- 2016 -
A slow motion brand activation
- MY ROLE -
As the CEO and product manager at Grandeur, I took on a multifaceted role in developing The Tempo activation. I assumed the responsibility of conducting thorough research, engaging in user and customer interviews, and generating new feature ideas. Additionally, I iterated on existing features based on valuable feedback received. To bring our vision to life, I led a dedicated team consisting of engineers, designers, and camera technicians. Together, we successfully built a working prototype and swiftly introduced it to the market, catering to the needs of our customers.
Interestingly, at the time, I was not aware of the specific title of "product manager" or the distinct role it entailed. However, unknowingly, I was already performing tasks that align with the responsibilities of a product manager. I focused on gathering research and leveraging data to validate and justify the development decisions we made. This realization underscores the organic nature of my product management approach, driven by a commitment to deliver a successful and impactful product to our target audience.
- THE PRODUCT -
The Tempo is a branded super slow motion experience that aims to foster positive and enjoyable brand interactions while inspiring users to become organic brand ambassadors. Our specialized camera captures brief moments at an astonishing 1000 frames per second, creating gravity-defying slow-motion sequences. A mere second in real time can be stretched out to an entire minute of captivating slow-motion footage. During these slow-motion shots, individuals or small groups are encouraged to unleash their creativity, often incorporating brand-themed props and falling particles tailored to specific brand themes or promotions.
After capturing their slow-motion moment, users can conveniently view their footage at an iPad kiosk. From there, they have the option to email the video to themselves and share it across popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Reddit. To further enhance the brand experience, customization options are available for brands to integrate their unique brand language, design elements, and promotional content into the overall Tempo experience.
- ASSUMPTIONS & HYPOTHESIS -
Assumption: Since users have cameras on their phone everywhere they go the idea of photo booths have a limited draw.
Hypothesis: The extreme slow will stand out as unique and fun to users because the sharpness and gravity defying speed of 1000 fps is unlike any camera they’ve ever been able to interact with.
Assumption: Large brands see conventions and events as valuable opportunities to showcase their products or services, engage with fans or potential customers, and generate buzz around their brand. Therefore, they may invest substantial resources on visually impressive, immersive, and memorable booth experiences that stand out among the competition.
Hypothesis: By offering a 1000 frame per second slow motion video experience with start to finish customized branding, brands can position themselves as innovators, while simultaneously inspiring users/customers to generate and share enjoyable content that showcases their engagement with the brand and its promotions.
Assumption: Users don’t mind engaging with and sharing brand content if they feel they were able to get a unique piece of content to share.
Hypothesis: If we build a product that provides users with fun content they couldn’t create on their own, then brands will pay to integrate it into their events as a way to elevate their brand and increase social traction.
Assumption: 1000 frames per second slow motion will stand out as a higher value draw than traditional photo booths or video booths.
Hypothesis: If we offer extreme slow motion interactive experiences we can capture part of the interactive photo booth market and upsell because photo booths are perceived as a dime a dozen but our extreme slow motion is the only thing on the market of its kind.
Assumption: Brands would prefer to pay more to white label and customize an experience as their own rather than select from standardized slow motion experiences that are not unique from one event to another.
Hypothesis: If we build a highly customizable product with efficiencies, we can charge more and increase profit because our proven product will be more accessible than hiring elsewhere and building from scratch.
- FRAMEWORK -
Development was guided by a variation of the Concierge MVP framework, which proved to be the ideal choice. During our initial test at an ad agency party, we offered a free extreme slow motion booth that served as a piecemeal MVP. Although it lacked social sharing features and customization, the playback of moments on a projector screen was a tremendous success, generating buzz within the targeted community. This approach required minimal financial and labor investment while providing valuable user feedback and quick learning opportunities. It also enabled us to initiate soft marketing and sales efforts to validate and prove the value proposition before committing additional resources to development.
Instagram became our first customer, hiring us to create a slow motion experience for their Vidcon booth, a major event with approximately 75,000 attendees. With this opportunity, we further iterated on the piecemeal MVP, introducing customization and email delivery of content. Despite the manual processes involved, the ecstatic response from our customer and users, coupled with event-wide buzz and media coverage, including recognition by the LA Times, led us to turn a healthy profit and expand based on user and customer feedback.
The piecemeal MVP approach allowed us to evolve at a pace guided by profits, feedback, and opportunity, leading us to showcase our product at events such as the MTV Movie Awards and Nickelodeon Halo Awards. As MTV requested a customized experience for their Comic-Con booth, we automated several manual processes, prioritizing content delivery speed and user flow. This automation involved video compression, auto-upload to an AWS server, and the development of an iPad app for seamless viewing and sharing of content across social channels and email. Through these iterations, we achieved increased efficiency while reducing labor and costs, catering to the scale and demands of major events.
- USER/CUSTOMER INTERVIEWS -
I recognized the utmost importance of user and customer interviews in driving our success. With our product being frequently used at events with large attendee numbers ranging from thousands to even hundreds of thousands, replicating the variables and stress tests of those environments internally was challenging. To overcome this, I actively conducted exploratory and satisfaction interviews with our users and customers. These interviews played a crucial role in shaping our product iteration decisions and evaluating the achievement of our objectives. By engaging in these interviews, I gained valuable insights into user experiences, pain points, and satisfaction levels, allowing me to make informed decisions on product improvements and prioritize our development efforts. The feedback gathered through these interviews became a vital source of information, guiding our roadmap and ensuring that our product effectively met the needs and expectations of our target audience.