Lextant Webinar: Unlocking Desired Mobility Experiences

The recording of  Lextant’s 12/10/19 webinar “Unlocking Desired Mobility Experiences:  Human-centered metrics for an autonomous future” is now available on demand.

As the automotive industry makes larger and larger investments in an autonomous, smart and connected future, we need consumer-centric ways to fuel design and ensure in-market success.

During this webinar, Chris Rockwell, CEO and founder of Lextant, discusses new approaches to understanding human behaviors, and shares insights into how to create experiences users desire and to measure their impact.

To access the webinar recording  Click Here.

Measure What Really Matters

The perfect customer experience is the holy grail for development teams. But the very nature of the word “experience” can seem woolly, subjective and intangible.  Current market research methods that focus on customer satisfaction surveys are not providing the clarity to move the needle.

Experience Metrics™ is a patented experience measurement solution that balances creativity with rigor.  It brings clarity and control to experience design. We built it, we own it, we do it every day. No one else has it. Experience Metrics™ offers:

Forward-thinking processes for defining ideal experiences.

Experience Metrics frees teams to see beyond the limitations by the category and design instead toward a desired ideal. And because an ideal persists, they can pursue their experiential goals iteratively and year-over-year, moving beyond incremental growth and toward disruptive change.

Concrete resources that translate ideal experiences into actionable details.

Experience Metrics capture ideal experience attributes in concrete visual and verbal tools so that extended teams can work against a single, unifying model. Measurable details become manageable details, minimizing guesswork.

Proven protocols that bring confidence to customer experience initiatives.

Experience Metrics reduce the risk of NPD initiatives, sharpen decisions about how to refresh existing offers, and provide a nuanced way to understand competitive offers. More importantly, it has the power to identify the white spaces where emergent needs may reveal game-changing opportunities.

Inside the Cocoon

Lextant loves this article by Chris Nelson of Automobile Magazine who explores how the interior of the car will change as the autonomous vehicle revolution takes shape.

The article is full of interesting perspectives and quotes.  Here are some of our favorites:

Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen’s executive director of design: “The traditional automotive interior is built around the driver and the steering wheel for the best possible control and view of the vehicle’s surroundings.  The autonomous interior, however, is based on the passenger’s needs. The autonomous interior gives passengers time to do what they want while getting where they want to go.”

Infiniti’s design boss Karim Habib: “I think we’re going to discover a lot of that, the fact that you have glass around you, showing things whizzing by you,”. Maybe windows will be replaced by energized glass, projecting images of the outside world via a 360-degree camera, darkening to opaque when you ask.

Domagoj Dukec, head of design for BMW i and M, says the movable seat won’t debut until the “seat belt issue” is resolved: Will cars be so predictably safe that there’s no need to buckle up? “We’d need a highly intelligent airbag system that will know immediately how each individual passenger is sitting at that particular moment.”

Mercedes’ director of interior design, Hartmut Sinkwitz, wonders if we need a steering wheel at all. “Maybe we only need a joystick or something that gives you a perfect interaction to really conduct or to really steer and control the car,”

Jose Wyszogrod, chief designer of interior styling and UX/UI for Honda R&D Americas talks to the fact that humans stream 500 million hours of YouTube content every day. “It’s clear that users will continue this behavior in their autonomous vehicles’ personal space,” despite voiced desires to relax or work while not driving.

And one from our own Chris Rockwell who was interviewed for the story:

“The interior of the future needs to be about psychology as much as technology.  The goal is for the experience as a whole to not only meet needs but to anticipate them, inspiring connection, collaboration, and relaxation.”

Click here to read the full article at Automobile Magazine.

Lextant Hires New VP and Opens Chicago Office

Lextant, the human experience firm, today announced the hire of Jon Denham as vice president of its strategic account services team. Denham brings nearly 30 years of design and strategy experience in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry to his new leadership role. Denham will also head Lextant’s first regional office beyond its headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, expanding the firm’s presence to Chicago.

As a member of Lextant’s senior team, Denham will evolve the company’s client service and strategy capabilities, focusing first on the promotion of Lextant’s innovative Desirability offering – a proven approach helping companies link consumer behaviors and ideals to the design of new products and services.

“Lextant has been the secret behind some of the most successful brands in the CPG industry,” said Denham. “To create great experiences, a company needs to align its teams with a clear understanding of the consumer. As a former client, I’ve seen first-hand how unique and impactful Lextant’s approach is. There really isn’t anything like it in the industry. I look forward to bringing the strategic Desirability offer to a wider market and working closely with the diverse client base Lextant serves.”

Prior to joining Lextant, Denham served as the vice president of disruptive design and innovation at ConAgra Brands, and held various design leadership roles at Procter & Gamble and Kraft Foods.

“I‘m very pleased to have Jon on the team,” said Lextant CEO and founder, Chris Rockwell. “He has a proven ability to connect consumer insights to effective market innovation. He understands how large organizations work and the challenges our clients face, allowing us to be more strategic and have an even stronger impact on their bottom line.”

The Chicago office is the first to open outside of Ohio. Recent growth in Lextant’s transportation, financial services, healthcare, and CPG businesses are driving a need for an increased presence in key markets. The company foresees additional expansion locations in the coming years.

Using Sensory Cues to Deliver on Three Universal Consumer Desires

The number of beauty and fragrance products in the market today has grown almost indefinitely. Store aisles are oversaturated with brands, messages and choices available. It’s more important than ever for brands to stand out on these crowded shelves.

