Archive for July, 2010

July 29th, 2010

Sub-Context in the Medicine Aisle

By Kyle Morich

Just saw this article from the NY Times about Novartis giving away a quarter million bottles of Triaminic, a fever reducer and pain reliever, under the slogan “Restock Your Medicine Cabinet.”   According to the Times:

The Swiss drug giant Novartis plans to give away up to 250,000 bottles of its new liquid children’s medicine, Triaminic Fever Reducer Pain Reliever, in an effort to woo parents frustrated by a nationwide recall and shortage of a competing product — liquid children’s Tylenol.

McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the Johnson & Johnson unit, recalled an estimated 136 million bottles of liquid children’s Tylenol and other pediatric medications in April because of manufacturing deficiencies.

What Novartis is doing is attempting to break a habit by taking advantage of sub-context.  They could be very successful, but only if they recognize how difficult habit-breaking can be.

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July 20th, 2010

Facebook: A Lesson on Why Customer Satisfaction Does Not Matter

By Kyle Morich

Wall Street Journal’s Digits Blog had a post today about a study released by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, and the results were not good.  Facebook, the world’s dominant social network with over 500 million users, had one of the lowest scores of any company in the index.  It currently sits shoulder-to-shoulder with cable providers, airlines, and the IRS – not exactly the ilk of companies Facebook would want to be associated with.  It seems users have very negative feelings toward the site’s privacy policies, interface changes, platform technology, advertising, and spam.

The survey sponsor trots out some reasons for why the site continues to grow despite the poor rating, primarily insinuating that Facebook holds a monopoly over Internet social activity and would be replaced if there were a suitable replacement in the market.  But this survey is really a lesson in why customer satisfaction, the golden measure by which all consumer interactions are judged, does not matter.

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July 1st, 2010

No Context: Why the Kin Failed

By Kyle Morich

The Microsoft Kin, the oddly shaped and curiously marketed ‘social’ phone from the Redmond, Washington software giant, was officially terminated today.  It was six weeks old.

In what many are pointing to as the shortest market lifespan of any major technology company offering, the Kin was a spectacular failure for Microsoft’s newly organized consumer products division.  But do understand, Microsoft did not expect this.  I’ll guarantee that this phone was a major line item on the company’s research and development budget.  The problem is that for all the effort that went into developing the little social phone, Microsoft missed satisfying a critical component of consumer behavior: Context. (more…)