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17 December 2008

Today’s Tabbloid PERSONAL NEWS FOR merrills@mercuryfs.com

MANAGESMARTER.COM - SALES TOP STORIES

illegal in some places, the caller reportedly first tells recipients that they will be recorded.) Powered by Twilio phone technology, Kirkland, Wash.-based I Am Saint Nick aims to support itself through advertising and sponsorships. It is considering offering online gift inventories as a future enhancement, as well as expanding the service to help with birthdays, anniversaries and other gift-giving occasions as well, MSNBC reported.

Socrates Makes a Sales Call DEC 17, 2008 5:00PM To jumpstart stalled sales, try employing a really old-school approach.

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Proving once again, of course, that where consumers feel pain, crafty entrepreneurs can gain. How could *you* make gift-giving a little easier....? (Related: Free holiday love in Manila — Gifts by text message.)

Choice Hotels Is Opening Doors DEC 17, 2008 5:00PM

Website: www.iamsaintnick.com Contact: santa@iamsaintnick.com

Choice Hotels International introduces the Ascend Collection.

Spotted by: Miriam Brafman SPRINGWISE

Santa’s helper calls loved ones for gift ideas

SPRINGWISE

French cargo bikes embark on international expansion

DEC 17, 2008 4:42PM

DEC 17, 2008 12:13PM

With less than 10 days remaining to C-Day, it’s a safe bet that countless shoppers around the globe are desperately racking their brains for lastminute gift ideas. Luckily, a team of elves at IamSaintNick.com are now on hand to help. When we covered La Petite Reine this past spring, it had already expanded beyond Paris to offer business deliveries by cargo bike in Bordeaux, Rouen and Dijon. Recently we learned that the company is in the process of expanding once again, this time beyond French borders.

Launched just in time for the holiday season, I Am Saint Nick lets wouldbe gift-givers submit the phone numbers of those they’re having trouble coming up with ideas for. The company’s very own “Santa” will then place a discreet, anonymous call to each challenging person and ask them what they’d like for Christmas. Each such call gets recorded and posted online for access (only) by the gift-giver, who then gets insight into wishes that may not ordinarily get shared with mere mortals. (In recognition of the fact that recording phone calls without consent is

To recap our earlier story, La Petite Reine’s Cargocycles are available for hire to make small and medium-sized urban deliveries. With a cargo space of 1,400 liters, each 80-kg Cargocycle can transport about 180 kg of merchandise over distances of up to 30 km. Advantages of the man-

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Today’s Tabbloid PERSONAL NEWS FOR merrills@mercuryfs.com

17 December 2008

powered vehicles are that they are faster than trucks in urban congestion, highly maneuverable, less expensive to operate and completely nonpolluting. Now, after receiving numerous international inquiries over the years since its founding in 2001, La Petite Reine just recently extended into Switzerland with a franchise in Geneva. Early next year, it plans to begin operations in London. Through a collaboration with Office Depot, the bikes will undergo a trial in Camden by which they are used to deliver stock from a central depot to nearby clients, according to a report in the Evening Standard.

site owners in Europe, North America and Australia. We’ve covered similar concepts for spare bedrooms and off-street parking spots—what’s next? Website: www.singlespotcamping.com Contact: info@singlespotcamping.com Spotted by: Helene Frick

There are few things more gratifying to us here at Springwise than seeing a good idea spread, and La Petite Reine continues to seek additional franchise partners. How about bringing a fleet of cargo bikes to the congested urban roads near you....?

SPRINGWISE

Website: www.lapetitereine.com

Furniture shopping with the crowds

Contact: contact@lapetitereine.com

DEC 16, 2008 9:39PM

SPRINGWISE

Peer-to-peer camping grounds: renting out the back yard DEC 17, 2008 11:44AM

Crowd clout has already wreaked havoc on industries far and wide, and now it appears the home furnishings industry could be among the next to get transformed. French site Myfab.com lets consumers collectively tell manufacturers which furniture items they want produced and then purchase them direct at near-factory prices. Each week Paris-based Myfab posts a catalogue of items that are available for voting, inviting members of the site to indicate the ones they like best. Those that win the most votes get put into production by one of Myfab’s factory partners and become available for purchase through the site. Whereas many major furniture brands carry prices up to 10 times what it costs the factory to produce them, the site says, Myfab’s prices can be as much as 70 percent lower since no middleman is involved. Consumers who voted for an item during its pre-production phase get an additional 10 percent off. All factory partners must adhere to the site’s charter of quality, and consumers are given a one-week trial period to decide if they’re satisfied. Myfab ships to France, Germany, Switzerland, Holland and the UK. Delivery takes 9 weeks on average, and consumers can follow an item’s progress online each step of the way. In addition to furniture, Myfab also offers products in fashion, accessories, sports equipment and watches using the same crowd-based voting model.

Camping, an ancient form of holiday accommodation, is now going peerto-peer: Single Spot Camping connects anyone who owns a suitably sized piece of land (‘even your garage entrance’, says the site) with those looking for a place to pitch their tent. Like the more established concept of couch surfing, the Swedish startup aims to create travel experiences that are more unique and personal than staying at a regular camping ground. Additional benefits are the small stream of income created for hosts, and the fact that—unlike with couch surfing—both guests and hosts can maintain a sense of privacy. As the site’s still very new, all listings made before 31 December 2008 will be displayed for a year free of charge. In 2009, listings will cost the landowner EUR 40 per year. Any plots of land sitting empty in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Australia or the United States can currently be registered, with the site aiming to become popular with campers and

The lesson to be learned? Between transparency tyranny and crowd clout, companies are running out of places to hide. Better listen to the crowds, or risk getting crowded out! ;-) (Related: Shoppers team up for better deals — Reverse-boycotting: crowd clout meets eco-persuasion.)

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Today’s Tabbloid PERSONAL NEWS FOR merrills@mercuryfs.com

17 December 2008

Website: www.myfab.com Contact: www.myfab.com/NousContacter.aspx

MANAGESMARTER.COM - SALES TOP STORIES

Motivating Change: ‘Tis the Season to Look Back (and Ahead)

Spotted by: Lamia Aloui & Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye

BRANDING STRATEGY INSIDER

DEC 16, 2008 5:00PM

Building Your Brand in Difficult Economic Times

As 2008 draws to a close, and as the nation slows down to celebrate the holiday season, it’s an opportune time for business decision makers to reflect on the good, the bad and the uneventful decisions that shaped 2008 for their company and their customers.

DEC 16, 2008 5:31PM Often, brand marketing budgets are the first to be cut in difficult economic times. This means you must increase the efficiency of your spend or suffer reduced brand awareness, preference and loyalty building. Assuming that your spend was already efficient, this means you will likely sacrifice brand equity building until the difficult economic times have passed.

MANAGESMARTER.COM - SALES TOP STORIES

Seeking Out Virtual Watercoolers DEC 16, 2008 5:00PM

There is something else that you can do in these times. You can create new brand proof points at each point of customer contact. The way to get there is through touchpoint management design. The Blake Project offer’s a one-day workshop in which the participants generate hundreds of ideas for bringing the brand to life at each point of customer contact. The workshop is highly facilitated with numerous ideation techniques interspersed with many creativity exercises. We follow it up with a culling process that identifies those ideas that are very powerful in reinforcing the brand’s promise but also quick, easy and inexpensive to implement. That is, the final output is a handful of ideas (or more) that deliver a high return on investment (ROI).

Why is it that Google and Facebook work online, but sales professionals revert to scuttlebutt to uncover information that, in all likelihood, has been stored on an in-company portal for their benefit?

MANAGESMARTER.COM - SALES TOP STORIES

Times Are Not as Tough for Some DEC 16, 2008 5:00PM

While marketing communications, if effective, promise relevant differentiated benefits on behalf of the brand, the output of the customer touchpoint design workshop helps your brand actually deliver on its promise at each point of customer contact. This is important not only in difficult economic times, but all of the time.

The global financial crisis is impacting every market around the world, but that doesn’t mean consumers everywhere are reacting the same way. While huge numbers of people feel the impact of rising fuel prices and plan cutbacks in new clothes, utilities and entertaining, it’s the consumers in the world’s developing markets who feel the most optimistic.

This one-day workshop is very reasonably priced. To learn more about customer touchpoint design, please contact us. We would be happy to explain it in greater detail, including sharing what other brands have realized from this.

