What is it that you want, right at this moment? Maybe you want a quick bite to eat, or you’re thinking about that vacation right around the corner. Maybe you just want to kick back and catch up on some of your favorite shows. Whatever it is, you probably know where to find it and there are many brands geared to fill your day-to-day needs.
Seekers now own the market, and they don’t need to be told what’s cool. If you don’t deliver something desirable, it will be ignored. Users will just gravitate to things that are more in line with their short-term needs, which will probably be available. It’s also not just about what the user needs, but how those needs are satisfied. The how may even be the most important part.
Good brands have always been more than nice logos or aesthetics, and that’s more true than ever now. The best brand experiences create an engaging and positive experience through interaction and meeting our more consistent desires.
When UrbanSpoon was bought by Zomato, the migrating users were less than happy. They didn’t like the new interface. And one of the key features that attracted many people to UrbanSpoon in the first place was phased out completely. Of course, I’m talking about the the restaurant slot machine. Indecisive about a place to eat? Make it a game. Lock in a few categories such as food type or price, shake your phone and find a random place to go.
So what was all of the disappointment about? The slot machine was really just a side feature for a much larger platform, but it tapped into a sense of adventure. It was also fun to show off in the earlier days of smartphones. Just spinning it was pretty satisfying. The clicks and spinning sounds were just about as rewarding as an actual slot machine without having to put a dollar in. But that’s gone now, and Zomato has its own large user base. But there was definitely a loss of potential users who wanted a different way of picking a place to go.
Other services, like Airbnb, are built almost entirely for experiential purposes. The ability to go just about anywhere and connect with people who have similar needs is a great advantage for everyone involved. You can stay wherever you want, and build your trips around the sights you want to see. It’s a much better experience than having the option of only a few expensive hotels and a prepackaged travel plan.
It’s hard to keep users engaged. Tapping into their most basic needs by creating innovative ways to interact with them is a definite winner. People like to feel rewarded for their attention, and it’s good to give them something back.
Where do we go from here?
The feelings your users walk away with are as much a part of the brand as any color palette or logo treatment dictated by a styleguide. You can even capture those feelings in a styleguide to build a more consistent and developed message. The process can help you to understand what your users need so you can deliver it to them. It’s important to target seekers, and the best way to do this is by creating something that is both engaging and helpful. If you make something amazing, people will surely find it.