Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Heinz + Chick-Fil-A = Smart Ketchup

When touring North Carolina I have certain items on my must-eat-list: pork bbq, Bojangles, Cook Out shakes, and Chick-Fil-A. Acquired the Chick-Fil-A yesterday, and it was delicious as usual - and accompanied by a truly nifty ketchup packet from Heinz. Practical, intuitive - the only complaint I have is that I missed the free waffle fry day at Chick-Fil-A that accompanied the product launch in March.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Old VW Beetle is New Again

Well, according to VW the new bug design is going to tap into new buyers:
"VW, which wants to triple its U.S. sales of cars and trucks over the next decade, says the changes will appeal to more buyers, especially men."
But I just don't buy it. I think they should've designed a new vehicle for men if that was their goal. My husband loves his GTI - and it doesn't look like that! Why not release the Corrado in the US? This is a man's car!The Beetle is only a Beetle because of it's visual brand language. They seem to have dismantled that in a search for new market potential. If anything they should've moved back to classic lines, with solid metal body and details. They should've celebrated their heritage instead of throwing it away. Just looking at the new Beetle makes this designer sad.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sodastream, now with more Fizz!

The latest Sodastream model has some bells and whistles that'll hit the sweet spot for many consumers. The Fizz boasts the revolutionary "FizzChip" which tells you when you're running low on gas and lets you set your perfect customized gas level. If you like to set it and forget it, and don't want to be surprised when you run outta gas, this model is for you. The older models, still well worth the money, only provide for manual adjustment of the gas-i-ness, which takes a little practice. Watch and learn - the gas is gonna getcha!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Flip is Over!

I'm both surprised and not surprised that Cisco is shutting down Flip. The designer in me is frankly shocked - that they're willing to throw away the wealth of good brand faith that Flip has earned in such a short time. The strategist in me says, why on earth did Cisco buy Flip in the first place? It's a shame that the great PD that went into the original Flip will die with this company - although the ID work was outsourced, so maybe not so much. Smart Design was responsible for the ground breaking user interface, and for much of the population this technology is still relevant. Yes, smart phones abound, but much of the population can't afford those - the Flip brought simple video capture to those who couldn't afford more expensive products, or who had limited familiarity with computers. It was one of the first video cameras that almost all users could understand how to download.

Why's it going away then? Well, a product line (and a company for that matter) have to be loved to succeed - you have to fight for your brand these days, and have the vision to lead it. Cisco doesn't have that vision for consumer products and frankly they shouldn't have tried to buy it like a commodity. While it makes sense for their bottom line to drop Flip now, it's a waste of brand potential. Overall it's sad that the original Flip owners sold to a bidder worth $40B who would never really have much stake in a $40M company.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Beaba Next Gen Keeps it Rolling

Williams Sonoma is promoting the new Beaba products that accompany their baby food cooker/processor. I love, love the new Stackable Formula & Snack containers! Practical, realistic, still fun - someone who's familiar with the daily process of schlepping small amounts of many things for babies designed this. After trying it, they could stand to improve the screw threads - a simple quarter turn to lock would've been more solid, but more expensive to manufacture.Now if only they'd re-visit their food portioning freezer trays. Yes, they're cute, and I get the whole flower thing, but they're completely impractical to fit into your freezer or fridge. Give us the right shape, Beaba!