Developing-Leaders-issue-30-Summer-2018

Viewpoint 18 | Developing Leaders Issue 30: 2018 Freedom to Focus on the Meaningful For consumers concerned about giving up control to smart products, marketers should emphasize consumer control when positioning the product. We found in our previous research that the best way for marketers to reduce psychological barriers is through careful ‘framing’ of the product. A tag line that reads “Take Charge of Your Taste Buds with this New Sensation Blend” was found to be more effective than the tag line, “Let this New Sensation Blend Take Charge of Your Taste Buds.” The same careful framing approach can be applied to the psychological barrier of meaningfulness. Instead of emphasizing that the smart product is taking a potentially meaningful job away from you, marketers would want to emphasize that the smart product is freeing you to spend more time on more meaningful activities. For example, let the smart cooking system cook the meal so that you can spend more time your child. Products can also be designed to give consumers an illusion of control as well as a feeling of autonomy when using the product so that they do not feel that the product is taking over for them. In this context, smart products become a tool for success in life. The most successful people are going to be those who are able to focus the greatest amount of time possible on the most meaningful activities in their lives. Because sophisticated smart products vastly expand the type of tasks that can be outsourced, they represent an unexpected new resource for today’s busy people looking to add more meaning to their lives. A fully referenced version of this article is available on application to editor@iedp.com Gita V. Johar has been on the faculty of Columbia Business School since 1992 and is currently the Meyer Feldberg Professor of Business. She served as the school’s Senior Vice Dean from 2011 to 2014, as the inaugural Vice Dean for Research from 2010 to 2011. The most successful people are going to be those who are able to focus the greatest amount of time possible on the most meaningful activities in their lives

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