Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Trend two of five technology trends from the SXSW 2011.

This is a continuation of my take on five technology trends that emerged from the 2011 South by Southwest Interactive Conference.  You can view all of the trends here.  

Trend two: It's not enough to be smart.  You have to be delightful.
It used to be that technology could succeed on its technical merits alone.  Solve a real business problem and you were a hit.  Help people find things online and you were a mega hit.  But now, technology consumers want more.  They want to be delighted.  A number of sessions focused on this idea.  And one of the best was Guy Kawasaki's promotion of his latest book, Enchanted.

Kawasaki, who used to be the chief evangelist for Apple (a company that definitely knows how to delight consumers), offered an engaging presentation that provided "10 ways to enchant."  He broke some of his own rules during the presentation.  But he's so enchanting I was willingly to forgive for him it. He offered points on how to be more likable, and who isn't enchanted by someone more likable.  He also talked about the value of trustworthiness and the importance of an authentic story.  Kawasaki made it clear that presentation matters.  I wish more of my clients would worry about presentation and invest in great presentations. Kawasaki convinced me that enchantment matters and I'm currently using his ideas to bring more delight and serendipity to client meetings.  

He wasn't the only one pushing enchantment.  Here are a few other notes of interest:
  • Dennis Crowley (referenced in my previous trend post) titled his presentation, Enabling New Experiences and Creating Serendipity through Check Ins. He believes that serendipity (or enchantment, or delight, or whatever you want to call it) is the new way for companies to differentiate.  And it allows us as users to see things we've never noticed before.
  • A presentation titled, Fun with the Lights Off: Interactivity without Graphics told the story of a mobile game where you travel through a world with your iPhone.  But you can't see anything, you can only hear what's going on around you. The presentation was awful, but the moments when the panel gave us a glimpse of how the game works were intriguing, and made a strong case for ideas that surprise and delight can create emotional interactions. 
  • One of my favorite presentations was Long After the Thrill: Sustaining Passionate Users given by Stephen Anderson.  He focused on ways to keep people coming back to your site or business over and over again. Anderson suggests that satisfying people's needs isn't enough. "We also have to delight."  And he infused his presentations with activities and ideas that encouraged every attendee to discover new ways to inspire delight, from bubble wrap to nostalgic games with a digital twist.
I'm sold on the idea of delight.  As a creative director at a major advertising agency, I've decided it's my job to enchant and surprise my clients and their customers.  I have to make marketing that works.  But I should make marketing that surprises, enchants, and delights. 

1 comment:

  1. So were those cookies in our meeting your effort to be delightful? It worked.