About the The Difference Engine


Published on

The Difference Engine is live - and this is the overview of what we do, who we are, and how we roll.

We discover new ways for brands to create value in digital, social and mobile environments. And we identify opportunities for smart, efficient, evidence-based innovation that benefits both the business and its customers.
We'd love to work with you.

Published in: Business, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

About the The Difference Engine

  1. 1. WE IDENTIFY OPPORTUNITIES FOR SMART,EFFICIENT INNOVATION THAT BENEFITS BOTHYOUR BUSINESS AND YOUR CUSTOMERS.Our deep roots and experience in digital, social & mobile strategy, and productdevelopment allow us to combine marketing prowess with smart digital thinkingto efficiently solve business challenges and effectively activate customers.We all know there’s a lot of waste in the traditional client/agency model - ourexperience with agencies and brands inspired us to emerge from that model tofocus on creating something useful, in a way that is fully transparent to ourclients and rooted in customer desires and expectations.We’re part of a new school of thinkers & creators, using smart, efficient andevidence-based methods to create successful brand and product experiences.
  2. 2. WE CREATE BRAND & PRODUCT EXPERIENCESTHAT ARE RESPONSIVE TO BUSINESS NEEDS ANDCUSTOMER BEHAVIOR.We create a blueprint for a holistic digital ecosystem that touches on- and off-lineengagement channels, and that is easily shared across product and marketinggroups.We streamline a brand’s marketing approach to focus on engaging and activatingcustomers; and we help develop a lean approach to production and managementof these platforms - reducing costs while increasing quality.We find or create tools that are easily deployable, measurable (and we helpestablish the right set of goals), as well as scalable and repeatable.
  3. 3. Because its purpose is to create a customer,the business has two - and only two - functions:Marketing and Innovation.Marketing and Innovation produce results.All the rest are costs. PETER DRUCKER
  4. 4. WE BELIEVE IN VALUE CREATION,NOT VALUE EXTRACTIONA brand is not only what it says it is. And it’s not merely what your “target” thinksabout your communications.Today, the brand is a shared asset - it lives in the way people experience yourproducts and services, and what people do with and about you.The success of your brand depends on where and how we buy your product oruse your service, how we feel about the price-value equation, and how weinteract with your people and platforms.Instead of getting people to act, think or feel a particular way, we look for ways tomake engaging with the brand a more useful, more rewarding, and moresuccessful experience for customers. We want to help you make it easier formore people to engage your products & services, in more places.
  5. 5. Value can only be defined by the ultimate customer. And it’sonly meaningful when expressed in terms of a specific product(a good or a service, and often both at once) which meets thecustomer’s needs at a specific price at a specific time. JAMES WOMACK & DANIEL JONES
  6. 6. WE ARE CUSTOMER CENTRIC,NOT BRAND CENTRICBrands and agencies spend a lot of time talking about “consumers” and “targetaudiences”. Too often, these aren’t real people - they’re statistical averages, andthey don’t always help managers make decisions.We focus on customers - real people who expect real value from your productsand services. These are the people who spend time, money, or effort in exchangefor the value your products and services provide.We identify your real customers - whether these are your actual end users, oryour channel partners - and discover untapped or underserved customers. Welearn what they want, need or desire in order to have a successful brand orproduct experience.And then we collaborate with you and them to discover opportunities forinnovation that creates value.
  7. 7. We always have a vision that is clearly articulated, big enough tomatter & shared by the whole team...Our goal is always todiscover which aspects of this vision are grounded in reality &adapt those aspects that are not. ERIC RIES
  8. 8. WE ARE EVIDENCE-BASED,NOT PROCESS-DRIVENWe make no assumptions - about your business model, your customers, or yourvalue proposition. As a result, we don’t start off knowing where we’ll end up, ortry to ‘sell’ you on an outcome.Rather, we learn what to do. We rely on the rigor of design thinking tools, andcollaborate openly with the brand team and with customers, to arrive athypotheses worth testing.As a result, we can be nimble in our project planning, flexible in pricing, andresponsive to the needs of the business and brand or product teams.And we stay focused on measurable business outcomes - customer activationand acquisition, as well as customer retention and referral.
  9. 9. HOW WE ROLL vision How will the brand (co)create this value for & with customers? discovery Invention What do your What are the right customers/ prospects platforms, tools & ideas need? What problem for value creation? could we solve? reinvention Is it working? What do we change? How do we improve?
  10. 10. HOW WE COLLABORATE TO CREATEOur team can help you get to what you need more efficiently than you’reprobably used to. We work to create the conditions for success, connecting brand& product platforms, customer engagement and meaningful metrics.Our services include: Business model workshops help identify opportunities for innovation and value creation. Customer development & discovery work identifies untapped or underserved customer segments and needs. Blueprints for a product experience that creates value for customers are developed to share across internal teams and outside partners. Roadmaps for development, deployment, and measurement & revision are created to support always-on engagement programs. Briefing and vetting potential partners help brands identify the right partners. Hiring and overseeing the right partners enable us to develop & deploy bespoke solutions.
