Clara’s (Tzu Ching) reflective essay

Introduction

Hesitation, trepidation and anxiety are normal feelings when people start to self-exploration. This feeling also happened in the start of Design Thinking course. To me, these negative emotional feelings were supposed to be an obstruction to accessing the new environment and knowledge, especially being a layman in creative industry.

“Everyone is the creative type” Kelley and Kelley (2013) suggested. Over seven months self-exploring journey, I took the “Safe Heaven” with the “Bright Light” team and experienced pitches and trade fairs. The most crucial point that I learnt was that creativity, aesthetic perception and imagination do not just belong to designers and artists, everyone has creativity but finding out the problems that are ignored and how to solve them with a novel approach is the most difficult point.

Those negative emotions were no longer confusing to me. In this process, by solving problems, creativity will naturally be presented.

What’s the design thinking to me?

Human centered design can lead to breakthrough innovations (Kelley and Kelley, 2013). As the brilliant and innovative products solve the fundamental problems what we face which is the most important point. However, solving a problem is not a big deal, how to create the benefits and products that catch everyone’s eyes easily are the emphasis. Creativity is the production of novel and useful ideas in any domain (Amabile, 1996). Design Think could be seen the highway to lead people to be more creative and inspire more fresh ideas to satisfy people’s needs and desires.

As Brown (2008) suggested that design thinking is a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible. A viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity. However, more and more businesses care about “market value and opportunity”. Therefore, they correctly use design thinking to manufacture brilliant products and truly amaze public. However, those novel products just add material desires but do not fundamentally satisfy people’s needs.

How to think out of the box could the main concept of design thinking. However, to me, through this method how to solve basic and human centered needs are the most important. The unnecessary desires might make more problems but the appropriate desire can fulfill the need of freshness. If we take a look at latest IPhone 7, we will know what do I mean. Apple group created more desires but does not comprehensively solve basic needs (they cancelled headphone jack, yeah! Great idea, great concept but why should I buy extra accessories for listening to music?).

A long journey

That was a long journey from brainstorming, manufacturing to presenting our final products in market and elaborating them in Dragon’s Den. From nothing to achieved everything, design thinking helped our team a lot. It was hard to ascertain that we were right or wrong through the sales or the mark of pitching. Based on my understanding of creativity and design thinking, human centered design went through the whole process. Furthermore, whether implemented, every process with human centered concept was what I cared about and decided whether successful or not. In the following, I will discuss how empathy, storytelling and teamwork experience influence me for my future goal.

Think wild, executive careful

As a start-up business, just like a kid that goes to school for first time. Brown and Ktaz (2009) believed that the successful idea should overlap these three concepts: Feasibility, Viability and Desirability. It is true that an idea that can earn value from the market is absolutely important but if we look at it too seriously, it might kill the wild ideas in the early stage. On the contrary, like children who are not afraid to answer wrongly in class, if you are not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up anything original (Robinson, 2011). In the brainstorming stage, we came up many ridiculous ideas, like fork with sauces and chair stick. When facing the next step(manufacturing), most of ideas were deleted because of unfeasibility and I have to admit that this process took us too much time to keep the balance between creative and feasibly. Even Gross (2015) analyzed that ideas and business models are not the most related factors of successful start-up business. However, business models are truly helpful to reduce the time and money waste.

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A design thinker should not only think wild but also being empathic. Brown (2008) suggested that being a design thinker, you should be thoughtful toward your current and future customers and team members. Combining with Bright Light experience, the market survey was the direct and effective methods of being empathic. Through the feedback of customers, clients or doing the research of competitor’s products. Moreover, we checked competitor’s marketing and price strategies. Through these approaches we could adjust our business strategies immediately and explore new customer segments.

Moreover, Schrage (2017) also believed that this practical approach could lengthen the customer lifetime value. For instance, due to the customer surveys in trade fairs, backpackers were not our only target customer, elders who engage into outdoor activities also had demands and they were more willing to pay for “Safe Heaven”. On the other hand, some customers became more valuable when they were willing to give us advice and promised us to share Safe Heaven with their friends.

Storytelling

“Timing is the most important factor for entrepreneurships being successful” Gross said (2015). When the right moment for your business is coming, how could you catch this chance? Therefore, how to spread your ideas quickly and correctly in the right moment is really important.

