Tomorrow I'm writing about product packaging going from the physical world to the digital (and what's changed). The Gold today is sort of a blend of this concept mixed with the "Drip."
I thought it was worth taking a peek at this piece by Jon Bois.
You probably won't get it. And, you probably won't understand why SB Nation would publish this.
Try and absorb it without looking it up further online. Think critically about what the author is after. You may still not like it, but it helps to pay attention to those breaking the rules.
If you're going to do something, go all the way with it.
The Gold List - A journal written by David Sherry
Tomorrow I'm writing about product packaging going from the physical world to the digital (and what's changed). The Gold today is sort of a blend of this concept mixed with the "Drip."
I remember going out to dinner at a fine Italian Restaurant with my family.
At the end of the meal, we were stuffed, but the wait staff brought out 1 Andes mint for each of us as a treat at the end of the meal.
Do you know what fine Italian restaurant I’m talking about?
Answer: Olive Garden.
I’ve been thinking about a few campaigns that all sort of “smell” the same to me. And I recently realize why.
They didn’t take a Hail Mary to produce.
I applaud Nike and Red Bull with their Hail Mary’s of the 2 hour Marathon and the epic jump from space.
They PUSHED all the way to the edge.
And it *maybe* paid off for them, depending on how they thought about the ROI.
What I’m talking about are ideas that don’t cost that much to produce, but have an incredible ROI.
This is the opposite of the Hail Mary. I don't have a word for it,
so maybe I'll call it the Small-Mary?
The Andes mint at Olive Garden is an example of the small-mary.
I still remember that part of the meal with my family, and if you knew what restaurant I was talking about while you read that, then you do too.
WHAT A WIN.
Let's break this down.
- The servers win, they increased their tips (according to studies).
- The customers win, memorable moment with the family at the end of the meal (what Olive Garden’s brand is about).
- Andes wins (Bulk buyer, unique distribution channel).
- Olive Garden Wins (Customers tell other customers).
The point is that the cost of this was basically zero.
The actual cost was the “risk” they took to decide to give the mint in the first place.
The point of this is not to discuss Olive Garden. The idea is that it's possible to alter brand perception and experience without taking a major existential risk to the business for the return.
Let’s look at a more current example of what I’m talking about.
The 100% Human campaign, by Everlane.
A clothing campaign, by a clothing company that printed clothing for people to represent themselves not by their gender, race,e or sexual orientation, rather that they are human. With this campaign they've sold out of merchandise twice and raised over $75,000 in donations for the ACLU.
Here’s the key. They broke their business wide open by only the slightest tweak to their existing product. Just a simple message.
The R&D for this product was ESSENTIALLY ZERO.
Yet attention + sales skyrocketed.
So what’s going on here?
The expectation is that companies need to innovate, and spend massive dollars to do so in a way that they will generate a healthy return. The problem though is that these innovations are incredibly costly in time and money.
What I’m seeing some successful indie-brands do is make the innovation with an inexpensive risk. A risk worth taking because failure won't bankrupt the company but the upside could be great.
One time at my company Death to Stock we created a USB drive, called the Mystery USB - which was filled with stock media we sourced mostly for free. The idea was that you'd buy the USB stick but not know what media was stored on it until you received it in the mail. This cost us essentially zero to produce, sold out in a day, and generated 800+ sign ups for a waitlist.
The idea was a stretch into something interesting and extra, but it wasn't that innovative from a product standpoint. In fact it was on old technology, a USB.
While the Hail Mary implies that you’re risking it all.
The opposite of a Hail Mary is to have your cake and eat it to.
- Do something out of your brands comfort zone.
- Take a risk, but don't over invest in it.
- Find success in ideas that would have a huge ROI if they do work (mostly because they’re low cost to produce)
Lil Dickey produced both the small-mary and the Hail Mary. Both were successful.
Save Dat Money.
What: A music video that spent no money to make for a song about not spending money.
Views: 78 Million
Pillow Talking ft. Brain.
What: A music video that uses the newest technology to show the story of a late-night-conversation-post-hookup.
Views: 11 Million
Both work, no question. One was harder to come up with, and is perceived as a bigger risk. The free one. It feels safe to "guarantee" our success by spending $$.
