I’m a baglady

No, I’m not homeless (thank God) and wandering around with an endless amount of supermarket bags. And neither am I a Prada/Mulberry/whatever the other latest brands are-kind of bag lady. By and large I find most ‘designer’ bags too ugly, too pricey and too precious. I am, however, quite fond of bags. And quite picky. 

My requirements were: 

  • stylish, professional but not corporate standard issue 
  • backpack (to relieve the strain on my back, and most ladies will agree with me that messenger bags are not very ehm… fetching due to the chest area. You get my drift)
  • able to carry both a couple of books, a laptop, couple of magazines, wallet, keys, phones, water bottle, notebook, and a couple of pouches I carry all my stuff (cables, business cards, pain killers etc) around in. And to top it off: be able to fit in my gym gear so I don’t have to have separate bags for that.
  • good value for money: I don’t need it to be dirt-cheap, heck, I’ll probably carry it around for years if I like it, but I don’t want to pay £400. But it needs to be good quality fabric and stitching and be able to take a bit of rain or snow. 
  • No pleather, crocodile prints, flimsy straps, and absolutely no pink. 

As far as I’m concerned, these weren’t too hard to fulfill. Except for they were, and I spent 6 months looking for THE bag. And then, after a tip from a good friend, I found it. Here it is: 

(Obviously, it’s not me modeling it, it’s a pic I copied from the Crumpler website)

It’s the Crumpler Local Identity, and I’ve had it for a week* and love it. Enough space, ability to divide the bag into 2 sections, side access, waterproof. So there you go: it pays to a) know what you want and b) stick to your guns til you find it. 

*Only downside is that you can only buy it from the Asia-Pacific branch of Crumpler, so I was lucky that a friend in Hong Kong bought it and found a way to get it to me. Crumpler, please fix this! 

[edit to this post after some more carrying the bag around: I forgot to mention 1 essential criterion: 1 bag. I hate carrying more than 1 bag around with me, so everything needs to go into this one bag. No separate purses, lady bags etc.] 

Boredom, creativity and cynicism

Loved this piece on the Made by Many blog on boredom, and this bit in particular:

Would not an honest acceptance of the diminished role a brand or category plays in consumers’ lives encourage us to think harder about utility, experience and reward?

Whilst I am keen to embrace and celebrate the apathy at the heart of many markets, I’m conscious that within our own business failing to care can be corrosive. John Bartle in his closing address to BBH some years ago warned that ‘the opposite of creativity is cynicism.’ 

I love the thought of thinking harder about utility, experience and reward, and would add something to that: purpose. What is the brand here to do, on a deeper level than get you from A to B, or fill your tummy? Can you put social good at the heart of what you do? Is the world a better place because of your brand or despite of it?

The second thing is that I completely agree with the quote ‘the opposite of creativity is cynicism’. I have on occasion been accused of being too wide-eyed and optimistic, and you know what? I’d rather be naive and wide-eyed and get excited about ideas (big and small) than walk through life a cynic. Life is so much better and so much more fun looking at the bright side. 

Digital and commerce

The digital side of commerce now is moving outside of computer screen especially thanks to the mobile device innovation. This change everything because the virtual flow need to be integrate with the retail in-store flow and open a series of amazing opportunities. Some of the most exciting technology trend are the:

- Indoor Navigation
- Mobile Scanning for Insights
- Mobile & Social Fashion Feedback
- In-Store Interaction
- Distribute Social Shopping.’

(from the excellent and interesting IMagazine)

On the value of not knowing things


On the value of not knowing things

Technomotion / foodemotion


Technomotion / foodemotion


Steve Goldbach is a partner at Monitor*, and in Think Hockey Not Football, filmed in the style of the amazing RSA Animate series, he describes why he believes that marketing teams should be less football, more hockey. Turns out, it’s an analogy that makes sense even if you’re not particularly sporty. It’s all about the composition of your team, and building in flexibility and adaptability from the get-go. There are also some smart insights about the reality of marketing these days. I particularly loved the confession: “Our calendars were filled with meetings with each other rather than spending our time learning about our consumers,” which sounds terribly familiar. Marketers need to do a better job of rolling with the punchy, uncertain reality of our inestimably complex world.

* See above for potential bias alert. I work for Doblin, a part of the Monitor Group.


Beauty and chewing gum


Beauty and chewing gum


‘How will you use your gifts? What choices will you make?

Will inertia be your guide, or will you follow your passions?

Will you follow dogma, or will you be original?

Will you choose a life of ease, or a life of service and adventure?

Will you wilt under criticism, or will you follow your convictions?

Will you bluff it out when you’re wrong, or will you apologize?

Will you guard your heart against rejection, or will you act when you fall in love?

Will you play it safe, or will you be a little bit swashbuckling?

When it’s tough, will you give up, or will you be relentless?

Will you be a cynic, or will you be a builder?

Will you be clever at the expense of others, or will you be kind?” ~ Jeff Bezos’

HT to Brainpickings for a post on commencement addresses

Eudaimonia (Martin Seligman in NYTimes)


Eudaimonia (Martin Seligman in NYTimes)


Customers recommend companies that get the basics right (the service and the products). So as marketers we don’t need to bust a category open with a startling new innovation. We simply need to reduce the risk of failure in our attempts at making good ideas great.

This might be an odd admission from someone in a creative company selling irresistible new creative solutions. But it’s a reality. Most ideas are already out there in some form or other. Just because this is the case it doesn’t mean a client’s business can’t benefit from them if they were to be built upon, delivered well, consistently improved and integrated into a clients offerings. That’s how businesses grow profitably. Our job is in reducing the risk in innovating. No human likes change or risk. A little bit is fun, but not if it threatens your job. With profits on the line, Marketing Directors and CEOs seek progress with minimised risk.

So our creative skills are being used more and more in marshalling new and existing ideas and techniques together for a brand’s benefit and then, crucially, making them happen. With scale, impact and to customers’ satisfaction.’

(from ‘Why How is as Important as What’)


A mind that is stretched to a new idea never returns to its original dimension

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.