What We’re Reading: Week of Nov. 20, 2017This week: Bonding with gadgets, electric-powered semi-trucks, and four-day work weeks. November 23, 2017
Welcome to What We’re Reading, a weekly rundown of news stories, marketing columns, and specific b2b industry news that caught our eye.
“I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that”
Have you ever told your computer to hurry up, or proclaimed that your phone is being stupid today? Scratch that — how many times have you screamed bloody murder at your printer, which appears to do whatever it wants, whenever it wants, in whatever arbitrary order it wants?
The Atlantic says we tend to personify our gadgets or anthropomorphize them, which can make us feel a stronger attachment to those products — and make us less inclined to replace them in the future. In other words, if you say you want to throw your printer into a raging dumpster fire, you’re more likely to keep it around until it finally kicks the bucket.
Brands can also make you identify with their products by using these personified traits. For instance, if you see eyes in the headlights of your car, or a smile in its grille, it’s not just a throwback to your imaginative childhood — studies show that the “face” on a car can actually affect how it sells in different markets.
The takeaway for businesses? It’s entirely possible to put a face, voice, or persona to your product and create a stronger bond with your consumers — even if you don’t do it intentionally.
Keep on trucking in the emissions-free world
Less than a week after Tesla unveiled its new electric truck, companies are already lining up to take preorders. Two Canadian companies, Loblaw and Walmart Canada, have recently jumped on the electric semi-truck bandwagon and ordered the zero-emissions vehicles for their own fleets, according to Huffington Post Canada. It also looks like larger truckload carriers, like J.B. Hunt and Bison, are taking a serious look at the electric semi, according to industry trade magazine Truck News.
Aside from drastically reducing CO2 emissions, the Tesla semi promises faster and smoother acceleration, along with more responsive driving, compared to your average diesel truck. Although we’re not sure Planet Earth is ready for its spaceship-worthy design, it'll be interesting to watch the roll-out of the charging infrastructure, the evolution of its software, how it affects safety, driver retention... exciting stuff.
Feeling unproductive? Take the day off
Good for health, happiness, and equality in the homestead? We’re not talking about a big glass of wine. The Guardian dives into the many upsides of a four-day work week, which has found support in booming European economies amidst a long list of benefits.
It’s not just about having more time off. A shorter work week can increase productivity, keep sick days at a minimum, and force employers to redistribute hours for the benefit of underemployed workers who want more hours.
Can we expect to kiss Mondays goodbye anytime soon? Probably not, but I think my risk of stroke has gone down just thinking about it.