Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Conversational Capital

They talk the talk, I read the read.

As in any coffe house of St-Martin blvd., I am surrounded by contractors and construction promoters passionately discussing sidewalk-to-garden distance and parking lot concrete norms. Odd business meetings, nightclub beats and overpriced 2-days-old cookies seem to have become standard in the double expresso business. Why am I here again? Where do I fit in all of this? Don't mind me, I'm just the guy taking notes...and making up unnecessarily streched expressions to over emphasise the sarcastic description of my environment in an "I'm-so-clever-I-have-to-be-the-coolest-urban-writter-wannabe" manner. Truly, I am the real sucker in this story; I'm the one who paid 3 dollars for a 2-days-old-cookies duo.

Nothing of that matters anymore, because I have just uncovered the secret to marketing's most naturally efficient, yet complex, success driver. Conversational Capital.

I now hold in my hands the 8 ingredients to Schwartz's world famous smoked meat, still this doesn't qualify as a recipe book. I now know how a vika glasholm table holds together, yet this is not an instruction manual. Neither is this a critics review, still it tells me why a Cirque du Soleil performance is a must see (or must talk about). The writers from Sid Lee detail, explain and illustrate very accurately 8 factors which become "experience amplifiers" when combined altogether to a consumption experience. My favorite quote from this book refers to the importance of an open continual dialogue between brands and consumers: « the age of talk, they listen.»(p.120). And the conversaion goes

I recommend this book if you wish to go further as a marketer.

Conversational Capital, by Bertrand Cesvet
with Tony Babinski and Eric Alper

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Amsterdam - Holland

Amsterdam, where apparently pigs can fly.

Exactly how trash is Amsterdam? Sure, you see XXX inscriptions everywhere, the most popular attraction is a prostitute district and there's no way to get that funky smell out of your clothes. Inspite of all that, it turns out that Amsterdam is much more than red lights and suprisingly brutal hangovers. Not to many people seem to know that the XXX symbol was first the code inscripted on boxes shipped overseas from Amsterdam. So it was more of an outbound trademark rather than something you hide under your bed. Holland people are very innovative entrepreneurs. They ruled over the seas around the world by creating the first company ever as Amsterdam once was the most important port in the world. Yes...I took the guided tour.

I also learned that innovation takes many forms, such as a deflector to discourage drunken sailors from going around the bathroom fee.
In a city where most of the red lights mean "go", you ought to be surprised at every corner!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chamonix - France

Où même à 3842m d'altitude, on est encore à la portée des soeurs volantes.

C'est ce qu'on vit généralement en voyant les Alpes pour la première fois, le genre d'absence de mot qui suit une torsion inconfortable du cou.
Face à un paysage si imposant, on retombe tous à l'innocence du curieux qui a la langue collée sur un poteau de métal. L'innocence du bambin pour qui tout est trop haut. Les Alpes n'ont pas de sommet, du moins, à vue de bambin. C'est l'inconnu, le torticolis, on doit savoir ce qui se trouve au dessus des nuages. Quand la station de ski est basée à 2000m d'altitude, que ça vous a pris 30 minutes de gondole pour y arriver et qu'il vous reste encore un remonte-pente à prendre avant d'arriver en haut, ça fait quand même plus glamour que St-Sauveur. Ce qui a de particulier à skier au dessus des nuages, c'est qu'il fait pourtant 25 degrés Celcius. C'est Cuba avec de la neige éternelle! C'est l'hiver sans les Kleenex Lotion au dessus des nuages, ils ont de quoi sourire les Calinours!
Lorsqu'on voyage avec un groupe, on est cependant contraints à suivre certaines règles, souvent imposées. Mais lorsque votre groupe, c'est une équipe de hockey qui vient d'un des derniers collèges encore sous la dictature d'une congrégation de soeurs, je dis: "bien heureux celui qui fait pas chier les soeurs". C'était quand même bien, on aura eu une portion culturelle à ce voyage, question de guérir notre carence en mots et de refroidir nos esprits presques malicieux de jeunes rebels en uniformes.