Archive - March, 2012

The Value of Tracking Platforms

In a close future, the relationship between brand and customer will be based on the exchange of utility and loyalty: brand missions will be focused on helping us to get a better life and we’ll pay back by being loyal and buying. To establish such a relationship, the brand has to be a constant yet discrete presence in consumers’ lives, lying on the background of our existences and ready to help us whenever we need it.

Tracking technologies are a powerful tool to ensure that this regular brand presence isn’t intrusive but delivers concrete value to customers. Usually these kinds of technologies use smartphones or other specific devices to get data from user’s actions and behaviors.

For instance technologies are being developed to help people self-monitor their health from any location, tracking and delivering basic biometric data and performance statistics. Apps are taking advantage of accelerometers cameras and GPS in mobile phones or of external sensors that transmit data, to provide real-time, personalized feedback to individuals that they can then use to monitor their health status or share with their healthcare providers and families. When associated with action, this information can help people lead healthier lifestyles.

So, let’s say that a food and nutrition company is seeking to communicate health benefits for its products. There is a smarter option than spending millions for a TVC that shows a happy healthy family eating around a table covered with branded food. Wouldn’t it be a stronger message, and wouldn’t it be a better way to build a lasting brand/customer relationship, if the brand assisted and provided users with an ecosystem that actually improve their health?

Apps that help track, visualize and improve users’ workouts could be integrated with technologies that provide on-the-go nutrition information (based on bar codes scan or image recognition), to optimize the balance between calories absorption and exercise. An extended and intelligent wellness platform could also track user routines, locations and schedules in order to predict meals and provide useful tips. For example recommending the right restaurant and food for the specific event and location, taking into consideration user taste, health, previous restaurants check-ins, his latest meals nutrition facts and his workout activity.

Wellness tracking gadgets could complete the ecosystem. Like an internet-enabled scale that wirelessly transmits weight measurements to computers or to mobile devices, creating a visual history of individual weight over time. By receiving feedback about their progress, users can get a better understanding of their weight and make adjustments to their diet and fitness accordingly.

From the brand stand point, to provide consumers with such a platform, means to maximize users perception of the brand experience as useful to improve their life quality, which leads to brand loyalty and therefore to purchases: basically the essence of any profitable customer relationship.