AlderU | New Approaches for Creating Consumer Products of the Future

An important characteristic of a futuristic company is its ability to speedily churn out business innovations for consumer benefit. Companies realise that to guarantee consistent custom, they need to give customers what they want (or supply a latent need). This realisation drives businesses to create new income streams from customisation rather than generalisation.

Research is Golden

To create new income streams in business, ask fundamental questions: What do consumers want? What do they need it for? In-depth research helps a company narrow in on previously unidentified needs & wants. But research must be executed with an eye on creating new products from the insights gleaned.

Sometimes collaborations provide fresh perspectives. Case in point is the strategic collaboration between legendary basketball player, Michael Jordan and Nike in 1984 to create the Air Jordan. The Air Jordan has since witnessed several spin-offs generating over $1b in sales for Nike. Air Jordans were a product of simple observation – sports shoes were increasingly becoming fashion items. By wearing high-end shoes endorsed by a sporting great, consumers were buying into a lifestyle of achievement, performance and celebrity status.

Lesson: Outsource non-critical functions so you can focus on core competencies. Embrace collaboration to gain fresh perspectives.

air jordan

Another sporting example is the attempt by Adidas to bring fans even closer to their icon, Leo Messi by launching a new signature adizero f50 Messi boot. The adizero f50 which scored the most goals in the 2010 World Cup represents fearlessness, agility and lightning quickness, synonymous with Messi. The innovation behind the adizero f50 Messi boot was the result of Adidas’ partnership with RED, a consultancy in Cophenhagen.

Adidas lightest football boot

Form & Function = Premium Value

Product innovation must bear in mind the way consumers interact with products. With the rise in smart phones, consumers now take pictures in stores and seek opinions from friends who are not present. Comparative pricing is readily available online. Brand loyalty is heavily influenced by design and celebrity or peer endorsement.

Apple took full advantage of design differentiation to set the trend in mobile phone aesthetics. Thus, a new trend in consumer desire was born with the first iPhone which combined form & function and sold at a premium. The iPhone served as a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough internet communicator.


Speed and Structure Matter

In product innovation, speed and structure matter. The ability to source data, use it to create new products, manufacture, put in place payment & delivery systems and gain consumer feedback – all these must be done nimbly and purposefully to ward off competition. Consistency of this sequence is also required. Hopefully, with speed, structure, premium value and research you will able to develop desirable products for the future.

AlderU is inspired by a monthly interactive session where Alder employees discuss insights on branding and life.


Copyright Alder Consulting 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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Alder Strategy |The Four Drives of Marketing: Sleep, Thirst, Hunger and Sex

In the life cycle of every business, there exists a tipping point. Whether there’s an element of luck in getting there or a deliberate attempt to make it happen, surely there is a ‘science’ to building a successful business.

This science is predicted on four drives – sleep, thirst, hunger and sex. As plain as they might seem, the drives provoke a primal need in customers to patronise a business and purchase its products and services. They also determine whether customers have an emotional or functional attachment to brands and businesses.


table of drives

Brands that sell sleep and thirst are functional in their approach while emotional brands sell hunger and sex.

In its progressed form, sleep signifies peace, equilibrium, stability and predictability in a business or product. For example, Marriott is reputed for world class hospitality & service. It is not only a place to get a good night’s sleep, but also provides peace of mind and predictable standards across the world. Global discount supermarket chain, Walmart provides consumers with stability and assurance of everyday low prices.



Another drive is thirst. Thirst’s progressions include refreshment, intellect, pursuit of knowledge and innovation. A functional brand known for its delivery of thirst in its primary form is the beverage giant, Coca-Cola. For Google, thirst takes on a deeper meaning. The company constantly searches new ways to innovate while making the world’s information universally accessible and useful to consumers.



In its primary state, food literally comes to mind when you think of hunger. An example of an organisation that sells food is McDonalds, the world’s largest hamburger fast food chain. Progressed dimensions of food are drive, energy, progress and ambition. A functional brand that delivers on hunger is American athletic shoe and apparel company, Nike. Its slogan encourages you to “Just do it”.



The last of the four drives is sex. Though sex in its primary form is obvious, its progressions include passion, excitement, pleasure, joy, newness and sex appeal. A brand that is primarily associated with sex is Playboy. Virgin takes things a step further by associating its brand with newness, excitement, fun, cheekiness and an element of risqué marketing.



The interesting thing about the four drives is the scope they portend for an organisation’s marketing.

Focusing on the deeper dimensions of the four drives creates product distinction and marketing appeal. It also provides breadth for innovative and intriguing messaging.

How can the four drives influence your marketing today?  What are you really selling?

Alder Strategy is a blog on brand strategy for businesses and brand practitioners.

Copyright Alder Consulting 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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Alder Case| Access Bank: An evolving brand story

A feature synonymous with Access Bank seems to be a constant yearning for change. As one of the top ten most capitalised financial institutions in Nigeria with over 300 branches in operation, Access Bank Plc nurtures the ambition of being the most respected financial institution in Africa.

In 2006, under the leadership of Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede & Herbert Wigwe, Group Managing Director and Group Deputy Managing Director respectively, Access Bank launched a new logo to signify an intention to reposition itself as a lead player in the Nigerian financial services sector. Alder Consulting redesigned the logo and developed the brand strategy for the Bank.

We present the visual identity evolution of Access Bank since then:

The Beginning: 1988-2002


This was the Access Bank logo before the management team of Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede & Herbert Wigwe took over the reins.

The Transformation: 2003


The logo designed by Alder Consulting represented simplicity, future focus and forward motion. The grey colour signified an extremely efficient, no frills organisation with a passion for excellence.

The Evolution: 2006


Following an international expansion and a focus on retail banking, Access Bank unveiled a new brand identity with a colourful flair.

The Present: 2013


With its customer base hitting 6.5 million, Access Bank has undergone another brand identity redesign. The white background represents a shift to a more transparent and open institution. The 3 chevrons remain, signifying forward movement while the lower case typeface typifies accessibility and humility.

Access Bank’s brand evolution portrays flexible and responsive branding in line with expanded vision, strategy and customer base.

Alder Case is an initiative of Alder Consulting centred on branding case studies and applications for businesses & brand practitioners

Copyright Alder Consulting 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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