By Paul Dervan, Head of Global Brand, Telefonica Digital
When talking to customers, one thing that we hear time and time again is that companies do not make it easy for people to do stuff on the internet. Some of the newer internet companies do, but most do not.
To illustrate, take a look at this screengrab from a presentation by marketer, Helge Tenno.
(above image source: The next 80%)
He was illustrating how difficult it is to get wifi on a train. He had to fill in eight pieces of information just to log on.
This is a widespread source of frustration for consumers – and an opportunity for any brand that has ambition, skills and discipline to create products and services that are both useful and delightfully simple to use.
Jonathan Ives (Senior VP of industrial design at Apple) articulated it well when asked about missing features in the iPad: “In many ways, it’s the things that are not there that we are most proud of….For us, it is all about refining and refining until it seems like there’s nothing between the user and the content they are interacting with.”
This promise to make things that are really “useful” is an opportunity for brands. Of course it is not easy. Nobody said it would be. The companies that get it wrong do not set out to frustrate their customers. Often it is the difference between a lofty strategy and ability (and determination) to execute.
I should say that “useful” should not be understood as just the practical, wholesome or just the big things in our lives. In fact, some of the most useful things about communication in our lives are in fact the nuanced bits that make it that much more interesting.