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Commuting: An Untapped Opportunity for Smart Brands Commuting: An Untapped Opportunity for Smart Brands As explored by the Nurun LabQuick TakeawayTime wasted commutingis at an all time high andbecoming a major socialproblem. Smart brandscan help the consumerby turning wasted com-mute time into usefultime.
Commuting: An Untapped Opportunity for Smart Brands Commuting: An Untapped when there’s a good radio show on, Opportunity for Smart but during those other four days I Brands mostly feel like shooting myself, said Rachel, a 28-year-old participant. Introduction This sign indicates How can brands add consumer value The Need: According to research from a concept or a pro- during the commute? the Association of Publishing Agencies, totype imagined by 67% of respon- the nurun Lab ba- dents were hun- sed on research. gry for brands to provide them with more inter- esting and exclu- sive content on their iPad, with lifestyle (38%), games (27%) and entertainment (23%) the top areas they would like brands to create more apps for. The average daily commute time in Smart brands can help the consumer OECD countries (Organization for Eco- by turning wasted commute time into nomic Co-operation and Development establish in 1960 by 20 countries) is 38 useful time.On average, Americans spend minutes.16 minutes per day on Facebook. With growing numbers of the popula- Entertainment tion living in the suburbs, commuting Commuters taking public transporta- time is on the rise. According to the tion use this time to catch up on the Nurun Lab’s ethnographic research and news (the explosion of the free press) data supported by Statistics Canada, games (the rise of smartphones and commuting time contributes to the portable consoles) and music (MP3 feeling of being trapped in ones daily players). To fight the monotony of the routine. daily commute, people have developed alternative means of entertainment: The roads here are a disaster and it’s 30% of commuters use video apps with only getting worse... No, it’s not a to- the average video duration on the rise tal loss of time maybe once a week (4.5 minutes compared to 2 minutes in
Commuting: An Untapped Opportunity for Smart Brands 2003). Car commuters, on the other hand, listen to the radio and absorb content with a specific level of concen- tration and attention. While digital of- fers alternative ways to engage with information (podcast and 3G), appsNo, Podcast is not dead remain an underutilized area that couldA buzzword in 2005, the podcast offer enhanced options for the com-is often thought to be dead. But muter, including faster downloads and The Emergency Voice Reader preventswith more than 8 million adults commuters from being trapped in the enhanced streaming methods.in the UK (16% of the population) metro with nothing else to do than wait.who have downloaded a podcast -more than the number of Twitter Ideas in Practiceusers in the UK - and almost 4 Blancspot: The app takes an artistic ap- tion to the iPhone instapaper app,million listening to at least one a proach to the news by combining im- which compiles articles and web pagesweek, this is not the case.Providing content at the point of agery with editorial content and offers that the user can’t immediately read.need is the key for success. Abso- links to related articles and Twitter The Lab sees it as a tool that could belut radio in London has reported feeds. utilized by any media source, Telco orthat 76% of all podcast downloads Vodafone Content Channel: The first public transportation system.had been completed via a mobile channel in Europe offers customers adevice in July 2011. regularly updated selection of Voda- I actually love my commute. I love to fone serves as well as news, sports and read in the train and sometimes wish gaming apps. it could last longer – I travel an hour BMW Connected: The app lets drivers each way. But what I hate is how the connect to Internet radio stations, re- closer we get to downtown how ceive status messages from Twitter and crowded it gets. I think the Montreal Facebook and review iPhone calendar metro is actually facing a serious events through the iDriver controller. spatial problem these days, said Julie, Chromaroma: The online, multi-player a 38-year-old participant. game takes commuters on travel mis- sions through London, England’s trans- Productivity portation system. Another perspective when examining the commuting problem is to offer ad- Insight from the Lab ditional ways that people can use their Commuters experience frustration commuting time for other purposes. when, in an overcrowded subway or Modern train systems promise that bus, they can’t read the newspaper or you’re not only traveling, you’re work- reach their smartphone. ing, watching a movie, reader or sleep- Imagine if a brand could provide a tool ing. The perception that travel is a or app that would launch a voice reader waste of time vanishes. of preselected texts with the touch of a button. This would be a valuable addi-
