Product illustration for manufacturing and industry
Napco, a Fortune 500 company invents and manufactures components for security systems. Based on Long Island, they were one of the original companies in that field. Over the years the smaller companies were bought up by the big players. At the time, the two big ones were Honeywell and General Electric. Napco was a David doing battle with multiple Goliaths. And still are, though some of those Goliaths have now fallen.
That automatically made me want to work with them. I like the little guy.
The project was for a home security system that used no codes. Code error, either in forgetting or mistyping is the leading cause of false alarms. Many police and emergency personnel now charge homeowners for false alarms.
Freedom eliminated those type of false alarms by doing away with codes. Instead your system was armed and disarmed simply by turning the deadbolt.
It was a brilliant idea, and armed with market research and research from a focus group, we set about creating the advertising campaign for its introduction. The product was to have its debut at an upcoming national trade show for the security industry. We created the trade show displays, magazine ads, brochures, sales sheets, and a section of the company website presenting the idea to the security installers who bought the product for resale. In addition, we created a separate website to market directly to home and business owners, and referred those people to our installers.
We also created a fifteen minute video explaining what the product was, how it worked and why it was a good idea.
The good thing about doing all this at once is you can slightly modify the text and graphics for each component in your marketing and save a lot of time and expense. It also keeps your marketing consistent, which is incredibly important.
The problem was, the product wasn’t finished. The final components were actually installed on the display boards in Las Vegas during the setup for the tradeshow.
The question was, how to create all these materials and show the product, particularly the all important keypad, when the product didn’t yet exist?
We built non working models of the keypad, using the production samples from the people molding it. Duct tape held the keys in place, a piece of plastic was cut to use as the display panel, and I spray painted the plastic to be the proper color. It was then sent off to our photographer.
Here’s something to remember. Your product is your hero. When you take pictures of it, use a real product photographer photographer. Crappy photos of your product don’t sell it.
Once the images came back, it was simple enough to add the read out on the keypad in the computer, add the proper text to the display panel and light up the keys.
More tricky was the cutaway showing the insides of the product. For that we used another image of the keypad, this time head on, and did the same process as before. We were also given the internal components, albeit disassembled, and those went to the photographer as well.
We then layered the images on top of each other, build shadows to make it real, and essentially assembled the circuit board and components inside the computer. Once that was finished, we took the image of the keypad top and placed it over the insides, and removed the parts we need to show the components which needed to be seen.
Finally we did it again to show how the product was installed, this time building a cutaway of a wall, and the wiring of the product, the door and the deadbolt.
As a result, we had accurate images of a product which had never been built. And in the process, allowed the designers the ability to see how their product would look and make last minute tweaks.
The trade show was a success. In addition to getting best product of the category, we also picked up an award for best marketing. TCreahe VP of marketing rewarded my efforts with a bottle of single malt scotch.
Unfortunately, the product didn’t work in all installations. The ones it did work on were hard to install, and installers hate change. So the product never took off.
Which is in itself a valuable lesson. Sometimes the best marketing can’t save a turkey.
Luckily their next product turned out to be a hit.