Wristband technology, NFL game changer!

Ever wanted to catch like Odell Beckham Jr.? Well, soon you may be able to . . . ok, well, not entirely, but you may be able to at least mimic the fitness regimen that helped him get so good.

Whoop (a revolutionary human performance company) and the NFL Players Association have signed a groundbreaking partnership that makes WHOOP the officially licensed recovery wearable of the NFLPA. So what does that mean?

Well, for professional athletes it allows them to be both healthier and wealthier by providing precise, quality feedback that not only helps them improve their game, but enables longer careers. And, it also empowers them to sell their performance data as motivation for athletes all over the world, which is a big win for them, too!

A partnership that enhances the training experience for both the pro and the every day athlete? Now that's brilliant!

Traveling....translate reviews with no hassles!

I am off to Rome this October and have begun to plan adventures, activities, and gourmet go-to’s! However, I always leave plenty of time to be spontaneous and go where the wind takes me. So, of course, I was so excited to learn that Google has created a new feature that makes the foreign travel experience much easier by allowing travelers to find and enjoy their adventures with less navigation. The next time you travel to a foreign country and want to check out local reviews of a point of interest or restaurant, Google translates them into your native language, eliminating extra steps to copy/paste into a translate app. So when I’m in Rome wandering the Piazza Novana, I will be looking up the reviews on Google for the best local gnocchi (and prosecco!).

A pain free pharmacy

I love going to the pharmacy - said no one ever. In fact, prescription pickup is on my husband's list of household chores and I'll do pretty much anything to avoid going.

It's never fast, no matter what time of day it is. Every other month our medications are out of stock and the months in between the technicians can't find my order. And there always seems to be some issue with my insurance or the cost of the medication that I don't quite understand even though I've read the 90-page prescription coverage plan cover to cover - twice.  Best of all is the shade thrown from the 30 people behind me line if I dare ask the pharmacist a question.  Okay, I'm done whining.

Capsule is a digital pharmacy that plans to fix all that and more using a digital-only model designed to solve the traditional pharmacy pain points (both consumer and professional). They digitally receive a prescription from a doctor and deliver to your home or office, eliminating the need to ever set foot in the pharmacy. But Capsule doesn't stop there - they follow-up after delivery to see how the patient is doing and provide that feedback to the doctor, they provide competitive pricing and the ability to ask questions via email, text or chat.

The program is currently being piloted in NYC but if rolled out to other markets, it could mean #winning for all of us.

Custom cooking by Tasty

Despite the fact that over 500 million people drool over the time lapsed food videos we can't seem to get away from in our news feeds - cookbooks are still one of the top selling published books each year. There is just something about the beautiful, glossy pictures that you can't quite replicate on screen. The downside is the cookbook experience can be limiting if you don't like all the recipes selected by the chef or author, leaving you sad and hungry.

But never fear friends, Buzzfeed's online cooking channel Tasty is coming to our cookbook rescue.  Using their repository of recipes, they have released a customizable cookbook changing the way we buy and use them.  You choose an adult or even a kids version, select the categories of recipes you want based on your tastes or interests, add a personal message or inspirational quote, and finally choose your cover.  Ta da! A brand new cookbook on your counter that actually has recipes you want to cook.   Or might try to cook.  Or not.  Whatever - we won't tell.

The smell of latexxx in the morning

The latest installation from European rail provider Thalys is changing the way people book travel one sense at a time.  As a follow-up to it's 2015 Sounds of the City campaign, the brand has partnered with French agency Rosapark to create Scents of the City.

The activation features a pop-up travel agency that allows potential travelers to explore cities in the Thalys network by scent.  That's right folks, by scent.  Using corresponding maps, visitors can experience the smell of buttered tartines from a Parisian cafe or the smell of lataxxx from Amsterdam's Museum of Sex if you're into that sort of thing.  In total, you can experience 16 scents per city.  All the while, hostesses are standing by to book travel live or provide helpful insights on the best times to travel.

Using the strong connection between emotion and scent, Thalys has given us a completely new way to experience the romance of travel.

Label of Love

A grocery store + product packaging = young love.  Not exactly how you expected to spend your Tuesday morning?  Us either.  But trust us, it's worth it.

For the last 85 years, Monoprix's iconic packaging has been a central element of their experience.  The French retailer and grocery features funny puns on their product labels created from the actual product names making them an unforgettable part of French pop culture.

