Brands That Empower Seekers

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 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 easy to be ignored. Users will just gravitate to things that are more in line with their short-term needs, and it will probably be available. And it’s not just about what the user needs, but how those needs are satisfied. The how may even be the most important part.

 

brand interfaces

Good brands have always been more than nice logos and 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 constant and base desires.

 

When UrabanSpoon 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 get a random place to go.

 

So what was all of the disappointment about? It 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 for 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.

 

urbanspoon restaurant slot machine

 

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 gain for everyone involved. You can stay just about anywhere, and build you trips around what you find appealing. It’s a much better experience than only having the option of a few expensive hotels and a prepackaged travel plan.

 

airbnb interfacing with brands

 

It’s hard to keep user engagement. Tapping into our 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 feeling your users walk away with is as much a part of the brand as any color palette or logo treatment dictated by a styleguide. Those feelings can even be captured in a styleguide to build a more consistent and developed message. This will help you understand what your users need and deliver it to those seeking it. 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.

 

samwas

About the Author

Sam is the lead visual designer at DesignUps. Sam's attention to detail and insight into the design process produces great clarity. When he's not putting pixels in their perfect spot he may be pursuing some of Japan's finest anime.