Archive for May, 2013

Which colors make your customers purchase?

May 24, 2013 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Innovation In The News

Color used in advertizing and branding can inspire, create excitement, or even make one wistful for bygone days. The color studies I’ve seen go way beyond trends and right into key learnings about our psyches and what makes us tick. It’s a fascinating phenomenon, and one that global corporations have leveraged for years.

But now some new studies are showing just how influential these color schemes are in encouraging us to buy, share, connect and love. Check out this infographic to see how companies are seeking to trigger a very specific emotion with their logos:

Photo Color

Analytics company KISSmetrics created this infographic on the science of how colors affect our purchases. There is a great article on this at FastCompany, titled, Why is Facebook blue? The science behind colors in marketing. I highly recommend you check it out.

Me-Ality: a body scanner helps shoppers find the right fit

May 20, 2013 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Uncategorized

If you are shopping for clothes, you know the dilemma. What size do I need? And where do I find it?

It’s the accepted hassle of trying to find the right fit. However, trial-and-error shopping for clothes by lugging handfuls into the dressing room could be a thing of the past. Machines might have the answer. New technology is being developed to help you find the clothes you need, holding promise to save time over the old-fashioned way.

Sizes aren’t the same when going across different manufacturers standards. What is a medium in one brand may be a large in another. We all know that it’s the fit that matters, not the label. It’s all a matter of information, and machines are great at sifting through it to find the best matching opportunities between your information — your body shape and size —and the clothes you want to wear.

Video here:

One innovative service called Me-Ality is being set up at kiosks in shopping malls around the country to obtain your body data and help you find what best fits. Me-Ality is short for “Measured Reality,” and the idea is to provide scanning stations that you can visit once, and leave with a list of the clothes from major retailers that should be your best match.

A Me-Ality scanning session takes place in a “Size-Matching Station” where a body scan is performed yielding several hundred thousand 3D data points of your body surface. Software then compares your measurements with a database of styles to determine the best size and style matches from manufacturers that have chosen to partner with Me-Ality.

Once scanned, you can create and view your own personal shopping guide, browsing for items that are matched to personal fit and style choices. The idea is to make shopping faster and easier, knowing in advance what will individually work for you. Shoppers that don’t have to go in and out of a dozen stores to find what they need save time, and dressing room drama.

If you have ever been through a TSA scanner when traveling, as most of us who travel have, the millimeter wave scanning technology utilized in the body scanners is similar and claims to be just as safe. The difference is you only have to go through it once, that is, as long as you maintain your weight and shape.

Me-Ality already has about a dozen stations set up in the northeast from Maryland to New York, a couple in Chicago and a half-dozen or so on the West Coast. They also have them available in a few select Bloomingdale’s locations for fitting of women’s jeans.

As a result of their partnership with retailers, the scanning and fitting service is provided free to shoppers. They currently partner with more than 150 brands that include major clothing, shoe and accessory manufacturers like Levi’s, Lee, Adidas, Under Armour, Foot Locker and Dockers to name a few.

They are also in partnership with retailers like Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Old Navy, Pacsun, and Gap. All the partners are considered equal, so the individual shopping guides that are created are ranked only in order of fit.

Regardless of whether the technology is offered by Me-Ality or some other provider, this idea or something similar will the fitting room of the future. The dressing room is going digital and the idea is especially timely with the continued growth of online shopping. Perhaps even one day, brand name clothes can be custom tailored online to perfectly fit anyone.

Body scanners, coming soon to a store or mall near you.

Collaboration often leads to new innovations

May 17, 2013 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Open Innovation

Flikr Free Foto SharingThe future of many functions in any company depends upon how the organization is best able to evaluate the knowledge landscape and work together to create effective solutions to their problems and the problems of their customers. Many companies are getting it.

Over the last several months, I am hearing more and more senior leaders across industries expressing the realization that if they are going to compete more effectively with their competition, they must find better ways to utilize existing knowledge and insights.

This pool of information, whether internal or external, drives better decision-making and actions, and leads to more focused efforts. It also helps organizations understand existing capabilities, and how they can be utilized to ultimately create insights and solutions for customers and end users.

Perhaps almost as bad as not coming up with solutions is the situation where companies aren’t aware of capabilities that already exist and are effectively “reinventing the wheel.” This not only wastes resources, but also costs time that could be better spent elsewhere. Collaboration helps not only to fill in the gaps, but can also better illuminate where the gaps might actually be.

I recently came across an interesting trend: The number of patents filed singly by organizations continues to grow, at a linear rate. But the number of patents filed jointly by two or more companies is growing much faster, actually at an exponential rate. This impressive “co-patenting” growth is a result of more open cultures that are collaborating to come up with solutions.

As your company strives to deliver the results it seeks and reduce barriers to innovation, leveraging partnerships, outside knowledge and intellectual property can accelerate your research, reduce development costs, and help minimize or eliminate duplicate efforts. Collaboration for any organization is a challenge, but it is much easier with the availability of today’s information resources and technology to quickly survey the landscape and locate potential solutions and/or partners.

Knowledge management is one of those topics where there is no common approach that transcends industries. Even though there is not a common definition, many agree that deriving value from existing information must evolve processes, technology, and structure as enablers.

The biggest enabler, and the biggest opportunity for most organizations, is to create a knowledge-based culture. In a knowledge-based culture, effective sharing of information builds strong collaborative learning communities.

Look beyond your company’s borders and explore. It may be challenging, but it will also be exciting and rewarding.

She’s HAHA team brings joy to women and girls

May 15, 2013 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Health and Wellness
 A SHE advocacy awareness session.Photo Credit: Perttu Saralampi

A SHE advocacy awareness session.
Photo Credit: Perttu Saralampi

One of my favorite partners is an organization called Sustainable Health Enterprises, or SHE. I am excited to help share the news from SHE’s “HAHA team” (Health and Hygiene Advocacy), working to ensure long-term access to menstrual hygiene education and products (including the SHE LaunchPad). Recently the team invited 15 students from the Duha Complex School in Rwamagana to perform a skit on menstrual hygiene education. The workshop trained senior level students and their teachers about menstrual hygiene.

Here’s why I care about this. Million of girls and women in emerging nations miss school or work every month – up to 50 days per year – because they lack access to affordable, eco-friendly menstrual pads. When a pack of imported pads ($2.25 in Rwanda) costs more than what a person earns a day, many girls and women manage their periods by using cloths. Cloths, however, offer no guarantee of efficacy, security or comfort and moreover, negatively impact girls and women’s health because of lack of access to a clean, safe water supply to wash their cloths.

SHE is disrupting the status quo by designing the SHE LaunchPad: an innovative, chemical-free, low-cost menstrual product that utilizes banana-fiber as the absorbent core and will be priced to sell 75% less than imported premium brand products. Check out their site and read the incredible success stories!