Ken Lonyai

Digital Innovation Strategist, co-founder, ScreenPlay InterActive

Ken is a 15 year veteran of interactive project development including some of the industry’s most unique experiential systems. His skills span the on-line world and nearly every realm of human/computer interface used by brands and retailers – mobile, interactive kiosks, experiential displays, and more. Known as the man with the miniature R&D lab in his head, when he’s not working on a client project, Ken can be found designing, tinkering, and developing some cool new experiential device in SPIA Labs.

He is a consumer engagement expert using cutting-edge, unique, and enticing brand experiences that encourage “like”, “share”, and “buy now” behaviors, as well as a creator of true consumer excitement by baking-in fun, social, and gamification actions that generate results. Focused on producing “amazing user experiences” for brands and retailers, he helps companies transform into destinations that consumers seek out and want to interact with.

Ken is a subject matter expert in user experience, most things interactive, experiential marketing, mobile app strategy/development, and digital UX/UI.

Additionally, he is a co-founder of NUI Central™, an organization to promote using natural human traits (voice, gesture, eye movement, etc.) to bi-directionally interact with smart devices.

Other Links from Ken Lonyai:

SPIA blog

  • Posted on: 09/16/2016

    Consumers rely on reviews, but they don’t trust them

    This is an area of my focus as I've been very focused on improving user reviews and answered questions for at least the last year. Authenticity is the first priority. The "verified buyer" tag is a good start, also vetting users in a number of supplementary ways to improve the likelihood of their reviews being real and not paid are important. Additionally, culling down excessive and redundant user questions makes the remaining questions more valuable to readers. Lastly, responding publicly to user criticisms in an authentic, individual, problem-solving way shows readers that they are recognized by the seller as having a valued opinion.
  • Posted on: 09/14/2016

    Should grocers back away from prepared meals?

    Prepared meals are a great value-add item for grocers. The days of packaged food products only are long passed. Shoppers that are weary of traversing aisles and that dread having to head home and prepare some food or spend more time at a restaurant are a ready-made market for this service. The issue is simply that grocers need to treat the service as a sub-business run by qualified/experienced food prep management that has the authority and the means to safeguard and control the end-to-end process. Paying workers fairly wouldn't hurt the end product either.
  • Posted on: 09/13/2016

    Amazon and Fanatics play ‘anytime, anywhere, anyhow’ commerce on game day

    I like it! It's not going to deliver a lot of revenue or likely be used by that many fans, but it's really nice marketing and positioning. Tailgaters and those that hear the buzz will see a distinction between Amazon and all the rest. That's where the value is.
  • Posted on: 09/09/2016

    These social media behaviors are turning off your followers

    TV/radio is expected to be impersonal and aimed at you. Social media is expected to be more personalized and bi-directional. When it's not and when marketers lose all sight of reality and think they are outwitting followers with thinly-disguised push messaging, these are the results. Social media success = authenticity.
  • Posted on: 09/09/2016

    Will Apple bring Macy’s a merry Christmas?

    This isn't a typical store-within-a-store scenario like in cosmetics, this is Macy's trying a foray into a space it long lost out on -- consumer electronics. Almost certainly, the upside here goes to Apple. Macy's will probably see some gross sales benefit, but I can't imagine it affecting their bottom line in any significant way. For tourists in NYC, Apple in Herald Square lets them conveniently tick off two stops in one with no real lasting benefit to the department store.Time will tell if I'm right, but this feels like Macy's desperation to me.
  • Posted on: 09/08/2016

    Could Amazon’s physical stores fuel a backlash?

    This is not unlike the reported demise of independent bookstores way back, when Amazon only sold books. Such a backlash is expected by independents and is part of free expression. Most of the mom-and-pop bookstores today have a little different clientele than Amazon, so while they likely will feel some hurt from Amazon stores moving into their markets, it probably won't have significantly more impact than online sales do.Mainline books are a commodity like diapers so, as has been stated endlessly here, differentiation and exceptional service are the ways to stay relevant and retain customers. Not easy, but Amazon is far from perfect, so there are opportunities for determined independents.
  • Posted on: 09/07/2016

    Will Amazon’s ‘brand gating’ put counterfeiters out of business?

