Posts about ‘archetypes’

I had an interesting discussion with a friend about the Genius model of a product. The Genius, you’ll recall, is a product that thinks about a problem in a new way. The Swiffer, the iPod, Trader Joe’s – all Geniuses. They’re different, a little idiosyncratic, and a consumer must get used to the way they do things – but once the initial barriers are passed, and the consumer sees the light, the Genius product seems like the only way to solve the problem. Everything else is old fashioned and bogged down.

Here It Comes

As I look forward to 2008, I’m very interested to see how the political candidates will market themselves once the primaries start, and pass, and we line up for the election in November. Political communication is pure marketing, for better or worse, and we get to see it in action in ways we usually don’t for other sorts of products, in a truly exaggerated form.

Shoveling It

We had a snowstorm in New England yesterday, which wasn’t a big deal unless you were driving in the same direction as everyone else. Before the storm, I checked to make sure I had all the essentials, and realized that my snow shovel was broken. So I went to the store and bought a new one, which led me to ponder the value of a manufacturer’s warranty. Bear with me.

Prototyping the Story

Designers like making models – “prototyping” – to judge aspects of a product they’re working on. At Continuum, we have a huge model shop, with several full-time model makers, and pretty much everyone in the company spends time down there at some point carving up a block of foam or hot-gluing some foamcore together to […]

“The Story of the Product,” a simple tool I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, can be easily altered to help understand and support the issues around a product’s Archetype. Recall the Star, the Hero, and the Genius – your product can be one but can’t be all of them. So use Stories customized […]

I Love Bacon

Yes, I love bacon. I’m a firm subscriber to the “Anything is better with bacon” rule. Here are a couple of bacon-related products that tell different stories about themselves.

Changing Your Stripes

The other day, a colleague asked me if a product or service could change from one archetype to another. Of course!

Starbucks is a good example. When Starbucks started out, it was a Genius: a whole new approach to the coffee shop in America (OK, not a whole new approach, but new to most of the people who first experienced it through Starbucks). It had all the Genius hallmarks, including an idiosynchratic look and language, a mental hump to get over (pay how much for a cup of coffee?), and, once over that hump, a great experience that people couldn’t believe they’d been missing.

Over the years, though, Starbucks stopped being so much of a unique experience.

Genius Underfoot

A Genius product approaches a problem–often, an old problem–in a new way. Flor is a great example: they revisited the rug. Rugs are big, expensive investments. Buy one, especially a large one, and you live in fear of spills, dirt, play-doh: basically, the stuff of life. You can clean your rug with a big machine, […]

This man is a Hero

A Hero product or service stands for something. Raja M. Daswani qualifies. Here’s his ad from the New York Times: Raja Fashions Mr. Daswani leads with his mission, and everything else he does supports that mission. It’s not even clear what he does until you’re halfway through the ad, but you know what he wants: […]

Writing the Myth

The key to a successful product is its story: the reason it exists, where it comes from, why anyone should care about it. If we want to foster a real relationship between consumer and product, we must think of products as partners. Not “What is the product?” but “Who is the product?” The three archetypes […]

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