Companies should adopt 'experiential' product development to unlock the power of experiential marketing

  • Recent survey findings show that 75 percent of marketers across the globe expect to spend more on experiential marketing in 2008
  • Smart Design offers Product Opportunity studies using Emotional Mapping to enable clients to create products and marketing plans that deliver a holistic consumer experience
  • High resolution pictures available here and here
2nd December, 2008 – Whether it's Red Bull's Fleutag that challenges adrenaline-filled inventive types to build flying machines, Stoneyfield Farm's 'We salute your commute', or Nike's half marathons that introduce runners to global running communities' scale through Nike and Apple's technology, experiential marketing is a compelling business tool to help people deeply understand brands or new experiences. A recent Jack Morton survey found that almost 75 percent of marketers across the US, Europe, China and Australia expect to spend more on experiential marketing this year – a sector that the MICE Group forecasts will be one of the biggest growth areas in marketing over the next five years.

Design and experiential marketing can work synergistically to influence how people think about a brand. Smart Design, a strategic design consultancy, has created the Emotional Mapping process that enables products and packages to accurately communicate a brand's values to consumers. The new packaging for the Microsoft Vista, which Smart Design partnered with Microsoft to create, was the result of a global packaging design study that identified the specific elements connected with the desired brand experience. In categories ranging from the design of bottled water, to cleaning products and consumer electronics, Emotional Mapping has proven a powerful tool to shape the experiences that people have with brands.

To help companies define or redefine new categories of products or services, Smart Design offers its Opportunity Studies. Opportunity Studies uncover the new product platforms or service offerings that realize unmet consumer needs, extend a company's brand and demonstrate high potential for growing its business. While some of these opportunities tap into existing behaviours that people have, many of the more transformational ideas require consumers to adopt new behaviours to ultimately achieve more rewarding user experiences.

"For a current Opportunity Study, Smart Design has identified several powerful new business opportunities that can transform the way people care for their pets. The pet industry is currently $51 billion dollars and the impact for our client could be huge," says Tim Wallack, Smart Design's Director of Insights & Strategy. "These opportunities, however, will ask people to adopt new ways to care for their pet. There's a lot we can do with design to ensure that the training process is as easy as possible, but experiential marketing will also be key in educating pet owners just how helpful these new products will be," Tim Wallack continues.

Changing people's behaviors does not happen overnight. Which is why it's important that new innovation teams partner closely with marketing teams to deliver a holistic consumer experience. Smart works with many of its clients to develop a 'Consumer Experience Council' that helps align those creating the new opportunities with those who will be marketing them.

About Smart Design
Smart Design has been turning insight and innovation into successful consumer experiences for over 25 years. The company's approach integrates product development, interactive experiences, brand communication, and strategic insights to ensure winning design solutions. From its pioneering Universal Design collaboration with OXO International, developing its renowned line of kitchen tools, to its work with leading multi-national companies including HP, Microsoft, Lexar and Acer, developing user-friendly electronics and humanizing technology, Smart Design creates products that truly connect with the consumer. Smart Design has offices in New York, San Francisco and Barcelona. Please visit for more information or contact:

Mercedes Coats
Marketing, Smart Design
Tel: +1 415 255 7490

Manuela Whittaker
The PressOffice – PR for Smart Design
Tel: +44 (0) 1780 721433

Aldo deJong
European Office Contact, Smart Design
Tel: +34  935 846 615

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