    It's a great move in the right direction, but if the fees are too steep, small legitimate sellers will be driven out of the marketplace. Both counterfeits and low-quality items are a (small) blemish on Amazon, so the marketplace definitely needs more attention from management.
  • Posted on: 09/06/2016

    Will Lands’ End hit pay dirt on Amazon?

    Cathy -- well said! It's kind of a sign of desperation to make a pact with your competitor while bowing before them.
  • Posted on: 09/06/2016

    Will Lands’ End hit pay dirt on Amazon?

    I think eventually this will backfire for Lands' End. Target and Toys "R" Us have been down this path (in different ways) before and it didn't go as they expected. Amazon is on its own trajectory and I can't believe that they see any benefit from dragging along an average brand. Amazon will do what benefits Amazon including making decisions that effectively torpedo this association if and when there's more in it for them than maintaining a Lands' End "partnership" of sorts. If anything, Amazon will use this association as a yardstick to see what its customers are interested in from the Canvas collection and then bring in their own competitive products. They do it with small marketplace sellers all the time.
  • Posted on: 08/26/2016

    Are wearables on the way out?

    Wearables have a different trajectory and fill a different need than smartphones. The phones were more groundbreaking, offering mobile computing at a time when most people were chained to desktops for computing needs. Wearables are largely an incremental advancement over mobile and some devices or features require tethering to a mobile device.Adoption will continue to grow over time but, to date, the killer app for wearables has yet to surface. If one surfaces, it may reignite the market, otherwise as prices drop and small conveniences rise, the market will slowly expand. Until then, they are more targeted to geeks, those with more disposable income, fitness freaks, etc., vs. the general population that mobile serves.
  • Posted on: 08/24/2016

    Amazon tests one-click product placement

    This idea is completely old. Many startups have tried a similar concept going back many years and since I don't hear much about them, I believe it has gone nowhere. However, they were not Amazon.There are two factors that favor Amazon succeeding where others failed:
    1. They are a trusted brand that people already have a history with.
    2. Logistics. Part of the experience is getting the just-seen product as close to "in the moment" as possible and no one has the capability of doing that better than Amazon.
  • Posted on: 08/12/2016

    Are store closings a positive sign for Macy’s?

    Shrinking its overall footprint is a positive for Macy's. They have to find a better balance between brick-and-mortar and m-/e-commerce if they want to avoid losing further market share.While it may not drive more business to remaining locations, if Macy's is strategic, they can leverage the closings as a way to drive more digital sales. And they definitely need to be strategic or they will hand over customers to Amazon.
  • Posted on: 08/11/2016

    Did Amazon bring down and

    It would be easy to give Amazon all the credit, but who knows. No doubt big A was a factor, but there had to be other causes too. When there's cash at hand it seems easy to buy into a market but, given lots of factors, an acquisition is a starting point, not an endpoint.At the very least, to attract customers who have been influenced by the environment set by Amazon, execution at all levels is crucial. In other words, UX, UX, UX.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2016

    Is it OK for brands to have emotions?

    Having emotions (brands) and touching emotions (consumers) are two different things. It's crucial to touch a shopper's emotions and core values, but not necessarily for a brand to have emotions. It really depends on the product, brand and audience. Whatever a brand does, it needs to be authentic and not create fake emotions -- a sure way to fail.
  • Posted on: 08/09/2016

    Is a ‘DARK’ cloud looming for brands over GMO labeling?

    Ian, we're in agreement. Yes, "technology" was an oversimplified word. Aside from what you mentioned, logistical technology and weather tracking, even potentially robotic weeders, are all technologies that can help food democracy. Still, waste control and better distribution is the ultimate solution.BTW — last week I saw an article that organic (maybe conventional, but I don't think so) rice and probably potato farming in a region of India, set new yield records. I've seen before that they've out-yielded GMOs, so while the straw argument for GMOs keeps taking a hit, the point here is put it on the labels and let consumers decide.

Contact Ken