Godin (2007) pointed out that most public accustomed to ignore the information you give because the information were not related to them! Before ten years, salesmen fed clients information through TV advertising. Nowadays, salesmen just change the platforms to spread information from TV to social medias. People receive numerous information but what do they really want? The social media is still necessary but which platform can reach more potential customers and effectively let them know we have what they need or desire is more important.

In addition, Brown (2008) thought that often the emotional connection to a product or an image is what engages customers in the first place. After the right timing and right approach to spread your ideas, brilliant storytelling could touch the target customers’ heart, inspire the desire of products.

An appropriate storytelling could be the key factor to influence your potential customers, feel this company understands you and stands by your side. Through the massive influence of the internet, this kind of emotional connection could spread quickly. Unlike Godin (2007) who considered that spreading good ideas needs the right people to tell their friends. Nowadays, the internet could be the “storytelling virus”. Like my previous blog mentioned, PX Mart’s videos understood young people’s situation and made the emotional connation with them.

However, after the trade fairs’ experience, the storytelling was hard to have massive influence in the market because most of people would not stop to listen for ten minutes for your business story. In this situation, how to point out your products are uncommon and fresh could be remarkable (Godin, 2007) and seems more important. Bright Light’s commercial video probably focused more on what are the remarkable features but lacks background story. Compared with the feedback from customers and MACE students, most of people liked our ideas. At the same time, they still did not get the reason why they cannot miss “Safe Heaven”.

螢幕快照 2017-04-27 12.36.58

Maybe without the story to describe your concept, it would not have big influence on your sales immediately. However, after the brand design, the loyalty and sense of identity would rise. The concept of human centered design, storytelling is a suitable approach to connection company and customers.

Teamwork

 As a team, any creative ideas should be appropriate (Amabile, 1998). In order to avoid sensitive topics or comprehensively understand people’s needs, the appropriate ideas cannot be decided by only one person or people with similar background, I think that was why Janja encouraged us finding different culture, gender or background people as team members. According to Reynolds and Lewis (2017) ideas, the higher cognitive diversity team could accomplish tasks better than the team with homogeneous culture. Livermore (2016) also thought cross culture would bring a richer repository of ideas. At the very beginning stage, we tried to figure out what were the common and ignorable problems we face. I was surprised that my problem was also the same problem on the other side of earth.

In reality, I have to honestly admit that working with cross culture team was more difficult than I expected. From these difficulties I faced, there are some factors might influence cooperating with others well or not:

At first, like Livermore (2016) and Bains (2014) pointed out that due to different culture, it has certain difficulty in expressing ideas. At the beginning, I was afraid to tell them my silly ideas because I preferred to collect data to make sure, they were creative and appropriate but other people might just share their ideas without consideration. Secondly, People with culture intelligence(CQ) are willing to speak up with diverse culture team. It is good for inspire innovative and novel ideas (Livermore, 2016) but communicating is an art, a skill to mediate disputes. The result of belonging to a highly CQ team, is that everyone wants to express ideas. At this moment, how to communicate well is more important.

Finally, putting cross culture issue aside, similar working style (Bains,2014) and participation (Myser, 2006; Livermore,2016) are the biggest reason to work together well for the long term. In addition, the motivation of participation could be influenced by interest, satisfaction and the challenge of work itself (Amabile, 1998).

Based on Bright Light’s own experience, multi-culture ideas really have positive affects at the brainstorming stage, even through there were a few arguments. The attitude of participation and working style influenced the following process. At the beginning of establishing a business, it should be the most passionate and creative period. There are multi-ideas and challenge we face. I believe communication and respect to each other would promise the positive influence for the long-term period.

Future step of me

After this creative journey, how can I believe that I was just an assistant in a normal travel agency and like a robot listened to managers without any idea and did not how to solve those obvious ignorable problems in the workplace? I used to have the point of view that design thinking course was helping us to make money from the creative industry. Now, I believe any creative and innovative production or the way I treat the problems should be based on the concept of human centre. To me, human centred design or thinking also include the empathy and ensuring every detail caring about people’s feeling. Moreover, combining with knowledge from the business courses will make it happen in reality. Trade fairs’ experience could be seen as best practice to make it from literature to become a feasibility.

What is the next step of me? I still cannot be sure. My first choice would have been working in museums or galleries before. However, the innovation companies might be more attractive to me! The improvement of innovation has increased sharply. Everything I learned from the classes like the lean canvas and value proposition canvas. Those can help me practicing the creative thinking. In the future, I still can use these approaches to make sure that my ideas are creative and feasible. Creativity is just the gimmick of some companies earn profits, but those financial benefits always should be based on creativity. Therefore, how to solve fundamental problems with creativity and inspire ideas with people from different cultures would be the interesting challenge to me.

