Module 3. Brief 3. Week 12.
This is the final week of this brief and module. I will be developing my ideas and designs for my authorial artefact, Desk View. This week I will be thinking about the ways of developing my product ready to launch. I will be looking at how designers and makers publicise their authorial products.
Thinking about marketing and promotion, I want to analyse how people in the past have successfully done it, ready to prepare my own plan for launching DeskView. I need to investigate what methods are better, high pressure or more targeted approach to my target audience. Can this be through social media, a launch event, or even a series of workshops to promote the artefact?
This final week of project 3 and of module 3, I will be finalising a fully laid out design and research for my artefact, ready to give to a manufacturer or investor.
This week our lecture was by Alec Dudson, he talks about launches and promotion for new projects. I have a product idea that I believe can work really well, but unless I get it out into the world, it will never reach the people I want it to and it will never take off.
The strategies I need to use to get an idea out there depends on the resources I have, the nature of the project, the scale I want to have, and the impact I want for the product.
PR agencies can be a good solution to scale if I have an exact budget. I must have a strong and clear project idea that is easy to understand, otherwise, the agency wouldn’t know what to do with it. I might pay £2k a month for a retainer, in which case I would expect to be one of a number of projects that the agency is working on; helping me out part-time.
Agencies tend to have a network that they always turn to, they have an extensive list of contacts in the press. So turning to an agency with the network that will relate to the projects target audience will be the most successful route.
Using a PR agency would allow me to not worry about marketing being a failure, so I can focus on more important things or more pressing matters. It can also be difficult to talk about myself and my product in the third person and write stories about myself, this is why it’s great to get someone else to do it.
Zetteler is an agency that revolves around innovation and design in the art, technology, architecture and creative sector. This is a great example as if I want to go to a PR agency that has a network of people in the creative world, they have connections in some large press such as It’s Nice That, DeZen, MR Porter.
Clear communication is the most important thing with marketing. Design isn’t the first. You need to know what it is, why they need it, and how they can get it.
The budget may not be there to use a PR agency, so it can turn to personal communications. There are many examples of designers who have authored their own work to take it upon themselves to market their project. The most difficult thing to do is explain exactly what it is, so if I can do that the rest will be much easier.
Alec uses Michael Lester’s ‘The worlds smallest portfolio’ as an example of great individual marketing. He is a visual communicator, very good at translating an idea into a single image. For this project, he twisted the perspective of the brief, “get people talking about my work”, making people take a closer look at his work quite literally. He only sent 5 of these portfolios out to studios to share his work, so he had a very specific and targeted audience. This was made clear in his design as well.
To successfully market a new idea it needs to clearly and concisely share the idea and the documentation.
Alec gives some “quick win’s” which he feels are useful notes that could help push an idea. He believes getting the most of social media is imperative, especially Instagram. It’s an amazing platform that is free to use and to market on, although it needs to be managed and can take up a lot of time. So I need to ask myself, “are the returns justifying the input?” before I take this route.
The number one thing to think about is the content and consistency. My audience should know what they are expecting before going onto my account. A colour scheme, a way of photographing work, the content itself. People will keep coming back if they like what they see.
Tagging collaborators, anyone that’s inspired a project, any potential clients. This can bring in an audience that I know already they will like my content. Use hashtags successfully can be difficult but it allows people to find my project easily, allowing them to follow my work. Following and comment increases engagement, when people can see that you are active and replying to them it makes them feel they are part of something.
I can write my own press release or an article. Like I said before this can be difficult to write in the third person, but if it is a written article it can be easily shared by any creative network with ease. It will save press writers time so it makes common sense for them to easily share something that’s already there.
From Alec’s lecture, I have realised how important not only the idea is but the way you deliver it. If I don’t clearly believe an idea, the audience becomes confused and won’t know what they are looking at and look elsewhere.
Today, everything revolves around video, and the best way of understanding a project or an idea is the advertisement. The video Alec showed us for the NYPL Insta Novel’s wouldn’t have made sense unless we physically saw the idea in use.
People want to and need to fully understand what you’re trying to sell to them, I believe moving image is one of the best ways to explain an idea. I definitely want to develop a clean and clearly descriptive advert for my product idea.
Needs to be easy to share, easy to understand, and targeted in the area where the target audience will be looking. I can use moving image to describe what my product is, but where I share it is equally as important. As my audience are going to be using the tool while video calling, I would hope to advertise using their platforms or to their users.
What is the problem I am trying to solve? I am trying to solve the gap where we are attempting to collaborate long-distance, for creatives, this is even more difficult as most of us are visual learners. So I must look into advertising in the areas where this market see most often or where they influence the most.
This week I need to build, promote, and tell the story I have been working on. I need to put together the physical product, the project outline, the video content and think about partners who could support the development of the product.
