On Comedy Central’s Colbert Report last week, Stephen Colbert questioned the marketing strategy behind the new Vessyl Smart Cup produced by San Francisco-based startup Mark One. Designed by Yves Behar of fuseproject, the Vessyl is a digital cup with molecular analysis sensors that display the exact content and calorie count of the beverage within. In terms of attractive design and ingenious technology, the Vessyl is spot on. But to Colbert’s point: is there really a mass market need for it, especially at a cost of $199 per cup? Market research is a critical pillar of product development; without it, what you end up with is a geeky “parlor trick” that draws ooohs and aaahs, but few sales.
The cable TV channel home of Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report,” Comedy Central has achieved a level of credibility that no longer matches its current logo. The name stuck on the globe with skyscrapers sprouting off the top looks like it was designed in a dorm room. Maybe it was. Once thought of as the basic cable channel featuring adolescent humor, Comedy Central has grown up. Its new logo, designed by The Lab, has too.