June 21, 2015
前陣子和朋友們一起參與了美麗佳人以及Studio83所舉辦的「心心樹畫」活動。在跟大家分享活動內容前，先跟大家簡單介紹一下這個活動的背景及Studio83吧! 美麗佳人每個月都會舉辦一場風格與美學培養的活動，只要是會員都可以報名參加，活動內容非常的多樣化，像是私廚甜點課、手調香氛工作坊、品酒會、聖誕花圈製作等等，而這次的「心心樹畫」活動就是美麗佳人Style Labs玩美實驗室系列活動之一，有興趣了解更多或是參與其他場活動的朋友們請點這裡。2008年成立於香港的Studio83，其共同創辦人兼資深藝術顧問Charles是位對藝術充滿熱情及想法的人，也是個對學生非常耐心教導的老師，Studio83在台灣的工作室位於天母忠誠誠品的二樓，地點非常的好找，看完介紹有興趣報名課程或了解更多的朋友歡迎到官網或粉絲團了解!那接下來就跟大家分享當天活動~
December 16, 2014
Christmas is the most magical time of the year. To me, Christmas is all about sharing happiness and love with others. Below are two of my favorite Christmas campaigns of the year by Expedia and Westjet. Check them out and see how you can help make the world a better place!
To encourage its users to donate the points they’ve collected to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Expedia sent Santa to fly coach around the world to earn points this year. In “Santa flies coach”, Santa flies to Hawaii, Tokyo, Dubai, Paris, and Dublin. By the end of the worldwide trip, Santa visits the kids at St.Jude and donates the points he earned through Expedia. No family is ever asked to pay for the treatment at St. Jude, so donations are a vital part to support the hospital. As a long-standing partner of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Expedia has donated money and resources to the organization over the years.
“Santa flies coach” was not the first ad campaign Expedia did for St.Jude. In 2012, the “find your strength” campaign features cancer survivor Maggie Cupit flying to Dallas to share her almost unbearably poignant story at St. Jude, where she received her treatment and developed strong friendship with another patient Odie. While Maggie fought back her cancer, Odie died from his. In the commercial, Maggie gives a speech at St. Jude’s fundraising event, in hopes that attendees will donate to the cause. At the end of the commercial, it encourages people to donate money to St. Jude.
As a leading online travel booking site, Expedia aims to facilitate all kinds of travels. With the tagline “where you book matters”, the company wants to change the mindset of many travelers that don’t really care where they book their travels. To me, both “Santa flies coach” and “find your strength” are very successful. They exemplify the value of Expedia— there are all kinds of travels and every trip is unique, personal, and has the potential to be transformational. “Find your strength” triggers emotional reaction and brings the cause to people’s attention. Above all, it helps raise money for St. Jude’s. “Santa flies coach” keeps the spirit of the brand and reminds people of the cause with a little Christmas cheer. Better yet, it allows you to be part of the good deed without opening your wallet!
The Canadian airline Westjet knows how to celebrate Christmas right. In 2012, Westjet launched its first Christmas miracle “Westjet Christmas Flash Mob”. The airline surprised its guests by turning a boarding lounge into the North Pole with carolers, snowmen, and, of course, Santa Claus.
Last year, Westjet’s Christmas miracle “real-time giving” delighted its unsuspecting travelers with personalized Christmas presents at the baggage carousel at their destination Calgary airport. Westjet captured the experience and shared the video on Youtube. The video soon became an Internet sensation. It was the most shared Canadian viral ad in 2013 and among top five internationally. Its Youtube views, social media shares and media impressions far exceeded program objectives. This viral ad also boosted sales. Westjet had an unprecedented increase in sales during holiday season in 2013.