 

References:

Amabile, T. (2017). How to Kill Creativity. [Online] Harvard Business Review. Available at: Https://Hbr.Org/1998/09/how-to-kill-creativity [Accessed 24 Apr. 2017].

Bains, W., 2014. What makes a happy team? Data from 5 years’ entrepreneurship teaching suggests that working style is a major determinant of team contentment. Journal of Commercial Biotechnology, 20(3),.

Brown, T. (2008). Design thinking. Harvard Business Review, 86(6), 84-+.

Brown, T., & Katz, Barry. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. New York: Harper Business.

Godin,S. (2003)  How to get your ideas to spread. Available at: Https://Www.Ted.Com/talks/seth_godin_on_sliced_bread (Accessed: 23 April 2017)

Gross, B. (2015)  The single biggest reason why startups succeed. Available at: Https://Www.Ted.Com/talks/bill_gross_the_single_biggest_reason_why_startups_succeed (Accessed: 23 April 2017)

Kelley, T. and Kelley, D. (2013). Creative confidence. 1st ed. New York: Crown Publishing Group.

Livermore, D. (2016). Leading a Brainstorming Session with a Cross-Cultural Team. [online] Harvard Business Review. Available at: https://hbr.org/2016/05/leading-a-brainstorming-session-with-a-cross-cultural-team [Accessed 22 Apr. 2017].

Myser, M. (2006). When Brainstorming Goes Bad. (What Works; What Doesn’t Work). Business 2.0, 7(9), 76.

Robinson,K. (2006)  Do school kill creativity. Available at: Https://Www.Ted.Com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity (Accessed: 24 April 2017)

Schrage, M. (2017). What Most Companies Miss About Customer Lifetime Value. [online] Harvard Business Review. Available at: https://hbr.org/2017/04/what-most-companies-miss-about-customer-lifetime-value [Accessed 22 Apr. 2017].

 

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The laymen are needed in the creative industry

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In this Easter Holiday, I traveled to Spain. Spain is a attractive country: beaches, sunshine, tapas and so on. However, Visiting those architectural masterpieces of Ricardo Bofill was the biggest reason for me to come here. In this period, I visited Walden 7, La Muralla Roja, La Fábrica and Xanadú. They are his well-known works in the early stage of his career. If you look at these buildings, you will realise that their common points: postmodernism , surrealism and utopianism.

In the first sight of La muralla roja, comparing with other common housing communities,these buildings looked kind of wired and liked the giant mazes. I thought those residents might feel confused when they just want to get out of this community. Moreover, the building is so colourful(red and blue). Normally architects choose white to paint the building because white can bring the cozy environment and colour might influence people’s mood.  However, when I visited to La Muralla Roja, Most of residents looked really happy to live in this huge and colorful maze.

How did Bofill get the balance between crazy imagination and resident’s satisfaction?

He believed that history are edited for any iconic building. It could say that those creative ideas need to bring together into a coherent mechanism. The ideal should be comply with logic. He also pointed out that architecture was just a narrow and limited classification; if architects just focused on that, it was hard to make a connection with housing  buildings and history, local culture or literature theories. In his projects, he did the perfect connection with aesthetic, emotion and public housing equipment. It was not just the coincidence that residents both like his crazy ideas and the building.  Somehow, it was not coincidence , it was the expecting result. When I visited La muralla roja then I knew that the design of building could increase the opportunity of communication. It does not have any elevator and the stairs can lead to everyone’s house. For example, if you go to 3rd floor and you also reach someone’s house at 3rd floor.

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Bofill was not just imagine everything by himself. Actually, in order to understand the society, he had a writer, a painter, a sculptor, a philosopher, an engineer, and a mathematician in his team. Generally, they were laymen of architectural industry and maybe they did not know any basic knowledge about architecture! Based on everyone’s specialised knowledge, his team broke the discipline of architecture to develop their own architectural aesthetics. In addition, he also used the words and structure of poems to let them become architectonic!

From Bofill’s case, it had a positive result because of his team with various background.  From the ideal to make it real and feasible, the diverse team is not only just provide various ideas but also be thoughtful to consider each detail. Without the philosophers , how could Bofill contribute his architectural and aesthetic concepts.