The sheer volume of product choices is overwhelming, but brands can cut through the clutter by using sensory cues to communicate specific benefits that resonate with consumers. Sensory cues are found in products across industries. These cues are key to delivering messages by viscerally communicating what consumers desire in these products, which leads to the “moment of truth” when shoppers become customers.

Sensory cues need to deliver on three universal customer desires that have stood the test of time and transcend geographic boundaries. Through state of the art research techniques, we know that consumers desire a product that is effective, is easy to use and provides an enjoyable experience:

1. Effective

Packaging features like shape and colors help shoppers recognize what a product is for. They can help provide certainty that a product will deliver what they want. Packaging sensory cues should reveal what’s inside and can help brands communicate certain benefits without making claims. If a shopper is looking for a natural and humane product, light colors offer a cue that reflects healthy or medicinal ingredients without using words.

2. Easy to Use

Sensory cues should convey that a product will be straight-forward in functionality. Shoppers want to clearly understand functionality by looking at the packaging. It’s also critical to clearly demonstrate how to open, apply and transport a product. For example, design cues can help communicate that a product is portable by signaling it is small, compact and won’t spill on the go.

3. Enjoyable

Today, consumers also expect an enjoyable experience with a beauty or fragrance product. Packaging is part of the consumer experience with that product and brand. For example, sensory cues like glitter, pastel colors and curvy shapes visually communicate femininity. A silver, chrome or gold finish can illustrate a luxurious or lavish experience.

Sensory cues are delivered at every touchpoint between a product and a consumer. Product packaging must be intentionally designed with these three universal desires in mind. Brands should use sensory cues to discover what to deliver and then communicate these messages in a way that consumers understand, ultimately leading to the moment-of-truth interaction and hopefully resulting in a purchase.

To read the full article, visit Beauty Packaging Magazine.

Why Amazon Go May Be More of a Threat to Convenience Stores than Traditional Grocery

After a number of technical delays, Amazon Go finally pulled back the curtain on its much-touted cashier-less store at the end of January. Now a month in, consumers and members of the media alike are singing praises, calling the store “flawless,” “not beta” and “absolutely fascinating.” And that positive energy may help fuel an early expansion.

While some may look at the store concept as a novelty, Amazon rarely opens anything to the public unless it knows it has a home run, Christopher Walton, an independent consultant and former vice president of Target Store of the Future, wrote in an op-ed for Retail Dive.

“If Amazon begins to open more Amazon Go stores within the year, it likely portends that Amazon does not care how expensive these stores are and that it will stop at nothing to flood the market with them – competitor grocery and drug stores be damned!” he wrote.

Amazon also has the luxury of taking a profit loss in order to get the concept off the ground — something nearly no other retailer can afford. But other retailers are tackling the same problem in different ways. Walmart, Sam’s Club and Kroger have all recently made a big push for “scan and go” technology that uses mobile apps to reduce or eliminate the time spent in lines.

Kroger’s Scan Bag Go stores represent a tech-based convenience play that may surprise many observers who expected such advancements to come out of Amazon or Walmart. Walmart’s subsidiary Code Eight, for example, is reportedly developing a technology-heavy store that uses computer vision and cashier-free checkout, led by Mike Hanrahan, Jet co-founder and former chief technology officer. Walmart’s more fully developed Scan & Go checkout is now in place at about a dozen stores in several states.

Chris Rockwell, CEO of Lextant, told Retail Dive in an email that the Amazon Go concept is a “powerful response to the value of time.”

“Other grocery entities have also launched curb side/pre-ordering like offers like Kroger’s ClickList or Walmart’s Grocery home delivery service,” he said. “These are a meaningful offer for a type of shopper, but (of course) the extreme couponer and essential browser will have other needs that Amazon will have to meet through its Whole Foods subsidiary where experience can be created, instead of expedited. The Amazon Go store may be more of a threat to every convenience store than traditional grocery.”

For the full article, visit Retail Dive Magazine.

Do Millennials Love Your Bank?

Building relationships with millennials is extremely important to the future of financial institutions.  However, many of them are still having a hard time connecting with this generation.

How do financial institutions connect with millennials? Rockwell suggests three major thoughts, syncing with the millennial lifestyle, embracing the millennial mindset, and aligning organizations with millennial values.  Each of these major tenets can be implemented in different ways.

To read more, click here.

Trusting Autonomous Technology

How do you learn to trust a machine?  With autonomous cars being tested all over the United States, automotive manufacturers are trying to figure out what it will take to get people to feel comfortable in and around cars that aren’t being driven by a person.

“People will forgive other humans much more quickly then they will technologies when they fail” Chris Rockwell, said to the New Yorker. This makes the stakes much bigger, because only a few incidents could result in life-long distrust of autonomous vehicles.

The way each manufacturer is dealing with these issues is different.  Some are trying to patent new technologies that will protect people from further injury if they are struck by an autonomous car, others are equipping the outside of cars with lights that can “communicate” to pedestrians.

The read more about how car makers are trying to gain the public’s trust when it comes to self-driving vehicles, click here.

Lextant’s Leader Recognized for Building a Smart Business

Each year, Smart Business magazine honors the top executives of the 50 smartest companies in Central Ohio for their ability to build and lead successful organizations. These individuals are innovators who have a strong impact on their respective organizations as well as their industries and local communities as a whole.

Lextant’s CEO Chris Rockwell is honored to be named to the 2016 Smart 50 class for his dedication to informing and inspiring design by understanding people and their experiences, which enables his team to ensure brands create products that their consumers desire.

Read the full article here.