This year’s Christmas miracle “spirit of giving” almost brought me to tears. The airline says it’s the last chapter of the Christmas miracle trilogy. This time, Westjet brought the whole Christmas miracle to residents of a village in the Dominican Republic. The airline has worked with the community since 2012 to improve the quality of living there, and it gives them the opportunity to see what the village really needs. The company worked with the community leader and residents to plan for the surprise. Not only did everyone receive a personal present from blue Santa, the village also got a new playground for kids. The video ended with a party by the beach with snow! I think the whole project is very well-planned and meaningful. Westjet created job opportunities by hiring more than 40 locals to help with the project. Many much-needed gifts like washing machine and horse were given to make locals’ lives easier. Furthermore, kids finally have a safe place to play. By shopping locally, Westjet helped support the area’s economy. Christmas miracle trilogy not only directly aligns with Westjet’s fun and friendly image but also delivers an exceptional guest experience.
It’s better to give than to receive. I like both of Expedia and Westjet’s Christmas campaigns. They both tell an unforgettable story that echoes to their brand core values. They create buzz around the brands and help increase sales. Most importantly, they contribute to the society and make a difference. I want to give them my business just to be part of the good deeds!
December 5, 2014
I didn’t get on here for a while. I have been pretty busy lately. I left the U.S. and have just recently relocated back to Asia. Before I came back to Asia, I took a 45-day trip to Europe with my friend. Everything there was very exotic and interesting to me. It was also the longest trip I have taken so far. We visited eight countries in total. I had many interesting finds and I can’t wait to share with you!
I stumbled upon a Spanish clothing brand Desigual in Barcelona. Actually it’s very hard not to see it when you’re in Barcelona. There’s a Desigual store almost every other corner in downtown. Spain has long been famous for many globally known fashion brands at accessible prices for young professionals such as Armand Basi, Zara, Mango. While targeting very similar age group as its rivals, Desigual stands out to me with its strong brand personality.
Headquartered in Barcelona, Desigual is everything but ordinary. The brand was founded by a Swiss man Thomas Meyer in 1984 and has been led by Manel Adell since 2002. Thomas envisions a clothing brand that brings people positivism, joy, and fun, so the brand aims to make clothes for people, not for body. Desigual is known for its patchwork design, intense print, innovative graffiti, and flamboyant splashes of color. The company’s motto ”La Vida es Chula”(in Spanish), which means “life is cool.” This emotional appeal reflects on its marketing strategies. Desigual conveys its brand core value in innovative ways. There are a few things I like how the brand markets itself.
1. Atypical marketing events
Desigual is a very unique and original brand and it manifests its brand spirits through unconventional marketing events. Desigual has held many events that have successfully created buzz. For popular black Friday sale this year, Desigual gave away a free outfit to shoppers who showed up half-naked in San Francisco. This kind of undie party has been held since 2005 across the world. The event helped gain press coverage and has become one of its signature events.
“The color run by desigual” has become a classic sporting event in Spain. It attracted over 7,000 runners to join this year in Sevilla. The race isn’t anything about competition. It is about having fun during the race with friends and family. Desigual wants participants to become “the happiest and the colorists” runners in the world! The event echoes the brand’s motto “life is cool”, delivers positive feelings to people, and brings colors to live!
Another one of Desigual’s signature events is “kiss tour”. Kiss parties were held throughout Europe and attracted thousands of people to attend. The events brought people together to share kisses, love, enthusiasm, and good vibe. This festive event once again shows the brand’s value.
2. Strong partnerships
Good partnerships add value to your brand. Desigual isn’t afraid to step out to seek for new partnership opportunities. In 2011, Desigual signed a worldwide contract with Cirque du Soleil to create the collection Desigual inspired by Cirque du Soleil. Desigual and Cirque du Soleil share very similar values and personality. They are both very different, bold, and fun. The collection is incredible and brings out the best of both parties.