Based on my experience in this course, all of my team members’ background does not relate to creative industry. When we discussed about the manufacturing of our products, they would provide me some financial and marketing advices. If this project I had to do everything, it is hard to imagine that how many mistakes I would make!

In conclusion, from different view of points, they can reduce the opportunities of making mistakes. Even Bofill is well-known architectural genius, I believe that he could hardly become the leader of postmoderism without his diverse team. Teamwork is truly important part of a business. As Brown and Katz(2009) suggested that successful ideas should be feasibility ,viability and desirability and teamwork is suitable approach to reach these goal. Sometimes laymen can provide more surprising ideas and suggestions. Therefore, being a layman of the creative industry should not feel embarrassed anymore!

References:

Brown, T., & Katz, Barry. (2009). Change by design : How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. New York: Harper Business. 

Jeppe, T. (2017) Ricardo Bofill: Beyond Brutalism Available at: https://www.ssense.com/en-us/interview/ricardo-bofill-beyond-brutalism (Accessed: 27 April 2017).

Failure and Future

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This is all the beginning came from…

After the Design Thing course is over, I still cannot believe how I did everything in this period. I did product design, arranged social media networking, designed business report and etc, It was my first time to do these things and in my opinion, I did a good job . However, comparing with other young enterprises, my group still did not do well. Therefore, I rethought again and again what happened wrong in this process?

At the beginning, in order to know what was the key point in this process, I want to use SWOT analysis to understand what is our strength and weakness

  1. Strength   – unique idea, high quality
  2. Weakness – cost high, manufacturing price high,
  3. Opportunity – the tendency of self-travelling increase, many Europe countries do not have good public security
  4. Threat – the travel safe toolkit market is quite mature (too many competitors)

After the SWOT analysis, I convinced that we really did a innovative work but we failed in manufacturing and financial parts. Firstly, we wanted to sell 15 pounds, after that, we just tried to make the quality as good as possible and forgot to measure its cost. On the other hand, made in UK could say quality assurance, unfortunately , when we searched for tailors , some of them did a weak job (our first period products) and sometimes they even did not know how to make a hole for hooks. Many of them couldn’t give a affordable price and did not know some sewing skills,These experience made me considered that as a start-up business, we do not know the skills of manufacturing, “made in UK” might not be a good choice.

If we discuss about the competitive advantages of Bright Light, our price position was not clear, comparing with our competitors in outdoor activities market, we have the cost advantages, however, most of costumers from this segment are 40-60 years old, they need Safe Heaven to reduce their back pain and protect their valuables but they are not quite quick to accept the brand new concept products. On the other hand, backpackers are mostly young people but they prefer the budget price( as cheap as possible).

At the same time, there are also some external factors influencing our products. If we look at the SWOT, the travel market has numerous opportunities and the development of cheap flight in Europe could say really mature so that this environment are good for Bright Light. Nevertheless, the most of travel toolkits in this market (include us) do not have high tech skill, design skill and etc. Therefore, it is quite easy to be copied and hard to protect our intelligence property.

After the analysis, it seems like those threat and weakness problems are more than our benefits and opportunities. As Hansen(2007) pointed that companies cannot focus on one strength, it need to look at the whole process of innovation, moreover, it need to consider whether it is idea poor, conversion poor or diffusion poor. The biggest problem of us might be the diffusion poor, we only focused on trade fair markets and social medias. Trade fair could connect with people directly but hardly searching for our target segments. Social media’s problems as I mentioned in past article, if we don’t pay for google or Facebook, it would be hard for people to notice us.

If I still have time and opportunities to continue this project and business, I would keep our advantages (high quality and ideas) but the product manufacturing move to China or other developing countries might be a better solution for high cost and manufacturing price. In China, their sewing skills, machines and efficiency are also really nice and they are more willing to provide the budget price. After that, B2B strategy can increase the sales number and build stable cooperative relationship or we can build the connection with high street and hype outdoor selected shops, their customers are young people, outdoor lovers, care about design and can afford higher price. They are our ideal customer segment. Of course, we cannot miss the social media, we would still keep our social media strategy and make our own website for online order and introducing more details.

Anyway, I proud of Bright Light!!!

