Published on March 1, 2014
The Case for Analog in a Digital World 8 implications for marketers and new product developers www.blog.mindswarms.com
Purpose MindSwarms wanted to consider what one thing in people’s lives, of all the things that could be digital, which people want to remain non-digital www.blog.mindswarms.com
Research Objective To understand people’s views on items they hope remain analog and why this form is important in their lives www.blog.mindswarms.com
Target Audience • National US sample • 16 states • 25 cities • Ages 19 - 45 • Even male/female ratio • Mix of ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds www.blog.mindswarms.com
What insights emerged? www.blog.mindswarms.com
Respondents acknowledged that digital relationships offer benefits, but human relationships still top the list of things that must remain non-digital www.blog.mindswarms.com
The importance of maintaining nondigital relationships “I think my husband and I could have a digital relationship. We communicate better through text than we do when we are face-to-face, but our relationship has to remain non-digital because we do have to have face-to-face communication and touching at some point!” - Laura, 36, AL ! www.blog.mindswarms.com
The importance of maintaining nondigital relationships “There's something to be said about having an interaction with somebody in person, face-to-face, how you're touching them, feeling those emotions run through you when you see somebody in person and talk with them.” - Joshua 28, CA www.blog.mindswarms.com
The importance of maintaining nondigital relationships “Having a real human connection without machines when you need to call a company to take care of something is really important. We shouldn’t speak to our families with texting and we shouldn’t have to talk to a machine when we have a problem.” - Jessica, 33, TX www.blog.mindswarms.com
In addition to human interaction, people had many other things in their lives that they strongly prefer to keep non-digital because: • Some non-digital product experiences are richer and more inspiring than their digital forms • Older product forms often provide a link to the craftsmanship of the past • There is a comfort and security to doing things the “old, proven” way www.blog.mindswarms.com
Relationships with non-digital “treasures” www.blog.mindswarms.com
Although technology is usually positioned as interactive, many felt non-digital products offer a better multi-sensory experience • Many read digital books but still crave the touch, smell, and interactive experience that real books provide • The interaction oﬀered by books and traditional board games was felt to oﬀer a more immersive and educational experience • The enjoyment and inspiration from traditional wall art was also mentioned as a valued beneﬁt versus the “art” from large, digital TVs that now ﬁll walls www.blog.mindswarms.com
The multi-sensory experience from non-digital products “I like to be able to physically touch the pages of a book, move the pages, see how far I am in the chapter, look back on things, make notes, highlight and underline…” - Ashley, 29, NE www.blog.mindswarms.com
The multi-sensory experience from non-digital products “There’s nothing that can beat the feeling of a book in your hands. I also love the smell of a new book or even the smell of an old book. It’s wonderful. It smells like the history of the book.” - Antonio, 28, TX 8 ! www.blog.mindswarms.com
The multi-sensory experience from non-digital products “I think board games should stay just the way they are. Especially games like Monopoly because it’s important for kids to learn how to deal with bills and make change. Also, when kids play those traditional board games, it teaches them social skills and good sportsmanship.“ - Damian, 24, VA www.blog.mindswarms.com
The multi-sensory experience from non-digital products “I'm sure that [robots] would provide some companionship for people, however, this is not the same thing that my pet has. She's got little idiosyncrasies, she greets me when I come home, she does silly things when she thinks I'm upset, she snuggles with me; I just don't see that being capable, being possible with a robot.” - Kissa, 38, AZ www.blog.mindswarms.com
For some, new tech cannot replace old craftsmanship • Digital cameras often described as “for work” while traditional ﬁlm “for craft” • Previously non-digital products oﬀer a nostalgia and quality that newer digital versions can’t replicate • Fear that the faster paced world which comes with digital products will take away from the experiences had in the past www.blog.mindswarms.com
For some, new tech cannot replace old craftsmanship “I do semi-professional photography and I use a digital camera for production work, things which have a deadline where someone is paying me, but for art there is in my opinion nothing as good as a ﬁlm camera.” Matthew, 27, CA www.blog.mindswarms.com
For some, new tech cannot replace old craftsmanship “You can get a really high-end, high deﬁnition picture [with a digital camera], but that's not artistically what I'm always looking for. I like the representation of the way I used to see photographs and covers of magazines when I was growing up. There was an importance to that that I want to preserve.” - David, 41, FL www.blog.mindswarms.com
For some, new tech cannot replace old craftsmanship “I think it's important that we all don't get jumbled up in ‘everything needs to be quickly advancing’ and ‘everything needs to be brand new.’ I think there's great value in things that are decades old and things people use all the time. For me, the best example is my old record player.” - James, 25, PA www.blog.mindswarms.com