To commemorate their anniversary, the brand created an adorable love story that brilliantly integrates that same iconic packaging into the central storyline - further ingraining them in the heart's of French consumers while giving us all the feels. The four-minute-long video is about a young boy with a crush on a classmate. He's so shy he expresses his feelings for her by anonymously leaving cutouts of the clever puns from Monoprix's boxes in her locker.  He quietly watches her reaction until one day she doesn't come to class and he's devastated to learn she's moved.

But that can't be how it ends right?! You'll have to check it out here for yourself.  Your welcome.

Experiences are for CEO's too

In most of our conversations around customer experience, we talk about a brand's relationship with it's customers. We don't talk much about brands being customers too.  But they are, and they want great experiences with the agencies and partners they work with.

So when OH Partners heard Airbnb was looking for a new creative agency, CEO Scott Harkey challenged the group to come up with a unique idea that would not only blow Airbnb CEO Jonathan Mildenhall's mind, but also secure a phone call with him.  The agency rose to the challenge and then some.  They created a real Airbnb listing in one of their Phoenix offices with a 24-hour livestream experience all centered around the great things to do in Phoenix.  Throughout the event they tweeted the highlights using the hashtag #JonathanCallScott.  And eventually he did just that.

From one non-NY agency to another, cheers to you OH Partners for killin' it!

Nice work, Chuck E. Cheese


Chuck E. Cheese may be what most adult nightmares are made of, but let's face it, kids love it. The freedom to run free, play games, dance and scream noisily, all the while eating pizza without their parents chasing after them to clean up their greasy hands? I mean it's practically Disneyland. Ok, maybe not Disneyland, but in all seriousness, Chuck E. Cheese is a place where kids can experience a little bit of freedom, while having a whole lotta fun, and parents don't have to worry quite as much about their whereabouts.

The downside? The bright lights and extremely noisy atmosphere are too much for some children to enjoy, specifically those on the Autism spectrum. That's why CEC's Senior Director of Advertising and Media, Ami Anderson, decided to truly act on their slogan,"Where a kid can be a kid," and make their experience equally enjoyable for EVERY kid.

To do this, they introduced Sensory Sensitive Sundays, where the lights are dim, the sound quieter and overall more comfortable for a child on the spectrum. These events are set to take place the first Sunday of every month and have already received tremendous feedback. The financial return is still to be determined, but that's not the focus for Chuck E. Cheese - their main concern is creating a positive experience for all kids.

Guess what? Moms aren't always f!&%ing perfect

Let's be honest, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese's Mother's Day campaign, Swear Like a Mother, was pretty brilliant. I mean, what better way to show millennial moms that they understand the experience of motherhood in this day and age than to say "we know you don't believe in perfect parenting, and neither do we."

As part of the campaign, the brand partnered with Melissa Mohr, author of 'Holy Sh!t: A brief history in swearing,' to create a hilarious TV spot that moms are certain to relate to. And they didn't stop there, the brand also created fail-canceling ear plugs for kids so mom doesn't have to feel guilty when she just can't seem to censor herself. We'd say the brand certainly succeeded at creating a unique and relatable Mother's Day experience for these moms.

Snapchat steps up its brand experience


The social and digital space is ever changing, making it tough for brands to keep up with some of the major players like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Based on Snapchat's latest features, there are two very important things that are successfully setting them apart, and maybe even ahead:

1.) How important customization is to users in order to reflect their individuality and personality
2.) To seamlessly integrate brands into the experience, they're offerings must be fun and relevant

The newest feature involves a 'world lens' that overlays photos and videos taken with the outward facing camera with fun 3-D graphics sponsored by a particular brand. Also in the works are new and improved geofilters that would allow brands to tap into their smart geofilters based on real time location information. Some other exciting news for brands who want to partner with Snapchat? They can now sponsor lenses based on age, gender and what content people look at, which means consumers are only served relevant options and the brand gets a more engaged audience.

An improved experience for brands AND for users? Now that's a win win!

Nike helps consumers push their limits


Nike's latest activation for its Unlimited campaign is creating a lot of buzz, and for good reason. It's one thing to talk in a commercial about limits and boundaries a brand like Nike might allow you to push, but it's a whole 'nother thing to allow consumers to actually experience it. This is exactly what Nike is doing in the Philippines.

They've created a giant replica of their newly launched Nike Lunar Epic shoe in the form of a 100-meter stadium where 30 runners at a time can compete with their very own avatar. Through a series of challenges, they are encouraged to beat their avatar, and ultimately push themselves further than they thought they could, mimicking the feeling they'd get when they push themselves in real life. Talk about a compelling experience!

