Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Brand kiosks to improve ROI and usage

Kiosk Marketplace has posted a very nice article about branding self-service kiosks for use in retail (and other) environments. While I've seen some articles like this before, I was particularly pleased to see this one address branding from both a hardware and software perspective, as well as from a built-it (custom) versus buy-it (off-the-shelf) standpoint. Here's a short clip:
Kiosk enclosures fall into three basic categories: stock, semi-custom and custom, according to the level of branding. However, while it is easy to see high-profile, custom designed enclosures as examples of good brand integration (and some of them truly are outstanding), it is important to note that an effective, integrated brand message is not necessarily limited to custom work. Most enclosures — stock, semi-custom or custom produced — can effectively convey the intended message when the client simply follows a few basic steps during the planning phase of the kiosk project.

Step 1: Articulate the message. In the same way that step one in making a business case for any kiosk project is to define the ROI (return on investment), step one for the marketing aspects of the project is to define the ROP, return on perception. The client needs to define what perception they want the customer to have when they see the kiosk, use the kiosk and what they will take away and remember of the experience. Whatever the client wants to convey (for example: strength, fun, service, excitement, safety), the manufacturer can’t build it until the client defines it.

Step 2: Create a collaborative environment for the vendors. To obtain a fully-integrated experience for the user, vendors need to work together to share brand assets. Too often clients fall into the trap of “which to do first — enclosure or software?” The most effective methodology is to develop each in tandem, with a free exchange of ideas between the software developer and hardware/enclosure providers. This produces an integrated solution where the software and hardware become a seamless experience for the user.

Step 3: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Keep it simple — and that means everything. Sophisticated technologies in both the software and hardware realm offer a dizzying array of possibilities for functionality and design. The kiosk that tries to do too much and offers too many options can easily become overwhelming and leave users confused to the point where they do nothing and walk away. The same holds true for branding and design elements.
Go ahead and read the full article here.

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