Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kid in UK Tries out a Tape Walkman

So this 13 yr old kid in the U.K. gives up his iPod for a Sony Cassette Walkman for 1 week. The article is hilarious, and definitely worth a read. Check out some of the highlights from the article:

"From a practical point of view, the Walkman is rather cumbersome, and it is certainly not pocket-sized, unless you have large pockets. It comes with a handy belt clip screwed on to the back, yet the weight of the unit is enough to haul down a low-slung pair of combats."


It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape. That was not the only naive mistake that I made; I mistook the metal/normal switch on the Walkman for a genre-specific equaliser, but later I discovered that it was in fact used to switch between two different types of cassette.

I managed to create an impromptu shuffle feature simply by holding down 'rewind' and releasing it randomly

Another notable feature that the iPod has and the Walkman doesn't is "shuffle", where the player selects random tracks to play. Its a function that, on the face of it, the Walkman lacks. But I managed to create an impromptu shuffle feature simply by holding down "rewind" and releasing it randomly - effective, if a little laboured.

I told my dad about my clever idea. His words of warning brought home the difference between the portable music players of today, which don't have moving parts, and the mechanical playback of old. In his words, "Walkmans eat tapes". So my clumsy clicking could have ended up ruining my favourite tape, leaving me music-less for the rest of the day."

"When playing, it is clearly evident that the music sounds significantly different than when played on an MP3 player, mainly because of the hissy backtrack and odd warbly noises on the Walkman.

The warbling is probably because of the horrifically short battery life; it is nearly completely dead within three hours of firing it up. Not long after the music warbled into life, it abruptly ended."

To read the full article, go to "Giving up my iPod for a Walkman"

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Who do consumers trust?

Aaccording to a recent article in Brandweek, consumers trust 'Recommendations from people known' more than anyone else. Presumably known people include friends, family, co-workers, etc. However, what's striking is they trust 'Consumer Opinions posted online' at 70% trust level with 'Brand Websites' also at 70%. If this is the case, then these findings create strong case for business models wherein products are hawked via branded websites, featuring product reviews, and sold direct to consumers.

With the economy down, and purchases of private label products rising, this makes for a great opportunity for brands selling direct to consumers.

Following is an image showing the degree of trust placed in the various forms of advertising.

One brand that's begun implementing many of the findings above is a Walking Shoe brand called Kuru Shoes. This brand features the most anatomical Active Shoes in the marketplace offering high quality support and comfort. They also have shoes suitable as Travel Shoes.

For example, check out the Kruzr II travel shoe and you will find the following:
-Product Images
-Add to cart box on the right side
-Product Description
-Product Video
-Recent Press/Buzz
-Customer Reviews

Giving your visitors more information about your products is critical in today's information rich culture. The internet allows us to get all the information we want, when we want it, instantly. This is powerful as it enables the consumers in ways formerly not possible. But, the onus, now more than ever, is on brands to offer the information most relevant, important, and transparent to those customers.