Archive for October, 2007

right on target

The blogosphere (or at least my blogosphere, i.e. the blogs that I read that focus on business, design, marketing, etc.) is on fire with the word design. Chopped, sauteed, blended, and baked everyone is talking about design in every possible context. For good reason, design is important, and great design (which could be argued is functional design) impacts people every day.

Recently, the design of Archer Farms Parmesan Garlic potato chip bag rocked my world. (Not to mention these are some of the best chips I’ve ever had)

You’re asking yourself why did this rock Gavin’s world. Well, it’s written right on the on the front of the bag, “recloseable for freshness” yep, it’s the awesome combination of a ziploc bag and a potato chip bag. This means no more stale chips, no more bag clips and fresh taste everyday.

Secondly, the part that amazes me is that Archer Farms is Target’s house brand. Granted, they are positioning it as a very design-centric elite house brand, but it is still a house brand. The question is, why didn’t any of the other 500 chip bag makers figure this out? I don’t for a second believe that Dorito, or Lay’s or Snyder’s or [insert in your favorite bagged treat here], didn’t know that this was an issue.

Why didn’t they make this change?

Maybe this is the continuation of the design-sensitive customer, or the fact that Target has a history of implementing innovative design that is customer-centric. Either way I applaud the person who pushed this change through, and I look forward to what else comes down the pipe.

Have a great day everyone.


i got .99 problems

I was in a gas station driving up to Pennsylvania last week and I saw the sign below.

My first thought was, “wow what horrible presentation, don’t they know that if they did, X, Y, and Z it could be so much better” However, as I thought about it I realized how wrong I was on multiple fronts. First, I was wrong because it’s fully functional. Now of course it could have a bit more appeal, but the sign does what it needs to do. It tells me that Gold Peak tea is .99. Before I walked in I did not know that the tea was .99 and because it’s clearly stated and easily seen, 3 steps in the door and I’m fully aware of that pricing.

Secondly, this made me think about the marketing/communication we do in a larger context. How often do we create a mountain, when a mole-hill would have worked? I know I often create relatively layered messaging, or features for Abunga because I want to show prowess rather than creating a simple design that communicates the message clearly, quickly and easily. In the end, it’s not about me, it’s about the user, the customer and if I give them what works for them best, they’ll probably come back.

How can you simplify what you are doing today? What features can you remove? What words can you cut?

Recent Reads

Some new blogs I’ve come across recently and I’d recommend you checking them out!

Damn I Wish I’d Thought of That -Andy Sernovitz, author of Word of Mouth Marketing and past CEO/founder of Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA). Always filled with insights and ideas.

Note to CMO -Stephen Denny, the blog is formated as memo/notes to the CMO. I found his series on Killing Giant’s particularly relevant to jog our minds at as we explore some of the marketing strategies he suggests.

Rowan Simpson – Written by Rowan Simpson, he’s a Kiwi with a technology bent and although he hasn’t been blogging long he’s certainly got a style I enjoy. Check out his series on the Trade Me Manifesto.

Check them out!

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