Manutan challenged us to design a giveaway that would strengthen their branding. A gadget that would make their customers happy. It had to be something that could be sent by snail mail, and the per-item expenses had to be low. Furthermore, the giveaway would be sent to new customers as a welcome gift. A tough challenge, which we accepted! The bar was set high: we had to surprise people on a small budget.
The brainstorm space in our studio is nicknamed “the igloo.” When we face a tough challenge, we retreat to our igloo with a number of creative minds. A focal point in Manutan’s marketing strategy is their promise to make work easier and more enjoyable. Therefore, we started looking for something that could create an experience at the office. A welcome gift to bring interaction and humor to the work floor. Above all, something you want to leave on your desk and use during an extended period of time. Via numerous creative concoctions we came up with the Manutan SoundMachine. A card of A5 format with four buttons that play applicable work floor sounds. Like a real sample DJ, you’ll surprise your colleagues with peppy sound bites.
We wanted the SoundMachine’s design to be activating and its design tempting to start playing it. It should be playful, peppy, in no way too serious, and fun enough to stick around on your desk for a while. We made several draft versions and thought the swinging DJ to be most compelling. It’s fun, and its use is clear from the start. Thanks to a combination of the device’s appearance and the text “push the button,” the SoundMachine is intuitive in its use. The style of its design obviously complies with Manutan’s corporate identity.
To operate within the per-item price limit, we decided to go to China for manufacturing. This complicates communication and delays delivery, but offers huge cost reductions. Important in cooperation with Chinese factories is to keep sufficient margin in one’s schedule.
Every week Manutan has customers calling to ask for more. The SoundMachine creates fun at the office. Which is exactly what Manutan’s branding is all about: making everyday work easier and more enjoyable. We are proud of this expression as it exceeds the expectations of both Manutan and their new customers.
Thanks to the SoundMachine’s success, it is now also deployed in Belgium and Luxembourg – with sound bites adapted to the local office culture.
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