Non-digital experiences offer a level of comfort and security that doesn’t transfer to digital products • News of digital hacking and compromised online security seems to draw some people back to tangible security, like a traditional house key • Many ﬁnd comfort in habits and experiences established with the “old” non-digital version of products or services like the paper calendar and faceto-face customer service www.blog.mindswarms.com
The comfort and security of nondigital experiences “I know there are options out there for unlocking your door using smartphones, but I do worry about how easy it is to intercept those unlocking codes, how easy it is to hack my device or hack my home lock. The keys have been around for a very long time. They are a well-established and proven technology.” - Richard, 45, CA www.blog.mindswarms.com
The comfort and security of nondigital experiences “There are tons of ways you can make an app to get your keys to unlock your door or your car, but what happens if your phone gets stolen? That person now has access to not only whatever records you keep on your phone, but also probably your house. Keys are something that are very tangible and I think need to stay tangible to protect our safety.” - Kendall, 20, WA www.blog.mindswarms.com
The comfort and security of nondigital experiences “I love writing things in my paper calendar. There's something about seeing it visually, being able to ﬂip a page, visually counting the weeks. It just comforts me to know that I'm getting things accomplished and I have things coming up.” Jacqueline, 41, NY www.blog.mindswarms.com
The comfort and security of nondigital experiences “Just having a real human connection without machines at the grocery store or when you need to call Amazon or when you need to call someone to take care of something, just not dealing with a machine and having real human beings…” - Jessica, 33, TX www.blog.mindswarms.com
Digital products make life easier in many ways, but some fear the impact of an overly digital world www.blog.mindswarms.com
Fear of the impact of an overly digital world “So, it’s true the world is becoming digital with just about everything in our lives. When I look around my apartment to ﬁnd something that either isn’t already digital, or has a possibility of being digital, it’s pretty hard to ﬁnd.” - Gershon, 37, NY www.blog.mindswarms.com
Fear of the impact of an overly digital world “I think it's troubling or disconcerting that more and more we’re just communicating by the internet or digitally. I think we should have more face-to-face interaction than we have now.” - Brad, 41, NY www.blog.mindswarms.com
Everyone has at least one thing, usually something they treasure most, that they want to remain forever non-digital www.blog.mindswarms.com
Treasures to remain forever nondigital “I think there are a lot of things in life, like that sound of time passing from a ticking watch, that should remain non-digital” - Sarah, 40, CA www.blog.mindswarms.com
Conclusions & Implications People resist the idea of digital relationships and expressed great frustration with the “digitization” of customer service relationships When it comes to people’s passions, there is often a nostalgia and quality perception associated with the more labor-intensive products/processes of the past Consumers crave product experiences that involve the senses: the smell of a book, the look of an old vinyl record cover, and the act of crossing oﬀ days on a paper calendar There is a comfort and safety beneﬁt that comes from the physical versus digital form of some products www.blog.mindswarms.com
Conclusions & Implications Companies must continue to balance eﬃciency with personalization to be perceived as a quality customer service provider Today’s product development teams must be aware of consumers’ evolving perceptions about what deﬁnes quality and cognizant that “new doesn’t always mean better” Digital products must continue to create bonds with consumers, even with the absence of some sense experiences available through the more traditional, non-digital versions Further, consumer trust in “virtual” security related products is still shaky and must be a considered messaging point in product communications www.blog.mindswarms.com
About MindSwarms MindSwarms gathers video feedback from consumers via smartphone/tablet (and webcam) all over the world. Fast. Consumers are screened ﬁrst, then qualiﬁed respondents are invited to record their responses (asynchronously). Consumers are paid for participating. Responses to the study questions are viewable and shareable online, and can be downloaded in Quicktime format for inclusion in presentations or to create curated videos. Learn more at MindSwarms.com or blog.mindswarms.com. www.blog.mindswarms.com
About MindSwarms Click here to watch the video. www.blog.mindswarms.com
Thank You www.blog.mindswarms.com
! Photo Attribution ! Page 1 CC-licensed Flickr Photo Book 10 by ~Brenda-Starr~ ! Page 2 CC-licensed Flickr Photo Digital Bolex D16 on CineSkates by Cinetics ! Page 3 CC-licensed Flickr Photo Digital Producer by tonyhall ! Page 4 CC-licensed Flickr Photo 08.08.Independence.WDC.4jul05 by Elvert Barnes ! Page 5 CC-licensed Flickr Photo wooden booklet - opened by SNIJLAB ! Page 6 CC-licensed Flickr Photo Love project by certiﬁed su ! Page 10 CC-licensed Flickr Photo Books by Katherine Hodgson ! Page 11 CC-licensed Flickr Photo DSC05844 by bluebirdsandteapots ! Page 12 CC-licensed Flickr Photo Euphoria in board games is often at the expense of other players... by elPadawan CC-licensed Flickr Photo Little Blue Car by robnguyen01 ! Page 17 CC-licensed Flickr Photo Tschibo disposable camera ﬁlm by Uwe Hermann ! Page 21 CC-licensed Flickr Photo We got the keys! by Bill Selak ! Page 25 CC-licensed Flickr Photo The digital world by serzhile ! Page 29 CC-licensed Flickr Photo Tick by Ivymike www.blog.mindswarms.com
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