MANAGESMARTER.COM - INCENTIVES TOP STORIES

Incentive Interview: A Motivated Culture

Sponsored By: Brand Aid

DEC 16, 2008 5:00PM Cindy Ventrice knows how to make an employee’s day.

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Today’s Tabbloid PERSONAL NEWS FOR merrills@mercuryfs.com

17 December 2008

MANAGESMARTER.COM - INCENTIVES TOP STORIES

the word tripod stands for, you cannot say the word without visualizing its form.

Wellness at Work Flys High DEC 16, 2008 5:00PM

Q: But the consumer may not understand what the word means.

Virgin HealthMiles partners with U.S. governors for the Capitol Steps Challenge.

Then the marketer has to create enough specific imagery and enough associative texture and enough visceral experience so that the word will elicit an emotional response. That response and that imagery should link directly and relevantly to the product.

BRANDING STRATEGY INSIDER If people don???t know what something is, they will bring in pre-existing meanings and associations. That???s why when you???re creating a new word, it is absolutely crucial that the meanings and associations to that word are studied in order to have as much control as possible over the messages sent. What gets conjured by the word could well be contradictory to the intended message and alienating to the designated target market.

Naming Psychology DEC 16, 2008 1:36PM Names burrow deep into the human mind. Names are bundles of denotation and connotation. And much more than that, suggests Carol Moog, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and the president of Creative Focus, a consulting firm to advertisers and ad agencies on the communication value and meaning of their messages.

Unless they are completely random fabrications, just letters tossed together, words will always carry emotional associations based on experiences and imagery that are pre-existing. You have to know what those possible associations are before you make a decision on whether you want to use a certain word.

We asked Carol Moog about the meaning of names. Q: How much of a name???s reception depends on non-verbal factors? A name without an emotional, non-verbal association is virtually useless ??? it will not be retained in the mind of the target audience.

Q: What are some examples of pre-existing meanings and associations? We are biologically set to respond to the human face. From the earliest phases of development, a smiling face elicits a positive emotional reaction. Bared teeth in a grimacing expression provoke fear and withdrawal. Missing components of faces that break up the visual wholeness trigger anxiety. It is crucial to carefully study non-verbal details in messages to determine if they are completely congruent with accompanying words if a name is to be grasped and accepted.

There is a symbiotic relationship between a name and its non-verbal correlative. What is evoked emotionally, visually, symbolically, by a particular name? It is on the basis of this cognitive/emotional connection that the most powerful mnemonic device for remembering a person???s name is the deliberate creation of mental pictures relating to it. The Sears battery brand name DieHard, for instance, is slang for someone who will never give up. A symbiotic relationship is immediately generated, linking the name, its ???being??? a stubborn, tenacious, ???alive??? person, and the product.

Even without visual, non-verbal components of names, the words themselves should create an immediate, clear, associatively consistent image in the target???s mind, uncluttered by contradictory interpretations. The name should literally be a stand-in for the product/company itself. ???Talon??? works for zippers, with the preexisting ???hooked, sharp, gripping??? meanings conjured by the name. For exactly the same reason, it would be a terrible way to brand a nighttime moisturizing cream.

Q: What happens if a name has no emotional attachment? A brand name is dead in the water without that emotional connective tissue. If it???s just a word floating out there with nothing attached to it, it will not be remembered. It will not stand for or embody anything.

You need to know what meanings and associations are intrinsic to verbal and non-verbal language in the name game and either make full, deliberate use of these or discard the name altogether. Do not make the mistake of figuring that a contradictory or negatively charged association would only affect a small minority of your audience. If you pick it up or if your research is sharp enough to point it out, ditch it.

Q: How important is the visual frame in which the name is perceived? You cannot separate the visual frame from the name. The mind sees both simultaneously. You cannot separate a word from its non-verbal reference.

Sponsored By: Brand Aid Q: Let???s say a product is called Tripod. Is an image of a tripod on which the name is perched stronger than the name itself? It???s not stronger; it???s part of the same thing. If you understand what

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Today’s Tabbloid PERSONAL NEWS FOR merrills@mercuryfs.com

17 December 2008

SPRINGWISE

SPRINGWISE

From 1950s pommel horses to 2008 gym bags

Hotel offers each guest a favourite book, on Kindle

DEC 16, 2008 12:10PM

DEC 16, 2008 11:08AM

When preparing for some shuteye in the city that never sleeps, one option is to settle down with a favourite book in New York’s Algonquin Hotel. Combining a long-standing literary tradition with one of the latest gadgets, the hotel is offering free loans of Amazon’s Kindle, pre-loaded with a book of the guest’s choice.

Recycled materials give any brand an eco-boost, but a new range of accessories shows that their consumer appeal stretches beyond those planet-saving properties. Fabricated from German gym equipment used in the 1950s, Zirkeltraining‘s bags, laptop cases and wallets stand out because of the material’s heritage, not its greenage.

The digital book service—which launched in September 2008 to coincide with National Literacy Month—ties in with the hotel’s literary roots, reminding guests that it used to be frequented by such fabled writers as William Faulkner, Gertrude Stein and Dorothy Parker. For guests whose decision-making skills are paralysed by limitless choice, the devices also come loaded with bestsellers and modern classics, as well as books written by members of the hotel’s famous Round Table, including Edna Ferber and Robert Benchley. Guests are free to use the devices anywhere within the hotel.

Zirkeltraining is German for ‘circuit training���, which makes sense when one learns that the bags are made from gym mats, pommel horse leather and trampoline rescue nets. Each of the handmade products is unique, with the finite amount of raw material providing a refreshingly genuine reason for limited edition status. The previous life of each item is made apparent with Zirkeltraining’s assertion that items contain ‘a little bit of sweat’, Prices range from EUR 90 to EUR 249, and Zirkeltraining products are currently available from selected stockists in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Japan and Austria.

It’s a win-win all round: customers try something new, Algonquin offers a personalised service using the latest technology and Amazon gives a select group of potential buyers first-hand experience of their product. (Related: Hotel offers reader-in-residence.)

The range was designed and manufactured by a former gym teacher, and it’s a fun example of how eco-friendly products don’t always need to be seen as green—sometimes it’s more sustainable to focus on the status story. (Related: Virgin Atlantic’s seat covers, reborn as bags)

Website: www.algonquinhotel.com Contact: www.algonquinhotel.com/anav_contact_us.html

Website: www.zirkeltraining.biz Contact: www.zirkeltraining.biz/impressum.html

Spotted by: Bjarke Svendsen Spotted by: Susanna Haynie

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Today’s Tabbloid PERSONAL NEWS FOR merrills@mercuryfs.com

17 December 2008

BRANDING STRATEGY INSIDER

interpretation of the yuletide figure, with his cola-coloured belt and Coke-consistent red and white outfit, was in stark contrast to many of the historical descriptions of Santa. But the image worked and for the next 35 years the ‘Sundblom Santa’ was the subject of an annual advertising campaign showing Coke and Christmas in perfect harmony.

The Yuletide Story of Coke, Santa Claus and Perception DEC 16, 2008 5:03AM

Gradually, Coke became accepted as a staple of Christmas. Winter sales matched those in the summer, and Santa Claus was forever defined in the image of Coca-Cola (and a retired salesman called Lou).

Sometime in the fourth century AD, in the Mediterranean port town of Myra, the church bells tolled. Bishop Nicholas was dead. Nicholas had hailed from a rich family, but after joining the church, he used much of his riches to help the poor in his community. And now that community mourned him.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Branding Strategy Insider. Sponsored By: Brand Aid

For many centuries, Christian missionaries told the tale of the generous bishop and soon the story came to represent different things in different cultures. BRANDING STRATEGY INSIDER In Germany, St Nicholas and his assistant Ruprecht dispensed presents to children. In Italy, La Belfana, a good witch, who dressed always in black, performed a similar function. In Holland, Sinter-klass gave presents to children who were kind enough to leave hay for his donkey. In Britain, it was Father Christmas. In France, Pere Noel. In the US, Santa Claus.

The Yuletide Story of Coke, Santa Claus and Perception DEC 16, 2008 5:03AM Sometime in the fourth century AD, in the Mediterranean port town of Myra, the church bells tolled. Bishop Nicholas was dead. Nicholas had hailed from a rich family, but after joining the church, he used much of his riches to help the poor in his community. And now that community mourned him.

