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:
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.]
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.
A nice series of posts over at the blog of Storytree, a new service aiming to allow people to “capture the stories that matter.” Storytree is in part funded by the Designer Fund, the interesting new setup which has built a strong community of design world luminaries and actively looks for…
‘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.’
‘I hope kids are still finding some way, despite Google and Wikipedia, of not knowing things. Learning how to transform mere ignorance into mystery, simple not knowing into wonder, is a useful skill. Because it turns out that the most important things in this life — why the universe is here instead of not, what happens to us when we die, how the people we love really feel about us — are things we’re never going to know.’
Hear hear. I remember the mystery of not knowing, of snippets of information, of reading the same magazine over and over again and fear my genereation might have been the last one growing up that way.
‘Andoni Luis Aduriz, the influential chef at Mugaritz, has coined a term to describe the effect of these edible landscapes: technomotion, a fusion of technology and emotion. (The word “food” is not represented.) “It consists in finding the inspiration in a landscape, and embodying the taste, aroma and sometimes the emotion the place contributed to you,” Mr. Dacosta said.’
I’m not sure, having eaten at Mugaritz, that I’d describe the food as techomotion but it was most defintely poetry in motion. 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.
‘Mr. Wilson reckons he has painted many thousands of chewing gum pictures around London. Weird as the pursuit might be, the result is lovely: seemingly random spots of color amid the gray that, on closer examination, turn out to be miniature paintings of just about anything: animals, landscapes, portraits and, often, stylized messages of regret, thanks, commemoration and love.’
‘This feeling of accomplishment contributes to what the ancient Greeks called eudaimonia, which roughly translates to “well-being” or “flourishing,” a concept that Dr. Seligman has borrowed for the title of his new book, “Flourish.” He has also created his own acronym, Perma, for what he defines as the five crucial elements of well-being, each pursued for its own sake: positive emotion, engagement (the feeling of being lost in a task), relationships, meaning and accomplishment.’
‘Most people don’t form a self and then lead a life. They are called by a problem, and the self is constructed gradually by their calling.’
‘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.’