Desigual is constantly evolving and expanding. It has grown from a fashion clothing brand to a multi-category brand. Desigual launched 4 new categories in the past two years, including shoes, living, beauty, and sports. In 2013, based on its slogan “La Vida es Chula (life is cool)”, Desigual worked with Barcelona Princess Hotel and transformed 18 hotel rooms into Desigual-themed rooms. Each room is decorated with daring patterns and bright colors. I think the collaboration between Desigual and Barcelona Princess Hotel is a clever move. The collaboration with Barcelona Princess Hotel not only helps promote Desigual living collection but also takes the whole Desigual experience to the next level!
3. High consumer engagement
Desigual is very good at bringing people together and communicating its brand value with its customers through its events. Every of its marketing events shows passion, happiness, love, and positivism and has generated positive reviews and media coverage. Desigual is also very tech-savvy. It makes good use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to interact with its fans. With its strong social media marketing, Desigual got top engagement rate with customers in fashion industry.
Desigual’s quirky marketing campaigns have created buzz and increase its brand awareness, but sometimes it can go a bit too far. Earlier this year for mother’s day campaign, Desigual created a controversial TV commercial in Spain featuring a young woman, wishing to get pregnant, poking holes in her partner’s condom. The ad caused outrage on the internet, and Desigual later apologized for offending viewers and released an edited version of the ad.
By 2013, while Desigual has presence in 20 countries, nearly 90% of its total sales came from Europe. Desigual is expecting to continue to consolidate its international expansion, especially in the US, Latin America and Japan. I believe Desigual has the potential to grow globally. When doing marketing in a new continent, Desiual should keep an eye out for culture differences and consider if its atypical marketing tactic would work in some more conservative countries.
photo credits: Desigual, Barcelona Princess Hotel
June 29, 2014
I took a 3-day trip to Vegas a few months ago. Although it wasn’t my first time in Vegas, everything was pretty exciting to me since I was only 10 last time I was there. It’s no doubt that Vegas is on the top of the list when it comes to crazy parties, shows, shopping, gambling, fancy hotels and all-you-can-eat buffets. I didn’t miss any of them. I watched the world-famous O show by cirque du soleil. The show was simply amazing. The ticket was pricy but it was worth every penny. I pigged out at a few different buffets and didn’t have any appetite for the next few days. Both hotels I stayed, Wynn and Cosmopolitan, had excellent service and gorgeous view of the strip. The whole Vegas experience is one of a kind. To me, Vegas is a mix of everything. Everything there is very real and surreal at the same time. People go there to escape from reality and make the trip the time of their life. I was intrigued by what made Vegas such a unique place that draws people away from reality.
“ What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” campaign just turned 10 last year and it’s now still one of the most famous taglines in the modern tourism marketing. The slogan is simple, memorable, and powerful. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) and the ad agency R&R partners were rebranding Vegas for something other than gambling. After a year of research, they found the emotional bond people have with Vegas. People come to Vegas to enjoy “adult freedom.” Vegas seems to be a paradise for people to express themselves guilty-free while enjoying all the excitement Vegas has to offer. They become people they wouldn’t/ couldn’t be in real life. “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” successfully incorporate the unique Vegas experience and emotional connection people have with Sin City. The tagline can simply apply to any situation.
The campaign has evolved with the development of technology. Now people are eager to share their lives on different social media. What happens in Vegas no longer stays in Vegas. Sin city’s atmosphere of adult freedom is threatened by people over-sharing on the internet. In 2011, LVCVA ran a campaign “know the code” in an attempt to stop people from sharing what other people would rather keep private. A webpage was created to urge people not to share some private and crazy moments that were supposed to keep secret with the city. A commercial was filmed to show the consequences of not following the code. The “know the code” campaign is a great extension of “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” It not only reinforces the Vegas spirit but also keeps up with current trends.
It’s not hard to understand why “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” is still one of the most successful city campaigns in the modern tourism history. The iconic tagline subtly incorporates all the Vegas excitement with the emotional connection people have with the Sin city. It leaves people ample room to imagine the endless possibilities that could happen in Vegas. Besides, it evolves with technology and current trends. All these have made Vegas strip one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world. Next time when you’re in Vegas, go wild! Your secret is safe with the city. As the saying goes: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!