The individual was always a generous, yuletide figure, but was variously portrayed as being a tall, short, fat, grey-haired, white-haired, darkfeatured, man/troll/dwarf/elf. In Atlanta, in 1924, the Coca-Cola sales and marketing team had a problem.

For many centuries, Christian missionaries told the tale of the generous bishop and soon the story came to represent different things in different cultures.

Sales of Coke had been rocketing over the past 20 years, but these figures exhibited a dramatically uneven pattern. Each summer, US consumers set off for the beach, or to watch a baseball game with a bottle of Coke in hand. But during the winter, sales of Coke were sluggish. The team was desperate to increase the brand’s sales and prevent it becoming seen as a seasonal product. Somehow they needed to make Coke a winter drink.

In Germany, St Nicholas and his assistant Ruprecht dispensed presents to children. In Italy, La Belfana, a good witch, who dressed always in black, performed a similar function. In Holland, Sinter-klass gave presents to children who were kind enough to leave hay for his donkey. In Britain, it was Father Christmas. In France, Pere Noel. In the US, Santa Claus.

Cut to 1931 and New Jersey. Haddon Sundblom, a successful illustrator, and his next-door neighbour Lou Prentice, a retired salesman, were deep in conversation. Suddenly the phone rang; it was Coca-Cola. It wanted Sundblom to create a new Santa Claus campaign. For the past seven years, a variety of campaigns had attempted to link Santa and Coke, but each time the creative and ensuing seasonal sales had been disappointing. The voice on the other end of the phone was insistent: could Sundblom create something that would work?

The individual was always a generous, yuletide figure, but was variously portrayed as being a tall, short, fat, grey-haired, white-haired, darkfeatured, man/troll/dwarf/elf. In Atlanta, in 1924, the Coca-Cola sales and marketing team had a problem.

Sundblom replaced the receiver and, deep in thought, looked up at his friend. Prentice returned the look with a jovial expression on his face.

Sales of Coke had been rocketing over the past 20 years, but these figures exhibited a dramatically uneven pattern. Each summer, US consumers set off for the beach, or to watch a baseball game with a bottle of Coke in hand. But during the winter, sales of Coke were sluggish. The team was desperate to increase the brand’s sales and prevent it becoming seen as a seasonal product. Somehow they needed to make Coke a winter drink.

Sundblom looked again at his plump, white-haired, elderly neighbour and an idea began to form. Using his best friend as a model and with the corporate identity of Coke in mind, Sundblom set out to create a new vision of Santa Claus. This

Cut to 1931 and New Jersey. Haddon Sundblom, a successful illustrator,

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Today’s Tabbloid PERSONAL NEWS FOR merrills@mercuryfs.com

17 December 2008

and his next-door neighbour Lou Prentice, a retired salesman, were deep in conversation. Suddenly the phone rang; it was Coca-Cola. It wanted Sundblom to create a new Santa Claus campaign. For the past seven years, a variety of campaigns had attempted to link Santa and Coke, but each time the creative and ensuing seasonal sales had been disappointing. The voice on the other end of the phone was insistent: could Sundblom create something that would work?

Through a pilot program launched at the beginning of this month, the Sea-Tac Airport now offers six parking spaces in a prime location of the garage with plug-ins for electric vehicles. The green-striped spots, located on the garage’s fifth floor, are available on a first-come, firstserved basis. Standard parking rates apply, but the electricity itself is free. In this age of perks and free love, it really is better to give than to receive—particularly when the green aura of those on the receiving end reflects back onto you. Eco-iconic, meet perkonomics. Go forth and multiply! ;-) (Related: Converting standard Corollas into electric cars — Battery-powered trucks — The going is green.)

Sundblom replaced the receiver and, deep in thought, looked up at his friend. Prentice returned the look with a jovial expression on his face. Sundblom looked again at his plump, white-haired, elderly neighbour and an idea began to form.

Website: www.portseattle.org/seatac/traveler/index.shtml Contact: aviation-internet@portseattle.org

Using his best friend as a model and with the corporate identity of Coke in mind, Sundblom set out to create a new vision of Santa Claus. This interpretation of the yuletide figure, with his cola-coloured belt and Coke-consistent red and white outfit, was in stark contrast to many of the historical descriptions of Santa. But the image worked and for the next 35 years the ‘Sundblom Santa’ was the subject of an annual advertising campaign showing Coke and Christmas in perfect harmony.

Spotted by: RK

MEDIAPOST | MEDIA CREATIVITY

MINI Print Ad Drives Consumers Online

Gradually, Coke became accepted as a staple of Christmas. Winter sales matched those in the summer, and Santa Claus was forever defined in the image of Coca-Cola (and a retired salesman called Lou).

DEC 15, 2008 9:15PM Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Branding Strategy Insider. Sponsored By: Brand Aid

New print adds in three German magazines require users to place a graspable medium in front of their computers’ Web cam, resulting in a new, extraordinary experience.

SPRINGWISE

MANAGESMARTER.COM - SALES TOP STORIES

Seattle-Tacoma Airport offers free electricity for plug-in cars

Smart Sales: When Sales 101 Isn’t Enough

DEC 15, 2008 10:23PM

DEC 15, 2008 5:00PM Reps who lack advanced selling skills are at a major disadvantage.

MANAGESMARTER.COM - INCENTIVES TOP STORIES

Ask Christi: Don’t Let Economy Woes Plague Holiday Spirits DEC 15, 2008 5:00PM As if tax breaks, freedom from the pump and an emissions-free conscience weren’t enough to make a person want to drive an electric car, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is now doing its part to make the road even smoother for the plug-in vehicles by offering free charging in select parking spots in the airport garage.

Incentive problems on your mind? Incentive online columnist and recognition expert Christi L. Gibson has the answers.

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Today’s Tabbloid PERSONAL NEWS FOR merrills@mercuryfs.com

17 December 2008

MANAGESMARTER.COM - INCENTIVES TOP STORIES

It’s not stronger; it’s part of the same thing. If you understand what the word tripod stands for, you cannot say the word without visualizing its form.

For Insurance Brokers, Fewer Programs

Q: But the consumer may not understand what the word means.

DEC 15, 2008 5:00PM Then the marketer has to create enough specific imagery and enough associative texture and enough visceral experience so that the word will elicit an emotional response. That response and that imagery should link directly and relevantly to the product.

Between tough financial times and bad press over AIG, programs face the knife.

BRANDING STRATEGY INSIDER

If people don’t know what something is, they will bring in pre-existing meanings and associations. That’s why when you’re creating a new word, it is absolutely crucial that the meanings and associations to that word are studied in order to have as much control as possible over the messages sent. What gets conjured by the word could well be contradictory to the intended message and alienating to the designated target market.

Naming Psychology DEC 15, 2008 3:00PM Names burrow deep into the human mind. Names are bundles of denotation and connotation. And much more than that, suggests Carol Moog, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and the president of Creative Focus, a consulting firm to advertisers and ad agencies on the communication value and meaning of their messages.

Unless they are completely random fabrications, just letters tossed together, words will always carry emotional associations based on experiences and imagery that are pre-existing. You have to know what those possible associations are before you make a decision on whether you want to use a certain word.

We asked Carol Moog about the meaning of names. Q: How much of a name’s reception depends on non-verbal factors?

Q: What are some examples of pre-existing meanings and associations? A name without an emotional, non-verbal association is virtually useless – it will not be retained in the mind of the target audience.

We are biologically set to respond to the human face. From the earliest phases of development, a smiling face elicits a positive emotional reaction. Bared teeth in a grimacing expression provoke fear and withdrawal. Missing components of faces that break up the visual wholeness trigger anxiety. It is crucial to carefully study non-verbal details in messages to determine if they are completely congruent with accompanying words if a name is to be grasped and accepted.

There is a symbiotic relationship between a name and its non-verbal correlative. What is evoked emotionally, visually, symbolically, by a particular name? It is on the basis of this cognitive/emotional connection that the most powerful mnemonic device for remembering a person’s name is the deliberate creation of mental pictures relating to it. The Sears battery brand name DieHard, for instance, is slang for someone who will never give up. A symbiotic relationship is immediately generated, linking the name, its “being” a stubborn, tenacious, “alive” person, and the product.

Even without visual, non-verbal components of names, the words themselves should create an immediate, clear, associatively consistent image in the target’s mind, uncluttered by contradictory interpretations. The name should literally be a stand-in for the product/company itself. “Talon” works for zippers, with the pre-existing “hooked, sharp, gripping” meanings conjured by the name. For exactly the same reason, it would be a terrible way to brand a nighttime moisturizing cream.

