We started preparation of our visit to the Lions conference 2016. Actually being part of a shining group of companies from the south-west of Germany. For a design and innovation company („We are Erfinder“) a special trip. Guess Lions is considered „creative“ towards promotion and marketing, inventing communication, not really the value of the core experience. Some might say, there are less attractive places to go to than Cannes, which might not be far from the truth. So hereafter some of our thinking and why we’re looking forward to enjoy a good and fruitful time.

Our modeling and animation department, also attractive for marketing people, was growing recently. R&D clients started to not only use animated movies as „experience“ prototypes for internal developments, but to communicate concepts to the outside world. As an aside we’ve been asked to animate propositions ready for prime time. Recently Dr. Zetsche of Daimler AG presented the new E-class and functions of intelligent drive at the Detroit Auto Show in front of our animations. Entertaining stuff although intended for the consideration of subject matter experts. For sure also an act of promotion (and pride), but focusing on the function and value of services.

Animations allow to visualize functions and services almost tangible for low budgets, to explore a magnitude of variations and to understand scenarios before taking real-life risks. It’s an advance coming from the static CAE chain, missing the story for consideration of system and experience aspects. Close to the heart of agile developments, multiple variations of the artificial experience can be „produced“, brought into different contexts and relationships. Various groups including marketing exchange early on propositions on a common level. As the importance of consumer experience still grows, modeling of interactions, visualizing almost real-life scenery, becomes paramount for future product developments.

Another aspect is accelerated developments. Following the nature of digital, a considerable chain of developments becomes compressed and consolidated. Prototypes (or show cars) are therefore not only used for development, but for communication and to gather client feedback as well. Even though it may not be the final look, consumers are contributing to developments in a visual, emotional way, communicating values, not necessarily technical details. Marketing is leading this communication and needs to enter with prototyping materials much sooner in the process.

Finally marketing and communication sometimes offer challenges to explore new technologies and experiences. Like animations in VR or AR extended worlds. Or using gamification to communicate the core of a proposition. Or building one of a kind experiences for exhibitions like recently the Smart Home environment including applications for Bosch at CES. These kind of assignments might not be about products, but are inspirational and support building up an information base on innovations and new experiences.

So also in future we continue to keep distance from promotion aspects without gain for our business, but will have a close look on above developments. There’s a lot of potential value and an information base for future product developments to be gained. Including fun and excitement.

2016/03/20 by Eberhard Frank

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