Tag Archives: Mobile phone

You don’t “need” an app for your wine business

Recently I was talking to a friend who was doing project management on a mobile phone app for a department within the Catalan government. Voicing his many general frustrations with working for the government, there was one particular issue that caught my ear.

He stated that all they seemed to know about the project when they approached him was that they “needed” an app. Loosely, they knew they could do something with maps in the city of Barcelona, but most importantly they “needed” an app.

Let me be absolutely clear, no one needs an app.

What people do need is to solve problems, or simplify elements of one’s business or job. These are the starting points. No one would say “I need a shovel”, then go out and buy a shovel without knowing what you’re going to use it for. If you need to dig a small hole, you buy a shovel. That said once you know the size of the hole you need, you might decide that a shovel is  the wrong tool.

I know “apps” are in fashion but a useless app built only for the sake of “having an app” is not only a waste of money, but can reflect negatively on your product overall. Asking your consumers to download an app when they visit your site builds expectations, and if when they decide to download it all they get is the same content you have on your website already, but in a smaller, less convenient form, you’re not thinking of your consumer, but rather your ego.

That said, there are a lot of things today that could and would benefit from having an app, but rather than thinking about the app first, figure out the problem, develop a solution and consider whether an “app” is the best way to solve the problem.


No charge

Here’s an idea for wine brands – it’s free, or should I say “there is no charge attached”

As the BBC pointed out yesterday, people in Britain consider Broadband at home “essential”, like water or electricity. I agree. I’d also add, that the next move will be to demand it outside the home too, so they can continue their daily business – work, shopping and conversations, on their mobile devices.

There are more and more hotels, bars and restaurants are offering Wi-Fi (although hotels try to charge for it which is just wrong!) which is a great idea – although few are using this properly to their advantage (I’ll post on that as well soon). But as this becomes more common, it will lose its power to impress. Once it is expected, it will only be an issue if it is NOT available.

What no-one has yet done in the restaurant trade (to my knowledge) is address a major shortcoming of all this mobile interaction – access to POWER. CHARGE. ELECTRICITY.

A customer could easily walk into a bar with any combination of laptop, iPod, mobile phone, camera or games console. Want to be their friend for ever? Offer them access to power points (or should I say sockets). The clever bar manager will also have a set of chargers for the most common tools & brands (iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia, PSP, etc.) available which customers can borrow FREE.

There have been many times I could have been sharing my experiences of the food, wine, and the location but I couldn’t for fear of running out of battery (in my vocabulary for obvious reasons this is now called “twitter juice“). You should have seen the look I got when I asked recently if they happened to have a charger.

If you are a wine brand with ANY form of online presence, why not brand these tools and make them available instead of just sending out more ice-buckets or menu covers?

I’ve even got a name for the branding campaign – “No Charge”

Just a thought. If you do something like this, let me know!

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