Q: What happens if a name has no emotional attachment? A brand name is dead in the water without that emotional connective tissue. If it’s just a word floating out there with nothing attached to it, it will not be remembered. It will not stand for or embody anything.

You need to know what meanings and associations are intrinsic to verbal and non-verbal language in the name game and either make full, deliberate use of these or discard the name altogether. Do not make the mistake of figuring that a contradictory or negatively charged association would only affect a small minority of your audience. If you pick it up or if your research is sharp enough to point it out, ditch it.

Q: How important is the visual frame in which the name is perceived? You cannot separate the visual frame from the name. The mind sees both simultaneously. You cannot separate a word from its non-verbal reference.

Sponsored By: Brand Aid

Q: Let’s say a product is called Tripod. Is an image of a tripod on which the name is perched stronger than the name itself?

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Today’s Tabbloid PERSONAL NEWS FOR merrills@mercuryfs.com

17 December 2008

BRANDING STRATEGY INSIDER

Sponsored By: Brand Aid

Direct Mail: Marketing’s Negative Tidal Wave

SPRINGWISE

DEC 15, 2008 2:59PM

From online baby blogs to printed baby books

Direct marketing has become a profligate disaster of epic proportions. The relatively low cost of direct mail ensures that a campaign can prove profitable even if less than 2% of those targeted actually respond. But while direct agencies celebrate the profits from these tiny minorities they rarely pause to consider the implications of the enormous majority who do not respond. Most consumers have only negative perceptions of direct marketing. Indeed eight out of ten people now believe that unsolicited letters have no relevance to them whatsoever. The traditional mantra of direct agencies the world over: ‘People will always open a letter addressed to them’ has become a fallacy.

DEC 15, 2008 12:38PM

The current sad state of affairs contrasts with the bright vision offered to marketers back in the 70s from visionaries like Lester Wunderman. Direct marketers were set to revolutionise the world by targeting tightly defined customer segments who were identified as having particular needs and preferences.

Online and offline are no longer mutually exclusive realms, as we’ve already pointed out in numerous examples. The latest illustration comes from the world of online baby journals, where purveyors are increasingly beginning to offer print versions as well.

A relationship would be built between marketer and consumer over time and the potential to understand customers, provide information, and build brands was enormous.

To wit: Kidmondo, which we covered this summer, has since added a print option to its offerings. Through a partnership with custom publishing platform Sharedbook, Kidmondo now gives parents a fast and easy way to turn all the content they create online into a “KidBook” in the brick-and-mortar world. Users can pick which parts of the online journal they want to include in the book as well as customizing the content, cover, titles and more. Pricing for the KidBook begins at USD 28 for a perfect-bound softcover book with 20 full-colour pages and free US shipping. Hardcover is also available, and additional pages can be added for USD 0.50 each. KidBooks are currently available only in English, but Kidmondo hopes to accommodate other languages in the future, it says.

Direct campaigns rarely achieve these laudable goals. Instead, the true potential of direct marketing has been drowned out by a plethora of nontargeted, non-valued, non-helpful junk designed to instigate a single transaction. Brand managers must now offset the power of direct marketing against the stigma that this unpopular media confers on their brand should they use it. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) currently self regulates all direct mail. Its mission statement speaks of “maximising value for our members, while maintaining and enhancing business and consumers’ trust and confidence in the direct marketing industry”. With 21 billion items in circulation yearly in the UK alone, it would seem that representing both the hunter and the hunted has proven to be impossible.

BabyChapters, meanwhile, is another site that lets parents share their baby’s precious moments with family and friends in a safe and secure way, and also offers an online-offline combination. After creating their free online baby book, parents can select the chapters they’d like to include in a hardcover print version. Prices begin at USD 27.95 for a 24page book, with a 20 percent discount for additional copies. Los Angelesbased BabyChapters launched in April.

Under pressure from the government, the DMA has agreed to better promote the opt-out service it offers to households that wish to take themselves off mailing lists. The service had previously lacked sufficient support from the industry. One possible reason for this rare case of reticence from direct marketers can be found in the US. In 2003 the US government launched a service to enable households to opt out of telemarketing calls.

For years offline ventures struggled to make their way online. Now that online ventures are often the starting point, opportunities abound in connecting digital offerings with the tangible here and now. (For more on that subject, see trendwatching.com’s OFF=ON briefing.) Online is a given; now offline is cool once more! ;-) (Related: Blurb’s blog-to-book printing.)

So far 40+ million numbers have been registered. Another big number. And what of direct marketing???s negative impact on the environment? That???s another blog post.

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Websites: www.kidmondo.com — www.babychapters.com Contact: hello@kidmondo.com — www.babychapters.com/contact_us.php

Spotted by: Roberta Steinberg

Spotted by: Timothy Gutowski

BRANDING STRATEGY INSIDER

BrandQuote - December 14 DEC 14, 2008 11:36PM SPRINGWISE “The more things you try to become, the more you lose focus, the more difficult it is to differentiate your product. Mark Twain said it best, ‘I cannot give you a formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure, which is: Try to please everybody.’”

A personalized landing page for every customer DEC 15, 2008 11:25AM

- Jack Trout/Mark Twain Sponsored By: Brand Aid

BRANDING STRATEGY INSIDER

Building A Brand Community

While most direct marketing efforts invite consumers to reply by mail, a full 42 percent of interested recipients prefer to respond online, according to a recent study by the Direct Marketing Association. Rather than send those consumers to a generic landing page—where the likelihood they’ll stay diminishes with every click—new technology from MindFireInc lets companies create a personalized URL and landing page for each and every consumer.

DEC 14, 2008 9:02PM Even though it may seem a simple marketing concept, building brand communities that resonate with loyal customers is indeed a Herculean task. There are four defining characteristics that allow companies to actively involve customers in creating communities around their brands. Each are essential in building brand communities.

LookWho’sClicking automates the creation and management of direct marketing campaigns using dynamic landing pages, personalized URLs, response tracking and more. Using a company’s campaign mail file, the software first generates and hosts a personalized URL for each recipient—such as JoeSmith.Shoesaver.com, for example—and automates the process of inserting those unique addresses into the mail file for inclusion in each direct mail piece. When Joe Smith visits his personalized URL, he’ll see a personalized VIP Landing Page tailored specifically to him and to the direct mail piece he holds in his hand, with matching design and a welcome message that thanks him by name for visiting. The technology then captures Joe’s activity for additional follow-up and lead generation, all in real time; comprehensive reports display campaign response rates, visitor patterns and detailed lead information. Microsoft, BMW and Nestle are among the 500 companies using the technology, MindFireInc says.

1. Create a strong brand story/myth: Brands in today???s world are not mere inanimate ???things??? but thriving entities with identities and personalities that allow customers to express themselves through its consumption. As such, to attract customers to it and encourage them to actively participate in varied branding activities, brands must have a strong story or myth that customers can easily identify and relate to. A story/myth not only provides authenticity to the brand but also allows customers to express their sense of self through the consumption of the brand. 2. Create a need for collaboration among consumers: For a community to be actively adopted, customers must feel a need to connect with each other in the context of the brand???s consumption. A need to connect with other brand users can arise for a number of reasons such as: 1. Sharing information ??? Members of many video game communities, technical products communities become members in the first instance because such communities allow members to share information with others and learn many technical details easily. 2. Validation ??? Members of the Nike or Louis Vuitton brand community seek validation from fellow members about their choice of the brand, its usage situations and its superiority over other brands in the market

In this era of mass-customization, consumers expect to be addressed in a way that recognizes their individuality, and if it can stroke their gravanity too, then all the better. Something tells us this one will eventually become hygiene! Website: www.mindfireinc.com/info/personalized_url_marketing.html Contact: www.mindfireinc.com/info/contactus.html

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BRANDING STRATEGY INSIDER 3. To express one???s personality ??? Members of the Apple computer brand community feel a strong sense of expressing their unique personality by embracing Apple and rejecting the market leader Microsoft. 4. Identify with a specific segment ??? Members of the Samsung brand community are part of the community because of their need to be identified as part of the global ???cool??? segment that is in tune with the latest in technology and fashion. Therefore companies should decide the main reason for which they want to build communities around their brands is in line with the segments that it wants to target.

