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I have just rediscovered visual complexity.com as a useful site for visualisations of various kinds. The site is simple, but the categories make it easy to browse and find useful examples.

Here is an example of corporate connections which I think gives a nice visual representation of sub-brands and their parent organisations.




This is the last of three posts about great stuff over at Smashing magazine. This is from an article about how to create memorable experiences for customers (link). There are some very nice examples, including the one from the hidden heroes exhibition (link).

I recently mentioned the great work being presented over at Smashing magazine regarding Service Personality. To add to this, is this really good piece about tone of voice. This obviously fits together with the personality, and in many ways is part of the embodiment of the personality in different touch-points.

Here, an example from Innocent smoothies:


As I mentioned in the previous post, this fits together with the tone of voice in the brand megaphone model, and is a useful way to work from Brand DNA, through Service Personality to Tone of Voice. This is easier for single touch-points, but as we know, very challenging when all touch-points have to be co-ordinated.

(If you are interested in the service personality research, then you can read about it here and here)

I have been researching Service Personality for several years, so its great to see Smashing magazine presenting great examples of digital touch-point personalities (link). Heres an example from a small comment that comes up when typing in a location. Ahh Prague says so much more than just Prague.


There are loads of good examples presented, and its nice to see that personalities are emerging on digital touch-points.

This also gives me the opportunity to present the branding model we have developed for services as part of the AT-ONE project – the brand megaphone. This shows how the DNA of the service should form the service personality and how this should then influence each and every touch-point along the service journey. We have regularly used actors to enact interactions with the different touch-points as part of the design process. This allows the fine tuning of the customer experience at an early stage of the design process and is definitely worth doing as part of a project.


(If you are interested in the service personality research, then you can read about it here and here)


Thanks to Adrian at AHO for this great pinterest link to lots of journey mapping examples (link).


A great collection of journey maps on pinterest



I found this on the BBC recently and thought it worth a mention. Chiltern Railways in the UK has hired two comedy writers to help assist them with announcements on the train (link). Instead of a surly or purely informative announcement, they are injecting some humour into the messages. As an example, they have added some information in a humorous way:

We will shortly be passing through West Ruislip where we will be racing the Underground trains. Do please feel free to cheer for our driver.

Its especially interesting because humour can be very awkward to implement accross the organisation. I think its a bold move to do this for several reasons. Firstly, because not everyone has the inclination to be funny, and not in a scripted way. Secondly, passengers expect both consistency and variation. Consistency in delivery, meaning that they will expect funny comments next time they travel. Variation, because you can’t tell the same joke twice.

I think also that its interesting because generally the tone of voice and behaviour of front-line staff should reflect the DNA of the company. Adding humour says something about the ambition of the company, but also that this is to be embedded in their brand promise to you. Will you receive the same positive experience when buying a ticket, buying a coffee, using the web-site? The number of touch-points that should be changed is pretty large, and I hope that they start thinking through a redesign of them all. During the cold Autumn months, a bit of humour is just the thing to warm the heart.

Thanks to Mosse at AHO for sharing this nice Service Design for the Washington airport anno.
The expanding airport

Untitled from CHRISTINA LAETZ on Vimeo.



It explains why and how airports have become huge sprawling walkways and suggests an innovative way to solve it using mobile lounges.


Air travel would have been very different if this had happened.


I’m not really sure if this would work out (he he), but I really like the way that GymPact turns things on its head and finds a way to motivate you to be active at the gym. It adds a new twist to the social, co-production, collaborative service direction.

Some years ago we did some service design for the health service as part of one our our master-level courses. We heard there that in some parts of China, you pay the doctor when you are well, and they are free when you are ill. Gympact reminds me of the same idea, one that is enticing.

I just came over this graph from the splatf blog (link) showing how consumer electronics stands for a huge amount of sales at Sony, but generally, little or no profit. In fact is regularly goes into the red. However, services, although not generating as much income as consumer, are more regularly in the black.

Sony and services? Well it turns out that Sony offers insurance and banking. Although I don’t know how this came about, I am curious to know if the Sony brand has managed to assist positioning Sony financial services. I would also like to know what the Sony experience would be like for a bank. Sony have traditionally been known for innovation, style and quality – I wonder how that converts into service behaviour …

As it is the season to give, and most notably the season to give things, I was surprised to see the number and range of experiences as gifts available on the market this year. I have seen them before as up-and-coming gifts, but this year there seem to be more of them, and greater interest. In one of the shops I visited (a bookshop), I overheard two conversations where family members were discussing which experiences to give as gifts this Christmas.

This shouldn’t come as any surprise. There has long been a trend of packaging services, and it could be described as a natural consequence of the experience economy. However, the strength of the growth is surprising, and the range of packages available is impressive.

One of the largest organizations is the smartbox organisation (link) which has branches all over the world. I think it is interesting that they use the term box as a key part of their experience, making the experience tangible.

One of the Danish providers is Bellevue Box (link). They are a young company with fast growth, and have been classed as a Gazelle fast track company in Denmark.

This package markets itself with a richer experience as a focus, using the Danish term for experience (oplevelse) and a less utilitarian packaging design. In terms of expectation management, the Danish solution provides an expectation of a  richer experience.

I think these experience gifts are an interesting reflection on the move from products to services in society, and their growth shows that our culture is perhaps moving away from physical gifts towards tokens for experiences. It might be a logical intersection of the gift voucher meets the experience economy, or something more basic at work. I think the latter, since it could be seen as the ultimate expression of “its the thought that counts”, since it is the thought that is packaged and given, rather than a voucher as a proxy for a physical gift.

I think that the interesting things about packaging all of these experiences is that there are multiple actor collaborations that need to be in place to make a package work. Something I am curious about, is how far along the customer journey the package suppliers are involved. Do they request feedback regarding the final experience, or are they just interested in the point of sale? To find out, I think I will have to wait and see if anybody gifts me an experience this Christmas (hint hint).

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