Recently I started creating my own weekly podcast (you can find them here if you want to listen!) and in the spirit of doing things properly, I thought ‘why not spend $150 on buying a professional podcasting microphone even if you might not keep this up?’
Anyway, I went along to a local VideoPro store, armed with advice and suggestions from Gilberto from The Podcast Boss and thought I’d go and spend the money on something I might only use once.
It didn’t take long – there aren’t a massive amount of options for this sort of thing (or at least if there are, VideoPro don’t sell a huge range of them). So I settled on the Rode NT-USB.
One of the most anticipated aspects of buying a new technology product is the ‘unboxing’ experience, and Rode, despite not being a ‘new’ technology product, didn’t fail to deliver.
What is the ‘unboxing experience’?
The Unboxing experience, put simply is the process of removing a product from its supplied packaging. It has achieved more prominence in the past decade due to the availability of easy-to-distribute video where people recorded their unboxing moments.
Why is this a big deal?
Well, back in the day when Apple first started making iPods, they supplied their products in such a way that actually removing the product from the box was an experience in itself. Many other companies realised that this enhancement of the brand experience generated great word of mouth (and hours online videos) and decided to spend more time packaging their products in the first instance.
Secondly, many people saw unboxing as a way of analysing a product without being surrounded by the advertisers ‘fluff’; seeing it as a more objective, raw and revealing way of looking at a product, allowing potential future purchasers an unadulterated view of what they might want to buy.
Were Apple first?
Apple were, by no means, the first but they have certainly contributed to the growth. The first unboxing experience video was apparently recorded back in 1978 when some guy recorded himself unboxing a Betamax video. That crazy black and white masterpiece is still available to watch here.
However the term became much more widely used according to Google trends around late 2006, when Nokia created the E61 cellphone. Of course, once Steve Jobs rolled out the Apple iPhone in June 2007, that’s when it really kicked off.
The graph above from Google Trends shows the growth over time, and the corresponding peaks are generally around Apple release events.
Is the unboxing experience only relevant to consumer products?
Absolutely not. Software has it’s own term for people who sign up for their services: onboarding. And that term is often used by human resources departments for bringing a new team member into a company.
But many companies fail in their onboarding process with team members and even new clients. Whilst it might seem a challenge to deliver an onboarding experience to a new client in a service-based industry, that challenge is only generally caused by lack of a creative vision. Developing a client ‘welcome pack’ should be top of the list of marketing activities for all businesses.
So how was Rode’s unboxing experience?
It’s no iPhone but the unboxing experience for Rode was surprisingly good; or at least it wasn’t something I was expecting. My only criticism was the small bag supplied – it didn’t have an immediate explanation of what it was for, and I certainly haven’t used it yet. Supplying a bag that can’t hold everything that’s in the box seems somewhat pointless.
All businesses can take a leaf out of the Apple and Rode unboxing experience, whether it’s unwrapping a new piece of tech or welcoming a new client to your business. Making the new client or new purchaser just feel that little bit extra special helps build an initial strong bond. That bond will, in time, repay itself with repeat purchase or recommendation.