The Golden Rule "Treat others as you want to be treated" SAGE ADVICE, RIGHT? HOWEVER REMEMBER WE ARE DIVERSE AND WE EACH ARE MOTIVATED BY DIFFERENT THINGS, SO DO THIS: Take the "Golden Rule" one step further, treat each person as they would like to be treated"
“Great leaders change us for the better, they see more in us than we see in ourselves, and they help us see it too” - Unknown
Product development and design is ALWAYS about consumer insights. Decisions should never solely be based on “gut”. Engaging with your customer and consumer, getting product prototypes in their hands saves you costly mistakes of bad product launches. Consumer insight sessions DON’T have to be expensive.
The newly designed modular space at the Faber-Castell Creativity for Kids offices was ideal for onsite insight sessions. If you aren’t engaging your product team in consumer-centric research you are missing a huge opportunity.
As creatives we have to tell our stories, because frequently they are erased and forgotten.
I went to high school in Montclair New Jersey, and would often frequent the shops that lined Bloomfield Avenue after school. During my leadership at @eksuccessbrands a huge part of my responsibilities were to identify new concepts as a part of the new product development process. I would often visit Manhattan to find new things in the shops on Madison avenue and #Soho, but I’d often frequent a small curious vintage shop named @parcel_vintage. It was a mix of items you’d find in a vintage antique shop and a curious assortment of newly acquired stationery bits and pieces.
I would often spend a good amount of my development budget on samples purchased from Parcel (who often re-sold curious vintage paper goods found in basements and estate sales) to inspire the creative process for development projects at EKSuccessBrands. Eventually I made a proposal to the shops owner #about a licensing partnership.
I developed a brand and concept inspired by the @PArcel experience which has taken its twists and turns, the shop has since moved to the other side of Bloomfield avenue and has launched their own brand separate from the initial EK Success Brands licensed project.
The shop’s logo has evolved but I remember the initial debate on type setting and settling on the current font. . When your inspiration and trend seeking inspires a partnership and launches a consumer product brand. #trendhunting #trendshopping #licensing #antiques #stationery #stationary #vintage #montclairnj #montclair #NJ #EKSuccess #CreativeDirector #Parcel
Hey Hey! I developed 3-D Dots™ over 10 years ago as a solution to add volume to paper and art projects. It’s now a common item in the general adhesives category and can be found under several brand names…..even 3M! (But I was FIRST! 😃) #Inventor #designer
Quotes that make you change the way you see and treat people daily - Marc Chernoff
Translating a Museum Experience into Consumer Product - Smithsonian Lemelson Center’ Spark Lab
During the data collection phase of the Smithsonian Spark lab Invention Kits developed for Faber-Castell, Creativity for Kids, I visited the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation with the goal of creative ethnographic research at the centers Spark Lab.
( Spark!Lab is where museum visitors become inventors. The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation invites children between the ages of 6 and 12 to create, collaborate, explore, test, experiment, and invent. Activities for children and families incorporate traditional science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with art, museum, and creativity.)
I would spend time observing the exhibitions visitors, who were families of small children with parents or guardians, who moved through the self-guided activities. Each station presented the opportunity for a child to engage in a stage of the invention process.
The goal for the product development team was how to best represent this exhibition as a boxed STEM activity. As the exhibition had no plug-and-play style guide, my team would need to develop the brand style guide and packaging systems which would capture the aesthetics. The time spent in the space during this visit provided the content for the team to kick off the ideation process.
The program’s goal was to feature several skus for a strong planogram presence, and this initial visit was the beginning of the process to determine how many SKUS was the right balance to represent the experience and fulfill the requirements of the licensing agreement that we needed to structure.
The end result was a program featuring 8 STEM / STEAM Activity Kits.
Starting this month, Australians in the state of Queensland can include emojis on their car license plates. Drivers can choose one of five emojis, including ‘cool sunglasses’ and ‘heart eyes’, to add to the end of their state-issued plate. The government-owned Personalized Plates is offering the new service, which costs between ASD 160 and 500 (that’s around USD 115 and 350). The new service has been promoted via a campaign on Instagram, and the revenue it generates will support Queensland Government initiatives, including road safety.
Emojis on car license plates! 😲😲👏. But this is more than just 😂😂😂. Read on...
Niche to mainstream. Emojis used to be the stuff of tween text messages, and nothing more. Now we all (okay, almost all) use them, and artists, tech-heads and linguists hold conferences in Brooklyn to discuss their significance. The underlying message here? Today’s niche or fringe cultures, behaviors and mindsets can become tomorrow’s mainstream. Want a glimpse of the future? Look to the fringes.
OFF=ON. Even as emojis became a mainstream part of online culture, it was easy to believe they had little relevance beyond that. But this example is yet another demonstration of how online behaviors and expectations transfer into the physical world too. What new expectations are consumers cultivating online right now that they’ll soon be bringing into the real world – and to your door?