So, what's your small-mary?
Everlane, 100% Human
My last post was about how what crosses our feeds is what we consume.
Today's post is about the dimension of timing of feeds.
“The Binge” is when someone releases a catalogue all at once.
We’re familiar with this, as pioneered by Netflix, but, also it was the common format of music albums, books, and many other items.
At one point in time, however, shows were almost always utilizing the “Drip” format.
The Drip was important when we were synched up and would talk about the shows we watched every week. I remember watching “24” and after every episode we would have arrived at a cliffhanger (literally every episode was one) so that week we had the time and space to anticipate, discuss, await until the next week's showing. The content was dripped out in time to build and release tension.
"The Binge", on the other hand allows you to
go at your own speed.
For some. that’s a marathon; 10 Episodes in 2 days.
For others, they create their own system for how best to “Drip” - maybe they watch on a Saturday or Sunday, 2 episodes a week for 5 weeks.
The reason “The Binge” style release seems optimal is for the reason stated above: that it gives you both the option to binge it all at once or go at any speed you would like, whereas “The Drip” only has two options.
One is to consume in real time as it is dripped.
The second is to binge once everything has fully been put out in the public. (If you're able to purchase it in that way).
I think there’s something deeper going on for “The Drip,” though.
Of course your customers/viewers/audience want everything to be a “Binge” opportunity. For them that means the greatest possible range of consumption on their own terms.
But that doesn’t mean you should always give it to them.
There’s a reason we enjoy Tapas.
Would you really enjoy it if they put out the next 4 Star Wars films 4 days in a row to view?
It is possible that consumers really don't always understand the best method of consumption for themselves.
The Drip retains a few advantages despite it's drawbacks.
The first is that it creates a cycle of anticipation, a hit of dopamine, and then ramp up of tension to still be realized. This is something that is deeply pleasing to us.
The other is that "Drip" style of distribution allows for better focus.
Like the name, the binge is a gorge of information, thus we tend to appreciate the details less. The Drip can allow us to pay more attention to the nuance of each and every item.
Then again… with the binge format we see the full picture a lot more clear, as everything is in context together.
Consider some other Drip vs. Binge scenarios:
- Concerts vs. Music Festivals.
- Tapas vs. Buffet
- Halloween vs. Hannukah
- Albums vs. Singles
There isn't an optimal "drip" or "binge" for every product, rather that we need to decide when it's appropriate for our work. and that the context matters.
How we select a pace for release is infused with the value proposition of the product.
When an artist creates and shares his or her work, it is done as a conversation with the audience. So the timing of when to speak and when to be quiet, matter.
For the Gold today I wanted to share Kaiseki, which is a pure Drip format. It's "binge-styled-sibling" would be the buffet.
And the gatekeepers of today are the algorithm.
You see, today is about what shows up in front of you in any given stream.
We watch whatever is on Netflix.
We listen to whatever is on our Discover Weekly Playlist.
We wait for the Times to tell us about what’s important.
So anything that is history is history. Well, until it floats back in front of our ever seeking eyes...
And we don’t miss that which we miss.
Are you sad that you missed 2,500 tweets last night?
What about the 120 Instagram posts that you just missed over last two hours?
Every day they pass us by.
If I didn’t see it, it’s not important.
I feel way more confident telling people I don’t watch Game of Thrones, because I watch the Great British Bake off, so hey, you’re missing out too.
But the truth is neither of us are. Because it’s a golden age. The ideas, products, and delights are endless.
The human condition is about constant growth and consumption. And when what we love is digital, free, and widely spread, it’s an all you can eat buffet. Our appetite for the new is endless.
So, I haven’t dug into the history or archives, although I could, if I wanted to.
So, I missed that hit show on Hulu, but I’m too busy binging that which dropped yesterday on HBO.
So, I missed your tweets yesterday, but thanks to Buffer I know you’ve got more in the queue.
Where do we go from here?
First, distribution still reigns. Trust still reigns.
We go to trusted sources to provide a drinkable jet of water from the firehouse.
So sign me up, and if I like what you curate, I’ll come back for more.
The opinions of those that we trust outweighs our rationality – it’s a coping mechanism for our overstimulation.
But if it doesn’t cross my desk, if there hasn’t been a referral, I’ll likely skip it.
