Context is not a constant (context = the situation where a product is used and creates value), it is as fluid and adaptable as ideas, technology, life and everything.
A most brilliant comment by Adrian Ho on my last post got me thinking about this, and that I’ve been looking at the whole context-thing way to narrowly:
- “I’d add to this the thought that advertising can explain context, while digital services and design can create context. Advertising helps you think differently about a product, digital services and design can change how you use it.” – Adrian Ho, Zeus Jones
Where I have seen the experience surrounding the product as something locked – but explorable and extendable by digital means – Adrian’s comment made me think about context as something fluid – something changeable. That the ability of technology in the post digital age is to extend the value of a product by helping it reach into other contexts that it’s original state doesn’t
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In plain English:
Help products and brands do and mean more by discovering their post digital potential outside what they are already doing.
It is a unique opportunity for marketing – as technology integrates into our everyday activities and we enter the post digital world – to not only make the product better at what it is doing, but discovering how to combine it’s existing context with other and new contexts that extends naturally on its original environment.
As Fiat Eco:Drive did by combining the driving experience with the eco-friendly experience in a truly integrated, almost seamless and value adding way.
So where I have previously stated that increasing the value of a customer has moved from selling them more “related” products, to adding more value to the situation surrounding the product. There seems to be an even better opportunity and that is to expand the situation where the product is important all together. Creating a totally new, unexpected but brilliant idea helping the product do more stuff. Helping the product and the brand become important in more situations then the one it is facilitating at the moment.
What Mike Walsh probably would call: creating a new and temporary state of monopoly.