BrandQuote - December 14 DEC 14, 2008 4:16PM “The more things you try to become, the more you lose focus, the more difficult it is to differentiate your product. Mark Twain said it best, ‘I cannot give you a formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure, which is: Try to please everybody.’” - Jack Trout/Mark Twain

3. Create identifiable brand elements: As with any community, brand communities must be able to offer its members unique identifiable community elements in terms of terminologies, icons, symbols and spokespersons. Such community elements will not only help the community distinguish itself from others but also offers the members tangible tools to identify themselves with the community. These community elements should be in line with the brand???s underlying identity.

Sponsored By: Brand Aid

SPRINGWISE

Online farmer’s market for small wine producers

4. Create a unique culture: One of the fundamental reasons for the growing popularity of brand communities is that they offer companies real time feedback about the brand. Further, brand communities allow companies to co-create value with customers on a continuous basis. As such, companies must create a culture that allows customers to interact with the brand, other users and the company simultaneously. Such an environment allows customers to experience the brand in a memorable manner as they are a part of the value creation process.

DEC 12, 2008 10:49PM

These four steps will assist a company in framing a robust structure to build a brand community. As with any business venture, the success of a brand community depends on how proactively the company engages customers on a continuous basis. When managed properly, brand communities are proving to be an effective tool in tackling the ever-growing competition. Brand communities not only allow companies to collaborate with customers in all phases of value creation ??? product design, pricing, places of availability, and phases of promotion ??? but also provide companies an effective platform on which to engage customers and create loyalty towards the brand. The most successful will be those communities that are built on strong fundamentals centered around the brand identity and support the brand strategy.

Earlier this year we wrote about Crop to Cup, an online venture that uses product life stories to connect coffee drinkers with small African farmers who produce the beans they love. Now a UK-based startup aims to do much the same thing for wine with an online community that profiles and supports small-scale producers around the globe. In a market where the average bottle of wine includes just 30p of wine along with GBP 1 of marketing, packaging and other costs, Naked Wines bills itself as an online farmer’s market dedicated to “the kind of winemakers who want to spend their lives making great wine, rather than selling it.” The site currently features 18 winemakers from Argentina, France, Spain, New Zealand and South Africa. Beyond simply listing basics such as their locations and product characteristics, however, Naked Wines includes a full-page profile for each one, complete also with their backgrounds, some personal details and their views on making wine. Users of the site can create profiles, rate wines, and chat with each other as well as the winemakers they’re interested in. Based on what they’ve liked so far, Naked Wines can also make recommendations in Amazonesque fashion. All new wines are sent to a

Sponsored By: Brand Aid

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panel of consumer testers before they’re added to the site, and all purchases come with a money-back guarantee. Through the Naked Angel program, meanwhile—embraced by many of the site’s vintners—consumers can get 6 free bottles of wine plus 33 percent cash back on purchases when they prepay GBP 5 per month toward participating winemakers’ wines.

direct mail. Its mission statement speaks of “maximising value for our members, while maintaining and enhancing business and consumers’ trust and confidence in the direct marketing industry”. With 21 billion items in circulation yearly in the UK alone, it would seem that representing both the hunter and the hunted has proven to be impossible.

Naked Wines was launched early this month by Virgin Wines founder Rowan Gormely. With its product life stories, (still) made here focus, social networking features and tryvertising undertones, it may just be a winning blend. A model to sample in other parts of the world!

Under pressure from the government, the DMA has agreed to better promote the opt-out service it offers to households that wish to take themselves off mailing lists. The service had previously lacked sufficient support from the industry. One possible reason for this rare case of reticence from direct marketers can be found in the US. In 2003 the US government launched a service to enable households to opt out of telemarketing calls.

Website: www.nakedwines.com Contact: info@nakedwines.com Spotted by: Susanna Haynie

So far 40+ million numbers have been registered. Another big number. And what of direct marketing’s negative impact on the environment? That’s another blog post. BRANDING STRATEGY INSIDER

Direct Mail: Marketing’s Negative Tidal Wave

Sponsored By: Brand Aid

DEC 12, 2008 9:23PM

MANAGESMARTER.COM - SALES TOP STORIES

Chronicles of a Sales Leader: Plan to Win in 2009

Direct marketing has become a profligate disaster of epic proportions. The relatively low cost of direct mail ensures that a campaign can prove profitable even if less than 2% of those targeted actually respond. But while direct agencies celebrate the profits from these tiny minorities they rarely pause to consider the implications of the enormous majority who do not respond. Most consumers have only negative perceptions of direct marketing. Indeed eight out of ten people now believe that unsolicited letters have no relevance to them whatsoever. The traditional mantra of direct agencies the world over: ‘People will always open a letter addressed to them’ has become a fallacy.

DEC 12, 2008 5:00PM Whether you’re wrapping up a record year or trying to pick up the pieces, it’s time to reflect on what went well, what didn’t and what’s going to be different about your plan in 2009.

MANAGESMARTER.COM - SALES TOP STORIES

Warm Leads in Cold Weather

The current sad state of affairs contrasts with the bright vision offered to marketers back in the 70s from visionaries like Lester Wunderman. Direct marketers were set to revolutionise the world by targeting tightly defined customer segments who were identified as having particular needs and preferences.

DEC 12, 2008 5:00PM Just picking up the phone and calling a sales target is generally not enough, but that is particularly true during the economic times we are currently in. In order for your sales teams to strike up promising conversations in a tough economic climate, they need to have a clear and compelling reason for initially calling.

A relationship would be built between marketer and consumer over time and the potential to understand customers, provide information, and build brands was enormous. Direct campaigns rarely achieve these laudable goals. Instead, the true potential of direct marketing has been drowned out by a plethora of nontargeted, non-valued, non-helpful junk designed to instigate a single transaction. Brand managers must now offset the power of direct marketing against the stigma that this unpopular media confers on their brand should they use it. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) currently self regulates all

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MANAGESMARTER.COM - INCENTIVES TOP STORIES

company says.

The Broadmoor Gift of Giving

Content available anytime, anywhere, and in every format—simply put, that’s the real goal here. Make it happen, and you may just get your own “heavenly” rewards! ;-) (Related: Voice to text dictation from any cell phone.)

DEC 12, 2008 5:00PM ‘Tis the season of economic woes and anguish. But the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs isn’t letting the economy dampen their holiday spirit. In lieu of gifts for top customers, the Broadmoor gave a gift that would keep on giving.

Website: www.spinvox.com Contact: service@spinvox.com Spotted by: Cecilia Biemann

MANAGESMARTER.COM - INCENTIVES TOP STORIES

Entertainment Gift Cards: This One’s on the Boss

SPRINGWISE

Co-operative retail for independent designers, now offering franchise opportunities

DEC 12, 2008 5:00PM Whether staying in or going out, dining and entertainment gift cards give winners a night to remember.

DEC 12, 2008 2:55PM SPRINGWISE

Voice-to-text church services delivered via email DEC 12, 2008 2:56PM

Now that anyone can set up their own online store, there’s a certain prestige to having an offline presence. The Beehive Co-op offers craftspeople and designers a retail solution that’s more substantial than a Sunday market without the daunting prospect of leasing an entire store. Members rent a portion of Beehive’s store in exchange for a monthly fee and at least four hours of staffing assistance. This keeps overhead low and puts customers and designers in direct contact, boosting the sense of community and giving the designers valuable firsthand feedback on their products. There’s an ethical draw, too: Beehive’s focus on fostering local design means products have a smaller carbon footprint, and money earned stays in the community.