Dove knows not all bodies are created equal

We all know Dove is a brand that champions the natural beauty of women from their highly successful 'Real Beauty' campaign they launched over a decade ago. It tapped into women's #1 insecurity regardless of age, ethnicity or social status, and flipped it on its head.

Now, over thirteen years later, they're still inspiring women all over the world, but this time it's at shelf. Their limited-edition packaging now comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, just like the women that use it, and creates a more meaningful shopping experience for consumers, reminding them that our differences should be celebrated, not ignored.

How do I love me? Let me count the waze...

What if I told you that your customer experience was you? Makes no sense, right? Wrong.

Everyone's favorite way finder, Waze, is finally offering an option where YOU are giving YOURSELF directions. That's right, full on turn-by-turn in your own voice. Simply activate the new voice recording feature and repeat & record the multitude of Waze commands to build an experience that is truly unique.

While only available on the Android platform for now, this is sure to be a boon for all of you out there who just love the sound of your own voice.

Photo Credit: Chris Welch

A healthy partnership

With health care being such a hot button these days, it seems rare to find some positive news around the subject. However, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Lyft are teaming up to literally make access to health care easier for folks in need of a ride.

Starting later this summer, BCBS will offer free Lyft rides to plan members who don't have reliable transportation options. And the best part for those who may be tech-challenged is that they won't even need the app to utilize the service.

Nearly 4 million Americans miss or delay appointments every year, so this partnership is addressing a critical need for BCBS plan members, making not only their customer experience better, but their lives as well.

Hot Colonel Sanders action

With Mother's Day coming up this weekend, the last thing on your mind is Kentucky Fried Chicken, right?

Well don't sleep on KFC. Believe it or not, Mother's Day is their biggest sales day of the year, and to commemorate it, they've come up with the hottest weirdest possible Mother's Day gift, a romance novel featuring the Colonel himself. And it's free on Amazon.

Aiming to take care of dinner (and all of Mom's fantasies) this lighthearted passion play may just be the sensual sensory experience that she needs on her special day. Fun, engaging, and totally out of nowhere, this is a unique multi-sensory customer experience that will really sell that $20 fill up bucket.

Running down a dream (shoe)

I opened my eyes at 5:30am on Sunday and my first thought was, "should I get up for a run now"? And since we're living in the matrix, of course my phone lit up with a notification from the Nike+ Run Club app. JUST DO IT SUNDAY, it said.

Turns out this was part of the promotion around Nike's attempt to facilitate the first ever sub-2 hour marathon that day, dubbed Breaking2. To get everyone up and running, they are hosting global 5K runs via the Run Club app, and anyone who completes that distance in a single run on either 5/7 or 5/14 is entered for a chance to win the Vapor Fly Elite shoes that the Breaking2 athletes wore during the attempt. And because I have to have those shoes, it was up and at 'em for an early morning run.

To this day, Just Do It remains, in my opinion, the single most motivating marketing phrase of all time. It quite literally has the ability to ignite your engines and turns what is often a solitary experience into a much more powerful and motivating experience you can be to be part of with others on a global scale.

(Spoiler: they didn't break 2 hours. Close, but nah.)

Xfinity feels the need...the need for speed!

Buckle up before you watch this video! Usually when you hear about consumers being taken for a ride by a brand, thats a bad thing. That wasn't the case for Comcast Xfinity customers and hyper-passionate fans of The Fast and the Furious movie franchise.

To dramatize the super high-speed connection between the latest edition of the franchise, "The Fate of the Furious" and their new Gig Internet service, Xfinity partnered up with their Comcast brethren at Universal Pictures to provide a one of a kind DRIVE-OUT movie experience for a couple of lucky customers.

Remember that feeling of exhilaration when you first upgraded from dial-up to broadband, and you noticed the unbelievable speed difference? Well, for their next generation of super-speed Internet service, Xfinity has tapped into that same emotion and tied it to a pop culture icon in order to make us feel what it's like to use the new service.

Art comes to life in Buenos Aires

The cool thing about art is that everyone has a way of interpreting it. That said, the artist always has a specific story or reason behind the art that sometimes isn't obvious to the viewer. SO - what if art could speak. "Pish posh" you say? We swear, it's real.

At the Museum of Modern Art at Buenos Aires, museum goers have the opportunity to communicate with the art pieces through a chatbot. While standing in front of a piece, the viewer can ask the art questions about the piece thereby bringing to life.

