Explaining your product puts you ahead of the pack
A few weeks ago I saw this full-page newspaper ad for Verizon’s Hub:
I’ve blown up the smaller text at the bottom:
The phrase “the home phone reinvented” reminds us that explaining a new product in terms of what it is replacing, enhancing, or integrating with is often a very effective way to help ground something new. But the ad works mostly by establishing a physical context (the kitchen) and a use case (distributed family communication and meal planning). The actual functional specs are presented almost as an afterthought in the footer and greatly in service of the “reinvented” aspect.
I was excited by this ad because it does a reasonable job at something crucial that so few companies are actually doing: explaining clearly what their product is and who it is for.
I don’t know if this product is a good idea or a bad idea; it’d be fascinating to see how new users begin to use it and what sense they make it of it. But it seems that this product team Verizon is at least half a step ahead of many technology groups out there who collect a bundle of technology together but fail to create a compelling story about why this matters.