Ok, so it has been a while. But this quiet working week feels like a good time to try to restart some kind of blogging rhythm, even if it's more likely to be a weekly rather than daily habit in the coming year.
Anyway, the holiday season has inspired a few thoughts to get me going again. Specifically, I'm encountered three great examples of holistic, ongoing experience design...classic 'free prize inside' bonus experiences that follow and enhance the core experience (but which would seem completely frivolous, indulgent, and non-measurable to traditional marketers).
Take the packaging for my wife's new iPod Nano. Traditionally, packaging was a way to differentiate products visually, on a supermarket shelf. But the really sexy part of the iPod Nano packaging is inside the box...reflecting the experiential importance of the unboxing experience and the talkability of that 'free prize' moment.
Or take the freebie my wife and I received as we left New York's Gramercy Tavern after dinner...muffins for breakfast the following day. A small thing in monetary terms, but a really smart way to extend our dining experience into the next day (when incidentally we were much more likely to talk about and recommend it to others).
Finally, my parents spent this Christmas at Babington House in the UK. This year, on departure, they were given an entire care package of goodies for when they got home...milk, bread, butter, and jam to allow them to have a snackwhen they got home to an empty fridge. Just too thoughtful, and yet so simple and obvious. And it was, of course, the first thing they told me about when we spoke on the phone.
2010 will be the year of the customer-centric experience brand. Which should make it a great year for free prizes.