CoolDocks, Cool Shanghai-Satiate all your senses

CoolDocks is a new loft area located along the Bund in Shanghai (No.505 Middel Zhongshan Road). The place was a port in old Shanghai. But now, galleries, café, restaurants, pubs and clus, and gift shops scatter in the area. CoolDocks has been packaged to be a place similar to Xin Tian Di (a club area in Downtown), but I believe that it will outperform due to its business diversity.

Old Port


New Port-The CoolDocks

San Gui Tang (Tea & Shanghai Traditional Desserts), a traditional Chinese teahouse, has reflected the classic style of south of Yangzi River with homemade desserts, creative fine snacks. The teahouse was decorated with different kinds of antiques. You will experience the classic & rustic of Chinese  tea culture. 

San Gui Tang Teahouse

Dockside Restaurant (local delicacy) is very Shanghai-style with authentic local dishes and decorated with Shanghai Traditional rustic “Shi Ku Men” style decoration, leading to tracing back to old Shanghai memories.

Dockside Restaurant

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Words from Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel’s second collection of the post-war period caused a sensation. Chanel’s designs were an instant success in United States, obtaining her an unrivalled position in the world of fashion, which she held for another two decades until her death at age 88 in 1971.

Coco Chanel

Mademoiselle Chanel was extremely pioneer and innovative. Her design of hats, trousers, jumpers, perfume, even the way she named Chanel No.5, the row of glass walls decorated in her store impressed the public always. She never drew her designs on paper. She decided that all clothes in her store should be made by hand.

Chanel No.5

“I felt my designs in responds to my needs”. She did so. She asked the boy servant to take off his trousers and re-cut for her own convenience of riding horse. That surprised all around.

Comfortable clothing-from movie "Coco Avant Chanel"

“Women have to wear clothes even in times of a war.” She designed jumpers and casual dresses for women in Second World War because rich females had no maids to dress them and poor females had to word when males joined the army.

coco-fighting man in pants

“How could you move when you are wearing like that? (an Evening dress which looked heavy and atrocious.)”, she asked her niece who would go to a cock-tail party. Then Chanel took a few subtle adjustments and then changed the entire vision of whole dress. Finally, she took down a piece of curtain to adorn, and said, “Adornment is science and beauty is a weapon. Fashion is both a caterpillar by day and a butterfly by night; dress should both crawl and fly. And Butterfly does not go to market and a caterpillar does not go to a party. And a woman wearing wrong perfume has no future.”

Chanel suit

Chanel often wore tie, jumpers, jackets, those male-style clothes and comfortable clothing because she desired to be as free as man. She also said “Fashion passes, style remains”. I believe in that. Every one should have his or her own style, not only toward dressing, but also thinking, living, ways of doing things.

Posted in Branding, Design, fashion | Tagged | 2 Comments

Business Executives’ Challenges of being E-savvy

Change Management

The article about Rupert Murdoch’s speech reminded me something of the brand review last year. I think that Rupert’s warning is not only to editors and journalists, but also to all marketers around the world.

On the brand review, the CEO of Yum! China Division, Sam Su suddenly found that he was totally being isolated from Internet world. Because when a colleague from consumer insight (CI) department was updating the online media tools and quoting some popular words being used online, Sam found that he was absolutely clueless. Sam is an executive who has strong execution and is always achieving breakthrough results with strong down-to-the-earth spirit. He asked the colleague a lot in the ballroom and then, he turned around, asked the other executives or senior level managers whether they’ve heard of these words, such as “freedamn”(Freedom with Chinese charateristics) or “vegeteal” (some funny game on SNS websites). Surprisingly, those managers or directors had no idea about that as well. Sam sensed something. Something could be why these high level staff members are so insensitive about the fashion stuff what is exactly our target consumers-the teenagers and young adults are interested in. Then he made following decisions and requested relevant departments to follow-up.

1)      Review online media, and re-allocate the budget, see whether we have buffer for online advertising launch

2)      Study more about SNS websites such as Kaixin001 and Renren

3)      Monthly review on Internet industry

4)      Strategic alliance with online video websites such as Youtube,  Tudou, and Youku

Sam made a brief conclusion in the end of the brand review.

“Frankly, we are too far away from our customers. Their perspectives on media are changing rapidly and began to rely much more on internet instead of traditional media. We need to understand their media behavior by logging on the online social networks they are logging on everyday, watching the popular videos they are watching, surfing the websites they are surfing, and even talking in the way they are talking. They can sit in the chairs in front of the laptops, spending the whole day. What can we do? Get closer to them and consider each marketing campaign from their viewpoints.”

Posted in Branding, marketing, media, SNS | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Farewell Leslie Cheung

Leslie Cheung

I definitely clearly remember the big dramatic joke-Leslie Cheung killed himself on April 1, 2003. That was the message my friend sent me on April 2, 2003. I messaged back, “Come on, April fool’s Day is over.”

Yet, to my astonishment, news came that he died. I don’t want to make any comments or add to the gossip surrounding his sudden death, because everyone could read about all the rumors in the tabloids. The only thing I want to do is to review one of his movies, “Farewell my Concubine“, which won Gold Palm at the International Cannes Film Festival.

