Category Archives: Packaging

Steve Jobs Tells All

Steve JobsFortune has published a series of excerpts from an exclusive interview with Apple founder, Steve Jobs who reveals among other things, the keys to the company’s success and the prospects of Apple without him. Any one who reads this blog knows I’m a huge fan of Apple. They are the complete package – great products, friendly service, and brilliant marketing.

On the iPhone: “We all had cellphones. We just hated them, they were so awful to use. The software was terrible. The hardware wasn’t very good. We talked to our friends, and they all hated their cellphones too. Everybody seemed to hate their phones. And we saw that these things really could become much more powerful and interesting to license. It’s a huge market. I mean a billion phones get shipped every year, and that’s almost an order of magnitude greater than the number of music players. It’s four times the number of PCs that ship every year.

Read more

1 Comment

Filed under Apple, Branding, Business, Cell phone, Design, innovation, iPhone, ipod, marketing, Packaging, Public Relations, Selling, Technology

Whole Foods Delivers a Whole Experience

Whole Foods LogoI hate shopping for groceries. Hate it. No wonder my fridge is usually half empty. Yesterday, that disdain turned into pleasure as I experienced the Whole Foods in West Vancouver. What I originally planned as a 10 minute in-and-out dash, turned into a full hour of gazing and sampling. The food presentation is exquisite, combined with the pleasant scents of fresh baked goods and ready-made meals tickling the air. The aisles are filled with items I’ve never seen before. Many of the healthy and whole variety that got me reading the packaging with pleasant curiosity. At the checkout counter, the young gent engaged me in a lively conversation which seemed more real than the usual forced “hello” and “thank you” and “goodbye” I’m used too. I applaud businesses that understand the value of turning a usually uneventful task into a memorable customer experience. I’ll be back.


Filed under Branding, Business, Health, marketing, Packaging, Small Business Marketing, Word-of-Mouth

2007 Top Ten Posts at BIG Marketing

Another year coming to a close and everyone is putting out their top ten lists, so here are the top ten posts read here at BIG Marketing. A sincere thanks to all of you who have supported this blog in 2007. Interacting with you through this medium is such a joy for me. Cheers and Happy New Year!

  1. Facebook, The Right Way to Design a Social Networking Site
  2. It Pays to be a Penguin
  3. Revolutionary Pen-Size Computer Uses Bluetooth Technology
  4. The Starbucks Experience Wins Over Coffee Every Time
  5. Plenty of Fish Founder Rakes in Google Ad Dough
  6. iPod In-Ear Headphones Don’t Stick in My Ears
  7. Product Packaging That Packs a Punch

  8. Craigslist Founder Won’t Sell Out
  9. NHL All Star Voting Has a Viral Storm on its Hands
  10. Philips Shave Everywhere Ad is Viral at its Best


Filed under advertising, Blogging, Branding, Business, Communications, Craigslist, Facebook, innovation, Internet, ipod, marketing, Markus Frind, NHL, Online marketing tactics, Packaging,, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, social network, Starbucks, Technology, Top Ten List, Viral, Web 2.0

New iMac is Stunning

iMacThe new iMac was launched today. Apple keeps pushing the envelope on design, power and functionality to extraordinary heights. I can’t imagine what Sony, Dell and HP feel like every time Apple launches or re-launches a product. BTW, what gives with Sony? A brand that was synonymous with high quality, innovative technology worthy of bragging rights while I was growing up – Sony Walkman, Sony Television, Sony Camcorder – is now the latest poster boy for getting too fat and full of itself. The iPod and Wii are two tough reminders of everything that is wrong at Sony.


Filed under Apple, Branding, Business, Dell, Design, Electronics, HP, iMac, innovation, ipod, marketing, Packaging, Sales, Selling, Small Business Marketing, Sony, Technology

Sony Develops Razor-thin TV Screen

Sony TV Screen

My colleague Bill White passed along this story to me. The Daily Mail UK is reporting that “Sony has developed a razor-thin TV screen that bends like paper while showing full-colour video. The company posted video of the new 2.5 inch display on its’ web page. In the video, a hand squeezes the 0.3 millimetre (0.01 inch)-thick display, which shows color video of a bicyclist stuntman, a picturesque lake and other images.” Read more

Leave a comment

Filed under Branding, Business, Design, Electronics, Flat Panel, LCD, marketing, Mobile, Packaging, Plasma, Sony, Technology, TV

