It happens here: Consumer-centric Innovation in Charlotte and beyond


Bolt Group and the Designers Accord by Nheeda Enriquez

boltAbout a month ago, Charlotte-based Bolt Group played host to the latest gathering of the Designers Accord, which Time magazine recently described as a “Kyoto Protocol of design” and is a coalition of design firms and companies who are looking to advance sustainability in their work by sharing best practices and successful case studies.

I met up with Monty Montague, Bolt’s principal, and he highlighted his firm’s efforts in helping their eco-friendly client Airdye build up their branding presence (and ultimately, customer base) using viral marketing techniques.  He talked about the unique challenges of addressing multiple audiences: contractors and designers in both the fashion and interior design industries.

Find a wrapup of the local event here and find Bolt’s own blog here.

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Dunkin’ Donuts: I knew what they were doing and I STILL fell for it by Nheeda Enriquez

ddphotoYou would think that since I’m in marketing and product development, I’d be immune to impulse buys.  But on a recent road trip, I stopped at my local Dunkin’ Donuts and STILL could not resist this cup of Munchkins strategically placed next to the register.  Here’s why I am a sucker:

1.  Although I consider myself somewhat Green, I compromised my values: convenience over sustainability.  I offset the guilt by rationalizing, “Oh, I can recycle this packaging.”

2.  The math is all wrong:  Four Munchkins in a cup = $1.00.  Single jelly donut = $0.89, and more filling.  I paid a premium to make myself feel like I wasn’t eating unhealthy.

The lesson:  Sometimes understanding a customer’s complex decision-making process gives you the tools to make them behave in strange ways.  And the most remarkable part is that this “innovation” probably cost practically nothing to develop; Dunkin Donuts recombined products they already had.

The experience also reminded me of a fun story I came across: The making of Dunkin’ Run.  It’s a quick look at how Hill Holiday brought this nifty service from concept to reality.  Dunkin’ Donuts even launched a mobile app to extend the platform.