Have you ever seen a product category in the throes of Bundle Death?

Making recommendations to clients about what to do next is an important part of the job of the team the anthropologist is working in. In addition to understanding people, anthropologists need to understand markets. What’s up, what’s down, it’s hard to really take part in ideation if you don’t know what is already in the market.

Retail audits or retail surveys are a great way to quickly learn about market place trends. I have had friends joke that I spend weekends wondering around Best Buy to see if there happens to be a billion dollars lying on the floor.

One thing, certainly not the only thing, to look for is what I like to call Bundle Death. This is what happens when product B is given away as a deal sweetener for product A. Like getting a free monitor with a new PC or a free DVD player with a new TV. It’s important to keep an eye on bundle death because it says in a very clear way that the former products has hit complete commodity status.

But not every kind of bundle is equal to being a death bundle. For example, a BMW dealer that gives away an iPod with every car gets a boost from both brands. Bundling premium products is also not the same as bundle death. For example, Adobe has several software suites that include many of their most popular applications, but none of the individual apps are damaged by the association.

That’s all for this Sunday.