on this For less personal, intimate gifts, cus- occurrence and developed platforms to tomization can enhance presents to create unique customized products. create a long lasting memory. For an Mass production has enabled anyone to edible, short lasting and jovial product, get almost anything, and because of my M&Ms allows people to buy M&Ms this, finding one-of-a-kind gifts has be- for different occasions (Christmas, come a key-differentiating factor when birthdays, etc.) with customized pic- giving a present. tures, personal messages or even fa- vourite NFL teams.(10) In the same vein, Digital tools can allow products to be Alchemist Dreams has launched the customized with a minor tweak, turn- world’s first custom liqueurs that users ing any gift – from mainstream to high- can customize from taste to the bottle’s end – into a unique present. That way, design.(11) even the value of high-end products
  7. 7. Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness Prototyping uniqueness served for Christmas gifting. To make it happen, we developed a concept based on both the materialization and virtual- We chose two categories, banking and ization of money. Using a connected apparel, to imagine how brands could and real piggy bank, kids could ex- help their customers make unique gifts change the “real money” (like bank for Christmas. notes, cheques or gift cards) they get for Christmas against tokens that rep- For the apparel brand, we came up with resent virtual money to be put inside a simple concept: using embroidered the bank. The fake coins put in would QR codes to attach unique video mes- then pile up in an interface displaying sages to a shirt. Such an idea could the money saved in real time and fea- work both online and in store. We be- turing the kid’s personal wishlist. Cor- lieve the marriage of the old craft of respondence between the amount cu- embroidering with new technology like mulated and real world objects would QR codes would satisfy the customer’s help kids realize what their money is need for uniqueness. worth based on their own objectives (a bike, a PlayStation, etc.). Conclusion It is clear from the Lab’s ethnographic research and authoritative resources in the field that Christmas is a source of stress for several reasons, including the selection of the perfect gift. Brands can We tried to figure out how a bank – help consumers make gifts more that is definitely not at the top of any- unique by converting patterns that exist one’s mind when it comes to finding a in the real world into digital solutions. gift - could become an appealing alter- native to traditional children’s Christ- mas presents. We believe offering a bank-related gift can be part of the “Finding rare things” category we ob-
  8. 8. Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness References (1) Euromonitor International survey, Nov. 29th 2011 (2) Jean Baudrillard, For a Critique of the Politi- cal Economy of the Sign. 64-65. Trans. Charles Levin. St. Louis, MO: Telos, 1981 (3)Consumer Electronics Association’s 18th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study released in October 2011 (4)http://allthingsd.com/20111130/dont-trust- your-instincts-wal-mart-uses-algorithms-to- find-gifts-people-want/ (5)http://www.springwise.com/telecom_mobile/ santa_calls_friends_and_family/ (6)http://www.webandluxe.com/01/2010/ marketing-mon-monogramme-la- personnalisation-made-in-louis-vuitton/ (7)http://mass-customization.blogs.com/ mass_customization_open_i/clothing/ (8)http://www.lovebookonline.com/ (9)http://www.springwise.com/ media_publishing/mondoudou/ http://www.springwise.com/lifestyle_leisure/ talkatoo/ (10)http://www.mymms.com/ (11)http://www.springwise.com/food_beverage/ world%E2%80%99s-customizable-liqueurs- handmade-order/ Disclaimer A point of view developed by the nurun Lab About the references used in this Nu- run Lab document: a link to an external site does not imply an endorsement of the views, information or products pro- vided or held by such websites. References to brands in this Nurun Lab document are only provided as poten- tial applicable domains both for the convenience of readers and crashtest The nurun Lab team gathers anthropolo- theoretical ideas with real-life situa- gists, design thinking experts, strategic tions. planners and new technologies experts.
  9. 9. Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness Appendix APPENDIX 1: TWITTER CANVAS At the Lab, we gather meaningful tweets to detect patterns on a subject, a category or a brand. Tweets are a gold mine for marketers: people express frustrations and desires without being asked to do so. This canvas demonstrates the commuters’ problems and search for solutions. APPENDIX 2: CHRISTMAS IN BLOGS AND FORUMS WORD CLOUDS APPENDIX 3: INTERVIEWS APPENDIX 4: PRROTOTYPES DESCRIPTIONS
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  11. 11. Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness In the blogs and forums, the words associated to Christmas and Stress are not very differ- ent from the words associated to Christmas and Joy.The Christmas Stress wordcloudThe Christmas Joy wordcloud Methodology: wordcloud made with a mix the 100 first results in Google of the requested words in blogs and forums.
