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Archive for the ‘innovation’ Category

Nike ID: Touch to colour

In advertising, Branding, Brands, denim, innovation on January 7, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

Shop windows always feel a bit like wasted space. Headless manequins in static poses as if frozen in fashion future. They neither say come in nor walk by but stand more simply as pronouncements of their anotomically incorrect selves. Now, window dressers have a difficult business for sure. A few like Simon Doonan are considered minor rock (sock) stars, but most are arrangers trying to simulantiously support the brand and its message while also driving traffic through the doors of the store.

That’s all to explain why I like these Nike windows. Not only do they support the idea of customization and uniqueness when everything is starting to look very safe and bland, but they actually encourage interaction. By touching the store window you can change the color combinations of the products, in effect test driving before you buy. I liked it online but I really love it as a window concept.

A Breath of Fresh Air

In Branding, Brands, Consumers, Design, innovation, marketing, strategy on April 15, 2008 at 12:26 am


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

Going to the moon? In Russia you can now buy pre-packaged oxygen in phallic containers at your local design bookstore. While oxygen bars came and went in the US this new product bets that Russians are looking for oxygen and that it is best when it is portable.

An Example of Being Green Making Green

In Brands, communications, Consumers, innovation, marketing, strategy on February 15, 2008 at 4:43 pm

This post follows on the heels of a great comment on my earlier post Bookmarks Are For People Who Hate Money. Why do magazines keep printing subscription cards for magazines that you already subscribe to? Is there really no way to separate the books that go to the newsstand from the ones that go to your mailbox?

Well, it appears that at least the team at Outside magazine has figured out a way to stop sending subscribers 10 free bookmarks every month. And by eliminating these blow-in subscription cards they estimate that they will “eliminate the printing of 20 million subscription cards… [saving] an estimated 1,500 trees.” Not to mention the nuisance to readers who have to pick them up off the subway floor when they fall out.

But worry not, newsstand readers, you’ll still get free bookmarks.

San Pellegrino Package Design

In Brands, Design, innovation on February 15, 2008 at 3:09 pm


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

When I was last in Italy I managed to take a bad picture of a good package redesign. San Pellegrino accomplished a couple of things with this one.

In retail shops that have a cooler under the bar the packaging is gorgeous and looks like it does in the picture. By branding the top of the can it is easier to see and identify when the product is laying on its side, and actually makes it your first choice since it is the product that you see first. To see other options you have to crouch down to look in the cooler.

Secondly, the top metal seal pulls off to reveal a normal ring tab which successfully makes the whole product feel fresher and more juice-like instead of like flavored water.

Not sure of the design agency on this one, but I do like the work.

Chip Kidd is a Punk…

In Design, innovation, marketing, trends, Uncategorized on January 24, 2008 at 10:40 am

…and I mean that in the best possible way. He has a reputation as a rebel in the book cover design industry, and in doing so has been shaking up what we expect, ruffling some feathers and achieving fame in the process. (If only the rest of us could do it with such style…) Last week he was a guest on my colleague Debbie Millman’s radio show Design Matters and this week I’m pointing you over to DoorSixteen for a thoughtful write-up from a book designer about Chip’s attitude and practices as well as pictures of his well-appointed home.

Cool Enough to Make Me Want to Run With Scissors

In innovation, trends on January 23, 2008 at 12:03 pm

Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

If I had a nickel for everything I missed out on due to safety reasons I’d be at least a hundredaire. I couldn’t run with scissors, play William Tell in the backyard with a BB gun, fence with my defenseless and uncoordinated little sister.

Damien O’Sullivan’s ceramic eye-patch follows on the current trend of making everyday objects beautiful. This one is beautiful enough to make me want to take up something dangerous.

Hat tip to Design Sponge.

Brand Licensing: Lojack for Computers

In Branding, Brands, innovation, market research, strategy on January 22, 2008 at 12:31 pm


Originally uploaded by Antonia Schulz

I was more excited about this when I thought that LoJack was actively extending its brand and entering into new categories, but alas, they aren’t. It’s still a nice rename for CompuTrace and a great idea to license the LoJack name into an adjacent and relevant category.

Renaming companies is difficult work. Not the creative part, though that too can be difficult, but rather understanding the current equities or lack thereof and attempting to estimate how much value a new name would add to the business over time. In this case I think it was worth it.

Can I also request LoJack for wallets, keys and girlfriends?

Forbes’s take on it here.

When Product Accessories Become the Product

In Branding, Brands, Consumers, innovation, market research, marketing, strategy, trends on January 21, 2008 at 1:11 pm

What happens when that cool new thing that you got suddenly becomes the cool new thing that everyone has? Trend Setters (god I hate that term) either move on to the next new thing or  redouble their efforts to bring personal ownership to their products. Creating an accessory culture around new products may prove to be a way to keep these early users engaged.

Steve Portigal has an interesting post on Crocs culture and the emergence of charms in Japan and the UK (see picture above). Apple has also inspired a ton of secondary markets for its products from the useful iPod Skins to the scary-but-true Taser/iPod holster that was displayed at CES.

My personal favorite are the iColour modifiers which allow you to take that boring old glowing Apple logo and modify it to your own liking, gaining the ire of your IT dept. at the same time.


The End of a Fadmaker

In Brands, Consumers, innovation on January 20, 2008 at 12:22 pm

Wet Hula Hoop
Originally uploaded by DewCon

Early in my career, I remember seeing a posting on Craigslist for a marketing position at Wham-O. After I changed my pants, I applied and they had the good sense not to hire me.

Wham-O is a cultural brand with an amazing track record of creating fads that impact the social landscape. Last week it lost its founder Richard Knerr at age 82. That makes me sad.

From The NYT: Richard Knerr died last week at the age of 82. He co-founded Wham-O, the corporation that brought us the Hula Hoop, the Frisbee and the SuperBall.

Mr. Knerr and his partner, Arthur Melin, who died in 2002, were able to pull off one of the most difficult tricks in marketing: starting a fad. Repeatedly. Like quantum mechanics and comedy, not everybody can do it.

Red Bull Says Carpe Diem and Enters the Water Fight

In Branding, Brands, communications, Consumers, innovation on January 17, 2008 at 11:02 am

Holy Waters

Originally uploaded by ~FreeBirD~

We were recently doing a competitive audit for a client and came across Carpe Diem waters. The packaging isn’t much to look at (frankly, most of the category isn’t) but it does communicate freshness and enhanced benefits better than most brands in the water-Plus category.

The surprise came when we turned the packaging around and recognized the Santa Monica address as that of Red Bull. The fact that it comes from the adrenaline pumping, fly-off-a-pier-in-homemade-plane place makes it a bit more impressive in my mind.

Most companies work hard to not take any risks and to leverage the heck out of their equity until it is diluted to, well, something not unlike water. I’m impressed with the creativity and the soft brand that they have created here and how it creates a nice contrast within their portfolio. If anyone has more information on Carpe Diem or how it came about, write in and let me know.from the Carpe Diem site:
Carpe Diem is both – philosophy and brand.

Carpe Diem is a philosophy: an appeal to the people of our time – to live consciously and seize the day because today is the first day of the rest of your life. Carpe Diem unites all those who value conscious enjoyment with all their senses. Those who demand authenticity and functionality just as much as modernity and style.

As a brand, Carpe Diem stands for drinking with a purpose – for innovative functional drinks that equally combine drinking pleasure with effectiveness. The beverages of Carpe Diem are based on traditional methods of preparation and knowledge that is thousands of years old.

Carpe Diem has made it its goal to offer this ancient knowledge to the consumer in form of modern drinks. Carpe Diem – drinking with a purpose.