What I learned this week: 8.24.12

3 weeks in a row!  I probably should get some sort of reward for my dedication to this blog.  Your continued reading is reward enough, actually.  I am up over 1,000 views since I started this blog.  I am humbled.  Thank you.

1. Another company uses social media for product marketing research to launch new products: Lego Cuuso and the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover

Developing new products is scary.  Some fail.  Some don’t.  But they all require a very heavy investment in the form of marketing research, concept testing, and profitability analysis.  It’s not easy to launch a new product.  A fan of Lego developed a concept for a Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover, and it gained 10,000 supporters in record time to possibly become Lego’s next toy.

Enter crowd sourcing.  What if you knew there would be demand for your product by testing the concept with thousands of fans for free before you invested any money.  Well that’s just what Lego did with their Lego Cuuso Project.

It’s actually pretty simple.  Fans develop a new Lego concept, and put it on the site for review.  Once the concept get’s 10,000 supporters, Lego reviews the project design, and decides whether or not to bring it to market.  If it makes it, the creator gets 1,000 in royalty sales on the product.

While some companies and people may be afraid from outside innovation, it is a really great way to source ideas and bring products to life that consumers really want.  I want one.

2. There is no Kobe beef in the US

I have always wanted to try Kobe Beef.  Heck, I thought I did.  Wrong.  There is no Kobe Beef sold in the US.  It’s true according to this article from Forbes.  So next time you see 20 dollar Kobe Beef sliders on the menu, skip it.  It’s a blatant lie.

3. We (I) need to become more visual

People have short attention spans, and are busy.  I am finding out more and more that a well designed 1-pager at work goes further than a 20 page PowerPoint deck.  One of my mentors told me a few years back that many great companies like P&G have a one-pager culture, where every plan, from the simple to complex product launch, are presented on one page.  I think that is why infographics are becoming so popular – they are quick hitting visual guides of a lot of information, but so clear you just get it.

Example on how credit cards are using social media – much more impactful than a bulleted list.

My goal is to get more visual in 2012/2013, and you should too.

Let’s have a great week this week, and learn something.

Chris Lovett

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