Remember time is our scarcest resource.
Second, algorithms and personalization are here to stay.
We’re selfish in our consumption. The right idea at the right time is a beautiful thing.
In fact I’m all about timing and context. You don’t want your Spotify to throw on a live Dead show right as you lean in for the kiss. Instead Spotify should note the time of day, note what was played before, maybe even interact with your surroundings to detect the low lighting and suggest some smooth jazz.
The smart home and smart hardware revolution will be about personalization.
Third, play to the people who have heard about youand want to hear about you again. The battle for new faces is a difficult one. Better to play to the crowd who showed up and blow them away so that they convert there friends.
If you had been away on vacation you would have likely missed this email.
You selected it out of the dozens or hundreds of other possible items.
And for that, I thank you.
It started with LOL.
I remember being in AIM chats and seeing it spring up like a weed, everywhere you looked.
What did it mean... to “LOL" ?
The beauty of a trend is how awkward it is for new users. It’s like Rock and Roll. At first it needs to piss some people off or confuse them. “Snap..What?"
Like when parents that thought LOL meant lots of Love? Heck I thought it was the sound of lollll like an eye roll.
So, years ago, there was a time when “LOL" meant you were literate in a certain in crowd.
This was when the trends would creep in slowly instead of exploding through our society and then burning out from their heat, the way that fidget spinners have.
But fidget spinners were a semi-fluke.
Whereas Emojis have been baking in the oven for awhile. These are a response to our communication becoming digital.
Did you know that face to face communication is no longer the dominant form of communication?
It's 3rd in the list. THINK ABOUT THAT.
This wave started again like code between you and your friends, and in some ways it continues that way. Like how I have certain emojis I use with certain friends that mean nothing what you think they would mean. Firing off emojis at random sometimes just because you have nothing else to say. Sorta “hey I hear you, so here’s a dice emoji with a wave and two dancing girls."
There’s actually a commission (The Unicode Consortium) that decides on which emojis we get to use. Just like words that make it into the dictionary, for this to work well there needs to be some standards. But then again the same commission totally missed it on including race into the conversation. Also it’s worth noting that Emoji’s started in Japan, not in the U.S.
Emojis seem to be destined into existence.
You’ve got cave drawings, then language, then text, then the telephone, then Digital text communication, and now “emoticons” and images or video.
The distribution system for a new function for our communication are always a breeze. Like email, right when they start to get sent out and others start to see and wonder what it’s about they are guaranteed to take off. They’ve crept so far into societies minds that they get their own movie.
We’ve learned to talk, and we’ve learned to write, but we’re only now learning to write at the speed of talking (i.e., text), sending messages over vast expanses, absent any physical contextual clues. If you are talking to someone face-to-face, you don’t need an additional word or symbol to express “I’m smiling” because you would, presumably, be smiling. - Tyler Schnoebelen
So where does that leave us?
We’re in the second phase of digital communication.
We’re still trying to sort out how one can express emotion through bits. Thousands of years of evolution have built incredible nuance to body language and emotion when having a dialogue. So we're lacking sophistication in this arena.
You see LOL was just the beginning.
The emoji has taken a us a step farther.
Chapter three is on it’s way.
Today the Emoji reigns. 👑
But it aint here to stay.
White people don't use white emojis.
Rapid Evolution of a Wordless Tongue
In the future everything is easily returnable, and everything is a subscription.
Try and others will continue to give us the ease of delivery options for our wardrobe. And maybe we’ll all make it to rapper status and wear a new pair of socks every day. It’s not difficult to imagine, in fact with Lot you’re supposed to return items after you’ve worn them for a year or so.
So Lot2046 is a subscription for clothing basics. It’s about products for the future in a new delivery system. It's got an edge.
And it's a Mission.
The founder Vadik Marmeladov is a visionary product designer. He also runs a product accelerator and his previous company Lapka was Acquired by Airbnb which kicked off Airbnb’s wearable division, Samsara.
His signature is care for details and a mission about our collective futures.