May 30, 2014
Selling pure drinking water can be hard. The bottled water market is mature and the competition is fierce. Plus, it’s a product that is impossible for people to tell the difference in taste. Branding and marketing are extremely important here. Standing out from your competitors surely requires creativity. I recently ran into an interesting bottled water brand, or a boxed water brand to be more correctly, Boxed water is better. It immediately reminded me of a Taiwanese bottled water brand, Twist water. Both brands took a very similar strategy and surely created a valid selling point.
Instead of using plastic, Boxed water is better uses cardboard in its packaging and a whopping 76% percent of the material is from renewable sources. Even the trees used to produce the boxes come from certified forests. Although it’s priced a bit higher, to make consumers be part of the effort, the company donates 10 % of the profit to world relief foundation and another 10 % to reforestation foundation.
Similar to Boxed water is better, a bottled water brand in Taiwan, Twist water, also emphasizes its eco-friendly packaging. It largely reduces the plastic used to make its bottles by 43% and further help reduce the CO emission by half. A simple twist of bottles increases the space for recycling for 70%. The company also donates a small portion of its revenue to water foundations. Twist water has been a big success since it first came out in Taiwan in 2010.
Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing involving cooperative efforts toward a for-profit of non-profit organization for mutual benefit. Both companies took advantage of the rising trend of green consumers. Many people are willing to pay a premium price for eco-friendly products. Also, they both have very eye-catching packaging and a very distinct selling point.
In terms of marketing strategy, these two companies have taken very different strategies to break into the market. Boxed water is better has a pretty clear positioning in the competitive bottled water. Although it is priced as a premium water brand, it’s not competing with other high-end brands such as Voss and Fiji. It has its own niche market. What it’s aiming for is people who also care about environment and giving back. All its marketing strategies go along with its core value. Its products are distributed through selected local distributors in some states and are mostly sold at local cafés and shops. The brand actively participates in different festivals with similar target audience and share the same value. I think the brand has a good start from the beginning. It’s very unique and it caters to the need for a more environmental-friendly product. So far the brand hasn’t had many marketing campaigns. It is still fairly small and there’s a lot of room to grow in the future. Considering the brand may have a small marketing budget, the brand could try to start with guerrilla marketing, which usually creates buzz around the brand in a short time and the cost is usually lower than traditional marketing means.
Twist water seized the right timing to enter Taiwanese market. Coca-cola introduced a new light-weighted bottled water in Japan in 2009 and it was a big success. The company announced its plan entering Taiwanese market in April, 2010. Twist water had its debut in March, 2010. This first-mover advantage soon created a lot of buzz around the product. In an effort to target younger consumers, the brand had a popular Taiwanese singer endorse for its product. The brand also sponsored several music concerts and festivals to expose itself to its target audience. Its media strategy largely focused on TV commercials. The light-weighted bottles were showcased by the singer along with a song rewritten for the brand. Twist water was sold through most convenience stores and supermarkets in Taiwan. Although two brands share very similar core value and selling point, they have developed different marketing strategies based on their budget and target audience.
Many people may think that this eco-friendly approach is more of a marketing gimmick. Merely from a consumer’s standpoint, they both caught my attention and generated buzz around their products. Simply judging from this, I think they are both pretty successful. How to continue the craze and turn into sales will be a challenge for both of them.