  12. 12. Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness booze. This year actually Theo’s cat broke her Interviews femur and a herniated which ridiculously blows For this sprint the Lab did fieldwork in Macys but the point is we called the brunch ‘Help Canadian Tire, malls and interviewed five Boots walk again Brunch’ so we can pay for her women with children to hear about their rela- meds.” tionship to the celebrations (consumption, gen- der, religion), etc.. Here are some of the most - Christmas is about Community : Sharing, interesting quotes from our five informants. Smaller means, and Religion Maria, 36 met her husbands business home (hes a genitor), they - Christmas is about DIY LOVE : Food, Tradi- have three boys 14, 10, and 8 years old. tion, and Gender equality Jennifer, 28 met at home with three year old daughter Theo “In the Bible Christmas is about sharing and being good. Today, here, it’s all about buying. So “For Christmas, I go back to Kitchener Ontario at church it’s still more like where we’re from; to my parents, and enter this blissful ageless few about being together that night, eating together days.” with the community. We work hard on our na- tivity scene… It feels nice that that still exists.” “I’m originally South African so my dad bakes Malva pudding. It’s funny because growing up “In fact Christmas isn’t really when we get our Christmas meant summer and swimming. Now gifts its later when the Kings arrive early Janu- its all cold out… but I guess it’s still warm in- ary. I think the boys at first didn’t like it – but side. When I’m home it’s like my mom can be know they do because it’s sort of like Christmas Theo’s mom and I can be happy doing nothing.” is the meal and the community and two weeks later it’s the presents and the parents.” “My dad is actually a real Christmas dad. He goes to get the tree on like December 1st, puts “Right now my boys all want this game so after a this train in the living room and gets excited long family decision last week we decided that making Egg Nog. He’s not the best gift giver, and they would all get it, and have to share it. I think generally never gets me perfectly but he cares so (the eldest) isn’t happy – and I can understand much to make us happy too..." but he gets a raise in his allowance so we’ll see. You know generally people forget their gifts "Aaron [husband] isn’t a Christmas dad. He’s anyways. Whereas if it’s something they can use loving but makes Christmas into this responsi- together its better.” ble thing. Where he’ll make a categories list with like the level each person he knows qualifies for: “For me Church like Christmas is a feeling of card, chocolates,… he’s funny. I’m the one sow- love and connectedness. I feel inspired by the ing bad scarves and drinking egg nog while he’s feeling all around me... everyone is in a good out at the Bay getting our Family PR together.” mood, smiling and singing. We are with our children amidst Jesus. It’s nice.” Maria, 36 “I don’t particularly care for consumption. I would much rather Theo getting a hand sowed - Christmas is about Partying for a month: doll than a Barbie. I mean it’s not even a ques- Macys, Girlfriends, fun and Consumption Les- tion about being cheap … It’s really like I think ley, 39 met in Macy’s from Ohio with 3 girl- Theo needs to know what’s up and that good friends (come every year since they have been things don’t come in packages they come in 21) she has a 12 and a 9 year old. things like Malva pudding and happy families.” “My youngest loves superhero stuff. If you’re a “We have a tradition with Aaron, to get our ten year old, Wolverine from Xman is like the friends together. It’s a brunch and we provide hottest thing on the planet right now.” food and games for the kids and people bring
  13. 13. Brands and Christmas: Better Use Digital To Offer Uniqueness “Kids basically like whatever they see on TV.” daughter a lot, but my boy is further so having everyone come to the country is nice. I bake the “Well now that they [her children] are older I food. Christmas is about food after all… Pro- can’t really use the be good or else line. They’re gressively with my husband we’ve realized that just greedy... I mean yes, I do like seeing them we we’re never entirely satisfied with our gifts, happy. But the event itself is sort of secondary to so we stopped giving each other gifts. Some- being able to travel with my girlfriends. I mean I times we’ll get our kids gifts but more often its love my kids, and everything… but Christmas is just a money transaction.” a build-up of music, travel, shopping, drinking, thinking about what you really value.” “It sounds a little blasé but I don’t care about gifts. The music makes me nauseous and really if “But you know here, I’m also shopping for my- I want a computer I’ll just go on the 27th or self. I don’t want a present I have no interest in.” whatever.” - Christmas is about the values you want your “I’ll give to the Kid’s hospital every year.” kids to have: Balance, Generosity and Consump- tion Delphine, 35, at home with her 2 year old “My husband and I have a PR firm so we need to boy and 6 year old girl send out letters for the New Year’s. It’s part of what we do. In a way it keeps us in contact with “We come from France, and ‘la belle famille’ clients. Often we get calls back. In a sense it’s an isn’t always easy. I’ve lost my mom and I think opportunity to be in touch without sounding mothers play an important role in holding the needy or creepy.” ritual together – so since she’s gone we only have my husband’s side of the family and it’s just a little more difficult. We went back a few times when we just moved here 6 years ago. But now we only go back in the summer. It’s easier that way. So for Christmas it’s just me, my husband and out 2 children.” “I love seeing my kids happy. There’s a real joy in their eyes. And as a parent that’s really impor- tant.” “I think it’s about reliving what my mother lived. I know it’s cheesy but it’s important. And I’m really bad at not getting way too many things for my kids. I don’t get Barbies or Bratz … Christ- mas is probably the real first reflection of the values you want your children to have about sharing, loving and generosity… So I get books, and shoes, mini kitchen appliances” - Christmas is about being alone with family: Work Relations, Food and Close Ones Louise, 57 met at her office has a 25 girl (living in mtl) and a 29 (living in nyc) boy kids. “I don’t really care about Christmas’ religious aspect. I like to have my kids home. I see my
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