BrainMustard Customer Experience Design Series
The Customer Experience Series by BrainMustard are based on the customer experience maps and social influence graphs built from scanning and analyzing millions of contents from the Internet chatter.
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Image: Louis Vuitton recieved many hateful reviews for this taboo print ad.
A Louis Vuitton ad campaign was banned back in 2010 because it portrayed a woman stitching and crafting one of their expensive, refined purses using needle and thread. Louis Vuitton pulled out of the campaign for no reason other than that it attracted such a hateful reviews from consumers, stating that the ad was misleading since those designer bags were in no way made by hand.
While these bags may not be made from the same needle and thread the woman supposedly uses in this taboo advertisement, by the same token, Red Bull doesn’t give you wings, and your life isn’t going to get a whole lot brighter after dipping into your savings for an expensive new Audi.
So why were people so offended by Louis Vuitton but not others?
After the Industrial Revolution, many manufacturers and designers of luxury products took advantage of the machinery available to them, and in turn, began mass producing items for comparably lower prices to create more standardized, near-perfect products. However, for many consumers, this reality detracted from the value of their purchase mainly because working with hands offers a different level of meaningfulness to the experience.
Image: The human touch in Yakiniku restaurants has become a major delighter in the customer experience.
The significance of human touch is not limited to luxury items. The Japanese are coining on the effect of the human touch with their Yakiniku restaurants, where you can cook your own food. Or better yet, consider how delicious and “just right” a perfectly crafted Caesar salad tastes in an upscale Italian restaurant where they crack the eggs in front of your eyes and make it from scratch. If you take the human touch away from these cuisine experiences, they wouldn’t be the same experience, would they?
Buying furniture from Roche Bobois may guarantee high quality and convenience for the consumer, but they are forced to buy the product without getting a feel for it through their own human touch. Alternatively, IKEA delivers furniture that we all know is a pain to assemble, and the manuals might as well be written in Swedish because they’re not too explanatory anyway. Nonetheless, IKEA has grown so substantially because customers have been forced into learning how to assemble their own furniture. It’s not that IKEA is selling inexpensive furniture, but rather, in the minds of many consumers, they are selling meaning to furniture that would otherwise be mediocre at best.
The same can be said for DIY projects, where consumers are basically segmented into different levels of enthusiasm. On the one end of the spectrum, the obvious segment is those who go to Home Depot to buy all possible necessities of tools and equipment that may go in to making a refurbished porch or deck for the backyard. On the other end of the spectrum, the less obvious-- but arguably more lucrative segment-- is known in the boardrooms as “fake DIYs”. These are the people who are so pressed for time that it would be nearly impossible for them to devote more than a few minutes on a project. These are the people who purchase a mug painting kit – a vanilla mug, a brush, and two different paints-- for $20, at a whopping 200% margin. What they all have in common is their need for human touch as the main ingredient in making an experience meaningful.
The demand for a meaningful experience is increasingly important. So much so, that sometimes, consumers are not even willing to trade it off for convenience or aesthetics. The products that target this need are scarce and the consumers have become very sensitive to brands that, despite their bold claims, fail to deliver.
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