You’ve seen Dell and Sony’s sexier laptops, you may have even seen Fujitsu’s recent announcement that its Lifebook A1110 series comes with a detachable lid that can swapped for all sorts of cool designs and colors. And, of course, you’ve watched as Apple jazzed up the colors on its iPods. It’s a trend we’ve heralded at Forrester as The Age of Style in consumer PCs and electronics (see my colleague JP Gownder’s excellent report on this topic).
Today, Pure Digital, maker of the immensely popular Flip digital video cameras, announced that it’s about to put everyone else’s attempts at personalized style to shame with its completely customizable Flip Mino cameras. Check out the home page at theflip.com to see it for yourself.
I’m already big on these cameras. They’re unlocking a whole new kind of home video: gone are the 45-minutes of soccer game footage, in are 30-second slices of life captured and easily uploaded via the camera’s built-in USB jack. Evidently consumers agree with me, buying more than a million Flip cameras in just over a year. These cameras can be personalized in three equally cool ways: you can put a picture on it, choose from hundreds of pre-loaded designs, or use a strangely compelling pattern generator to craft a pattern suited to your tastes.
I tried all three options. The tools are super easy and I can’t imagine why anyone would buy a Flip Mino unpersonalized in the future. There are some hot designs pre-loaded, and the pattern designer, while mesmerizing, failed to compete with the option to use my own image. Appropriate to the season, I uploaded a photo to create a Flip Mino masterpiece I call, “Sunset on the Monster.” See the picture below to know what I’m talking about. If you can’t tell, shame on you, Yankee’s fan.
The personalized designs don’t cost extra. As Simon Fleming-Wood, VP of Marketing for Pure Digital (see interview with Simon about the economy) explained it to me, they think the value of the camera is that it lets you capture memories and express yourself. Charging extra to go one step further with self-expression just didn’t seem right. And it doesn’t. This is a rockin’ idea and I’m impressed they’re going to do it — only through their direct channel, of course, where I assume they have room to play with the margins a bit.
Reminds me of the old days in the Internet Economy when we talked about Mass Customization. Never happened, did it? This gets as close as I’ve seen.
PS, let’s go, Red Sox.