How a Little Red Rubber Ball Became the Catalyst for Change

Just came back from the Vision 2007 marketing conference at the Hyatt, and finished seeing a great keynote speaker, Kevin Carroll of Katalyst Consultancy. The youngest looking 48 year old I’ve ever seen, Kevin shared his story about how a little red ball in the middle of an empty Philadelphia playground changed his life forever. He was abandoned by his mother at six, hadn’t seen his father since he was three, and was raised along with his two brothers by his grandparents. He was doomed for a life of little hope and despair, until he found that little red ball. He took his pain out on that little red ball in the wee hours of the morning after being picked up by his grandparents from the bus station shortly after his mother left him. He kicked that ball hard in the air, and chased it. It felt good. He kicked it again, and chased it faster. Then again. Soon, for a moment he forgot his troubles. As the hours passed, the other children began to show up to the playground. They saw what he was doing, and asked him to play with them. They affectionately called him, “The little fast kid” and he would soon after find a sense of belonging and community for the first time in his young life. He made a decision that day that somehow, some way, he would devote his life to sports and play. And so he did. His achievements are notable – chief athletic director for the Philadelphia 76ers NBA team, Catalyst (he was asked to define his own role and title) for Nike, creator of the D.R.E.A.M. clear, little plastic wristband, that evolved in to the LiveStrong™ yellow and breast-cancer-awareness pink versions, and now highly regarded author of Rules of the Red Rubber Ball”. He had some funny stories, one where he was asked by the 76ers coach to talk trash in Serbian to all-star Vlade Divac during a game where their team was getting blitzed by him (Kevin speaks many languages). It worked… it threw Vlade off his game and he went seeking the guy who was cursing him in his language. After meeting up with Kevin, and being impressed with his language skills, he asked him to join the Yugoslavian team to help translate.

Kevin’s story is one of inspiration and boundless pursuit of excellence and tapping in to the genius within. I’m looking forward to reading his book.

1 Comment

Filed under advertising, Branding, Business, Communications, Kevin Carroll, marketing, Motivational, Packaging, Public Relations, Selling, Small Business Marketing, Viral, Word-of-Mouth

The Starbucks Experience Wins Over Coffee Every Time

Starbucks CupI was thinking about this the other day while waiting in line at Starbucks. Why am I here? If someone were to ask me what’s your favorite coffee shop, Starbucks would be much further down the list. I would rattle off Prado and Turks on The Drive, or JJ Beans on Main and 14th. Or, Bonjourno (I think that’s the name) on the corner of Pender and Richards. All serve a mean americano.

I don’t mind a grande long americano from Starbucks, but it’s by far not my favorite. Just a side note, it seems that you can only order it long in Vancouver. Whenever I’m in a US Starbucks, the baristas look at me weird, and repeat back, “Grande americano, right?” – “Right.”

But I still find myself back in a Starbucks most days. And there, standing in line I wondered what compels me to keep coming back when I know there is better coffee being served just around the corner. Then the warm, Latin music playing in the background started to sooth, while the yellow icing gracing a slice of the lemon raspberry loaf tempted me from behind the clear glass sitting at eye level where I just can’t ignore it’s wayward glances. And for a brief moment, I peak at the gift items on the shelves stacked to the right of me in arm’s way while I pick up a hint of java beans in the air. Then it’s my turn. The friendly Starbucks employee behind the counter says, “Grande long americano?” before I can even get the words out. “And a lemon raspberry loaf, please,” I quickly add. I come here way too much. As he takes my order, another employee retrieves my slice of delight from behind the glass and places it gently in a thin paper bag that feels almost like parchment wrapping paper. My gift for the day. My cup of java gets called, I pick it up and exchange pleasantries, then head to the station where I grab a shiny, stainless steel container labeled “half and half”. While I stir it in until I reach just the right shade of brown, I can’t help but notice all the lively conversations taking place at the small trendy tables and comfy couches nearby. I close the lid and head out. Now I feel ready to start my day. Why do I still go to Starbucks? Because the overall experience is sometimes worth it. The coffee isn’t better. Far from it. But it’s consistent – environment, taste, service time. And they’re everywhere which makes them the easy choice when heading out of town. I would like to think I would always choose the better product, but I guess I’m a sucker for a great experience.


Filed under advertising, Branding, Business, Coffee, Design, marketing, Packaging, Selling, Small Business Marketing, Starbucks