Personal Metrics & Platforms
The concept of personal metrics, self-assessment, and data-driven lifestyles is clearly beneficial to individuals. Armed with data, people now have valuable information about their behavior that helps them make better decisions and change their habits and actions.
Society is developing an always-on hunger for information about each other, but more interestingly, about themselves. This is a huge opportunity for brands to embed themselves in the lifestyles of their customers. However, the opportunity is not for active participation, but for facilitation of a relationship.
In the past, when it came to digital, brands relied on short-lived microsites, which have now given way to quick likes and tweets that everyone struggles to measure effectively. But today, if brands want to create life-long relationships with customers, they need to move beyond the one-click stand.
Products are dead. Platforms are the future. Platforms encourage participation, engagement, and an ongoing relationship. So, what does it mean to create a platform using the concept of Personal Metrics? Here are three practical things to consider when employing the concept of Personal Metrics in a platform.
1. Identify A Service
Brands that succeed in the digital space understand that they need to provide their customers with a unique service. Obvious examples of this are Nike Plus and Mint.com. Both of these services provide customers with a unique method to track information about themselves that they could not achieve before. As a result, runners don’t just think about Nike when they are going to buy running gear. They think about and engage with Nike all the time … before the run, during the run, after the run, as they are constantly reviewing, comparing, and planning runs. Prior to the marriage of service and digital technology, this constant engagement between a brand and a customer was not possible.
2. Create Ongoing Feedback Loops
At the heart of Personal Metrics is feedback. Without feedback, the concept dies. This feedback requires both input and output. What sets one platform apart from another is the ease at which feedback is given and retrieved.
This is where design comes into play. Simple, elegant, accessible design is critical to success because it lower the barrier to entry and increase return engagement. Another critical element to feedback is the interpretation of the data. The platform must be able to analyze the data, draw conclusions, offer suggestions, and package it all into an experience that is easy to absorb and understand. If the information is not accessible, the platform will not succeed.
3. Tell A Story
Resulting from these cyclical feedback loops will be time-based data. This data will tell the story of a customer’s lifestyle. Finding ways for this story to be shared, shared, archived, exported, and visualized is critical to the platform’s growth.
The story will reveal progress, preference, and personality and becomes the ultimate brand ambassador. Enabling customers to share their stories is valuable to the brand because each time a customer shares their story, it’s as though the brand has launched a mini-campaign. As individuals in the customer’s network see their friend’s story (eg. Suzy just ran 6 miles with Nike Plus) they have an increased chance of interacting with the brand to this personal connect through their friend.
Platforms are the future
Establishing omnipresence in the lives of its customers is critical to brands. The rise of data driven platforms continues to grow. Brands who fail to provide such services will miss one of the greatest opportunities in digital so far.