Published in Retail

Space, Coke, and Apples: Connecting Tech Advancement to Customer Need

Innovation | Technology | Design

There is a point at which your potential client becomes a customer, another point where they become a loyalist, and another when they’ll do anything they need to keep up with you because it wouldn’t make any logical sense to do otherwise. That’s the power of innovative technology.

Corporation’s have a long-standing history of drawing consumers in to connect with them in technologically new and exciting ways. Advertising and marketing have traditionally led this effort in producing content to push out, and pull in consumers to purchase products. But Corporation’s know now better than ever that a customer’s true loyalty is worthy of an experience that exceeds expectations from interest to purchase and beyond.

Innovation and technology from a human perspective is a subject that is getting a lot of attention­­ — as it should.

Establishing Interest

Consider National Geographic. In effort to drive more viewers to their television channel, NatGeo created a second-screen experience in collaboration with their TV show, Live From Space:


“We looked to bridge the gap between life on Earth and in space in order to share our human connections and what’s happening on Earth with the astronauts. Syncing to the ISS, the site displays real-time information about its location and the country currently beneath its orbital path. Popular content (from iTunes, Foursquare and YouTube) for that country is displayed along with similarities linking countries and revealing shared trends. Additionally, everyone can wave to the astronauts by submitting photos/videos via Instagram to a gallery dedicated to them.”

In creating an experience that would appeal to the ‘discoverer’ in viewers and potential viewers, NatGeo achieved their goal of driving user engagement with 2,000 photos submitted, site visitors spending an average of 20 minutes of interaction, and thousands of hits per day since the premier. In other words, interest in National Geographic was reinvigorated through the use of technology.

Inspiring Purchase

Coke-Cola has influenced impulse purchases more and more frequently lately with their famous Share Happiness campaign—a series of marketing, packaging and advertising stunts designed to inspire on-site purchases. One stunt Coke pulled in 2013 called, “Happiness Without Borders” was crafted to give Coke a positive societal image by connecting two countries in political tension one with another—Pakistan and India—via a Coke machine:

“Coke and Leo Burnett used first-of-its-kind 3D touchscreen technology to project a streaming video feed onto the vending machine screen while simultaneously filming through the unit to capture a live emotional exchange.”

It’s tough to say what type of impact this single event had on Coke product sales for the quarter, but we can be sure Coke drinkers around the world became more loyal just watching it unfold.

Encouraging Devotion

Regardless of the customer service quality, and no matter how meaningful the stunt or campaign, most customers will also inevitably seek out what is most useful, and valuable to them. The vitality and durability of a business lies in its marriage of core customer values to advancement in technology.

That is why a company like Apple will likely be around and formidable for years and years to come. Even with a more-than-substantial market share, Apple’s technologies have continued to advance and grow every September—all while staying true to the experience their loyalist expects. As the interim CEO in 1997, Steve Jobs made Apple’s methods of delivering satisfaction very clear: “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and then work backwards to the technology”—a model the empire still strives for in 2016.

CUPERTINO, CA - OCTOBER 16: Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an event introducing new iPads at Apple's headquarters October 16, 2014 in Cupertino, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Apple friend or foe, it must be admitted they are a leader in both tech and customer experience. As illustrated just a few days ago, they will continue to deliver in both areas, because they understand what’s coming next—it’s already being drafted in their labs.



If you’re interested in Innovation, Technology and Design we’ve heard about an event you shouldn’t miss: 2016 Innovation by Design Summit

On September 27-28, 2016, at St. Louis Union Station, join us in hearing from Steve Wozniak—co-founder of Apple—at the 2016 Innovation By Design Summit hosted by Maritz. The Innovation By Design Summit aspires to be nothing short of a transformative experience that fuels corporate innovation with other keynotes from Wendy De La Rosa of Irrational Labs, Nir Eyal of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Jeremy Gutsche of Join us in celebrating the intersection of innovation and behavioral design.