Commuting: An Untapped Opportunity for Smart Brands • Toys R Us QR Codes: The toy retailer Is it possible for brands to find digital makes holiday shopping easy with the ways to reach a similar perception for QR code-enabled virtual store. It commuting time? made its debut on New York bill- boards and 40 New Jersey transit sta- Ideas in Practice tions. Sears and Kmart recently • Dominos Pizza: The brand recently launched QR-enabled catalogues. launched a mobile pizza app that lets users order pizza from their iPad and have it at their doorstep the moment they get home. Dominos revealed it had taken 1 million in mobile pizza sales within a week of the app’s launch. • Microsoft Tags: Captures consumers in the moment, engaging them any- time, anywhere on their smartphones. At Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport passengers can use Tag to get Insights from the Lab discounts and coupons at shops and • Given the growing popularity of web- restaurants. sites like e-how.com, provide easy access to academic courses or DIY branded content. Any brand could potentially endorse this idea, the most obvious being categories where the customer needs to develop his/her expertise to make informed decisions. • Given the growing number of di- vorces and the rush of urban life, a lot of urban singles in their 30s to 50s are having a hard time to meet the right person. This led to speed dating con- cepts and popularized TV shows like Sex and the City. We imagined a ser- vice like Meetic or ReseauContact could propose a car date during com- muting time to get to know better a potential significant other. Login/ Logout principles associated with GPS technologies could contribute to the safety of such a service. DIY classes optimized and simplified for commuting conditions
Commuting: An Untapped Opportunity for Smart Brands I know there’s an app that’s been de- veloped to help you park your car. But I just don’t trust that people will have the discipline to mark when they leave... However old school this may sound, I trust larger systems of information with this sort of stuff, said Tyler, a 34-year-old participant. Brands also have the power to encour- age the usage of digital tools with CRM-based rewards. This could result in an image benefit (a brand involved in Dating carpool: could commuting real people’s problems). time become a way to date? Ideas in Practice • To think out of the box, the Lab sug- • Roadify: The free app connects driv- gests this problem framing to online ers to the parking and public transit supermarkets: how could you make it in their neighbourhood, all through possible to purchase food for a four- the user’s mobile phone. person household in 15 minutes, on a • Zipcar: members can now reserve a smartphone, with poor connectivity, vehicle around the corner or across on a crowded bus.? the globe, manage reservations, honk • On the same principle as Amazon the vehicle’s horn and lock and Mechanical Turk, a company could unlock the Zipcar using an iPhone. pay for tasks doable on a smartphone • The Exit Strategy: this app tells NYC (for example, recognize images) dur- subway commuters which side of the ing commuting time. train the doors will open on. Efficiency Insights from the Lab This is an ambitious promise that de- In the US, the percentage of workers pends on public investment. Large who travel to work by car, truck, or van Is the one click Smart alone is as an average 78, according to a companies like IBM are investing mil- Quick Fridge Filler pos- 2004 survey of the US census bureau. lions to better understand where and sible? We imagined a system that matches up how time is wasted in complex systems. But, start-ups should not be discour- commuters based on a similar driving aged by big-brand involvement. It’s routine, rather than building a pool about inventing smart, agile solutions around a single driver. This would al- to commuters’ problems. low commuters to drive on alternate days, cutting down on gas consumption and mileage.
Commuting: An Untapped Opportunity for Smart Brands Conclusion It is clear from the Lab’s ethnographic research and authoritative resources in the field that commuters are looking for ways to be entertained during their commute. Whether it’s public trans- portation, walking or driving, the time spent commuting is inefficient. While consumers are quick to dismiss adver- tising, the commercial power of apps is proving the opposite. According to the study by APA, 81% of respondents indi- cated that they have sough out a further interaction with the brand as a result of using an app, 19% said they bought a product or service, 29% considered buying a product or service and 33% visited a brand’s website. Thus, smart brands can certainly help the consumer (and improve their brand image) by turning the commute into a productive use of time. And digital of- fers the answers. A point of view developed by the nurun LabIn practice: try to ‘own’ somecommuting timeBrainstorm to imagine how yourproduct or service could exist in aworld where advertising and storeswould only exist during commut-ing.How could your company or cate-gory be legitimate if it were com-mercializing a digital product orservice for commuters ? The nurun Lab team gathers anthropolo- gists, design thinking experts, strategic planners and new tech experts.
Commuting: An Untapped Opportunity for Smart Brands Appendix USING TWITTER TO DETECT PATTERNS At the Lab, we gather meaningful tweets to detect patterns on a subject, a category or a brand. Tweets are a gold mine for marketers: people express frustrations and desires without being asked to do so. This canvas demonstrates the commuters’ problems and search for solutions.
Commuting: An Untapped Opportunity for Smart BrandsAPPENDIX : USING TWITTER TO DETECT PATTERNS
Commuting: An Untapped Opportunity for Smart Brands