Leslie in Farewell My Concubine

The story took place in a specific period along the history that was full of glories and chaos, focusing on the whole life of two famous Peking Opera performers, Duan Xiao Lou (played by Zhang Feng Yi) and Chen Die Yi (played by Leslie Cheung). In the movie, Chan always played female characters on stage, making him question his sexuality, finally leading to a string of strategies. I clearly remember the end cuts of the movie: Forty years later, Duan and Chen ended up co-starring in “Farewell My Concubine” on stage again, and all past memories flooded into their minds. Chen was so desperate and lost his hope and faith for life; he secretly switched the prop, a fake sword to a real one before the performance. In the end, Chen ended his life with the real sword and died in front of Duan, the person he loved most during his entire life. He would rather die on stage when playing the role to avoid being betrayed in life.

Leslie in Farewell My Concubine

It seemed that Leslie’s suicide coincided with the movie plot. I can’t pinpoint exactly where the similarities were, but I couldn’t help wondering maybe the same despair in his life, the same social pressure or the same scar left by love. Leslie found no way to survive. Therefore, he said, “So long” to all, but I will remember him forever as his legacy lives on through his songs and movies.

Posted in Entertainment, movie review | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Behold the Extreme Consumers……

If you’re like most brand managers, you’re unaware of or turned off by “extreme consumers”-people so infatuated with the brand that they spend more than 10% of their lifetime income on it. But they can be your most powerful allies.

Only around 5% of consumers go to extreme, on average, but they have an enormous impact on a firm’s profitability.

  • They’re loyal.

They tend to stay true to their brand no matter what, and they speak up for it when it’s under attack. That is word-of-mouth marketing.

Lining-Extreme customers of Apple

  • They have resources.

Most are 30 to 45 years old, and their income is above their national average.

  • They add real value.

Consider the iPhone apps built by die-hard Apple fans, or the Japanese Ferrari dealership opened by Osamu Enomoto, a former engineer who quit his job at Toyota to sell the cars he loves most. Enomoto has sold more than 1,000 Ferrari in a country that has a total of around 10,000.

What do extreme consumers do, exactly?One person has lived exclusively on food that contains Arm & Hammer Baking Soda for more than 30 years.

Another has bought so many pairs (99, to be exact) of the same Nike shoe that, the customer says, “home looks like a Nike store.”

Another has purchased more than 150 Canon cameras since 2006.

Another has eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Panda Express every day for the past five years.

Another has drunk nothing but Coca-Cola for more than 20 years.

And another has consumed 12 Krispy Kreme doughnuts per day for more than four years.

Let data talk:

53%-regularly disparage competing brands

71%-spend more than one-third of their income on their favorite brand

79%-regularly talk up their favorite brand to family and friends

94%-never even consider buying a brand that rivals their favorite; agree strongly that “more often than not, buying cheap is expensive”; display their extreme behavior in relations to just one brand

96%-describe their favorite brand as “part of the family”

98%-have defended their favorite brand against perceived attacks in the media or from other firms or individuals

100%-personally identity with and say they gain meaning from a favorite brand

Case studies:

  • TwilightLet customers take ownership

Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series of books and movies encourages and collaborative use among the ultra-devoted. On the brand’s official website, visitors can form their own committees and promote fan-run events. In essence, they’re developing tools for attracting other customers.

  • Patagonia, AdidasAsk customers for help

Patagonia relies on fearless customers to test products in the planet’s harshest environments, Adidas invited enthusiasts to spray graffiti on warehouse walls and then used the designs to decorate shoes.

This is an effective way to convey the sense that the consumers are brand heroes. Red Bull celebrates its extreme athletes in its web publication The Red Bulletin.

Happenings tailored to extreme consumers engender a feeling of belonging and create positive buzz. In Japan, manga (comic book) and anime (animation) series host events at which fans dress up in costumes and literally live the brand. Ben & Jerry’s sundae festivals initially targeted the extreme crowd but have become mainstream events over time.

Collection of Levis Jeans

Reference: Harvard Business Review

Posted in Branding, marketing | 2 Comments

Be a Fan of Absolut Vodka

Absolut Vodka is running an online marketing campaign in China. The campaign has collected all the details of the brand promotion happening in China, including print ads design, video clip in shooting house, and the final artwork (FA). It occurred to me the typical case analysis taught in ads design class several years ago. Print ads design of Absolut Vodka delivers the consist brand message of emotion and passion, targeting to be a leading brand in liquor market. I don’t drink a lot, but I love the brand print ads design and want to share with everyone. The design I have collected is segmented in four series-Geography, China Campaign, Creative Selling Points, Fabulous retouching skills.Series One-Geography

Series One – Geography

This series displays print ads geographically. Absolut vodka has chosen the classical architecture or characteristics of these cities and integrated the bottle shape with those characteristics. For example, Rome with the little motorcycle, which reminds me of Rome Holiday; Geneva with the inside part of the clock or watch, which represents that the city is famous for its clock or watch building, Beijing with the opera mask. 

