Picture this: You’re in a hotel, getting ready for a meeting. As you get up to leave, you grab your laptop, phone, bag and suitcase – and head out the door. You’re on your way before you realize your chargers are still plugged into the wall back at the hotel.
It’s a scenario that plays out in hundreds of hotel rooms, lounges, airports and homes every single day. Some companies’ solution to the problem has been to sell replacement chargers, but our client, LPS Technology had a better, far less wasteful approach.
They created a product that sits between your charger and the wall, and reminds you to unplug your cords. LPS came to us and asked us to build a brand for this new technology, along with a messaging platform to sell an entire family of products built around it.
LPS’s initial product is a small plug that sounds an alarm anytime someone disconnects a phone or laptop, but leaves the charger plugged in. Later iterations of the technology may be built directly into chargers, adapters, hotel lamps and other products.
Their goal? Create a brand and visual identity for the product that will bring it to market, and make a big splash at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early January.
Here’s what we uncovered:
The abandoned adapter problem is much bigger than we ever imagined – and it’s growing. Each year, chargers are abandoned by the millions – and consumers spend tens of millions to replace them.
Chargers left plugged in also waste energy, something called “vampire energy.” Vampire energy is a hot topic in technology circles, so there is real opportunity for LPS to make quite an impact.
Through our research, we learned that frequent travelers would have the most to benefit from products with LPS technology built in. College students, moms and anyone else on the go may also see value in the reminder to unplug.
Here’s what we did:
From the beginning, we knew we didn’t want want people to see this as simply another adapter or worse, as a commodity in a crowded marketplace. We knew we had to make it seem like something other than yet another tech product, removing any fear or complications.
We discovered the best way to do this was to give the product a unique personality that reflects its real time- and money-saving functions, but also makes it approachable and fun. This helps fight the tendency toward commoditization, but also does something much more powerful: It replaces mere utility with value in the eyes of users.
It started with function: the alarm itself. Early on, we discussed that traditional alarm sounds might be, well, too alarming. So we wanted to introduce something that wouldn't scare hotel guests or send people in airports running for cover. We wanted it to be a friendly, almost gentle reminder. Like a bird chirping. And from there, the idea took off.
In that spirit, we named it Perch.
The concept of Perch, of course, plays off the behavior of birds – sitting up there on the wires, watching over what’s going on all day. This sentiment is reflected in the brand’s new tagline, “Watching your wires.”
We carried the friendly, approachable look and feel to the brand through every aspect of the buyer and user experience, including the product itself. We even crafted the sound the product makes when it is activated.
Sound creative and a solid messaging platform will help the brand continue to fly beyond its initial launch, and serve as a roadmap for future creative executions and additional products.
(Thanks to Katie for the awesome hand modeling!)