Old Pin-up Corkboard > Pinterest


Every Sunday I stop by my parents place for dinner. It's a way for me to escape the congestion, polluted air, and bad drivers of downtown Toronto. My old room is like a museum, as little has changed since I fled the nest permanently and escaped the Gen Y habit of extending your stay at your parents place until your mid to late 20's.

I normally make nothing of what's in the room. I check to see if there is any mail, and make sure things are where they should be. But I glanced up and noticed the cork pinboard (like the image above) which sits above my bed the other day. It's a collection of people that inspired me (players that represented the pinnacle of the sport I played at the time), places I visited (bus tickets, plane tickets, pictures), things I did (movie tickets, first hockey game with my Dad, travelling to Europe, etc.) and people that shared moments with me (prom, graduation, etc.)

I don't know why I didn't bring it with me to my new place. Maybe its because it's a symbol of my early adolescent years, and I've "moved beyond" that kind of stuff now. But I don't know if I truly have a replacement for what the board did for me as I moved between life stages and I don't think a service like Pinterest is it. I think what worked about my old cork pinboard was that it did two very simple things:

(1) Gave me a space constraint – not everything went on the board, and if I ran out of room, I had to decide what got covered up
(2) Allowed me to place physical objects that contained a marker and emotional reminder of the journey i.e. my Prague bus pass which contains curled edges and a small coffee stain

The first one is something that I think an online service can adopt, but I don't know if we've come up with a solve for the second one yet. There's an interesting post by Dominic Basulto on emotional attachments to physical objects which goes into this issue. Either way, it's an interesting question to explore.


Sunday thoughts: vol 1


January 14th 2012 was the last post I put up on this blog.

Since then, Posterous was bought by Twitter, I've been knee deep in crazy work at Sid Lee (which I joined in November 2011 after 4 years at Critical Mass), I helped my author father set-up his own blog on Tumblr (http://wbonnell.tumblr.com/), and I spent a few days down in sunny Austin at SXSW.

A few things interested me this weekend that I wanted to share some thoughts on:

1. A lovely sales event/season print ad from Dyson (above): headline, what it's about, curation of hero products to inspire with ideas, and call to action

2. Decoy brands and price anchoring.
While I've generally understood the segmentation and market share mechanics behind high priced and low priced brands of the same product offered by the same parent company (e.g. Gap and Banana Republic), I've never looked at it in the manner that Huber and Puto did in their paper on Market Boundaries and Product Choice which was published in the Journal of Consumer Research in 1983 (paper can be found here http://tinyurl.com/7p757pq). Hubert and Puto found in studies that by introducing a "decoy brand" into an existing market, they could affect the price and value associations (and ultimately market share) consumers attributed to an existing brand.

The two examples of this are Anheuser-Busch's experimentation with Budweiser in the 1960's and P&G's experimentation with Pampers. In AB's case, Budweiser was once America's best selling premium brand until AB began an aggressive promotion for their super-premium brand, Michelob. The introduction of Michelob, according to Huber & Puto, made Budweiser seem less extreme, less expensive and less elite. Some Budweiser drinkers moved upmarket to Michelob, but this was now countered by former buyers of cheaper beers like Miller moving up to Budweiser. In the end, a win-win for AB.

In the case of P&G, in 1961 they introduced Pampers. While highly convenient, they were perceived as a high priced indulgence over traditional cloth nappies. To counter this, P&G launched Luvs, a higher priced brand of disposable nappies. Luvs presented a contrast to Pampers, convincing hold-outs that Pampers wasn't such a high priced indulgence over cloth nappies after all. To cap it off, in 1994 P&G relaunched Luvs as a bargain brand.

3. 24/7 Barbershops.
Every now and then, I find myself driving along a street near my house quite late at night, and I've always been perplexed to see Babershops open and busy at 2,3 even 4am, so it was quite timely to come across an article in this Sunday's NY Times that does a semi overview of the growth in the late night barbershop trend: http://tinyurl.com/c8vu83a. It's an interesting read.

4. The digital wallet growth and physical wallet transformation
While I've been involved with NFC over the past year and have been covering company forays in to the space, it was an article today that got me thinking about it again: http://tinyurl.com/7rod2tx .Ever since Jack Dorsey unveiled Square and Google unveiled plans for a digital wallet, we've been hailing an era in North America of digital payments and a cashless society. We still aren't there yet and it will take time. And when it does come (aided by digital wallet apps that come stock on every smartphone OS, better retail integration, and Perez Hilton writing a blog post on it) I'll be more interested in what new uses we make of it, rather than simply copying what has been done in Japan and South Korea for years.

A few interesting & insightful tech trends from #frogdesign

A few interesting & insightful tech trends from #frogdesign

Nokia pulls off a pretty f’ing big brand stunt for their Lumia 800 launch

Thanks to my lovely girlfriend for giving me the heads up about this.

Charlie Todd: The shared experience of absurdity

The shared experience of absurdity