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Archive for April 2014


In a recent Harvard Business Review article, Jeneanne Rae confirms what we have believed all along… that ‘Design Can Drive Exceptional Returns for Shareholders’. In other words, user experience (UEX) is one of the most important drivers of return on investment (ROI).

She calls out the tug of war battle of the past between those who believed design impacts value and those who didn’t understand design in the first place.  She notes “From Target to Uber, business managers everywhere are starting to understand that the strategic use of design is making a difference in achieving outsized business results.”

Rae’s company Motiv Strategies and the Design Management Institute came up with the Design Value Index, a tool that tracks the results of design-focused companies against others. The index shows how a group of companies that meet certain criteria for design commitment have surpassed the S&P 500 by 228%.  Many Ogilvy and Bottle Rocket clients are among them.

She goes on to explain…

The index was constructed in the same fashion as other indexes that seek to isolate an industry sector (banking, biotech), geography (China), or size (large cap), for example. In our version, we sought to identify only companies that are design leaders. Starting with a list of over 75 publicly-traded U.S. firms, we found only 15 that met our six criteria: publicly traded in the U.S. for 10+ years; deployment of design as an integrated function across the entire enterprise; evidence that design investments and influence are increasing; clear reporting structure and operating model for design; experienced design executives at the helm directing design activities; and tangible senior leadership-level commitment for design. Corporations who made the index based on this criteria include Apple, Coca-Cola, Ford, Herman-Miller, IBM, Intuit, Newell-Rubbermaid, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, Starwood, Steelcase, Target, Walt Disney, Whirlpool, and Nike.

As Bottle Rocket UX Strategist, Adam Polansky, points out “User and customer experience has become a priority – in many cases a mantra -- for many of the world’s biggest brands. This index offers some solid evidence that the benefits are both tangible and sizable.”

Bottle Rocket and Rae agree on this: 8 ways design can be used as a strategic business tool to increase ROI. 

  • Wow Factor
  • Brand Expression
  • Solving Unmet User Needs
  • Developing Better Customer User Experiences
  • Rethinking Strategy
  • Hardware/Software Interaction
  • Market Expansion through Personal Development and User Understanding
  • Cost Reduction

To us here at Bottle Rocket, UEX driving ROI makes a lot of sense. People use things that add value to their lives, are intuitive, easy to use and add delight to their day. This is true for both consumer and enterprise applications. Mobile has taken this to a whole new level, especially for enterprise where little value has been placed on UEX in the past. But that’s changed, forever…

Customers like Starwood Hotels & Resorts (noted in this index) embrace design at every level of customer interaction, from the first mobile app or web experience through their hotel stay. They take their digital guest experience just as seriously as their hotel stay experience. The same care that goes into making a stay at a W Hotel is also found in their apps. 

The same applies to forward-thinking brands in their enterprise apps. For example, take the suite of serious games and sales enablement tools we built for Baker Hughes. They hold design and user experience to a higher standard as a differentiator in a highly competitive industry, complete with surprise and delight normally only found in consumer applications.

Bottle Rocket places an exorbitant amount of emphasis on design and it is a huge part of the strategy of each mobile solution we produce.  It is important to understand how design can effectively drive ROI for our clients. 

Read the complete article here: Harvard Business Review


Rocketeer Charity: The Meals On Wheels Association of America

This month, Rocketeers are supporting The Meals On Wheels Association of America.  Meals on Wheels is the oldest and largest national organization composed of and representing local, community-based Senior Nutrition Programs positioned in all 50 US States.

There are over 5,000 local Senior Nutrition Programs in the US that provide over one million meals to seniors every day. Some programs serve meals at locations like senior centers, some programs deliver meals directly to the homes of seniors whose mobility is limited, and many programs provide both services. 

