MITX - Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange


May, 2012

Captains of Industry's Ted Dillon on The Joys of Analog

We live in a digital age. We play in digital realms. And most of us work with digital tools. But, I am not cool; I can sometimes be found clinging to my Luddite ways. Personally speaking, I wish and hope that my kids will share my appreciation of the values and merits of the physical world.

For digital creators and marketers, I think the joys of analog should not be forgotten. It is important to touch a product and equally vital that a product touches us. And for manufacturers and sellers of physical widgets, it is also key to have a happening online extension of your brand.

Recently, I have become a big fan of two companies who really get this somewhat “simple” approach.

The first is a toy outfit, Melissa & Doug , who make the coolest stuff for little hands and growing minds. They have a great origin story, akin to that of the Woz and Jobs, starting the business in their garage. Their toys offer open-ended play and tactile real-world discoveries. The two favorites in our house right now are Pizza Party Wooden Play Food (mmm, yummy!) and one of their classic bead and wire mazes (I could sit there for hours). Not only are the toys fun but their website offers online content like “Extension Activities,” suggesting “More Ways to Play and Learn.” Plus, you can also easily sort through their online catalog, viewing toys by age, by skill, or by activity.

The second company we are infatuated with at home is Stonyfield Yogurt. Their YoBaby and YoToddler organic products are wholesome and pleasing to developing palettes, with colorful happy packaging. For us, blueberry is a big hit; you can walk into the room and you can smell the fresh fruit. On top of all that, Stonyfield’s website provides content like product listings, recipes, the benefits of organic, and a detailed breakdown behind their farm-to-tastebuds philosophy.

We are semi-digital creatures but our online wanderings cannot be time wasted. A brand’s web experience can increase the enjoyment of wicked awesome products. We should not forget to play and to taste, to discover and to smell the real world around us.

Source: Captains of Industry
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