I have based my product around its use alongside a video calling app. There are many applications that work with video calling today, FaceTime, Whatsapp, Skype, Appear.in, Join.me, Facebook messenger, Google Hangout, and so many more. Some applications may work better than others with DeskView. If you want to show both your body language as well as your desk you need whatever application you are using to be signed in on both your desktop and your portable device. This already rules out applications such as Whatsapp, that cannot be used on the desktop. For some of these applications, you need to be signed in, in which case you need to have two accounts for this to work, which starts to get confusing and messy. This leaves only applications which work as a room that you can join to work
Zoom.us, Gruveo, Linkello are all some of the applications that will work the best with DeskView. But out of all the no-log in, no-download room share video calling applications there are on the market at the moment, Appear.in is the best. Appear.in  was awarded as one of the “iPad Business App Winners” of 2018 Tabby Awards . The desktop and smartphone applications are both free to use. You can have up to 4 screens in one room, which will allow free communication between two people who are both sharing their webcams and DeskView.
Application Products and Add-Ons.
There are many companies that now produce products to work alongside their applications, software and websites. I believe DeskView could work similarly to these companies. I am going to look at a handful of them to see how I could advertise my product for a company like appear.in in a similar way.
In September 2016 Spectacles  were announced they were coming to the market, partnering up with Snapchat to help share the world you see through your eyes with your friends and family. This was a unique product because nobody was expecting a smartphone application to launch an accessory product. This did not pick up so well because it was very niche. Not only did you have to wear an item that may not be a style you like, but the item was also extremely expensive and only worked with Snapchat.
Amazon Echo , also known as ‘Alexa’ is an intelligent personal assistant designed to work in any home. Working along with Amazon’s wide marketplace, you can order through the device, as well as do all the tasks you ask it to, very similar to Apple’s ‘Siri”. This product has come a long way from this first advert. The world has grown to love their Echo devices. The device is easy to understand, it is described best in its first episode because the product is being used and its features highlighted.
Amazons first Super Bowl Advert shows how far they have come over the last 5 years. Their adverts are now self-explanatory, playing on the fact the audience knows who Alexa is and what it does.
Samsung Gear VR , the first-ever virtual reality head-mounted display product on the market was released by Samsung, and could only be used with their Samsung Galaxy phones. This product has advanced now to become a common household gadget that no longer needs the Samsung phone.
Apple Watch  was announced in 2014, nearly 5 years ago. This feels like a lifetime away as most people have the smartwatch product. Apple advertised this product with the same class and slick design as their smartphones and computers. Their enticing moving image always manages to grab the audience’s attention whilst explaining what the product can do.
I want to advertise the DeskView product idea working alongside the Appear.in software as an example of how the tool can be used. I would want to try partnering up with a video calling company, whether that is appear.in or another similar software. This will not only help to better explain what DeskView can do, but it will help upsell the product to the products exact target audience.
I want to advertise my product initially with an explainer video that is short, quick to understand, and clear to see the opportunities the product might have for different people and industries.
Desk view is a collaborative tool used by creatives and professionals alike, to enhance long-distance collaboration.
DeskView holds your smartphone above the desk using a 360 turning gooseneck stand that you can connect to anything sturdy around your desk space
This allows for live projection of your desk space, that could aid a number of professional and creative activities. Animation and experimentation, brainstorming and mind mapping, team building and workshopping, showing body language and note-taking, portfolio reviews or interviews.
What will you do with DeskView?
I will also be doing some targeted networking via social media, mostly Instagram and LinkedIn. I will use the page to show short GIFs of how the product can help different people, industries, as well as creative practices. I will be sharing my own use of the product, to begin with. After getting a small following of the product, I want to target some direct people in industries I feel could have great use of the tool and send them the product for free. I will be requesting a short 5-10 second video of what they are doing with the product as well as a short endorsement quote. I can then begin sharing these as GIFs. I can begin trending these posts with the hashtag, #sharemydeskview. With this very specific hashtag, I can track who is getting involved with my product and who is following. Using Instagram as a marketing tool does take a lot of time, but it is a cheap way of initially kicking off this collaborative tool.
This has been a very successful project. I have realised a problem that I am passionate about and understand and I have found a way of filling that gap. It may not be a perfect solution but I have successfully solved the problem. I have realised the challenges of putting together a product idea and the many methods of marketing that I could use. I have understood how important knowing my targeted audience is and how to gather information to use in my favour.
I honestly believe DeskView is a great idea and want to develop on this more in the future if I have time or the opportunity to pitch the idea to someone. For this course, I think it is useful as I am studying an online course and the idea fits in so well. I will continue to gather information and logistics and see how I could possibly make this product a reality in the future.
- YouTube. (2019). Spectacles | Skating with Friends. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqkOFLBSJR8 [Accessed 9 Aug. 2019].
- En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Amazon Echo. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Echo [Accessed 9 Aug. 2019].
- En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Samsung Gear VR. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samsung_Gear_VR [Accessed 9 Aug. 2019].
- En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Apple Watch. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Watch [Accessed 9 Aug. 2019].
- Appear.in. (2019). [online] Available at: https://appear.in/user [Accessed 11 Aug. 2019].
- Tabbyawards.com. (2019). The global awards competition for the best iPad, Android and Windows tablet apps for business, productivity and enterprises. [online] Available at: https://tabbyawards.com/business/?fbclid=IwAR1Lt7SIiqgtNOJd8F0IdcDdD2L8zFZXIgc_duQfRPEeRzsNdLQlPq7eIDU [Accessed 11 Aug. 2019].