April 17, 2014
What would you do if you ever wanted to get your cupcake fix late at night? I came across a cute cupcake place called Sprinkles Cupcakes in Beverly Hills in LA the other day. Sprinkles has a cupcake ATM that offers fresh cupcakes to sweet enthusiasts 24/7. Branded as the world’s first cupcake bakery, Sprinkles uses the finest ingredients to make artfully decorated cupcakes. It has been a huge success since it opened its first store in Beverly Hills. Now it has 15 locations across the country. Cupcake used to merely be a very common baked good that you can find in almost every bakery. The whole cupcake craze came out of nowhere. Before I realized it, there were already many chic and delicate cupcake shops across the country. How did Sprinkles win a place in this crowded and competitive market? I think there are a few things that we can learn from it:
Give your consumers what they don’t know they want
Everyone knows that market research is an important part of your marketing plan. However, customers don’t always know what they what. It’s like when cellphones were invented, no one knew there was a need for mobile phones. I suppose Sprinkles also did market research before it first opened its store. There may have been people suggesting it to have longer operation hours or many convenient locations, but I doubt if anyone has ever suggested a cupcake ATM. Cupcake ATM turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
Thanks to the advanced technology, there are more and more ways to communicate with your customers. Sprinkles is big on technology. It even has its own mobile app that allows users to send virtual cupcake gifting and locate the closest store. When it comes to managing your social media outlets, communication is the key. Sprinkles utilizes its social media platforms very well. Social media not only serves as a tool for sprinkles to communicate with its customers, it also brings revenue to its actual stores. Sprinkles frequently provides special offers through social media. It encourages people to stay tuned for its latest offer and cultivate its loyal fan base.
Create a joyful and unique shopping experience.
Having an enjoyable shopping experience enhances the chances of going back to the same store. Getting your cupcake from a cupcake ATM is a special and fun shopping experience. I’ve seen people using cupcake ATM even though the line was not long at the store and the price was slightly higher there. Nowadays people don’t just pay for your products or services. Many people are willing to pay a little extra for a better shopping experience. Cupcake ATM provides consumers a different way to engage with the brand. Think outside the box!
Deliver a consistent brand image
From store location, pricing, package design, to marketing strategy, Sprinkles has managed to deliver a consistent and high-end brand image. Sprinkles is big on WOM and celebrity endorsement. Beverly Hills has been home to many celebrities. Sprinkles took advantage of the upscale image of Beverly Hills and opened its first store there. Sprinkles has never done any traditional advertising, paid advertising. It heavily relies on positive WOM. Sprinkles has gained many celebrity endorsements. Oprah Winfrey, Paris Hilton, Blake Lively, and Tom Cruise are among its celebrity customers. Sprinkles’ founder Candace Nelson was invited to be one of the judges on the competition series cupcake Wars. Her appearance on TV has brought many free PR and media coverage for Sprinkles. All its marketing effort enables Sprinkles to charge a premium price.
Discover different possibilities
Probably not so many people had thought about cupcakes could be an alternative to a wedding cake before Sprinkles took a bite out of the wedding cake market. Sprinkles’ delicate, bite-size cupcakes are easy to serve and just as beautiful as a wedding cake. Although using cupcakes as wedding cakes is still not prevalent, sprinkles’ innovative idea has brought a new trend to the wedding cake market.
Besides, even though Sprinkles was already successful in making cupcakes, Candace Nelson didn’t stop exploring different possibilities. In 2012, Sprinkles opened its first ice cream shop right next to its flagship shop in Beverly Hills. Sprinkles ice cream is a good brand extension. Sprinkles Ice Cream incorporates cupcakes in a unique way into its menu. The ice cream shop not only reinforces the upscale image of Sprinkles but also brings different possibilities to the brand.
Sprinkles cupcakes is a good example of a brand that is open to different possibilities and is willing to try out new things. I look forward to seeing Sprinkles expanding its sweet empire and what other surprises it will bring us in the future!