You can see an example of his mission approach below (pulled from his website)
"Codes of Conduct"
- Do not work for corporations. Old corporations were meaningful when their founders were alive, but now, they have outlived their relevancy. They exist only to keep their numbers growing
- New corporations are no better. They have scaled up features, and today’s founders want hyper-growth for growth’s sake (it seems like every line of code, every feature deserves its own corporation — it sure doesn't)
- So, fuck the corporations
So, as you can see this isn't for everyone.
Maybe you winced.
Starting a product is about starting a change in the world. We all have something unique to say. But mostly we're scared to stand up, and to say it.
So when someone else does, even if we don't fully agree we rally around them. There's anticipation that's created with everything they do. I can't wait to see what's next.
And as we increase choices, we increase our desire to stand out. So any product that provides a new "in crowd" is desirous. Maybe not this one, but another identity for sure. Like I said before, with efficient distribution and discovery of media (like what the internet brings), our consumption splinters into infinite niches.
Brands are "status" symbols. Not in the way you think though, where status means high-end or pretentious.
Status as in a shift in our status, more like the away messages we'd leave on AIM.
"Status" meaning the most current representation of ourselves. So any time we seek to change status, we need brands to help us make this transformation.
This post by Kyle Chaka does a good job describing this, along side the trends related to the fashion industry as a whole.
"The friend doesn’t need another logo to identify with. Rather, the cool factor that he’s drawn to comes from supply chains, factories, and delivery systems linked across the globe, an acknowledgement that fashion is less a one-time widget to purchase than a process that we participate in"
"A process we participate in" is also a great way to describe brand affinity and enrolling in the journey for where a brand is going. Which is why early adopters, adopt.
Because they want to head somewhere new, and as soon as something pops up that will give them that ride, they want to sign on and be taken on a journey. The only hope is that the brand delivers.
A few things to note about Lot.
1. The details are the main event.
Every ounce of the first drop I received made it seem like it was made for me. My name was printed all over everything on the packaging, and each item had different phrases, dates and times stamped on it. The elements that wrapped the item were sturdy. Instead of cheap metal clips to hold a t-shirt, they use velcro straps to build the presentation. Just look at any video from the Lapka product and you'll be blown away by the packaging design.
2. Build with an edge.
They're not afraid to say what they are about. No longer can you hope appeal to the masses, better to launch to a dedicated few that will blog about you, and let their flags fly that they're in.
3. Leave some things open to interpretations.
Lot has done an amazing job leaving details are cryptic on purpose... which has lead to conversations online.
This is what geeks love to do! Geek out on esoteric details. You only do this if you care about the smallest point of possible interaction with a customer. That one person might follow one link to another to find a hidden message. It's only for the weird.
Que the Subreddit discussions.
Que the message boards.
We need to close loops for peace of mind. So when you leave some open, some will dive in to get to the end.
4. Your mission comes through in many forms.
You've got to blend your mission into the minds of your customers in ways beyond your product. Which is why Lot approaches the scene immediately pairing up with a DJ set by RDK. This is about feeling like you're in the future, and so the music helps you get there.
This brand is about helping you see something you haven't seen yet, and so this video helps you feel like you're on that search still.
I’m not even going to try and explain this video, but it hits people like me squarely in the jaw like a bag of sugar.
And so I'm part of the Lot Club.
I saw it and said "Sign me up."
Throughout my process in writing these Gold Posts, my intentions are to do two things.
The first is to help make you aware of patterns in the market, so that you can further understand which elements or anomolies are potentially driving the underlying success for products and brands.
The second is to help you build your perspective, or as Seth Godin would say, your “posture” for how you start to see the world and the products and ideas you produce. This happens through repetition and discussion about these ideas.
Step one in any growth process is awareness.
Step two is letting patterns and repetition give an osmosis-like transfer of perspective.
So I hope I can help you hone in your visions. Or… you can just have fun knowing about a few brands or bits of media others haven’t seen yet. That too.
On to today’s post.
Customer Adoption Patterns.
There’s a really simple idea that underlies a lot of what we’re discussing in The Gold List.
The idea that there are patterns to what we purchase and what we pay attention to.
We can use ourselves as an example. Have you recently become fond of a new genre of music, or tested out a new diet? Have you not given up on using Old Spice since you were a teen?