Museums are usually a passive experience without much interaction. Allowing consumers to experience art with more active participation is bound to create more of an impact on the viewer and potentially even attract new patrons to the museum for the promise of a different type of experience that adds more value.

#ItTakesBalls -- 'nuff said

Cancer is serious stuff. Much of how we experience the subject of cancer, from education to non-profit organizations, is quite heavy. No doubt the subject matter should be serious, but when we think about the best way for the medical community to talk to people about preventative health measures, it's important to understand what is the most motivating from the perspective of the possible patient. That is, if a person is already worried or scared, the most compelling messages may not be the most serious or most scientific.

In a move by Testicular Cancer Canada, this organization uses light and humor in a brilliant campaign to urge men to get their testicles screened. They have addressed the barrier of embarrassment (really, no man wants to have his testicles fondled by a stranger...or maybe you do, but let's not go there) head-on in a perfectly relatable way, thereby removing some of the possible fear of getting checked. #ItTakesBalls shares some of life's most real and embarrassing moments, in order to demonstrate that there are many more embarrassing things in life other than getting your balls squeezed.

This campaign is great example of how creative messages, even in flat media, can benefit from smart CX. Funny, insightful, grounded and we hope most of all, effective.

Westin's newest partnership offers big CX change for their guests

Some of the most notable and therefore press-worthy CX successes are from brands that made major shifts in how they went to business. Fact is, however, that small shifts can be just as impactful and newsworthy if those changes are rooted in strong CX insights.

Westin Hotels are great example of this. Westin Hotels and Peloton bikes recently partnered to offer the all-in-one bike spin classes in equipped Westin guest rooms. This small but note-worthy change in Westin's offering is a result of the brand doing their homework and thinking from the perspective of the consumer. Fact is, many Millennial and GenX travelers report that they exercise less on the road, despite the fact that they believe keeping a regular exercise routine is important to them. To take things one step further, the brand uncovered the tension between the demand for group exercise classes and the feeling of solidarity while traveling. Peloton bike's social experience and interactive program is the beautifully simple solution to a rather complex and common experience issue among hotel guests. Peloton gets exercise focused consumers sampling their programs and Westin hotels win big time on improving their CX.

Big CX insights. Small change. Huge consumer impact. #WinnerWinnerChickenDinner

Domino's turns the absence of experience into an experience

You order your pizza...and then you wait. But you don't wait patiently, no. If you're like me, you wait with heightened anticipation, glancing out the window every few mins just for the opportunity to see the car turn into your driveway, salivating with every moment that passes. Ohhhhhh the joyous excitement of when that pizza guy arrives!

One might think that the CX of your pizza delivery begins when it arrives, but that's not the case. At least some part of your experience is related to anticipation of your pizza arriving. Dominos is wise to this and in partnership with an iFTTT (If This Then That) app, they've devised a way of creating an entire experience around "the pizza wait".

The iFTTT app works with the Domino's Tracker and has a set 4 triggers: order being prepped, order in the oven, order out for delivery, and order ready for pickup--from these 4 triggers, the opportunities are endless. Need the app to turn off your sprinkler system when your pizza leaves for delivery? Now you can! Want to rock out to Rump Shaker when your pizza is getting prepped? Your phone or home system will automatically turn on as your dough is being tossed! Check out the hilariously awesome iFTTT that you can easily do yourself!

Amazon destroys brick and mortar only to build it (better) again

The idea of physically shopping in a store gets a big, "nooooooooooo. please noooooo" from me. Why? Amazon. Amazon has made my shopping life so much easier that I'm now spoiled. They've taken what's most painful about shopping - the crowded front of store experience - and done away with that completely by perfecting the online buying experience. That all said, still in the Grocery channel, the lion share of shopping still happens in brick and mortar. So - leave it to Amazon to figure out a way to make the physical store experience emulate the positive experiences of their online store.

Amazon Go, being tested in Seattle, allows consumers to enter the store, shop the shelves and leave without ever stopping at the dreaded cash register. Amazon's technologies recognize when a consumer takes a product off the shelf and even when they put it back and then automatically charges the consumer as they leave without ever having to stop at a check out or scan a single item. Grocery shopping without lines? Now THAT is a positive grocery shopping experience. My only question? Why do they not yet have a person who follows you around the store suggesting alternate products as you grab for your selections?!
Now your brand news diet is chockfull of tasty tales of Customer Experiences (CX). Served-fresh every morning for your daily recommended dose of marketing inspirations. Never sugar coated. May contain nuts. Archives | Look back at these past bites