It’s no longer uncommon for churches to offer services online or via streaming video, but a UK church has now begun using voice-to-text technology to convert its live services into text for near-simultaneous delivery via email. Using technology by SpinVox, St. Christopher’s Church in Hinchley Wood, Surrey, just gave what SpinVox says was the world’s first voice-totext service this past Sunday. Rev. John Kronenberg led the service celebrating the beginning of Advent, and as he spoke to the congregation seated in the church, his words were automatically converted by SpinVox and sent directly to subscribers’ in-boxes in a matter of moments. Some 100 members of St. Christopher’s church received the sermon by email on Sunday, and the next such service will take place on Dec. 21. SpinVox is offering its technology to the parish as a free trial; it’s also free to anyone wishing to use it to update a blog or social network by phone, the

We’ve spotted similar concepts in the past, including inQbox, Endossa and Yokozuna. What’s interesting about Beehive is how they plan to grow the model. With stores now open in Atlanta, New York and Cincinnati, the concept is about to expand as franchising opportunities were recently made available to entrepreneurs in other American cities. From shelfspace for minipreneurs to a branded chain of local coops—one to watch! Website: www.beehiveco-op.com Contact: www.beehiveco-op.com/corp-contact.asp

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Spotted by: Monique Halley

SPRINGWISE

SPRINGWISE

Free customized travel guides in PDF DEC 12, 2008 2:49PM

Balloon-enabled pizza picnic delivery DEC 12, 2008 2:55PM

No sooner did we cover Offbeat Guides, with its professionally printed and personalized guidebooks for travellers, than one of our spotters alerted us to a similar offering out of Austria: Tripwolf, which offers free, customized travel guides in PDF format. Like Offbeat Guides, Tripwolf combines professional editorial content with user-generated content from some 13,000 globetrotters worldwide. The ad-supported site focuses primarily on Europe and is backed by MairDumont, Europe’s largest publisher of travel guides (including the Baedeker, Dumont and Marco Polo brands), which has put all of its highquality content—covering more than 250,000 destinations and points of interest—online for free. Tripwolf also aggregates third-party content from sites like Wikipedia, Flickr and YouTube, and hotel price comparisons are powered by HotelsCombined.com. Community features include user-generated photos, travel blogs, ratings and advice as well as Facebook integration, with iPhone features and the ability to book flights or hotels coming soon. Once users have compiled all the information they need, they can build and print a personalized, free 10-to-20-page travel guide in PDF format to take along on their trips. Vienna-based Tripwolf was launched this summer with sites in German and English; a Spanish-language version is due next year.

We’ve seen cone-shaped pizzas, super-fast pizzas, pizza vending machines and pizzas on antique wheels, but it wasn’t until recently that we discovered balloon-enabled pizza picnics. Yes, that’s right—Parisian restaurant Pink Flamingo Pizza allows customers to order their pizzas for delivery to the picnic spot of their choice through the help of a distinctive pink balloon. Pink Flamingo, which has two locations—one in Canal St. Martin, and a new one in Marais—is already well-known in the city for its original and creative pizza varieties. “The Bjork,” for example, features smoked salmon; “The Ghandi” is topped with spinach saag and Baba Ganoush; and “The Almodovar” offers a paella theme. Even more charming, however, is that patrons of the restaurant can order their pizza for delivery to a picnic spot such as the banks of the nearby Seine. Upon ordering, they simply tell the restaurant where they plan to dine and are given a pink helium balloon to take with them. Pink Flamingo’s delivery staff—who travel by foot or bicycle—then spot the customer thanks to the eye-catching balloon. Prices for Pink Flamingo’s pizzas, whether delivered or eaten onsite, begin at EUR 10.50.

As purse strings continue to tighten, it seems likely travellers will research trips ever more carefully to make sure their hard-earned travel dollars, euros and pesos don’t get misspent, making sites like Tripwolf and Offbeat Guides increasingly useful. Tripwolf’s next step? Team up with Blurb or Cafepress to offer consumers the option of bound books, too. A nicely bound travel guide in the hand is worth two in PDF... or something like that! ;-)

For all those who thought there was nothing new under the sun in the world of pizza delivery—innovation strikes again! One to emulate in picnic-friendly cities around the globe. (Related: Beach barbecue on call.)

Website: www.tripwolf.com Contact: info@tripwolf.com

Website: www.pinkflamingopizza.com Contact: pinkflamingopizza@gmail.com

Spotted by: Martina Meng Spotted by: Lamia Aloui

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SPRINGWISE

Helping consumers manage their loyalty perks

Portable kiosk for mobile brands, roof terrace optional

DEC 12, 2008 2:49PM

DEC 12, 2008 2:48PM

Consumers have become increasingly mobile and nomadic, so it’s no surprise that brands are doing the same, as witnessed by the continued popularity of pop-up retail. Helping stores get out and about whilst maintaining their brand image is bboxx—a compact and quick to construct mobile kiosk.

Loyalty programs have been around for years—as evidenced by the mass of cards weighing down many consumers’ wallets—but the difficulty of keeping track of them all can mean that consumers often don’t reap the rewards they’re entitled to. Enter Perkler, an Australian site that just entered beta for the sole purpose of helping consumers get what they deserve.

Bboxx’s design is based around a cylinder that retailers can tailor to their own needs by adding a roof terrace, a second storey, different types of stairs, all-over artwork and underfloor heating. These customised designs can then be purchased or rented for any length of time ranging from a single day to twelve months. Since the company began two years ago in Berlin, bboxxes have popped up in prominent locations in Berlin, as well as Frankfurt, Munich, London and Switzerland. This year, the concept won the M-Berlin marketing award.

Perkler is an online community “for perks and people who love them,” giving shoppers a central place online to manage all of their loyalty and rewards programs. Users begin by registering and setting up a virtual wallet to track all their cards. With a database of more than 500 programs and 150,000 rewards, Perkler brings the information about all of those cards together so shoppers can search all of them at once, even linking to specific retail locations so they know where to get each perk they’re interested in. Community features let people share their thoughts and rate programs, making it easier also for users to find new programs they’d like to join. The site is free for consumers; rather, its business model depends on partnering with the owners of loyalty programs, offering aggregated data on customer behaviour, better targeting, a platform for advertising, and more touch-points for consumer interaction. Perkler plans to launch in the US and UK in early 2009; iPhone and Blackberry applications currently in development, meanwhile, will give users the ability to search for perks by geographic location.

The company’s website brings a refreshing accessibility and transparency to B2B selling: retailers can design their own bboxx in minutes, selecting features, uploading artwork and choosing indoor or outdoor environments to get a sense of how it might look in the real world. As features are added or removed, the appearance of the box changes and the rental or purchase price is altered accordingly. The most basic boxx costs EUR 14,000 to purchase, or EUR 116 per day for a two-week rental. One of the most glamorous options, including a roof terrace, all-over print, lighting and heating costs EUR 34,000 to purchase or a total of EUR 6,000 to rent for two weeks. An option to explore for your next pop-up outing, perhaps?

This is the era of perkonomics, as our sister site trendwatching.com would say. Consumers appreciate more than ever the convenience, status and plain old savings loyalty perks can afford, while brands get a way to differentiate themselves and show empathy during tough economic times. Facilitate the benefits on both sides, and you turn a win-win into a win-win-win! (Related: A lesson in loyalty marketing — Helping travellers reclaim taxes on flights not taken.)

Website: www.bboxx.de Contact: info@bboxx.de Spotted by: Susanna Haynie

Website: www.perkler.com Contact: info@perkler.com

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Curated subscription samples the best indie mags

Unlimited taxi rides for 48 euros per month

DEC 12, 2008 2:47PM

DEC 12, 2008 2:47PM

As magazines struggle to reinvent themselves for the new media landscape, alternative business models being experimented with include digital, personalized and mix-and-match subscription formats, as we’ve noted before. Now, focusing on independent magazines, a new service offers a curated subscription that delivers a sampling of the best indie magazine issues throughout the year.

Gyms use it, broadband providers use it, DVD rental schemes use it, subways use it... Now it’s time for taxis to adopt a flat-rate charge. Swiss start-up Taxmobil is planning to offer unlimited taxi use for a EUR 48 monthly fee. Customers will be able to buy a Taxmobil card online or from sales points around the city, and can call for a car to pick them up at whatever time they choose, travelling to any destination in the city. If two strangers are travelling in the same direction, Taxmobil may combine their journeys.

Just launched last week, UK-based Stack aims to bring together the best independent English-language magazines from around the world and deliver them direct to readers. Subscribers begin by choosing whether they want six, eight or 12 issues delivered to them each year. Pricing is GBP 3 per issue in the UK—elsewhere, prices vary. Choosing from among those produced by its current roster of seven independent magazines—including Arthur, Plan B and Electric Sheep—Stack then selects the best issues to send readers on the schedule they’ve requested. Readers can ask Stack to leave out a particular magazine if they already subscribe to it; they can also suggest new magazines to add to the list. Stack keeps its subscription costs low by selling advertising inserts, it says, and it guarantees the quality of what it sends.

The key to Taxmobil’s strategy is the fact that it doesn’t own the cars it uses. Instead, it buys the time of idle taxis that are already out and about, creating a service that’s affordable and convenient for customers, and could decrease congestion and parking problems if city dwellers trade in their cars for a Taxmobil card. Böblingen in Southern Germany is likely to be the first town offering the service, starting early 2009, with other towns across Europe to follow. Travel is only permitted within a city, although members will be able to catch a taxi in other participating cities, too. As well as expanding the service’s reach, Taxmobil will soon be extending its package options by complementing its standard EUR 48 subscription with cards for businesses and families. Discounts and member benefits will be made possible with the cards in future, too.