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Reference:

The innovation value chain(2007). Available at: http://knowledge.insead.edu/innovation/the-innovation-value-chain-2161 (Accessed: 27 March 2017)

 

The innovation of Taiwanese street food

Miaokou night market 廟口夜市

Many tourists come to Taiwan for many reasons, landscape, Taipei 101, small steamed bun and the most unmissable reason for them is Taiwanese street food. In Taiwan, our street food are not only famous for tasty, affordable price but also we have various types of street food and the number of the types are still increasing.

The situation of street food

As the CEO of Apple Cook said “if we don’t innovate, we’ll end up like Nokia”, this word also can be applied to Taiwanese street food. However, the innovation of street food just focus on the output step, we just created the new product or improve its taste, it could say that we just did the radical innovate step. As the number of different types food  increase, the battle between each street food stands also rise but they just emphasise the taste of food. Without the marketing strategy, Taiwanese street food are hard to be carried forward to foreign countries. We have so many tasty food, however, just bubble tea are well-known. Even there are so many articles introduced what Taiwan street food you must eat, it still hard to see any Taiwanese street food in western countries. ( ex: London)

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(via baolondon.com)

BAO

However, BAO is a exception. If you check out Time-out or other London guide magazines or websites, you would be familiar with this restaurant. GUA BAO is a popular traditional Taiwanese street food but why it is so popular in London?

Comparing with the restaurant of GUA BAO in Taiwan and London, we can clearly realise that BAO has modern interior design, website design and marketing strategy , it’s totally different from Taiwan’s. All they did just for Londoner being willing to accept it?or it wanted to sell more expensive ? (in Taiwan, GUA BAO only costs 1 pound!! They sell 4 pounds) They did a big success! Many Chinese, Japanese and Korean restaurants also tried to provide GUA BAO. This result I could say that BAO team did a really good job to create the incremental products.

螢幕快照 2017-03-21 20.01.31

(the website design of BAO, via baolondon.com)

Like Steve Jobs did, comparing with SONY ERICSSON, NOKIA and etc, he didn’t create a brand idea for his product, he did the incremental works, he combined every benefit from other mobile and launched iPhone. Then, the result was what we knew…. a huge success! Let us turn back to discuss about BAO, their team also did what Steve did, they upgraded the design, logo, social media strategy and the most important part was they still keep the original taste of Taiwan. If the customer experience become better, those customers will be willing to pay more for its cozy experience.

Why we cannot do the incremental strategy for street food in Taiwan?

Why this strategy doesn’t work in Taiwan? In Italy, their pasta can be served in the street or the restaurant, In the UK, fish and chips also has different levels, street food level and restaurant level. Why we cannot do that in Taiwan?

The little happiness

Firstly, we need to know that there is a special phenomenon- “the little happiness” ( 小確幸) in Taiwan nowadays. ” The little happiness” phenomenon came from young people cannot afford the price of buying house, saving money for their retire life and taking care for children so that their living style become preferring spending money on travelling, tasty food and coffee. Because of this situation, more and more young people are willing to accept and try various types of food, therefore, there are many characteristic cafe, patisserie and restaurant opened in Taiwan.

Taiwan_Fried_Chicken_Booth_at_Xindong_Street,_Taipei_20131224

(via wikipedia.org)

What’s the value of street food?

On the other hand, There is a wired situation that Taiwanese are willing to pay higher price for foreign food but many of Taiwanese don’t want to pay higher price for local street food. There are still some people let street food become one of the meal in restaurant or sell them in some nice interior decoration hipster cafe, however, only some young people want to pay that for enjoying the atmosphere. Most of Taiwanese think street food should have cheap price, they are not worth to pay more. That’s why Taiwan street food is hard to improve and  upgrade its image in Taiwan.

In conclusion, if we don’t believe our food could deserve a better price, no one do the innovate incremental work, it would be harder for foreign people to enjoy Taiwan street food in their countries and in other countries, they are still street food! The taste is still important but a good marketing strategy and incremental works can add its value. We need to believe ourselves!

Finally, let’s enjoy food photo gallery!!

Social Media: The necessity of humor

Few weeks ago, we watched a advertising video of the unicorn toilet seat in the class, I still cannot remove the memory of that video in my mind. It was too impressive and full of humour. However, when teacher asked our reaction of this video, half of MACE students did not like it, normally they thought it did not reach the key points and just made people laugh, it would not be good for its sale. On the other hand, other people, like me, we thought it was really funny, we wanted to share it with our friends.

 

This situation let me want to figure out whether the humorous content in social media could bring the physical benefits for a company?

Why we need humours posts?

