Archive for the 'marketing' Category


Zune v2.0

Microsoft unveiled version 2 of their iPod killer today and it’s interesting to note their marketing strategy.
zune 2.0
apple ipod nano
Imitation is the best form of flattery. no?
I guess if you’re going to compete. . .

Here’s a quick critique and comparison not on the product although the Zune does have some things going for it but on the marketing strategy.
1) Large product images.
Check. But Apple does display them like a falling stack of dominoes showing you different views of the product. Very smart. There’s also video now on the iPod Nano. Win goes to Apple.
2) Variation of product colors.
Check. Pink and red Zunes. Well it’s not that much of a stretch in variety. Black, white, and brown…I guess it’s appealing but it’s normal and safe but it’s not a bad marketing strategy. At first I didn’t like the Nano colors but Apple wins on being boldly different and giving us some variety.
3) Clarity of Ad.
OK. We’re starting to see a clear winner.
The background of the Zune ad is annoyingly muddy. The products get lost. The glare on the product is even more annoying and I’m supposed to read text off that thing?
Apple is always clean and clear. Principle: Keep It Simple Stoopid.
4) User-experience.
The Zune just stands there waiting to be experienced. Well it tells you on it’s screen all the fun you can have. The Nano already is an experience in itself. There’s movie clips playing on the screen. Recognizable or not the viewer is drawn in to figure it out and perhaps ask, what can I play on this if I had one? There’s just more playfulness on Apple’s part. You’re also invited to take one more step with the “watch the ad” link on the bottom. With the Zune, you’re invited to simply learn more.
It’s time to go back to school with Microsoft.

Fast Company makes a comparison. Link.


apple love and gen-y

amongst Gen-Yers (21-27) Apple is their favorite comany in a recent survey by trendsetters. trader joes is no2.
i’m not gen-y but this list does resonate with me. clean, simple goodness. that apparently is what gen-y loves. it’s about being straight-forward, plain packaging and avoiding excess. there’s definitely a green consciousness in this group. coincidentally shareholders are expected to vote on removing hazardous materials from its product line pushing the green agenda . [i’m admit that i’m surprised that apple is lagging in this area.]

The sample mostly targeted the first wave of Gen Y consumers, aged 21-27. The goal was to compile a “Trust Index” of brands that evoke “deeply positively feelings” among the trendsetters.

Here’s a list of The Most Trusted 15 brands
1. Apple
2. Trader Joe’s
3. Jet Blue
4. In-N-Out Burger
5. Ben & Jerry’s
6. Whole Foods
7. Adidas
8. American Apparel
9. Target
10. H & M clothing stores
11. Levi’s
12. Volkswagen
13. Converse
14. Vitamin Water
15. Red Stripe Jamaican beer

well most things on this list resonates but the last word is….vitamin water? huh?


design for all ::. 101

we were designers. friends even, yeah, some of us were. we walked on campus together as though we were something. but history was in the making. we quickly became then the most well recognized class in the school’s history leaving our mark with our names inscribed on the sterile halls of a brand new facility. i believe it’s still there. we probably were the last class of a certain mold. hours of art history and theory, aesthetics and beauty, form and function. lectures. critiques. deconstruction. integration. of course we also fulfilled our core requirement studies in humanities, science, and english. but we were painters, sculptors, filmmakers, architects, artists – designers. we were a new breed, traditionally trained in the old school and part of the forging of a new era of design. the swell of the digital age arrived in our time. we helped bring about a shift in the visual landsape as well as in the economy. now design is everywhere and everything. thanks to target there’s a new manifesto declaring design for all. you prolly have seen the commercials.

make it better, more fun, more exciting, easier. make it fly, make it soar, let it take your breath away. that’s what good design is all about. transforming the ordinary into something better….maybe even something extraordinary.

now i’m still not sure how i feel about target corp and their campaign but they sure merchandise some pretty nice things and have made some good investments like acquiring two of my choice designers from way back, mossimo and mizrahi. michael graves is another story. i really like that they carry method products. i’ll shop at target over that bully walmart anyday. and don’t even let me start about the injustices in that company.
i have been spending a lot of time recently thinking about art, design, society. my background consists of fine arts, landscape architecture, and urban planning all of which i’ve integrated under design. these things deeply influence my design process. i guess i’m part of what they call the cultural creatives. all this said gives reason to why i’m so wildly interested in the gates in central park, nyc by christo and jean-claude

the gates.central :: 2.26.05
i’m posting about all this (and probably moreso…read on) because i think it’s time to understand the realm of art, design and things that are misunderstood like the gates and its place in our lives. i was talking with a student over the weekend who shared his dislike of modern art. he, like many don’t like modern art because it doesn’t make sense to them. i understand that. but many believe that what doesn’t make sense of course is not worth considering.

when i was on the administration at a new local christian college we had a riff with some older students over the fine art prints that were being chosen to be displayed in the buildings. they wanted real “christian art” over reproductional prints of impressionists and other modern painters like, wassily kandinsky, who was deeply interested in spirituality as reflected so in his works. you see, “christian art” are prints from well known nice christian folk whose works of ‘light’ you can find in a jesus books and gift stop or at your upper-middle class malls.

