My mate Rob works for Nooka - a design brand started by Matthew Waldman, looking to invent products that challenge the paradigm they operate in. The first product is a a line of cool watches that re-invent how to display the time.
They've just announced a collaboration with Toyota - Nooka designs, inspired by participants of the Toyota 5th Door program, to celebrate the new Toyota Matrix. The watches are limited editions and being sold for $300 a [time] piece.
I've been thinking about marketing people will pay for for a while now. It started with BK Games - I think perhaps the most interesting thing about these globally lauded Burger King XboX games is the fact that people paid $3.99 for a piece of advertising.
3.2 Million people, according to the case study.
It's difficult to fault marketing that actually makes money, in and of itself.
Staples turned their Easy Button into a product and sold millions of them, donating a proportion of proceeds to charity, but this was more of a happy accident, one assumes.
Whereas, things like the IDEO Method Deck are more strategic. The cards detail 51 methods that IDEO use to help inspire great design. So - they are a product. But they are also a powerful piece of marketing - positioning IDEO as the people to call when you need some design help.
IDEO have just launced their Field Guides for the Curious - travel guides that shun the obvious for the unknown, which positions them as experts on urban design as well.
Creating marketing products, as opposed to services, is a way to engage people and establish values around your core business with things of value, that people are willing to part with some cash for. The line between marketing and product is blurring, and this no doubt confuses matters even further
[Look, up in the sky! It's marketing! No it's a product!]
but when people are willing to pay for your marketing, even if it's only a nominal amount, it follows that the marketing has value and is desirable.
And that seems like a good thing.
[A line of TIGS branded merchandise will be available shortly.]