Firstly, we should know what is the basic requirement of successful brand social media? As Lindsay (2016) mentioned that they have to share their product’s benefits, educational contents that attract your interest or needs. Or, they announce that they are on sale or have coupons. Most of companies have already done that but still get barely  a little bit “LIKE”, Why?  People usually like a post because it is interesting? share this post and get some discounts? or just because that post has a cat photo?? (Who can say no to kitties?)

If people like or share a post, it means they agree with your post or they can gain some value from this. So.. what is the value for people? Get some coupons? Or, the emotional agreement? Everybody like discount so they like it and share it but if it’s not on sale anymore, people won’t follow what you post anymore, moreover, they might unfollow  you! Especially when you sell some daily commodities, your competitors also sell something similar, how to be special and unique?

Therefore, having a humours brand voice might be a good choice for companies. As Zack(2015) pointed that social media is a platform to create the personal connection. Humour is a good strategy to grab attentions. If they like you, naturally they will want to know what’s your products/services.

Different types of humour

However, some people think some funny posts just blurred the main points of the products, people just want to laugh. Zack (2015) also divided into two kind of humours posts:  ridiculous and be funny and helpful.

Ridiculous humour

Normally, these full ridiculous posts cannot be agreed by some people( For example, the unicorn toilet seat) but  some companies still build their own ridiculous style posts and gain numerous attentions:

What-Salt-Bae-Meme

Come on! It’s 2017! Who do not know him??? It is “Salt bae”!!! This guy posts lots of video on Instagram, he always cut the meat so fancy and his movement is so gorgeous. These videos looks like ridiculous but really funny. Does he just want to share his funny daily life? Nope! When people are attracted by his fancy movements, people also start to wonder who he is, where does he work? Furthermore, people want to visit his Turkish barbecue restaurant. Guess what? This marketing strategy works! He will open branches in London and New York!

 

Wendy’s Burger is a famous chain fast food restaurant in the USA. In the USA, people like burger and it could be one of the classic American food so that Wendy’s has already had so many competitors, Burger King, McDonalds and so on. Even their food’s quality is really nice but the price and the number of branches cannot beat its competitors.

They tried a humorous and ridiculous strategy. People sometimes ask some questions on their twitter account, however, their twitter editors would not be polite and amiable anymore, They still answer every question and build their unique personality – savage, gangster but also humours.

Guess what? It works! It start to be super popular between teenagers. Young people are curious and start to ask them questions. When you go to youtube and type ” Wendy’s twitter”, you will know how young people like them!

When people endorse with a company’s image, they will try to understand how it is.

“Be funny and helpful” humour

Different with ridiculous humours, ” be funny and helpful” is easier to be accepted and more adults will be attracted because ridiculous humours sometimes are quite offensive to some people.

In Taiwan, PXMart is one of the supermarket that really good at their social media post strategy. Comparing with other brand, PXMart might be a little bit late to enter this market, Their target segment is neighbourhood (In UK, it is similar like Tesco Metro) and normally their price cannot  be cheaper than wholesale ( Carrefour , COSTCO). They started to build their humours style in social media. This strategy really made a good interaction with young people.

At the beginning, they created their mascot – ” Mr. PXMart” in 2006. they wanted to build the image in this interesting approach. This video showed that their shop’s interior decoration might not look beautiful but they provided best service and nice price. They didn’t use their money on themselves, they treated customers better. Because these advertising video, people thought this company’s quality is trustworthy.

Nowadays people prefer receiving information from social media, not television. Most of other companies use social media to promote their sale information so that many people won’t follow their account. However, PXMart group keep their fanny image and they want to build the connection with young people and social media is a good method to reach them.

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( via PXMart Facebook fan page)

This month, they posted this picture, they would not tell you what kind of products is going to on sale, they wanted everyone playing a game. Like a puzzle, you needed to change the angle how you see this picture and guessed it! This interesting posts directly told you something is on sale but used a interesting method.This promotion strategy made PXMart become the biggest local supermarket in Taiwan.

 

According to Amy and Zack’s suggestion (2015), before post something fanny, there are something we should know, we cannot post any funny posy we want.

  • Be related to your products/ services
  • Know your audience
  • Build company’s personality
  • Timely Humour
  • Get interaction

So now… Who said that humours is not useful?