March 12, 2014
I have been MIA since I moved to LA. My life has been a bit crazy here. I love LA although I’m still trying to get used to the life here. The traffic is a bit too hectic; the sun is a bit too shiny; the cost of living is a bit too high…and the list goes on. However, I still enjoy living in LA a lot. There are many beautiful beaches and mountains. Nature is very accessible here. There are museums such as Grammy museum and Hollywood museum where you can get a glimpse at the glamorous music history here. There are many beautiful outdoor shopping malls that are hard to resist. Although I’m not very into night life, there are tons of bars and clubs that I’m pretty sure every party animal would enjoy! If you like sports or concerts, then LA is the city for you. LA is home to LA Lakers. Staple Center hosts several basketball games and concerts every year. If you’re looking for excitement, then you can’t miss Universal Studio, Disneyland, and Six Flags. You will sure to be thrilled by the exciting rides there. Besides, it’s always sunny so I think people here are happier. All in all, LA is a city no one will say no to. Although I myself am still exploring the city, I can’t wait to share some of my favorite spots here with you now!
1. Hiking trails (Griffith observatory hike, Hollywood sign hike, Runyon Canyon)
I think I’ve become more outdoor type than ever in my life since I moved to LA. Hiking is a perfect way to discover a different facet of LA. There are several trails that are fairly easy even for a beginner like me. Besides, you will get a gorgerous view of the city. I’ve only done three by far and I enjoyed all of them.
Griffith observatory hike was my very first hike in LA. It was a pretty short hike. I took me around 50 minutes one way, and I stopped to take pictures a few times. The best part of this hike is that you will get a great view of the Griffith Park and downtown LA. Plus, the Griffith Observatory is free and it’s open late. I’d recommend you to come here for an afternoon hike then go to Griffith Park to learn some interesting facts about the space and enjoy the night view of the city. Parking can be a big hassle though.
I highly recommend Hollywood sign hike to anyone coming to visit LA. Come on, you’re already in LA. Wouldn’t you want to get closer to the world-famous Hollywood sign? It’s also a pretty easy hike. It took me only 45 minutes one way. The only two downsides about this hike is that the trail is also a trail for hose riding, so expect to see and smell the horse poops along the way. Another pitfall is that the parking is very limited. You might have to hike up to the hill to get to the trail. My little tip is to come here early. The earlier you come, the more chances you can avoid the two issues.
Last but not the least is the Runyon Canyon hike. It’s also a easy hike. It took us less than 1 hour one way. There you will get a panoramic view of downtown LA and Hollywood sign. If you’re a dog lover, then you should totally bring your dog here. It’s a very dog-friendly hike. There’s even an off-leash section with many dogs going nuts and being cute! It is a steeper hike so you will feel the burn in your legs. Overall, the hike is a good workout with great view of DTLA!
2. Beautiful beaches (Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach)
There are many beautiful beaches in LA. Santa Monica is one of the most popular one. Sure it’s very touristy and can be very crowded on weekends, but the view is worth the visit. There are many restaurants and shops by the beach. IT’s nice to spend a relaxing afternoon here. If you wanna do some shopping, Third Street Promenade is a nice shopping place. There are many popular clothing stores there. It’s better to come on weekends. There are some street performers that make this place more fun to shop!
Manhattan Beach is not as crowded as Santa Monica. There are lots of restaurants and unique boutiques by the pier. It’s fun, busy but not too crowded. Compared to other beaches, Manhattan Beach is also a bit cleaner. Better yet, there are lots of street parkings (on meter), so you don’t need to worry much about getting ripped off. It’s really relaxing to spend an afternoon there lying in the sun with the waves hushing in the background. It’s by far my favorite beach in LA. Highly recommend it!
3. The Getty Center
There are many great museums in LA, Getty Center is one of my favorites. After all, what is not to love about a FREE museum with great view? Although the admission is free, the parking is $15. From the botanical garden, architecture, artwork to the expansive views of the city, Getty Center has it all. What’s more could I ask for?
Make sure to stop by these beautiful places next time you’re in LA. They are totally worth the time and money! LA is a city full of different possibilities. It’s diverse, glamorous yet dirty and dangerous at the same time. I will share more of different places and activities with you next time!