The site explains: “Each delivery of Stack is a surprise so there’s no way of knowing what will come next. However, every magazine delivered by Stack comes with a guarantee that it represents the very best of independent magazine publishing, targeted at young, intelligent readers who appreciate an alternative to the mainstream.” Offering a blend of curated consumption and try-before-you-buy capabilities for the world’s many budget-squeezed trysumers, Stack may just have the approach it takes to help indie magazines survive. In magazines and beyond, time for independents to unite! (Related: Magazine republishes best of other fashion mags — Online community promotes indie bookstores.)

While public transport and bicycles are usually pitched as the green alternative to car ownership, there’s something to be said for adding affordable taxis to the mix, offering people the option of individual doorto-door transport around the clock. How the system will work on rainy days, and whether EUR 48/month will leave any room for a profit, remains to be seen. One to watch! Website: www.taxmobil.ch Contact: www.taxmobil.ch/cms/front_content.php?idart=13

Website: www.stackmagazines.com Contact: info@stackmagazines.com

Spotted by: Susanna Haynie

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An online address for the offline world

Posh popcorn with a green twist DEC 12, 2008 2:45PM

DEC 12, 2008 2:46PM

After witnessing the makeover given to traditional foodstuffs like cupcakes and popsicles, it seems it’s now popcorn’s turn. 479° Popcorn is handmade, made-to-order popcorn in flavours such as Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt, Ginger Sesame Caramel and Black Truffle & White Cheddar.

Now that virtually everyone and everything are online, connections are increasingly being forged with those who aren’t. Peggy Mail, which we covered last month, was one example; another is Presto, which allows consumers without computers to receive emails and digital photos as printouts via a dedicated machine.

Taking a leaf from the book of gourmet wine tasting establishments, 479° offers ‘Samplers’ and ‘Collections’, all linked by theme. Samplers’ five boxes feed 2-4 people, and the Collections’ three canisters are enough for 4-8. Prices range from USD 33 for the Purist Sampler to USD 52 for the Caramel Collection.

Targeting grandparents and other consumers who may not have computers or Internet connections, Presto gives online family members a way to include their offline relatives in the “loop” with emails, photos and other online communications. The connection is made via an email address at presto.com, assigned to every offline user, and the Presto Printing Mailbox, a machine that gets connected to their analogue phone line. When online contacts send messages and photos to the user’s presto.com address, Presto’s mail service transforms them into printable, full-colour e-letters. The Printing Mailbox automatically retrieves those messages up to five times a day and then prints them out for offline perusal. All settings can be administered via Presto Connect, a website aimed at tech-savvy family members for managing communications via presto.com, even down to ink and paper levels in the user’s Printing Mailbox. Event reminders, medical reminders and prescheduled message deliveries can also be coordinated through Presto Connect. The Presto Printing Mailbox is priced at USD 149.99—with a special USD 99.99 offer through Dec. 14—while the Presto mail service starts at USD 12.50 per month. Presto is available at Amazon, Best Buy and WalMart, among other retailers, as well as via the California-based company’s website.

Aware that posh flavours and presentation aren’t always enough to ensure premium status, 479° Popcorn stresses its green credentials. The majority of its organic fair trade ingredients are sourced from farms close to its San Francisco kitchen, with the popped corn packaged in 90% recycled paper canisters that are also sourced from local suppliers. 479° Popcorn—named for the ideal Fahrenheit temperature for popping corn—is currently available in select Californian stores and via its website for delivery throughout the US. One for boutique cinemas to partner with? Website: www.479popcorn.com Contact: www.479popcorn.com/contact.html Spotted by: Miriam Brafman

Now that OFF=ON and ON=OFF, as our sister site trendwatching.com would say, there are still lots of opportunities to bridge the two worlds. For starters: Presto is aimed just at US users, so how about bringing something like this to the rest of the offline world....?

SPRINGWISE

Office tower for women entrepreneurs

Website: www.presto.com Contact: info@presto.com

DEC 12, 2008 2:31PM

Spotted by: KN

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The end of the year has brought a flurry of personalized travel guides! The ink had just barely dried on our stories about Offbeat Guides and Tripwolf when yet another related spotting came in: Traveldk.com.

When we wrote about In Good Company and its New York work spaces for women entrepreneurs earlier this fall, we suggested it might be a concept worth repeating in other parts of the world. As if on cue, one of our spotters recently alerted us to a project in Dubai to build not just a work space but an entire office tower dedicated specifically to businesswomen.

Since 1974 Dorling Kindersley (DK) has been publishing its awardwinning Eyewitness Travel Guides series covering more than 100 cities, regions and countries in over 30 languages. Now the UK-based company allows consumers to create their own, personalized travel guides as well. Users begin by choosing their destination and then selecting from among all the many attractions listed on the site via DK’s own content and those submitted by members. Maps are automatically included to support those selections, and users can organize their content into chapters with titles and brief descriptions. To customize the cover of their guide, users can then add a cover photo, title and a brief description. The resulting guide is suitable for sharing and rating online, and—as with Offbeat Guides—it can either be downloaded as a PDF for GBP 2.50 or ordered in printed book format for GBP 10, including delivery charges. Some 50 cities are currently listed on the site, with more coming soon, the company says.

Abu Dhabi-based Hydra Properties just recently completed excavation for Eve’s Tower, which it says will be the world’s first exclusive tower for women entrepreneurs. Located in downtown Dubai’s Business Bay, Eve’s Tower will be part of the iconic Hydra Towers Project comprising five uniquely shaped, high-rise towers. It will feature a sleek design and hightech facilities, rising 20 floors and facing Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world. While men will be allowed to work there, only women will be able to own office space, and women will enjoy special entrances, elevators and car parks as well, according to a report in Arabian Business. Sulaiman Al Fahim, Hydra’s CEO, explains: “We have conceptualized the building as a tribute to the nurturing spirit of womanhood, world over. I’m confident that the tower will lead to a new awakening and unleash the latent entrepreneurial talent of UAE women and contribute to the overall growth of the nation and region.” Eve’s Tower is slated to be completed by 2010.

The votes are in, and consumers seem to like having it their own way when they travel just as much as they do in other realms—imagine that! ;-) Repeat after us: Personalize, personalize, personalize! Website: www.traveldk.com Contact: traveleditor@dk.com

Still haven’t caught female fever? Check out trendwatching.com’s briefing on the topic for some infection and inspiration—you’ll be seeing pink in no time! ;-)

Spotted by: Roberta Steinberg Website: www.hydraproperties.com Contact: info@hydraproperties.com SPRINGWISE Spotted by: Roberta Steinberg

Customized couture helmets for the scooter set

SPRINGWISE

DEC 12, 2008 1:40PM

More personalized travel guides, this time from DK DEC 12, 2008 2:26PM

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As we like to say, everything can upgraded, and everything can be personalized. And safety helmets are no exception. French brand Les Ateliers Ruby already sold bespoke helmets, and now also offers their high-end service online. Using the Ruby Costume A-La-Carte configurator, customers can choose from ten graphic decorations, 26 colours and three types of paint finish. Only one helmet type is currently available but another will be added later this month and two more models will appear by spring 2009. Prices are EUR 657 for a plain paint job or EUR 710 for a custom paint job.

In a market where the average bottle of wine includes just 30p of wine along with GBP 1 of marketing, packaging and other costs, Naked Wines bills itself as an online farmer’s market dedicated to “the kind of winemakers who want to spend their lives making great wine, rather than selling it.” The site currently features 18 winemakers from Argentina, France, Spain, New Zealand and South Africa. Beyond simply listing basics such as their locations and product characteristics, however, Naked Wines includes a full-page profile for each one, complete also with their backgrounds, some personal details and their views on making wine. Users of the site can create profiles, rate wines, and chat with each other as well as the winemakers they’re interested in. Based on what they’ve liked so far, Naked Wines can also make recommendations in Amazonesque fashion. All new wines are sent to a panel of consumer testers before they’re added to the site, and all purchases come with a money-back guarantee. Through the Naked Angel program, meanwhile—embraced by many of the site’s vintners—consumers can get 6 free bottles of wine plus 33 percent cash back on purchases when they prepay GBP 5 per month toward participating winemakers’ wines.

