25 May 2008

The Yin-Yang of Technology Payoffs: Brand Chakras study

Personal computers, internet, connectivity, telecom services, mobiles, visual imaging gadgets... new categories are trying to connect with new consumer groups. JWT Brand Chakras set out to answer the question: "What are the deeper payoffs that consumers are getting from technology - be it in their work life or personal life?" In-depth discussions in Mumbai and Chennai with 25-35 year old early adopters and people who worked in the technology space, revealed some interesting details.
Efficiency and indulgence, refuge and escape, conformism and showmanship, child-like delight and intellectual growth, the payoffs from technology in personal life are dichotomous says the Brand Chakras™ study. In work life, technology can facilitate democracy or meritocracy, be a performance leveler or a performance discriminator, foster conformism or creativity. Technology can be functional and symbolic, in the temporary and immediate or in the permanent and the long term. It can help social anchoring or enhance social clout.
It all depends on your orientation. You could be looking to satisfy your need to belong or your need to be individualistic. At the very least, technology helps you celebrate life, but as you go up the ladder, it becomes a life-evolving tool.
The study identified five types of technology mindsets.
The Doer: keen on upgrading quality of everyday life, with a thirst for ease and efficiency in day-to-day life, wants technology to maximize life and help balance different spheres.
The Connector: strong urge to nurture relationships and stay anchored.
The Indulger: fundamental need for fun and entertainment to cope with day-to-day pressures.
The Discriminator: pressured to establish, redeem, conquer, catch up or breakaway to create a distinct identity and distance himself from the rest.
The Explorer: instinctive thirst for excitement through new experiences and keen to constantly add new facets to his life.

Technology is no longer just about convenience and greater efficiency, its influence on the average individual is more profound and life defining. Technology is now the most powerful agent of mental evolution. The power and worth of any technology will increasingly be evaluated in terms of its ability to unlock and express the power of the mind and the intellect, concludes the study.

The study found that technology largely catered to Pleasure and Power Chakra needs in our lives. And identified almost 20 payoffs that technology brands could use to connect with consumers.

For more on the study, Mythili.Chandrasekar@jwt.com

Internet in India: The New Divide/Suresh Mohankumar, JWT Planning, Chennai

The world of Internet in India is clearly divided between two kinds of people, the ones who use the internet and those who don’t go near it: the Haves and the Have-nots. As the Internet continues to grow in India, internet companies have to every day live with the question: What is it the Haves have seen and why is it the Have-nots refuse to see?Here is a handy point of view, that indepth interviews with internet users and non-users revealed.
What the Haves admit to enjoying
Efficient Living: saves time, gives me the best deals

Enlightened Living: quenches my thirst for knowledge, stimulates my curiosity

Empowered Living: stimulates my spirit of enterprise, helps me make informed decisions

Entertained Living: engages me with what I am interested in

Emotionally Anchored Living: takes geography out of relationships
Expressive Living: Gives me the opportunity to express my individuality through creative endeavours

What's stopping the Have-nots
Barrier of Relevance: "The Internet is only for business people and people who travel abroad frequently. How can it benefit us? "
Barrier of Exposure: "It does not go with our culture. It is definitely not for girls."
Barrier of Inadequacy: Seen as a distant and complex entity, Techno phobic - "I have never used a computer-it has so many buttons, I might do something wrong ."
Barrier of Fear: "I will not let my children near the internet even if it is for half an hour. Even if it is free. Pornography and adult content is easily available”
Barrier of Language: "If it was in our regional language we would even get our neighbors and friends to use it ."
Barrier of Inertia: "How can I learn something new now? (age factor) “I don’t need it for my job” “Probably it will be useful for my children - but later”. "What is the need for it?"

The trick for internet brand marketers of course is to show the Have-nots what the Haves have seen, and find those exact moments of truth that makes people cross the fence.