This organization was submitted by Rocketeer, Kirby Sander, who says “I feel that it is such a great charity because a lot of senior citizens want to live independently for as long as they can, understandably. This allows them do that. Not only are they offering a needed service but they are offering companionship as well for that brief time they are there." 

Kirby's grandfather was heavily involved with for a long time.  She explains "It was very inspiring me to me because I thought... here is a guy who is close to the age of some of these people he is delivering meals to but he was out there every Friday helping out. He realized that even though he was older he was still physically capable of getting out there and helping out those who truly cannot help themselves."

Kirby also mentioned that her grandfather has such a huge heart and took care of his own mother who lived on her own until she was in her 90’s. Perhaps he saw a little bit of her in the people he brought meals to. 

For more information about Meals on Wheels, visit


Rocketeers in Orbit: Matt Johnson attends Game Developers Conference

Matt Johnson, who leads Bottle Rocket’s Thruster team, recently attended the Game Developers Conference (GDC), which is the world’s largest, and longest-running professionals-only game industry event.  The conference featured over 400 sessions of game development topics taught by leading industry experts. In addition, the GDC expo showcased the most relevant game development tools, platforms and services helping to drive the industry forward. 

A large portion of the conference focused on what drives the choice of one game over another and how to best integrate in-app purchases to maximize profits.   During the Customer Psychology in Game Purchases session, they took the top grossing apps and broke down how they are monetizing based on a variety of purchase types: 

  • Fun – Users are intrigued and want to see what happens when they play a particular character or use a particular power up
  • Need – Users may be stuck on a level and will purchase something that can help them get through it.
  • Peers – Users will but an item because their friend has it... and they want to fit in
  • Value – Users will buy something because it is on sale or it is offered as a value pack bundle.

The Thruster team takes a deep look at "fun first" before every engagement.  Games are a great way to teach about products, services and processes... but the game can fall flat in delivering the learning if the user does not first feel engaged and immersed in the experience.  We recently created a series of casual games for major oil and drilling company that employs this approach.  The core purpose was to educate employees about logistics in the oil field and services across the company, but not at the expense of fun.  We utilized variants of proven game mechanics and created competitive scenarios (with company wide leaderboards) to draw employees in, get them engaged and we then provided learning within the game experience (to improve your position and score) as opposed to traditional approaches of showing summary screens with an educational message.  The initial response to these types of enterprise tools has been amazing, it is becoming a bridge to the younger workforce who expects more than slide shows and diagrams to advance their knowledge.

For learn more about how the Thruster team can develop a ‘fun’ approach to your sales process, contact us: 


App Launch: BET NOW is currently available on the App store and Google Play

Congrats to our partner BET Networks, on the launch of their first ever brand app BET NOW.  Fans can download the new app for free on iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android devices. BET NOW is currently available on the App store or on Google Play.

 “With BET NOW, users are one download away from consuming some of their favorite BET shows on their tablets and phones” said Brandon Lucas, Vice President and General Manager of BET Mobile. “Apps are an increasingly important part of the mobile eco-system given the ubiquity of smart phones, the ability to have a direct connection to our consumers, and the growing rate of video consumption on these devices.”

BET NOW provides fans access to a library of full episodes of some of their favorite current shows including The Game, Let’s Stay Together, Being Mary Jane, Real Husbands of Hollywood and 106 & Park as well as hit classics. Users can access this content via TV Everywhere authentication – a process whereby users verify their subscription through their TV provider. It is now available to 55 million households across more than 20 distributors, including some of the largest, such as AT&T U-verse, Cablevision, Cox, DIRECTV, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon FiOS. Motions®, a trusted source in multi-textured hair care and styling, is the BET NOW launch sponsor.

For more information visit



Recent News

One of Bottle Rocket Apps' latest applications has given a fast-food bird some new wings.

Chick-fil-A's latest version of its mobile app, released last week for iOS, allows customers to order and pay via their smartphone. The app allows customers to use the new features at more than 130 locations, with more expected to roll out in 2015.

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