Some of our attention and buying patterns stay the same, and some change. But what drives this? Our patterns of attention and purchasing morph around an ever-chaning landscape of technology and culture. The changes occur due to cultural shifts, the introduction of new technologies, new methods for distribution, measures of quality, randomness, social pressures, and many other factors.
You could picture a buyer as a boat in the sea. There are many factors that can influence this boat heading to a particular destination. For example the current of technology might pull the boat one way. But then the wind of culture might pull it a different way. Smooth seas, or efficient means of distribution, produce smooth sailing. Highly complex and difficult to understand products have friction and choppy waves.
Then there are means of Distribution. Which is like the engine for an idea being grabbed onto. It’s not just the case that what get’s popular is always what is best, what get’s popular is what get’s spread.
The point is there are patterns to buying, and there are ever-changing factors that influence these patterns. Google, Twitter, Instagram Live and Skype have all completely accelerated idea-distribution into an unthinkable speed. A catchphrase like “Damn Daniel” can be heard in cities across the U.S., which is driven by Snapchat but ALSO driven by cultural norms, social pressures, and perhaps randomness.
All of these factors contribute to what we pay attention to and what we buy. So, you can see what it’s difficult to really get clarity on what’s really going on… You’ve got culture, technology, distribution, quality, and these are just some of the factors that create trends, successes, and failures in the market.
If we’re going to begin to see through all of that with some predictive power, and some awarness for how we can give our own ideas their best shot, we need to look at a series of shifts that build on one another.
So today we’re focusing on one factor in particular: An increase of choice.
Going back to our previous example, it might be the case that you purhcased Old Spice in the past, because there was a very limited amount of choice. It was them or the other brand.
But today, for almost every product possible, choice has increased dramatically. This idea is CENTRAL to today’s landscape of buying and attention.
I can think of three factors that have driven this massive, and I mean massive, explosion of choice.
The first is that much of our consumption can happen digitally,
whereas physical choice means that you need to live in the right neighborhood, digital choice means there are no limits to where you can purchase from.
This shift from physical goods to digital products (for example, Hardbound books to Ebooks) gave us an opportunity to remove shipping or in-person shopping from the equation.
The second is that our means of distribution globally have exploded thanks to better distribution from logistics, trucking, and soon from autonomous vehicles and drones. We’re simply just better at moving product.
The last is the increase of populations making goods, services and brands. There are just more people generally making more stuff. Small businesses and freelancers thrive in a market propped up by services that support them. This new ecosystem is self-perpetuating.
The joke here would be “We’re a startup that helps startups start startups.”
Let me be clear: The idea that we have a massive increase of choice alone has rocked the foundation for how we behave as consumers.
I’ll dive into how these shifts compound below.
Here’s how the factor of an increase in choice has shifted our consumption.
1. With increased choice, comes increased depth of selection.
Now we don’t just listen to the hits. We go back deep, and listen to the oldest, rarest cuts of an artist. This is the idea of the long tail, which states the the “hits” actually produce less revenue and views than the combination and sum total of all of the “misses” and rare finds.
“If the 20th- century entertainment industry was about hits, the 21st will be equally about misses.”
“Many of our assumptions about popular taste are actually artifacts of poor supply-and-demand matching — a market response to inefficient distribution.” - Chris Anderson, The Long Tail
This is huge to understand. Not only do our consumption as a total lean heavier towards ideas and products that are not popular en masse. It’s also not the case that the factor that produced hits in the past was our personal preferences. Instead, what the long tail argues is that it was an inneficient means of distribtuion that created hits in the past.
Old Spice was a hit mostly because it was the only item on the shelf. This makes sense intuitively. If your grocery shelf originally had 80 different brands of deodorant, it is unlikely that Old Spice would have so much market share.
With efficient distribution and discovery of media (like what the internet brings), our consumption splinters into infinite niches. This makes it more difficult for the culture to sync up consistently, and creates new efficiency for building smaller communities and products.
Now, there are still markets where there are monopolies of sorts. In part because they are technically difficult to produce, and because they build moats through technology or distribtuion that generate a smaller selection of choice.
For example Smart Phones or Rocket Ships. We really don’t have that much choice as consumers in these markets.
The point is though, for markets like much of we discuss on the Gold List, which are more niche products and indie-brands gaining attention in smaller pockets, they face a massive amount of competition and choice.
