Friday, June 22, 2012

Knowing More About Products

Traditional Chinese medicine shop in Tsim Sha ...
Traditional Chinese medicine shop in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have recently been working on a product that provides core asset tracking capabilities, but really differentiates through providing a consumer interface. Consumers can verify the origin of the product that they are looking to purchase and find out the whole history of the product and its individual components. Consumers can also register their products at the store to receive information about their product throughout its lifecycle.

I just read an article about Chinese medicine that turned out to be poison killing over a hundred people. Thousands of pet dogs died a few months back from contaminated dog food. People buy pills on the internet constantly and get watered down version. Cell phones have non-brand owner certified batteries. Cars being sold as new with used parts. The list goes on and on, all in all it's really quite sad for the customers who are powerless to do anything about it.

What do we as consumers want to know about the products that we buy and how far are we willing to interact? Brand authentication is a clear are of interest. Am I getting what I am paying for? Are we interested in ecologically friendly or socially responsible production practices? Do we want to know which actual farm the steak I am about to cook came from? Or which forest the trees were cut from to produce the printer paper I am suing? At least in the Hotel industry, you can get a general idea of what you are paying for. Quite often corners are cut, especially in the food catering services provided by Hotels. Always be on the lookout, and don't be afraid to question the origin of a product if you are concerned.