Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Were planning on hitting Shanghai or Singapore by next summer for a little RR&R - rest, relaxation and research. As far as Shanghi goes, the New Majestic Hotel is looking pretty sweet as an option.
Singapore is the latest city to unveil a new themed room hotel, putting the 'b' into boutique as it's never been before. The new generation design hotel is all about individuality and intimacy - the anti hotel if you will - more Hollywood mansion than mega hotel chain.
Singapore's fabulous New Majestic Hotel fits the bill, with 30 unique rooms designed by prominent artists and designers. Showcasing a mix of vintage and new furniture, the rooms adhere to different themes from the 'Hanging Bed Room' where murals span whole walls through to the incredible Aquarium Room where a glass-encased bathtub sits in the middle of the room.
Thanks to Lisa Evans
In the last of a 3 part series on innovation and the university, Grant McCracken reminds us of the simple yet often neglected fact that to build a product that people want, you need to help them do a job that they are trying to get done.
Meanings & Associations
I think d-schools (design schools) have a good shot at helping the university turn out capable innovators. They are better positioned, for instance, than the b-schools discussed yesterday.
For one thing the d-schools believe in consulting carefully with the consumer. Thanks to the pioneering work of Jay Doblin, the design field believes in ethnography, and this method flourished there well before its present popularity in business research circles.
For another thing, the d-school believes in culture.
As it stands, the b-school tends to think about the product or brand in terms of utilities, functions or benefits. Brands and products create value by doing work in the world.
For one expression of this position, here are Christensen, Cook and Hall on the "function brand."
A simple rule has been forgotten. To build a product that people want, you need to help them do a job that they are trying to get done.
The marketer's fundamental task is not so much to understand the customer as it is to understand what jobs customers need to do -- and build products that serve those specific purposes.
What gets lost in all of this is the other face of the product or brand. "Meanings and associations" are neglected.
Read it all here.
Grant McCracken holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago and taught at the Harvard Business School.