Ideas for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Industry Today Magazine features Motiv’s POV on Smart Package Design in the Amazon Age

Posted by Bill Sterling

In the eCommerce era, manufacturers have lost control over how and why consumers select their products. Over the past decade, the online channel growth has caught many companies flat-footed, and unable to adapt to the reconfigured market landscape. In this Industry Today article, Motiv offers 3 specific ways that companies can manage brand perceptions and re-gain relationship equity with customers that’s lost through online purchasing. For starters, they must take advantage of a customer’s “out-of-box experience,” with packaging solutions that deliver positive visual and visceral impressions while they are unpacking or removing the product from its box. Read the full article here.

When Does a Consumer Product Become a Cultural Icon?

Posted by Bill Sterling

Very often, a new product isn’t celebrated for its beauty, innovation or enduring design when it’s first launched. It can take years for consumers to recognize a product as a bona fide game changer, and to acknowledge its status as a cultural icon.

Keurig Canada, founded in 1919 by Albert-Louis Van Houtte, has played an important role in Keurig’s market success, and Canada is rightfully proud of their company’s contribution. The Keurig brewer has achieved “design legend” status in Canada, taking its place among other classic products, including the Apple iPhone, the Phil & Ted’s 3-wheeled baby stroller and the Burberry plaid scarf. The Keurig brewer is currently on exhibit in Québec City at the Musée de la Civilisation.

Motiv is also proud of its involvement in the design and commercialization of what has become an important part of everyday life in Canada.

How Motiv Helped Zarbee’s Disrupt the Cough Drop Category Through Package Design

Posted by Bill Sterling

Founded by pediatrician Dr. Zak Zarbock, Zarbee’s Naturals™ went to market in 2008 with a safe, drug-free, vitamin-enhanced cough syrup for children that’s based on the effectiveness of dark honey for calming coughs and soothing irritated throats. That success has led to other products, including its new line of Honey Cough Soothers, a premium product that’s redefined the cough drop category. Motiv helped Zarbee’s to disrupt the market with innovative package design to connect the product with the power of Zarbee’s Naturals™ wholesome ingredients, consisting of 96% real honey.


Motiv Works with MIT to Nurture Next Generation of Product Engineers

Posted by Bill Sterling
MIT Red Team workingMonths of research and planning went into development of the Red Team’s prototype product.

Each year, in Course 2.009: Product Engineering Processes, students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology work in teams to design and build working “alpha” prototypes of new products. The course is designed to emulate what engineers might experience as part of a commercial product design team in a modern product development firm.

Each one of the 8 MIT student teams in the course were required to construct a high quality, functioning product prototype that was consistent with a specific “strategic theme.” The product theme in the most recent course was “Super;” where teams were challenged to create “products that can augment our abilities with super-human strength, extend the reach of our minds, help us to master challenges, metamorphosize ourselves, energize, and enhance our reach through tool.

BlinkProductShot_ComboThe Red Team’s prototype product — branded “Blink” — empowers disabled individuals to perform a range of tasks by blinking their eyes.

Motiv was honored to participate in an advisory capacity to the MIT course, with two of our staff members – James McGee and Brent Boswell – serving as mentors for the Red Team. James currently serves as creative director at Motiv, with a background in industrial design and expertise in product UI/UX. Brent is a seasoned mechanical engineer, and a graduate of MIT who participated in this same course as an undergraduate at the school.

The Red Team chose to develop an innovative eyeglass device they branded as “Blink.” Leveraging smart home electronic devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Assistant, Blink empowers individuals with advanced neurodegenerative diseases to perform a broad range of manual functions simply by blinking their eyes while wearing the eyeglass device. Using Blink, for example, a wheelchair-bound individual can easily control lighting, room temperature, home security, television, music and telephone.

RedTeamPresentation_ComboThe Red Team demonstrated its Blink product and answered questions from the audience in their final presentation.

Motiv and MIT: A Win-Win for Students and Mentors

In their role as course mentors, James and Brent served as experienced advisors, providing non-prescriptive guidance to their team, as well as written feedback at four milestones throughout the course. Their role evolved throughout the term to match their team’s needs; for example, early in the term they encouraged students to collect potential Blink user feedback, and advised them on how to convert those insights into product design. Later in the course, they provided guidance on technical implementations and model making techniques.