here’s my take on the gates : : they’re supposed to be personally experienced. all 7,500 16-feet high gates are to be taken as a single piece like the multiple strokes in a painting. now the gates are a gift to the city, entirely self-funded by the artists themselves. it is a greatly profound work and a beautiful extravagant gift to the city and to the world. its bright colored fabrics are outspoken in this cold season as they meander throughout the park. they demonstrate the veins of the park as throngs of people from all over the world, from all walks of life, pass through them like lifeblood. you can spend time thinking about that visual if you dare. jean-claude believes that the world is his canvas. he has brought his art out from the privacy of a studio or a museum to the outside. that’s a shift that we are experiencing not just in the art of the 21st century but in all of life. we need to see that we are all a part of life in this world, in this city. this artpiece is helping to create community. as christians our lives are his handiwork. he will build his church. we are failing to be lovely and accesible. we fail to be extravagant and even flashy. we fail to give to the world. we fail to annoint the head and feet of Christ and do a beautiful thing unto him.

to me design is not just about selling something which i feel many do focus on, particularly in christian retail. sure design can be commercially viable. heck i need to pay the bills. this is my design manifesto: good design is thorough and lasting. it serves many purposes and many people. it can be flashy or even unrealized but it ought to integrate all of life to serve all of life. in a sense, we all need to be designers.

Continue reading ‘design for all ::. 101’


dispatches from the church of mac

apple brings the consumer one step closer with yesterday’s unveiling of their new product line – ipod shuffle and mac mini. you may say, “so what?” about the ipod shuffle. observe the marketing genius of apple regarding the shuffle: they have made a marketing feature out of a non-feature (the lack of an screen for options) and set themselves apart. can anybody else sell you something that its product doesn’t offer? apple has created techno-fashionables for the world through the ipod as well as a whole way of thinking about technology. each new model has become more and more accessible and within reach of a larger audience. it’s extremely important for us to take a look at how this is shaping culture.

note the ipod shuffle taglines –  life is random.— random is the new order.

the campaign – “Time to mix things up. Meet iPod shuffle, the unpredictable new iPod. What will it play next? Can it read your mind? Can it read your moods? Load it up. Put it on. See where it takes you.”

catchy? it’s brilliant and extremely timely if you think about it. these are uncertain times. with all the news that we’ve been hearing about, uncertainty is on our minds. so they are entirely playing off that and changing the way we ought to perceive it. shuffling has been around with most mp3 players but no body has ever really cared about that until – now.

the pros: if you utilize itunes this only provides you seemless integration. it’s a great size to exercise with, you don’t worry as much as with the hard-drive players. it charges on your usb port.

the cons: well, they’re the pros because life is, random. however, one thing i think it is lacking is a voice recorder option.

the ipod revolution is a marketing dream. it’s more than just a mp3 player. you’ve missed the point if that’s all we understand about the ipod.


as the winds blow

the wife & i on a romantic getaway ::.

RANT ::.
i’m troubled by all the anger and discontent that’s been long expressed from coast to coast. i’m tired of the malicious talk. there’s nothing that has been said that builds up. now is a greater time for humility and servanthood from the church body. so i’ll shut my mouth up now and move on to more interesting things.

RAVE ::.
product placement ::. i stayed up until 3am watching the news last night. in the many hours i watched, i noticed behind the desks of the newscasters some nice product placement of my favorite sustainable design chair, the herman miller mirra. (christmas is just around the corner, anybody wanna buy me one to save my poor aching back?) for a moment…i cared nothing about politics or anything else.

designed by Studio 7.5, it is committed to an Eamesian design philosophy. ergonomically correct, made of a minimal number of parts, easily disassembled and is 96% recyclable. it was updated in an upholstered version this summer, the textiles used are 100% recyclable.

a balanced ride: easy motion. the harmonic tilt creates pivot points at the hip, knee, and ankle to allow easy and natural movement. advanced spring technology. users of all sizes feel equal resistance while moving anywhere in the wide tilt range; the sitter is always in control.

custom seat comfort: aireweave suspension. this elastomeric suspension seat follows the contours of the body, distributes pressure evenly, and provides aeration.

flexfront seat edge: the sitter adjusts the seat depth without moving the seat pan; there’s never a gap between the seat and backrest.
retails around $699…sigh*

i was in target and guess what i saw…? o my heart be still!!!
21 jumpstreet complete first season dvd ::.

BOOYA! would you look at the hair? oh the many hours did i spend trying to get my hair to be like johnny depp’s. for those yoots that have no idea what jumpstreet is all about…sigh. it was johnny depp’s big break.

erasure ::. for fans of erasure, they have just finished their new studio album, Nightbird, the first single from which will be a song called “Breathe”. the album is due out Jan. 25, after which Erasure will tour through North America in April … a live DVD entitled ‘The Tank, The Swan and The Balloon Live!’ is to be released on 22nd November 2004 (UK), 30th November 2004 (US). oh the many albums to anticipate. . .

“I’ve found that often success looks more like failure, riches more like poverty and real life often feels more like death…the Christian life is very literally the process by which we are killed.” – Derek Webb

[american born chinese pastor]
seeks to be that third place for those who are american born chinese [abc] in ministry.
here we may explore issues unique to the chinese church and doing ministry in that context
expand the intersection of asian american culture and christian faith
or simply expose what goes on in the mind of this abcpastor

this may be a bit ambitious or even naiive but i do hope that through the posts we can bring together different faith communities, passions for the advancement of the Gospel and the equipping of the body of Christ.

if you are an abc pastor or have any suggestions or would like to contribute to make this space evolve, just comment.


Feed the Ego

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