For those who feel the configurator isn’t enough for their personalization needs, the direct input of Les Ateliers Ruby is given as part of its offline Made-to-Measure service. Customers can make an appointment to receive expert advice on their envisaged design. Fortunately for worried parents and spouses, the emphasis on style hasn’t sidelined safety: Les Ateliers Ruby ensures helmets meet national safety standards for both US and European customers, with Japanese requirements being met next. Car sales continue to drop, but as reported by CNN Money, “scooter sales were up 66% in the first half of 2008 compared to a year ago, while motorcycle sales overall only ticked up 0.5%.” Time to start catering to the new scooter set? (Related: Stylish helmets for urban cyclists.)

Naked Wines was launched early this month by Virgin Wines founder Rowan Gormely. With its product life stories, (still) made here focus, social networking features and tryvertising undertones, it may just be a winning blend. A model to sample in other parts of the world!

Website: www.boutiqueruby.com Contact: contact@ateliersruby.com

Website: www.nakedwines.com Contact: info@nakedwines.com

Spotted by: Tristan Daeschner Spotted by: Susanna Haynie

SPRINGWISE SPRINGWISE

Online farmer’s market for small wine producers

Sympvertising and secrets for business travellers: Airport Havens

DEC 12, 2008 12:16PM

DEC 12, 2008 12:02PM

Earlier this year we wrote about Crop to Cup, an online venture that uses product life stories to connect coffee drinkers with small African farmers who produce the beans they love. Now a UK-based startup aims to do much the same thing for wine with an online community that profiles and supports small-scale producers around the globe.

As the holiday season marches on, business travellers around the globe are no doubt shuddering at the prospect of the nightmare they’ll have to endure each time they take a trip through the world’s airports. Hoping to

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17 December 2008

give such travellers a little extra respite, a new website aims to help them find the hidden oases in many airports where a rare moment of peace and tranquility can be found.

When we wrote about In Good Company and its New York work spaces for women entrepreneurs earlier this fall, we suggested it might be a concept worth repeating in other parts of the world. As if on cue, one of our spotters recently alerted us to a project in Dubai to build not just a work space but an entire office tower dedicated specifically to businesswomen.

Sponsored by 3M Privacy Filters—which, not coincidentally, are also aimed at avoiding the prying eyes of fellow airport-goers—Airport Havens lets users search from a list of airports across the United States to find recommendations on where to head for a break or to get some work done during that 5-hour layover. Suggestions are derived from tips submitted by fellow road warriors, such as one from James of Brookfield, Wisc., for example, recommending “a hidden lounge which no one seems to know about” at LAX: “There is a nice, soft sofa on which you can spread out and get some work done. The noise from the walkways is faint, and with ample wifi coverage and no interruptions, it’s a great place to work comfortably at one of the world’s busiest and most hectic airports.” Similar suggestions can be found for more than 40 other airports in the nation, and users of the site are invited to submit their own as well.

Abu Dhabi-based Hydra Properties just recently completed excavation for Eve’s Tower, which it says will be the world’s first exclusive tower for women entrepreneurs. Located in downtown Dubai’s Business Bay, Eve’s Tower will be part of the iconic Hydra Towers Project comprising five uniquely shaped, high-rise towers. It will feature a sleek design and hightech facilities, rising 20 floors and facing Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world. While men will be allowed to work there, only women will be able to own office space, and women will enjoy special entrances, elevators and car parks as well, according to a report in Arabian Business. Sulaiman Al Fahim, Hydra’s CEO, explains: “We have conceptualized the building as a tribute to the nurturing spirit of womanhood, world over. I’m confident that the tower will lead to a new awakening and unleash the latent entrepreneurial talent of UAE women and contribute to the overall growth of the nation and region.” Eve’s Tower is slated to be completed by 2010.

Reaching out beyond the online world (OFF=ON, after all!), 3M even sponsored a real, offline airport haven of its own at the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport during the two days prior to Thanksgiving. On Tuesday, Nov. 25 and Wednesday, Nov. 26—infamous as two of the busiest travel days of the year—the 3M Privacy Filters Airport Haven offered Atlanta travellers VIP service with free wifi, snacks, beverages and massages.

Still haven’t caught female fever? Check out trendwatching.com’s briefing on the topic for some infection and inspiration—you’ll be seeing pink in no time! ;-)

Have we mentioned that traditional one-way advertising is dead? By serving up a blend of sympvertising, free love and community-generated content instead, 3M is likely to reach its target consumers in a way no mass-media ad could hope to do.

Website: www.hydraproperties.com Contact: info@hydraproperties.com Spotted by: Roberta Steinberg

Website: www.airporthavens.com Contact: admin@airporthavens.com SPRINGWISE Spotted by: RK

More personalized travel guides, this time from DK

SPRINGWISE

DEC 12, 2008 11:01AM

Office tower for women entrepreneurs DEC 12, 2008 11:31AM

The end of the year has brought a flurry of personalized travel guides! The ink had just barely dried on our stories about Offbeat Guides and Tripwolf when yet another related spotting came in: Traveldk.com. Since 1974 Dorling Kindersley (DK) has been publishing its award-

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17 December 2008

winning Eyewitness Travel Guides series covering more than 100 cities, regions and countries in over 30 languages. Now the UK-based company allows consumers to create their own, personalized travel guides as well. Users begin by choosing their destination and then selecting from among all the many attractions listed on the site via DK’s own content and those submitted by members. Maps are automatically included to support those selections, and users can organize their content into chapters with titles and brief descriptions. To customize the cover of their guide, users can then add a cover photo, title and a brief description. The resulting guide is suitable for sharing and rating online, and—as with Offbeat Guides—it can either be downloaded as a PDF for GBP 2.50 or ordered in printed book format for GBP 10, including delivery charges. Some 50 cities are currently listed on the site, with more coming soon, the company says.

high schools, environmental conservation organizations, public service organizations, professional associations and many others. I thought it would be interesting to identify the most popular personality attributes across all of these organizations. Following are the most popular personality attributes (in decreasing order of popularity): ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???

The votes are in, and consumers seem to like having it their own way when they travel just as much as they do in other realms—imagine that! ;-) Repeat after us: Personalize, personalize, personalize!

Innovative (45%) Professional (41%) Responsive (36%) Caring (32%) Reliable (27%) Customer focused (27%) Trustworthy (23%) Service oriented (18%)

Others with frequent mentions: Website: www.traveldk.com Contact: traveleditor@dk.com

??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???

Spotted by: Roberta Steinberg

MARKTD

Mothballing Marktd, Evolving PSFK DEC 11, 2008 10:39PM We’ve made a decision to stop publishing on Marktd. Despite making changes to focus on the creative/marketing ideas sister site of PSFK.com, we are still unhappy with the quantity and quality of the site. Marktd started… Continue reading

BRANDING STRATEGY INSIDER

Discovering Brand Personality DEC 11, 2008 10:00PM I have helped organizations position their brands through consensus building brand positioning workshops since the mid-1990s. As a part of that process, I have the workshop participants (mostly organizational leaders) select the brand personality attributes for which they want their brands to stand.

Approachable Collaborative Committed Creative Dedicated Dependable Diverse Dynamic Easy to work with Efficient Entrepreneurial Focused Friendly High quality Honest Inspiring Leader Positive Practical Resourceful Respected Science-driven Visionary Welcoming

Slightly unusual personality attributes: ??? ??? ??? ??? ???

The organizations with which I have worked span a wide range of sizes and industries. They include manufacturing companies, consumer products companies, aging services firms, wealth management firms, medical supply companies, real estate investment trusts, municipalities,

Heroic and proud (a watch brand) Light-hearted (an advertising agency) Low key, not glitzy (a wealth management firm) Non-confrontational (an environmental conservation organization) Servant leader (a local United Way agency)

Overall, my clients have used 140 different words and phrases to describe their brands??? personalities. Each brand describes itself using

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17 December 2008

between 6 and 12 words or phrases, with the average brand using 9 words or phrases. We help brand decision makers arrive at a set of intended brand personality attributes in the following way. First, we survey target customers, workshop participants and other brand stakeholders about the brand???s personality using projective techniques. Then, in the workshop itself, we compile that list of brand personality attributes to stimulate discussion and decisions about the ideal brand personality. Sponsored By: Brand Aid

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TRENDS IN THE NOW