  11. 11. WHO WE’VE WORKED WITHOur team honed their skills and perspectives working with clientsin many categories, to discover new customer segments,identify opportunities for innovation, and develop programsfor creating value in the digital, mobile and social spheres.
  12. 12. REINVENTING A NETWORK.the challengeIn 2003, USA Network suffered from low ratings, audiences and content that failed to attract advertisers, and aprogramming and brand heritage that hindered growth. They saw their viewers as “less-than-average Joes”and wanted to reposition the channel, the content and as a result, the audience.THE APPROACHAn iterative customer discovery and development approach was used to find out who USA’s viewers reallywere, what made them tune in, what made them flip to another channel, and what caused confusion, as wellas to understand the context of viewing choices made across an increasingly cluttered spectrum. They had aquestion for us, “What gives USA the right to call itself USA?”THE RESULTWe collaborated with the USA team to translate these gaps, obstacles and opportunities into a new networkmission, ‘Characters Welcome’, that led to a fresh curatorial perspective based on an appreciation of thediversity of people and places in America, which in turn informed a new approach to developing and licensingshows that are all about great American characters. These choices greatly improved the viewer experience -and ultimately the network’s ratings.
  13. 13. THE #1 SHOE IN GOLF, FOR EVERYONE.the challengeThe most-worn golf shoe brand on the PGA tour, FootJoy is a highly respected, high quality manufacturer ofgolf shoes for men and women. Facing threats from Nike, Puma, Ecco and other, newer entrants to the golfcategory, FootJoy commissioned a segmentation study and strategic exploration of how the brand couldevolve both its products and its marketing to appeal to a broader, and likely younger, golf customer.THE APPROACHWe workshopped a series of hypotheses about how avid and frequent golfers shop, think about the category,and select the right shoes for them. We took these hypotheses into the field to test with actual golfers - menand women, younger as well as more seasoned golfers. We explored the line of products as well assponsorships, spokespeople and other marketing with customers, and learned what drives golfers.THE RESULTAfter validating what we discovered in face-to-face meetings with golfers in a quantitative segmentationstudy, we identified product development opportunities that would reach younger golfers, more tech-savvygolfers, and more diverse golfers (women, less frequent golfers). We also streamlined the marketing approach,focusing on technology and innovation, and a more limited line of shoes, letting these act as flagships for thebroader catalog; we relied on the brand’s heritage and standing as the #1 shoe in golf to demonstrate quality &comfort.
  14. 14. REIMAGINING DAYTIME DRAMA.the challengeIn 2006, TeleNext Media, the producers of Guiding Light and As the World Turns (America’s two longestrunning soap operas) were faced with a crisis: where had millions of daytime viewers, so loyal in the 1980s and1990s, gone - and how could we get them back?THE APPROACHWe met with writers and producers of the shows, visited sets, met with viewers, and dug deep into thechallenges the shows faced in production and storytelling, and the role soaps played in both the televisionindustry and the lives of viewers. We looked at how styles, formats and subject matter had changed over time,and uncovered opportunities for each show to improve the quality of its writing and production.THE RESULTWe worked with the showrunners to develop a lean approach to production - reducing costs while improvingquality by switching to handheld digital cameras, permanent sets and outdoor staging. We helped each showdevelop a unique take on storytelling - As the World Turns moved to ‘real time’ stories, where each day inSpringfield was a day in the real world; Guiding Light focused on a single character or couple each Wednesday.We helped TeleNext develop online communities for established viewers to introduce new viewers andmentor them on story and character. Prior to cancellation, they were regarded as the most innovative shows indaytime, influencing the entire genre.
  15. 15. DISCOVERING NEW CUSTOMERS.the challengeA major food marketer, a staple brand of American pantries and refrigerators, lacked a clear connection to twoemerging groups of consumers - Foodies and people concerned about sustainability. They wanted to developproducts or services that could connect these consumers to the brand, and provide good reasons to think ofthe brand as a partner in a more discerning kitchen.THE APPROACHWe observed foodies and sustainability-concerned shoppers over several days - their shopping habits, theirlifestyles, the way they organize their kitchens, the way they prepare food and organize their homes. Wediscovered a variety of opportunities for Kraft to bring its experience and expertise in food preparation andpackaging into these consumers homes in a useful, authentic way.THE RESULTWe created a digital blueprint - literally a internal website designed like the blueprints of a home - to shareacross product and marketing groups the lifestyle, pain points and need states of these customers. Acombination of user-created photography and video clips, as well as our recommendations for innovationopportunities were mapped to the different rooms of the home. Each room outlined product or serviceinnovation ideas: small space storage solutions, shopping & recipe apps, sustainable packaging, food games forkids, and content ideas to support budding chefs and emerging environmentalists.
  16. 16. CONTACT US @DifferenceNGN thedifferenceengine.co info@thedifferenceengine.co +1.718.915.5061 Brooklyn, USA