Geographic series

Series Two -China Campaign 

The idea of China Campaign generated from Monkey King, a monkey that can transfer into 72 shapes, similar to Transformers, indicating that Absolut Vodka in China market has more flavors. 

China's campaign

Series Three-Creativity

Absolut Vodka is famous for its extremely creative print ads design. Following two collections fully represent the intelligence of brand’s marketers and its advertising agency-TBWA

Creativity One

Creativity Two

Series Four – Retouching Skills

Retouching is a crucial part of print ads. Nature gives us beauty. Artists enhance it, and retouching is a way of the enhancement. Following collection displays the fabulous retouching skills. 

Retouching Skills

Posted in Absolut Vodka, advertising, Branding | 2 Comments

Behind the Scene of Dloody Bus Hijacking in Philippine

Philippine Bus HijackingA former Philippine police officer-Rolando Mendoza hijacked a tourism bus to ask for reinstatement. His requirement was rejected by Philippine government, which brought a bloody end to the bus hijacking drama- eight Hong Kong tourists dead and seven injured. 

Philippine policemen’s appalling professional standards and the lack of strategic planning made observers both angry and sad and were accused by global media.

SWAT spend TWELVE HOURS brought the situation to an end.

My Hypothesis

1) What was in the envelope?

The hostage taker-Rolando Mendoza got an envelope prepared by the government after presenting his requirement of reinstatement. The government claimed that there were official appealing papers that could help him.  Unexpectedly, Mendoza was furious when he saw the envelope.  Said by the deputy mayor of Manila, the envelope should have facilitated to ease the situation. If that could be true, why was Mendoza furious? From Mendoza’s reaction, the appearance of that envelope only irritated him. 

2) What kind of result did Philippine government want?

It could be assumed that Mendoza wanted to have negotiation with the government and brought the whole situation into peaceful end because he did not hurt anyone till afternoon. The pictures taken by media showed that tourists in the bus were composed. Just image a guy who handed M-16 assault rifle standing in front of you and can gun you down anytime, could you be composed? So it can even be deduced that the gunman might have said, “I just want to threaten the government, so you don’t have to be scared.”

By contrast, I thought that government was with concealed intentions. It is the Philippine government that wanted Mendoza to gun down hostages; in that case, the government could get rid of him reasonably. Because if the event was brought into peace settlement, Mendoza would be arrested and investigated; meanwhile, media power would be involved in. The worst case could be some internal governors’ interest would be ruined or something behind the scene might be exposed. Plus the case had raised broad focus of global media; black case work would be hard to operate. Further, if Mendoza killed hostages, the end would be, first, government could shoot him perfectly justifiably; second, the emotional stance of media would lead the focus to Mendoza. It would be even impossible to fully investigate the event truth.

The above is hypothesis. Then we could figure out that some questionable details of the event sequence supported the hypothesis.

Evidence to support

1) The bus driver

He told the rescue team that ALL hostages had been killed and then the team began to storm. As a matter of fact, not all hostages had been killed. Just think it over, what was the motive of the liar? Could it be reasonable that the driver was sitting in the front of the bus and not clear about what happened in the rear of the bus? It can’t be true. He would definitely hear the gun shot because he was not a deaf guy. He lied without motive. So it is reasonable to doubt that he was forced by the Philippine police to deliver the message. So that the police could storm with an appropriate reason. Plus the driver was controlled by the police after he ran out of the bus. No one could what happened to the driver.

2) Philippine police arrested Mendoza’s younger brother

That action totally irritated the hostage taker. Are Philippine police officers idiots? Relating to that unknown envelope, we could have a bold claim that the content would be messages that threaten Mendoza with his families. 

3) Mendoza was an outstanding police officer

According to some Philippine local news these days, it was all commented that Mendoza was an out-performed police and a family man. He was wrongly fired due to some mistakes not made by him. He wanted to appeal. It is known by all that Philippine government was full of corruption. It was probable that Mendoza could not appeal through legitimate channel so he had to create a drama which would be influential enough. Involving foreign tourists could be partly out of the Philippine government’s control. We saw that he posted a piece of paper saying “Media Now” in the afternoon; however, the government did not allow any media to involve in. The reporters did not dare to talk to him, did they? Truth was that no media could approach the bus; no reporter could take a clear picture. Could it be man-made barrier? Further, the picture beside showed that the action of smashing the window was to destroy the evidence.

4) Is Philippine SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics Teams) incapable?

What the hell are they doing?!

It was not that Philippine policemen were not capable enough to rescue but that they might have been told to pretend to be incapable; their goal was only to kill Mendoza. Otherwise, no SWAT Teams in the world would pull the bus door with rope and smash the window with hammer. And besides, kidnapping was a Philippines’ pastime.

5) Wording of China’s government and Philippine government

China required rescuing at all cost. Yet, Philippine government had feedback, “We won’t negotiate; we can’t instigate his arrogance.” The unspoken words are “We don’t care about the safety of the hostages; we want Mendoza die.”

Posted in news, politics | Tagged , , | 3 Comments