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  • Diane Pierson

“GrandPad” Grand Example of 360-Degree Innovation on Purpose

I’m always looking for tech product innovation that goes beyond the product. Today, I found a good example: the GrandPad.


I ran across the GrandPad on the Consumer Cellular website. It solves the problem of families who want to stay connected amid the risk of online scams and the complexity of ever-changing social-media technologies.


According to Wikipedia, GrandPad was founded by Scott Lien and his son Isaac. It launched the GrandPad tablet in 2015. Both Consumer Cellular and Acer have invested. In addition to Consumer Cellular, GrandPad sells the tablet through Amazon.


What makes it a good example of 360-Degree Innovation is how it responds to the very different needs of various buyers and users, in ways that go beyond the tablet itself to marketing, distribution, packaging, software and interface design decisions. Some highlights:


Used by One Persona, Purchased by Another

While the GrandPad is clearly intended to be used by parents of adult children – referred to as “Mom & Dad” - it’s just as clearly marketed to the adult children themselves. Securing Mom & Dad from scams is a big concern for children of aging parents - a benefit shown front-and-center.


Workflow-as-a Service


Innovate on Purpose shows 360-Degree Innovation of GrandPad
GrandPad Appeals to Different Buyers and Users

The Family Admin role eliminates a roadblock to Mom & Dad’s use – a more tech-savvy family member can organize the tech bits and get the family together. Contacts are typically added by the Admin, and only approved users can send e-mail chat requests through the GrandPad app on their phones.




Hardware and Interface Designed for Mom & Dad, not “Everyone”

The user experience is laser-focused on Mom & Dad, highlighting tasks they’re interested in, using big type, with navigation instructions right on the screen. This wouldn’t make sense for the rest of the family but for them – perfect.



Packaging and Setup Purpose-Built for a Specific Market

The GrandPad difference is evident from Mom & Dad’s first experience with it: the packaging. First-line help is telephonic; this demographic doesn’t like chatbots. They’re also the most likely to have a land-line phone, where long-distance calls can cost more than local calls, hence the toll-free number.


Innovate on Purpose example of 360-Degree Innovation by GrandPad
Packaging is Part of 360-Degree Innovation

GrandPad is designed for easy set up, but that ease is reinforced with step-by-step instructions printed in large type, with large pictures.






Attention to All Aspects of the Experience Results in 360-Degree Innovation

From live-person help, to the Administrator workflow, to the simplified interface, this solution has responded to a complex set of market problems in a way enables not just use but purchase, set up and engagement. Innovation on purpose - for the whole family.



About the Author

Diane Pierson is the Founder and Principal Market Strategist of Innovate on Purpose, a consultancy enabling successful product innovation for tech companies through strategic focus and powerful go-to-market strategies. Diane is also a visiting instructor at Pragmatic Institute. Contact Diane at dpierson@innovateonpurpose.com.

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