Filed under: Charlotte, delighters, sports | Tags: checkerboard pattern, crosswalk, delighters, nascar hall of fame
I drove by another interesting little delighter today on MLK Blvd. With progress continuing on the new Nascar Hall of Fame, I was tickled by the crosswalk pattern surrounding the building. It is one of those clever little ideas that really brings the whole concept together, and this simple design will definitely help future guests remember their visit.
Actually, this story from That’s Racin’ notes that the checkerboard pattern is not painted, but rather created from plastic tiles. I’ll have to see how it compares to the rubber sidewalk in Plaza Midwood!
I’m eternally interested in the complex issues of online identity and the ongoing challenges that sites face. There’s a tug-of-war between providing visitors with complete safety and complete convenience. Lots of interesting work goes on in this space. Fast Company named Facebook’s Dave Morin as one of their “100 most creative people” for his quest to solve this problem using Open ID. Design researcher Sam Ladner reframes the conversation away from privacy towards allowing users greater control over their own (potentially stigmatizing) identities. The NY Times Magazine showed us how credit card companies use detailed transaction data to build a picture of its customers to assess risk, but you can see how they might use this data in our favor as well.
Plenty of Charlotteans have keyrings like mine, with bar codes to get discounts at Harris Teeter and access to the YMCA. How retailers use loyalty programs is well documented, but today I wondered about how the Y might use the two pieces of data I effortlessly give them: who I am and when I go to the gym.
New features Find other people with a similar workout schedule as I do and create an exercise group, send me text/email alerts for classes I might be interested in that align with my preferred workout times, tell me who else I know is at the gym when I walk in so I can find them .
Alternative pricing models Incentivize me to use the gym during non-peak hours or use less-busy Y locations, charge by the visit instead of by the month, rewards programs (and parties!) for folks who reach the 100, 1000, 10,000 visit milestones.
New partnerships Share the data with my family, my doctor or employer/insurance provider to prove that I’m exercising, tie to my phone apps or NikePlus to track workouts, GoogleMaps mashup to show how many people are at the gym at any given time.
Last weekend was the annual marketing extravaganza known as Speed Street, the NASCAR-themed street fair in the heart of Uptown Charlotte. For 3 days, racing sponsors offer their wares, live music and and autograph sessions for their spokesdrivers. As a designer for Ingersoll Rand in a former life, the NASCAR promotions were natural…all the pit crews use IR’s tire tools. But there are plenty of sponsors that require a little more lateral thinking when it comes to tying them to their brands to the racing theme.
I caught a glimpse of the General Mills display (primarily Cheerios and Hamburger Helper) who were giving away product samples and hosting a Chex “most popular driver” contest. They start to make the connection of families and moms by promoting a racingmom.com blog (who isn’t even a mom, but at least follows the sport.) But what other promotions could you tie in to relate to ‘moms on the go,’ beyond having Clint Bowyer wear the Hamburger Helper hand? GoGurt go-karts? A race to cook the fastest dinner with Hamburger Helper? Forcing the two seemingly unrelated brands offer a topic for a fun brainstorm session.