 

References

Zack. F (2015)How to Use Humor to Build Your Brand on Social Media. Available at: http://www.business2community.com/social-media/how-to-use-humor-to-build-your-brand-on-social-media-01296296#kFZ7dG7Iw4hxCpoo.97 (Accessed: 15 March 2017).

Amy. E (2015)How Big Brands Are Using Humour on Social Media (and Why You Should Too). Available at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-big-brands-are-using-humour-on-social-media/ (Accessed: 15 March 2017).

Lindsay. K (2016)Funny Tweets & Social Media Examples From 17 Real Brands. Available at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-big-brands-are-using-humour-on-social-media/ (Accessed: 15 March 2017).

Sarah. S (2015)Be Funny: The Amazing Power of Humor in Social Media Marketing. Available at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-big-brands-are-using-humour-on-social-media/ (Accessed: 15 March 2017).

pxmartchannel (2014) 2006 全聯福利中心 豪華旗鑑店part 2. Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9wpceIlxCU (Accessed: 15 March 2017).

Alonzo Lerone (2017) Wendy’s Roasts EVERYBODY!!! TOP 40 CLAPBACK TWEETS (2017). Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9wpceIlxCU (Accessed: 15 March 2017).

 

Play a game with teams and yourself

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What is “PLAY”?

“PLAY”this verb normally belong to children,  I still remember when I was a kid, I played with friends, I played video games, dolls  and even only one piece of paper, I still could play  with it. As the time goes by, not only me, most of us forget how to play. most of people won’t think adults also need to play. People just play in their holiday and free time for relaxing! As Stuart Brown’s explaining in his TED presentation in 2008, playing is without purpose, it is practical and exploration.

Why we need to “PLAY”?

In the creative industry, any creative workers should be good at playing. Why? According to IDEO’s CEO Tim Brown  suggested that nowadays T-shaped people would be more popular in workplace. In the workplace, most of people have already had a large fund of knowledge to support them to accomplish their job. Then, most of people do scrumtshapewell in vertical stroke part of T-shaped person model.

what about horizontal stroke?  It is quite hard for people to think more further and collaborate with other people, this ability needs the imagination skill to support it. Therefore, “PLAY” is a suitable approach to improve my T-shaped personality. Because S. Brown believed that  “we are beginning to get a handle on when we are playing in the physiology” and “play can let people have connection”.

In order to being a T-shaped person. There are two key points that I should do:

  • collaborative ability
  • board my knowledge and imagination

Team game

Few weeks ago, we had a LEGO class, we were asked to use lego to build a highest tower, “build” your creative day and so on. It was quite interesting to check other people’s work, it could more understand what other people thought and when we faced one problem, different people had different angle to face and solve it. Because of this game, I realised how difficult the teamwork is more than I expected, everyone had their different points. If you meet someone that their the LEGO model is quite similar like you, maybe it means you guys have similar personality. For example, when Janja gave us the mission that “what your team looks like” , I built what I thought of my team with my imagination but some people built what it looks like when they work together. In the teamwork want to make a decision, some people depend on real situation, some people prefer using their imagination.

 

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To me, the hardest mission was building a tower, everyone had their ideal tower in their mind but when everyone focused on their ideal tower and did not talk with others, the tower would lose the balance and fell.

A lonely game

Because I thought it is not enough only playing LEGO so that I decide to play other games to prove that playing is really helpful to build my T-shaped personality. When I travelled to Belfast, I visited the Golden Threat Gallery. There was a collagist exhibition of Sean Hillen and it was named “100 work”. Artist basically combined photos from everywhere and sticked them together. This gallery provided a tiny workshop for everyone to do their own collection artworks. In this workshop, I also could use my imagination to creative whatever artworks I wanted to do. It was a totally imagination game. It was different from the LEGO game because LEGO game increased the collaborative ability, we needed to talk a lot with each other, it was kind of training for teamwork. This collective game, I thought it focused on expanding my knowledge, belong to “vertical stroke” ability . When I stayed alone and played my lonely game, I tried my best to remind what’s the key points to do the collective art and organised a story in my mind to present on it. It could said that lonely games is a good method to use your knowledge to make it pratical.

(This is what I did in Golden Threat Gallery)

After these experience, play with your team or alone is helpful to relaxing, come up some surprising ideas and build a great connection. As S.Brown also said it can help the team to gain a sense of safety.

So…play harder, work better!

References

Stuart Brown (2008) Play is more than just fun. Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/stuart_brown_says_play_is_more_than_fun_it_s_vital#t-96435 (Accessed: 27 February  2017).

