Author Archives: Evelyn Starr

A Glovely Idea

Clorox Premium Choice Gloves incident highlights importance of user experienceDear Clorox:

I am an avid user of your Premium Choice Gloves which are “Neoprene Dipped for Extra Durability and Protection.”  Though I was not searching for neoprene-dipped gloves, I have become a loyal user of them as they are the most durable rubber gloves that Target sells to protect my hands as I scrub pots and pans.

Otherwise my hands would resemble those of the Wicked Witch of the West.

Usually I buy two pairs at a time, so when the first pair fails – via a tear in one of the gloves – I have a back-up pair ready.

Here’s the thing though.  It’s always the right glove that goes first. 

Yes, I am right handed.  Often the tear is at a fingertip worn from use.  Yesterday it was mid index finger because the blade in my blender pierced the glove.  But it did not pierce my finger and I am grateful for that.

Must be that neoprene dipping.

As a large consumer products company, I bet you are always looking for new product ideas or extensions. 

So how about this?

I would LOVE for you to sell a package with two right gloves and one left.

Throwing away a perfectly usable left glove irks me.  But storing the new left glove when I am forced to open a package for a new right one means I have to remember where I put it if the old left one ever gives out.

That’s too much to ask from a product I buy to protect my hands but not complicate my life.

I would pay more for a package with two right gloves and one left than for the usual pair.

How much more?  I knew you’d ask.

Well, more than the cost of a single pair but probably a little less than the cost of two full pairs if you insist on keeping those on the market.

Get cracking on this idea, will you?

One more thing.  For my left-handed friends, please consider a package for them with two lefts and a single right.

Otherwise I’ll be forced to create a Meetup group of Clorox rubber glove users so that right-handed users and left-handed users could swap their extras.  That is NOT a good use of my time.


Evelyn Starr

Tap User Experience for New Product & Product Extension Ideas

This product extension idea came to me while I was washing dishes one night two weeks ago.

Not in a focus group.  Not in an interview.  But while I was using the product.

How much have you observed customers using your product?  Have you ever talked to them while they are using it?

As you can see from the letter, this is a good idea.  Pain points and frustrations are hard to recall in retrospect, but easy to experience and describe in the moment.

The more you understand your customers’ experience using your product, the better you can make it.  And uncovering deep pain points, frustrations and wishes can be a boon for new product ideas and product extensions.

Moreover, this kind of research – called ethnography and best done where the customer uses your product – can resonate more deeply with you.  Asking disjointed questions in a survey about when and where a customer purchases your product and how they use it makes it hard to get a clear picture of this experience.

But when you walk through their product experience with them, it becomes a cohesive story.  Just as it is easier for customers to bond with your brand via storytelling, it is easier for you to understand their needs and wants from their story.

Plus, it’s fun!  I’m all for fun in research.

Make time to explore your customers’ experience and you’ll be surprised at your deeper understanding of how your brand and products fit into their lives.  And at the ideas the research prompts.

What do you think?  Should Clorox create a three-glove offering?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Score More From Your Marketing

Fisher Stadium at Lafayette College - football game in progressOn Saturday September 24th I spent a beautiful evening with my family at Fisher Stadium in Easton, Pennsylvania, watching the Lafayette College Leopards play football against the Villanova Wildcats.

The weather was about all the Leopards had going for them. read more

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Eye of the Buyer

Eye of the buyerTwo weeks ago Fidelity took me on a frustrating financial odyssey. 

This summer Fidelity ditched long-time credit card partners American Express and Bank of America to consolidate its service with Elan Financial Services.  Anyone holding a Fidelity credit card received a new Fidelity Visa Signature card from Elan.

I was one of the 550,000+ who received a new card.  It was unclear to me whether I needed to re-designate where I wanted my rewards to go, so I tried to log into the new Fidelity Visa card website. read more

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How to Use Surveys Strategically

Survey on a clipboard - how to do surveys strategically and wellOur world has gotten feedback happy.  And it’s annoying.

In a 48-hour period at the beginning of May I received five surveys.

One paper survey via snail mail with 66 questions to rate my son’s pediatrician.  One online survey from a hotel I had stayed at the prior weekend and another from a hotel stay two weeks before.  A third online survey from the conference I had just attended, and a fourth one from OpenTable for the restaurant I had dined in the Friday before. read more

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5 Ways A Good Rivalry Benefits Your Brand

Michael Phelps competing June 28 in the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials on NBC Sports

Michael Phelps competing June 28 in the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials on NBC Sports

Do you know who Michael Phelps is?

Unless you have been living behind a boulder, you probably do. (I avoid clichés.)  The 31-year-old swimming phenom has 22 Olympic medals, 18 of them gold, and has set numerous world records.

Phelps’ main rival, Ryan Lochte, has 11 Olympic medals.  Without Phelps present Lochte could be considered the best male swimmer of all time.  But he happened to come of age at the same time as Phelps and therefore has an underdog position to him. read more

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How FitBit Stays Fit

array of FitBit productsI have been exercising regularly most of my life.  As a high energy person, I discovered in my teens that expending this energy often helped my sanity.  And that of the people around me.

In high school I took modern dance classes.  In college I took aerobics classes.

When I moved to Boston, I found a gym and cajoled myself to go there a few times a week.  read more

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A College Brand Standout

3 blank college pennants - one navy, one gray, one maroon.

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On April 20th, as I sat in an auditorium at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, I had my marketing heart stolen.

My son AJ and I were in the process of a 1000-mile tour to revisit three colleges to help him choose one.

On that beautiful Wednesday morning, AJ was sitting in on a class while I attended a one-hour parent session conducted by Neil Weissman, Dean of the College. read more

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Should Your Brand Be on Facebook?

Facebook like thumbs up hand and thumbs down handWhen I woke up on April 3, 2009, I did not know that I would be joining Facebook that day.

Around 8pm I had just connected on LinkedIn with friends from my high school years when one of them wrote, “You need to get on Facebook! We have been posting some old group photos that you are in.”

Talk about an incentive to join. read more

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How New Customer Only Deals Burn Your Brand

light bulb burning bright unlike new customer only deals which hurt your brandIn addition to my roles as wife, mother, healer and finder of things in our household, I am also Chief Operations Officer.  Like any good COO, I seek to keep overhead costs down.

So when our electricity bill shot up this winter, I investigated. read more

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Vacation by Chocolate

Evelyn's Original Chocolate Wrapper from Hershey's Chocolate World brand experienceMy husband Dan has a particular knack when planning vacations.  I’m not talking about posh accommodations or exotic destinations or exclusive restaurants.

When he was helping to plan our trip to Paris to celebrate my 40th birthday, he discovered that a major chocolate exhibition was going to be there at the same time.  Besides sampling and purchase opportunities, there were multiple exhibits including a replica of a 17th century dress made of chocolate. read more

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