The Solario Solar Phone Charger: Riding The Customer Feedback Revolution
While a multitude of companies are embracing customer engagement via social media channels and user feedback, the team behind Solario solar cell phone charger is taking feedback-based design to the next level.
Those days are gone now – today's savvy and pragmatic consumers are largely unfazed by pomp and pizzazz, and far more interested in price and functionality. As the breadth of new products and services offered to the modern have expanded to include such hi tech items as eyeglass computers, solar powered phone chargers, power banks, and palmtops, and as marketing efforts creep into the edges of our daily lives via social media, consumers are increasingly interested in hearing about new products from previous purchasers.
In a study released in late 2013, global marketing research firm Weber Shandick tracked the purchasing habits of over 2,000 Americans and found that over 65% of those who bought the most popular consumer items, such as smartphones, cell phone chargers, or laptops, consulted an average of 11 online reviews penned by actual users. In addition, shoppers were 200% more likely to listen to reviews from other shoppers than to reviews written by paid professionals.
While the big corporations are still reeling from this change in consumer orientation, one California-based company is making record sales by embracing customer feedback. Consumer products producer SJS Direct recently released the Solario solar phone charger, a product developed almost entirely from customer feedback.
Jubal McMillan, VP of Product Development for SJS, shares part of the design philosophy behind the new Solario solar charger: "We'd been looking for a way to break into the solar phone charger, and we were kicking around ideas on how to make our product bigger and better, when someone came up with an amazingly simple idea: let's listen to what our customers are asking for."
Finding information on what consumers wanted was the easy part. "We looked at all our solar phone charger competitors and we read all the reviews customers left that talked about what they liked or didn't like, and what they wished these chargers and power banks could do." After gauging customer opinion on what consumers liked about existing product lines, fixing what didn't work, and adding the features customers were clamoring for, SJS released the Solario solar power bank.
"Ultimately, we added a whole bunch of features customers wanted but couldn't find anywhere else," continues McMillan. "We made the whole Solario phone charger line water resistant and impact resistant, we added a lanyard hole so you can strap it to a belt or backpack, we gave it a tough and rugged exterior."
And the result? McMillan says the Solario phone charger was an overwhelming success. "We sold out much faster than we thought we would, and we're sprinting to keep up with backorders."
If all it takes is listening to what customers want, smart developers and investors alike would be wise to start taking those customer reviews much more seriously.
About SJS Direct
Based in Modesto, California, SJS Direct is a new venture dedicated to providing premium quality consumer products across a broad range of industries. Unlike many producers of commercial goods, SJS Direct does not concentrate on minimizing production costs to satisfy the lowest-price market, but is known for investing time and capital into product research, material engineering, and customer-requested feature development. As a result, SJS products offer superior craftsmanship, value, and utility than many brand name manufacturers while remaining competitively priced.
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