Morten T. Hansen (2010)IDEO CEO Tim Brown: T-Shaped Stars: The Backbone of IDEO’s Collaborative Culture. Available at: http://chiefexecutive.net/ideo-ceo-tim-brown-t-shaped-stars-the-backbone-of-ideoae™s-collaborative-culture/ (Accessed: 27 February  2017).

http://www.goldenthreadgallery.co.uk/?v=79cba1185463 (no date). (Accessed: 27 February  2017).

 

 

 

Does social media defeat real display?

In these months, we have built our own business from nothing to participate trade fairs twice times. We did something wrong just like the last article mentioned that our stand display was a tragedy so that we didn’t get any new customer from the first trade fair. Moreover, our Facebook fan page’s fans are mostly from our friends, they like it and share it but those posts are really easily covered by latest or popular posts on Facebook. This situation makes me confusing…

“Does social media really effective to attract my customers?”

When I rethought everything in trade fairs, I realised that interact with people might be the most effective methods to get real customers, not from social media.  Therefore, I want to know why many companies still put a lot of effort into social media marketing and why the real display (stands/ shopwindow) still takes the important role of promoting products?

Understanding the different types of promoting products

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The value proposition canvas is usually for people to understand the relationship between products and customers so that it is helpful to improve product’s value proposition. I want to use this canvas to figure out questions so that I change “Product” part to “Social media display” and “Stand display

Firstly, I need to understand what do customers want from different kind of display.

Want: clear explanation /  understand the product’s details

Needs:easy and free to understand products

Fear: salesperson disturb them / price too expensive/ cannot bargain/ products do not look           same as pictures

Secondly, I need to compare with two type of product display approach to understand which one is more suitable for promoting products.

Social media display:

Benefits: 

  • easy to get feedback
  • spread information quickly
  • it can work 24/7
  • easy to reach customers
  • cheap
  • easy to use

Experience: (lack of customer’s feedback)

Features: same as “Benefits”

Stand display:

Benefits: 

  • get more informations and details
  • interact with customers
  • customers can see and touch products
  • sometimes can bargain

Experience:(lack of customer’s feedback)

Features: same as “Benefits”

Comparing with them, the social media’s advantages are more than stand’s. As our position, the social media could be more suitable for young entrepreneurs because it’s cheaper and easier for entrepreneurship beginner. However, as the client’s position, for some young people and who have direct target products, they prefer getting informations as quick as possible, moreover, the companies can provide pre-order service so that the purchasing activities won’t be limited by region. That’s why the trend of online shopping is popular and it cannot stop.

However, when I face what customer’s fundamental “Wants”, “Needs” and “Fears”, “understanding products” sometimes is hard for online shops to do that because clients cannot reach it, touch it so that the brick-and-mortar stands or shops cannot be replaced. If stands or shops don’t have creative or interesting decoration design, they are still hard to attract customers but they have over-decorations or put too many ideas, they still will looks like a mess.

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Yes! This is a totally wrong example!

Better shop window(stand) decoration, better sales

When I traveled to Copenhagen in the Christmas holiday, I noticed that there are many independent shops hiding in small alleys and lanes. Their location might influence the number of customers but when I went through these shops, I still stopped a while. Why?

 

“Hygge” is a Danish word, it means coziness and it is also kind of feeling make you feeling warm and happy easily and simply. Maybe these shop window design are not concise to show products like other shops just put their goods and price tags. To me, Danish style shop window design is creating kind of “Hygge” story. Their decorations are not concise but they express the key points of their products and also make people feel happy and curious, then, attract visitors or new clients.

Keeping the stand as simple as possible might be the easiest method to display products but how to create its own “Hygge” story could be a higher level challenge for me and my group. Let people not only just walk pass… let them stop a while and talk with us!  The advantages of  correct stand display are hard for social media copying them. Social media’s template is hard to change so that it’s more difficult to make a nice impression.

It could say that a well stand should have nice products, clear display and “Hygge” story. This idea might hard to realise in this course but I hope it can realise in my future career.

 

References

Thomas(2013) Value Proposition Canvas Template Available at: http://www.peterjthomson.com/2013/11/value-proposition-canvas/ (Accessed: 13 February 2017)

Joan( no date) What is Hygge? The new danish design trend Available at: https://www.sterlingfurniture.co.uk/inspire-me/posts/2016/hygge/hygge (Accessed: 14 February 2017)