Is this a brand innovation? Wake up and smell the chewable tablet?

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 11.44.27 AMIt has finally happened. Technology is now taking away one of the last remaining true pleasures in life: the aroma and flavor of a nice hot cup of coffee. In case you haven’t seen it you might want to explore the latest craze from Nootropics, the creators of Go Cubes who claim to be “experts at cognitive enhancement.”  Kind of reminds me when my dry cleaner told me a few years ago that he wants to be seen as a “cleaning solutions provider,” instead of a plain old dry cleaner.  Non-the-less, the new chewable coffee made a great impression at SWSW, where it was offered as more portable than coffee, less expensive per serving and containing ingredients that temper coffee’s harsher effects. Created by techies, GO Cubes now face a brand challenge to appeal to a broader audience outside of geeky engineers trying to stay up all night to write a few more lines of code. Taking on coffee is most probably a thankless task as the coffee “habit” is a global, cultural phenomenon that does not conform to any kind of rational alternative no matter how convenient or cost effective. Pretty much all branding professionals these days know that successful brands must not only provide value but have to deliver an engaging customer experience. So, I invite anyone who is interested to sit down with the NY Sunday Times, a warm and crackling fire place and a plate full of chewable caffeine tabs, now known as the Go Cube. In my view the Go Cube will soon be rebranded the “Gone Cube.”  Goodbye and good luck!

Can you name the six generations of consumers?

World War II/Swing generations
Members of the WWII Generation were born in 1932 or before and are
aged 82 or older in 2014. Members of the Swing Generation were born
from 1933 to 1945 and are aged 69-81 in 2014.

Baby Boomers
The generation born between 1946 and 1964. In 2014, Baby Boomers are
between the ages of 50 and 68.

Generation X
The generation born between 1965 and 1976. In 2014, Gen Xers are
between the ages of 38 and 49.

Millennials
Born between 1977 and 1994, Millennials are aged 20 to 37 in 2014.

iGeneration
Born between 1995 and 2007, members of iGen are aged 7-19 in 2014.

Emerging generation
The newest generation began in 2008 as the annual number of births
declined sharply with the recession. In 2014 members of this as-yet unnamed
generation are younger than 7.

Is smart phone penetration fueling the next generation gap?

For thousands of years there has existed a gap between young and old. This much is a constant – but, is it possible smart phones are “pouring kerosene on the fire?” I was surprised to learn that according to a November 2013 study by comScore smart phone penetration shows a wider than expected gap between millennials and people over 55. Given the growing importance of mobile devices in the marketing mix, if the trend continues to widen it is likely that as people age they will fall farther behind in the attempt to stay culturally current. One data point is just a snap shot, but as those aged 18-34 increase their use of smart phones (ultimately approaching 100%), it will be interesting to see if the percentage difference will continue or perhaps even accelerate. At some point 100% of all phones will be “smart,” so you could argue the gap will ultimately narrow to parity, but the real issue is not whether people have smart phones but how as a result of usage their buying behavior and communications patterns change. smart phone penetration

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