“I didn’t know what the hell I was gonna do. My dad’s a scientist, but I didn’t have that skill set. My mother’s an urban planner, and I’d always liked buildings and thinking about how a city works, so I tried urban planning. I worked a couple of years doing both things, City Hall during the day, then at night with my girlfriend, now wife, packing boxes and doing customer service. I’d take boxes on the train in the morning, go to the post office, then go to work.”

That was 7 years ago, says the founder of a company that now has $200 million in revenue per year.

Give this little nugget a read in Fast Company

~Christopher Smith

Every two months, Expert Blogger Kaihan Krippendorff pulls together a community of innovators. They meet somewhere in New York City, usually a boardroom overlooking a park or cityscape. But last month they all found our way into an acting studio operated by The TAI Group to learn about storytelling…

Read more on Fast Company

IMHO, Banksy is a rebel genius who never misses with his art.

I’ve looked at dozens of his pieces and each one kills. There are few about whom I would say this.

Today I read a piece he wrote about public advertising – – assume he means billboards, bus boards, and such. Read it here and comment.

~ Christopher Smith

Nike+ (version1.0) was a jump shot in a set shot world – – a platform-sized idea that has engaged over 6,000,000 users since its launch in 2006. Nike Fuel takes it up a notch and the next generation of Nike+ falls right in sync

Stefan Olander and Mark Parker are on a roll.

Here’s a good use for the word gobsmacked: http://is.gd/nF6p0l

Issey Miyake’s genius continues to extend the distance between him and all other clothing designers.

Is anyone else in the industry doing this:

…or telling a STORY like this:

“The process by which the clothing is made is groundbreaking, using a mathematical algorithm: first, a variety of three-dimensional shapes are conceived in collaboration with a computer scientist; then, these shapes are folded into two-dimensional forms with pre-set cutting lines that determine their finished shape; and finally, they are heat-pressed, to yield folded shirts, skirts, dresses etc. These clothes are significant not only for the process by which they were made but because they are also made using recycled PET products, sometimes in combination with other recycled fibers.”

Nope.

~Christopher Smith

More on the game-changers at Nike Digital Sport: The Nike Plus platform is another example of how Nike Digital Sport is changing the game of relating to its customers.

R/GA is the agency. Wow~

You have to have some major firepower to pull off concepts this big – – but it’s a doable strategy on a smaller scale, too.

Platform + Strategy. Just Do It.

~ Christopher Smith

Mobility Chic has been working hard to develop a host of new products for people with mobility challenges.

So first, for those of us who are ambulatory, what does “mobility challenge” mean?

  • An parent or grandparent who uses a walker or wheelchair to get around
  • A breast cancer patient who drives or rides and the seat belt hurts
  • Anyone in a wheelchair who wants to personalize his or her ride

After a great deal of product testing, Mobility Chic has just launched the ChicBelt – first designed for mastectomy patients. It fits easily on the chest-harness of the seat belt. For now, it comes in 2 colors that have tested very well – pink or green, but I bet if you asked, you could get another fabric.

Coolest part of this story: it was designed for women, by women, to solve an all-too-common problem.

~ Christopher Smith

Here’s a design talent that the world should be aware of: Daniela Meloni. Check out a sample of her work here.

Click on “click to read” for a large-enough-to-read version.

Like all great communications, the Branding Comedy tells 2 stories at once, which is the magic of a great branding tool: it tells the story intended, and it tells the story about your capabilities.

~ Christopher Smith

 

NYTimes article lays out the challenges and opportunities in “Big Data

OK, so now that we know what it is (and why it’s never going to be “Little Data”), the question becomes: How can you capture opportunity in this space, even if you’re not a geek?

And then, what’s your story – the one that will demonstrate that you understand the problem, and are part of the solution?

 

~ Christopher Smith

Years ago, while I was the #1 outside writer for Nike Brand Design, I was talking to a good friend who told me of a shift in their marketing strategy. He said they’d launched nearly their entire World Cup Soccer commercial campaign (Joga Bonito) via YouTube. Not commercial TV. YouTube.

Sounds commonplace today, but it was seismic at the time. “With TV, we can estimate how many people might have seen our commercial. Might have seen it peripherally or might have been in the bathroom when it ran in the living room. With YouTube, within an hour, we know definitively how many people actually clicked on the ad. We know how many times it was forwarded to a friend. And we know exactly who they are.”

Nike Plus products

Seems that conversation was the tip of the iceberg that has become Nike Digital Sport, and it’s fundamentally changing the way marketing is being done.

Important?

Considering Nike leads its nearest competitor (Adidas) by 30%….

~ Christopher Smith