Based on their mentoring experience at MIT, both James and Brent had high praise for the value of the course for students. For most, this was their first exposure to product development, and to identifying and addressing user needs rather than applying engineering theory to a problem. The course’s major difference, and lesson taught, is that there are often many valid solutions to problems, and the most successful solutions are those most closely tied to the user needs.

Red Team Presentation 2The Red Team that Motiv mentored was one of 8 teams participating in the MIT course. 

For Motiv, the course builds understanding and enthusiasm for the product design and engineering disciplines. The firm also gains exposure from the students, course staff and 16,000+ viewers of the course’s final presentation audience (available for viewing here.) Additionally, start-up companies often emerge from the course, and several MIT graduates take positions with start-ups each year. And in that respect, Motiv is well-positioned to serve any of those companies with design and engineering support.

How Motiv Helped WISP Take the Guesswork Out of Herbal Wellness

Posted by Bill Sterling

CannaKorp Inc. is a Massachusetts-based technology start-up company dedicated to simplifying and improving herbal vaporization. Motiv helped this innovative firm develop the world’s first single-use pod vaporizer system designed to deliver a clean, convenient and consistent user experience. The Wisp Vaporizing System – available in select US states and Canada – takes the guesswork out of herbal wellness. Here are some additional details…


KBIS Yields Insights into Current Design Trends

Posted by Bill Sterling


The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) – held concurrently with the International Builders’ Show (IBS) – is a “must attend” event for Motiv each year. It’s an opportunity for us see the latest product innovations and trends, and to speak with kitchen and bath designers, dealers, architects, builders and remodelers from all over the world.

For those who missed the event, we’ve compiled some highlights and related observations. Review our KBIS Report here.

Insights & Innovations : Andy Gay and Garrett Waggoner

Posted by Bill Sterling


Our latest interview is with Andy Gay and Garrett Waggoner – the co-founders of the “Cirkul” personal hydration system – who provide the backstory on what drove them to establish their startup company right out of college, and how they intend to disrupt the beverage category.

Our conversation with these two young entrepreneurs covers a broad range of topics, including how they overcame the initial misgivings of skeptics; their path from the initial concept to R&D, product design and market launch; and their highly successful online crowdfunding campaign. Andy and Garrett also share the personal and business lessons they’ve learned in their effort to launch a new product and build a company from scratch.

To learn how they went from being football teammates at Dartmouth to business partners at Cirkul, click here to read their interview.

The Magic of the Season

Posted by Bill Sterling

BlogPostImageThe holidays got a whole lot brighter when Motiv took a hands-on approach to spread some festive cheer. Instead of choosing something off-the-shelf, our designers got creative to conjure up the perfect holiday gift. The goal? Provide absolute delight and surprise when opening the box.

To celebrate the magic of the season, Motiv designers started with a variety of treats. Then re-imagined the contents to create one-of-a-kind packaging. This special holiday survival kit was packed with a card teasing the surprise inside.

This act of spreading cheer will keep us energized well into the New Year.

How Thermacell Helps People Enjoy the Outdoors

Posted by Paul Metaxatos

Thermacell is a market leader in solutions that make the outdoors safer and more enjoyable for people. The company has developed a broad line of products that protect against mosquitoes, black flies and other flying insects. Thermacell gave Motiv a great reason to design a new, table-top version of its innovative repellent technology, called the Patio Shield. Here are some additional details…

Motiv Design takes on the Pumpkin Patch

Posted by Paul Metaxatos


In the spirit of Halloween – the wackiest of all American holidays – Motiv put aside their client work for a spell to showcase their creative chops through the slimy, seed-filled medium of…pumpkin. The designers wasted no time attacking what we thought was the nation’s favorite fall vegetable. It turns out that pumpkins are actually a fruit! Which is fitting, given some of the fruity results of this cathartic, creative assignment. Enjoy these works of “art” brought to you by the pumpkin heads at Motiv. And have a fun, safe Halloween.

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