Being a rapper or an author at one point in time was a fairly rare and scarce product to produce. At this point, though, there are a massive amount of options for consumers to choose from in these markets.
I’m particularly interested in who’s winning in markets similar to this for the purposes of this blog, as the sheer amount of work and barriers necessary for markets like space travel put them in the minority of ideas and brands in the world (even if their profits are the majority).
2. With increased choice, means an increase in research and curation/selection services.
We do research, check reviews, and have technology and friends do research for us. We need Yelp and Google to parse the massive amount of options we now have. While still constrained by physical limitations such as the restaurants around you, the digital landscape has infinite depth to explore. Referrals are at the heart of the spreading of ideas. Machines and human referrals are more necessary with more choice.
So with more choice comes more methods for selection. Which methods get picked and used are critical to what we find. This *does* still limit our options but much less so than without them.
3. Increased choice, aided by increased research, means an increase in individual, personalized consumption.
The more we personalize and choose our own selection and curation methods, the less “synced” up we are with the masses. No two Spotify histories look the same. 40 years ago, it was possible that there would be a heavy overlap on the types of albums one might own in a typical home.
Now we can all have custom scents, and be interested in rare indie movies that only few others across the globe have gotten into equally.
This choice has led to some difficulty and strain. We do find some stability and comfort in being able to discuss specific shows, music, or movies with anyone we might encounter. Of course there are matters, products and ideas that still rise to the top. But as Chris Anderson notes, the 21st century is about the “misses” — and when he says “misses” he means ideas that don’t go mass. We’re equally enamored, if not more so with these misses.
Volume of choice plays a critical role in our choosing.
And this is only going to continue to develop.
I grew up listening to the radio.
We’d take long car drives constantly. Me and my 3 sisters and parents, dad yelling for us all to get our stuff around and get in the car. We'd scramble around and pack for the trip down to Florida or out West to Denver. Everything would be set and when finally we'd all get into the car, all 3 of us ready, then to find and our parents still in the house. Dad taking a shower and Mom ensuring everything was ready for our pets to be taken care of for the week.
Then we'd be 6 or 7 hours in, droning along through some mid-west city with nothing around but corn, driving straight for hours, and as the day drifted into night and you got used to the rhythm of the car we’d turn the dial.
Mostly it was Garrison Keiler, NPR, or muted and fuzzed country. And something just feels so right about it. I have trouble feeling home but when a radio turns on I’m instantly attuned and centered. Like I’m in rapture of a long story and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds. It was the backdrop of the road trip.
Radio is the power of the spoken word. An age old technology sustained in the modern wold. And the power of imagination that allows us to fill in the blanks instead of see them all. Action movies of today want you to see it all, they want to thrill you with explosions and graphic imagery.
But what horror writers know is that it’s not about what you put in, it’s about what you leave out.
We imagine every trap that a character could fall in. When they narrowly escape, somewhere in our minds we see them fall to their doom.
And so the radio will remain a classic. And podcasts are picking up in importance, it’s a resurgence.
Still, listens are low, but the transition is happening.
I came across: http://magictransistor.com/radio and it reminded me of back when.
It’s made by "an exploratory collective of DJs, artists, and musicians based in New York, San Francisco, and London. We seek to shed light on exceptional artifacts of cultural significance, and are primarily focused on organizing and disseminating interesting and compelling music."
Note the name, magic transistor.
They want you to feel. It’s magic when you turn back to the past and are reminded by a note or a song or a voice.
And radios themselves are magic. THE media channel of the past! The Direct Marketers dream. Everyone tuning into the same channels. People discussing what happened and gathering to listen.
The site chooses to use Skeuomporhism - which I believe to be an appropriate addition.
"Skeuomorphism is where an object in software mimics its real world counterpart.
The “trash can” is, perhaps, the most recognizable skeuomorphic object. Though the good old “save” icon was once skeuomorphic but following the demise of the floppy disc – it no longer bears resemblance to the world of today.”
Everything that’s happening feels new and the past seems like it’s in the rearview mirror. But we bring these elements back to remind us and hit us with nostalgia. And there will always remain a subculture of collectors, of organizers, tending to our past to preserve it because every so often we do want to look back. If only briefly.