(from Trendwatching )
Excerpt from Article: “ The tween scene is all about “in real life” crafting that’s cool, collectible and ready to share.” - By Pamela Brill
No matter whether your store carries toys or gifts, you know the challenges of catering to the tween demographic. Sometimes, it can feel like trying to sell a toy to any kid older than 8 is like trying to sell ice to an Eskimo.
Blame it on any number of factors: age compression (kids appearing to get older, younger), their constant desire to be digitally connected, fickle buying habits…did we mention too much screen time? It’s enough to make toy buyers and sellers throw their hands up in the air and cry mercy!
And just as important as who is buying the craft kit is who is receiving it; toy designers must tailor their tween selection to a more mature audience. “A tween girl doesn’t want her little sister’s crafts; she wants a much more sophisticated look, something that her little sister would not be interested in,” say Delanie West, vice president of product development, at Faber-Castell USA. “The experience is ‘graduated’ to more challenging techniques, more steps in the creative process and more of an open-ended feel in the projects to let their creative decisions flourish.”
The CRAFTIVITY Pretty Pendants Aroma Jewelry combines natural fragrance oils with beads to create scented jewelry. $20. Creativity for Kids/Faber-Castell USA. Craftivity.com
As craft kit manufacturers develop lines for tweens, they must determine what role, if any, the integration of technology will play in design or promotions. For Faber-Castell USA’s Creativity for Kids brand, the company looks to social media for inspiration for its product and packaging, specifically Instagram Top Down positioning that presents a bird’s eye view. “By presenting some product photography using that subtle photography angle, we are speaking to (tweens) in the way they engage with imagery on Instagram,” say West.
Anytime I’m in NJ, I drop into Launch Pad, Newark for a day of off-site work. Today I’m working on a client’s import project, and needed both open table space and and area to take some private calls.
There several spaces that are appropriate for an individual or group work sessions. I was extended an invitation to work at Launch Pad after my project Newark Historical Renaissance Ride participated in an entrepreneur’s panel.
I’ve visited quite a few co-working spaces and Launch Pad Newark, is the one that I’ve found to work best for my business needs. When I’m not at Launch Pad - I’m working at the United Club at Newark Airport - that’s a darn good co-working space as well!
For more about Newark Launch Pad.
Does your creative department REALLY have the tools that they need?
When I accepted the position to lead a creative team for a 250-year-old brand, I was shocked to see that the company's designers were using a standard 11'/11'x17 printer for presentations and product mockups.
If you're in the consumer product development business, you'll know this means that to create a product packaging mockup, a designer has to print out a packaging or other layout on several 11'x17' sized tiled sheets, and painstakingly glue them together.
No creative department should have to do this. It presents your product presentations and sales materials in the most pedestrian manner.
One of the first improvements I made was to budget for a #Epson wide format printer, which was a time saver and allowed for the creation of excellent quality mockups, gloss and matte printing. Printing on adhesive paper (eliminating the need for dangerous spray mounting), and saving the business on the cost of super expensive large format printing at Kinkos and print houses. This group could finally present top quality comps.
Are you certain your creative team has the tools they need for your brand to be successful? Have you asked them what they need?
I’m giving you recommendations on the top 3 tools you MUST secure for your creative consumer product art team.
#productdevelopment #prototypes #mockups #creativeteams
It’s a good idea to give the entire company a “sneak preview” of what’s in the pipeline. Sharing some images from one of the last product previews that product development presented for the entire company. Lots of Q&A’s, and it gave developers and designers the chance to practice the pitch before any trade shows or engagement video filming.
This is a fantastic way to include employees who may never be this close to the development process.
Team engagement is where it’s at - get the entire company involved in your PD process!
I filed two articles of incorporation and one trademark and knocked off one international WeChat conference call today. How’s that for a super lazy Saturday?
A few ways to train your brain to make new connections (creative thinking).
Disrupt Your Schedule Disrupt your normal routine. Pick a week and discover a new route to the office each day, you'll open up your creative capacity.
Do Nothing Make a point to schedule free time to relax and do nothing, under-scheduled minds have time to dream.
Don’t be Afraid to Screw Up Don't be afraid to make mistakes, it activates a most engaging form of learning (creative problem solving) you'll find ways to make other choices that perhaps are more efficient than the tries that were "errors".
Search for New Things Creative people love to forage for new things. They don't like perfect experiences that are curated. Engage in the work of making new connections and discoveries on your own.
Me: Wakes up (meditates). Gets up, percolates coffee, cracks open current read.
“Alexa, play Roy Ayers”
Me: Gets up, opens ALL the blinds in the house, ( sunshine )
Roy Ayers is a whole mood.