Yowk! The perfect soft boiled egg.

British newspapers are full of horror at the launch of the Yowk –  the perfect soft boiled egg.   How can the nation have reached this state?  Isn’t this just another example of marketers and supermarkets selling us something we simply don’t need?  Well, the launch of Yowk reveals less about our ongoing desire for convenience, and a lot more about consumers’ lack of confidence or skill to get the perfectly soft boiled egg.  What it promises is no more disappointment and no more egg boiling anxiety.  Maybe we’ll see a backlash of authentic cooks and a revival of real kitchen skill.  Or maybe we’ll just watch Masterchef.  Good luck Yowk!

To find out more, contact Rob.

Data rich. But what about the insights?

Research World highlights the massive growth of big data, and rightly asks the question of how in this flood of data, real and usable insights can still be generated.  Big data isn’t going to disappear and it’s only going to get bigger.  The ability to make big data accessible and digestible is a significant challenge on its own. But we also need to go further and ensure that we generate insights that help marketing professionals and brand owners really understand consumer behaviours and find the triggers that will activate consumers.

To find out more, contact Rob.

Kaomojis – the world of Japanese emoticons.

With kaomojis you can let the world know just how you’re feeling with a few simple key symbols.  The craze for Japanese emoticons shows no signs of abating with young urbanites in Japan creating and sharing new and more elaborate emoticons every day.  There’s even a new app called Twikao available to download for free from the App Store.  It’s able to transform a picture of your face (or a friend’s) into a an emoticon that captures your facial expression.  And already for tweeting.

To find out more, contact Rob.

Information is Beautiful

Kantar’s recent Information is Beautiful Awards showcases some great examples of the art, and science, of stunning information design and data visualization.  From rappers’ vocabulary to Raw Tools, to New York taxis and everything you need to know about planet earth, there’s a great variety of projects featured and all serving to give added inspiration to researchers and insights specialists everywhere who believe that data and information can really come alive through intelligent and crafted design.  Clear favourite and deserving Gold Award Winner is the project of Creative Routines, with its powerful and beautifully simple visualization of how composers, writers, artists and philosophers shape and manage their day to day routines.

To find out more about our approach to information design, contact Rob.

Wagyu from Aldi.

Aldi got some positive and polite attention last year with its introduction of New Zealand produced Wagyu beef as part of its premium meat range.  Now they’re making headlines as the Wagyu beefburger is available – £2.99 whilst stocks last.

This is a great story to generate awareness of Wagyu beef beyond foodie purists.  Wagyu beef from Japan with its distinctive marbling of fat and melt in the mouth quality rightly commands a premium price of £100 per kilo.  Fully justifiable no doubt given the great care and attention paid in production, but definitely putting it out of reach of normal family budgets.  Aldi’s step certainly lowers the threshold for us all to taste Wagyu.  But Japanese Wagyu producers and marketers will have to work hard to maintain their premium and communicate differences to consumers.

To find out more, contact Rob.

Nintendo smartphone step.

Nintendo is teaming up with DeNA (one of the biggest smartphone gaming players in Japan and Asia to reach out to the users that are on DeNA network. This way, Nintendo can start pushing their Nintendo games with their high value properties, such as super Mario, and reach out to millions through the DeNA network.  People have been playing games online for years now, but this step by cautious and quality sensitive Nintendo is significant in opening up new possibilities.

To find out more, contact Rob.

Dutch denim.

Amsterdam has become a world capital for denim with high street and high couture brands finding their home here.  The city is well represented by regional headquarters for some of the world’s biggest brand – Tommy Hilfiger, Diesel and Levi’s Vintage Clothing.  Other local and high end brands have equally made Amsterdam home and have been achieving success on an increasingly worldwide stage – from Gstar to Kings of Indigo and Denham.  Amsterdam is a great fit with jeans – not too formal, highly independent, and always a bit rebellious. The creativity of the city is certainly a big draw for designers and denim innovators. And where else could you imagine the home of Jean School?

To find out more, contact Rob.

Mobile and the new purchase funnel dynamics.

With screens and platforms multiplying and a world in which we are truly always online, we need a big rethink of the traditional and linear purchase journey. Disrupting and interrupting to the traditional view as this may be, it’s also providing exciting new opportunities for brands to engage consumers.

Read more

Fuel cell technology for mass use in cars by 2025.

Speaking at the recent Automobilwoche conference in Berlin, head of the automotive division at Robert Bosch, Wolf-Henning Scheider predicts that fuel cell technology will be commercially viable for mass use in cars by 2025.

“They are not out of the race. They are a viable alternative to other zero-emission vehicle technologies,” Scheider said.

Daimler, Hyundai, Nissan, Ford, Toyota, Honda and General Motors are all developing fuel cell vehicles.  And Toyota and Honda are expected to start selling production vehicles next year.  Priced at about Euros 56,000, fuel cell vehicles are able to run five time longer than electric cars.  But widespread acceptance has been difficult to achieve due to the massive development costs.

To find out more about our automotive technology expertise, contact Dam.

How do you like your coffee?

Global TGI has some great facts and figures about the world’s coffee drinking habits.  The Israelis are big lovers of visiting coffee shops (75{1f220ac64b9f6618bf0eb6cb6c1308cba7a01755811f72c92eb8a9a5d4c07adf}) for a really authentic cup of coffee, but they still tend to fall back on instant at home (80{1f220ac64b9f6618bf0eb6cb6c1308cba7a01755811f72c92eb8a9a5d4c07adf}).  Italians know and love their real coffee – with 86{1f220ac64b9f6618bf0eb6cb6c1308cba7a01755811f72c92eb8a9a5d4c07adf} drinking filter / ground coffee.  Germans are big real coffee fans too – in cafes but also inside the home. It’s all good news for manufacturers of high end and full automatic espresso coffee machines such as De’Longhi.  Italian style and the authentic coffee experience to coffee drinkers all over the world.

To find out more, contact Rob.