A group of techno-farmers, cultivators, preservers who late behind and take care for the things in the past as others trample forward.
It made me pause.
Lessons from Halsey for Artists in a New Age.
Build your own universe, pull from what you love, build your own language.
"But I love Deadpool, I love X-Men, I loved Silver Sable, Black Cat - female mercenaries were really cool for me to look up to me growing up.
So the idea of a consistent universe, where the timelines cross and different characters pop into different things, I'd really like to apply that to music, in a way.I'm sure a couple of things from Badlands will pop up in a few HFK music videos down the line. Little Easter Eggs."
(HFK = Hopeless Fountain Kingdom)
You are a product.
“It’s a weird thing to refer to myself as a product, but when you’ve gone past being a musician and artist, to a role model, where people are buying into your lifestyle, and what you represent, then you become a product people are buying into,” she says. “I never considered myself a CEO until recently. At first it was naivete. I thought every artist did everything themselves. “
Collaborate, but choose wisely.
“I also try to make the project really collaborative. I never hear no, but I also rarely say no. If we’re in the car and my photographer says, ‘wouldn’t be cool if during ‘Colors’ on stage you did blue color smoke?’ I know that’s a great idea. When people have good ideas, I’m not foolish enough to ignore them for the sake of wanting control. I’m not a control freak in that way.
Halsey explains why she won't collaborate with Katy Perry.
Involve fans in the process.
Have a great rest of the week, and as always hit me back if you've got any gold to share or want to chat Brand Marketing, signals, positioning etc.
My personal favorite track is Strangers:
Love letter to the LGBT community.
I bought new sunglasses.
Now normally I'm a Ray-Bans guy. I like the classics. I never just browse Kickstarter, but I hopped back on the platform after seeing that this brand I’ve kept up with called Tens launched a new campaign.
It was the video that wowed me and made me pull out my credit card. Hit your fan base with something great and they’ll spread the word, like I’m doing now.
It made me feel something. They played and had fun with it. Broke the norm and took 2 weeks down in Mexico to produce it. Took a leap without knowing there would be payoff. In the video they cut multiple songs and multiple different sections in the video. Some HD, some poor quality on purpose.
It was art because If this was not done right, it would have been incoherent.
It starts out with who’s behind the brand. You get the sense that these people are passionate and fun to hang out with and doing things earnestly.
Then it cuts to a beautiful scene in Mexico, with each character giving dialogue about how everything is so polished these days and they just can’t find the realness. This is what pulls you in.
They are speaking right to their demo.
“I feel like everyone is losing touch with what’s real. It’s like a constant need to impress.”
It’s something we all feel. We feel compelled to be online all of the time. Sharing wherever we are, what we’re up to, who we’re with. Why? Because we think we’ll disappear if we don’t. We’re scared to be forgotten about. We want to be unique and to be recognized by those around us. It’s just we don’t know how.
Turns out sharing our art is the key. But some have figured that out, and others… resort to posting about their food or their vacation.
“And to seek approval from those we barely know."
We can’t resist, but this urge is leaving us feeling empty. At the end of the day a “like” isn’t enough sustenance. Most of our followers are people we’ve never met, people who don’t actually care, just have a casual interest.
Social media was built off of “light touches.”
If you make friends with someone online, all you’ve got to do is click a button. If you make friends with someone in the real world, it’s a heavy investment of time and your emotions.
And online it’s reciprocal.
Follow for Follow. We all play by those rules and because we’re all looking to grow our following count. So it’s an unspoken rule. You friend or follow each other and both of your networks grow. But we can’t expect this self-serving notion to provide sustenance for our deepest insecurities.
So we wish to transcend. And that’s where we get with the last scene in this film.
The viewer transcends above it all.
Fueled by the sunglasses, of course.
It’s where all the characters just LET. GO.
And that’s the release, where you shout in your head “Yes!”
The video addresses the tension of living in the world today and gives you the opportunity to let go with them. Have a bit of fun. Get back in the moment.
And this is why I buy. It’s something I’m after that’s not easy to acquire. Sunglasses are dime a dozen. Filtered sunglasses are cool spin.
But offer me a brief dip into the present moment, aided by sunglasses for the right price, a unique proposition, and a chance to feel...
And I’m sold.