Distributing Market-based Information with the Help of Flash Templates

Flash Food and Drink Industry Template

Flash Food and Drink Industry Template

Although, at first glance, this flash templates analogy may appear remote, this example contains the key features of the same template. The two independent variables in this case are temperature and label color. A dependency is created by a step function between these two variables. Up to a critical temperature, the label color is not activated, and on reaching it, the color changes. The generalized form no longer involves the specific variables of the pizza example, nor does it necessarily involve the same product (or service). Yet it is identifiable and general across products and services, and thus, it is defined as a template. Because the operation of templates involves manipulating product attributes rather than market parameters, they can be used in considering new market needs in currently underdeveloped product markets. For example, the aforementioned template might be applied to generate a new idea in pizza delivery services by creating a meaningful dependency between two different attributes, such as price and temperature. Accordingly, a company might offer a price discount if the temperature of the pizza falls below a predetermined level at the time of delivery. The added value of the template approach is that it draws on the identification of similar structures in former product changes and provides a different angle and sometimes more accessible resource for ideation compared with the information obtained from analysis of current market needs.

Alternatively, it might be derived from product-based information (i.e., information that is inferred from inspecting the internal dynamics of the product), such as the incidence of dependencies between variables among new food-delivery services. Although the price-temperature idea might evolve both from market-and/or product-based information, the template approach may be more accessible because it specifies a structured framework for obtaining such an idea. The added value of product-based information is especially apparent in more complex ideation contexts, such as in the following example: A new idea in the category of drinking glasses might be a glass with a dual insulation capability. When the temperature of the content is high, the insulation is low; when the normal drinking temperature is reached, the insulation is high. The advantage of such a glass would be that the content would reach the optimal drinking temperature rapidly, which then would be maintained for an extended period of time. Market-based information that suggests that the two factors-rapid cooling and heat preservation-are important for consumers could lead to such an idea. However, relying on product-based information by adopting the Attribute Dependency template might be even more useful. The information about these relevant parameters and the desired dependencies is contained in changes in products over time. Other examples of an Attribute Dependency in this category are a drinking glass with a colored lower section to camouflage residual juices or extracts and a transparent top, the dependency between height and diameter as manifested in cone-shaped cups that enable compact storage (in stacks), or a glass with base wider than its rim to reduce the danger of spilling when carried around. This information, and thus the template, should be valuable especially when market-based information is less accessible or invalid.

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