Staring The Ageing Process In The Eyes

Although we cannot halt the ageing process all together, we can certainly help provide treatments and ways to help delay the process. Finding the time is the number one precursor to jump-starting a viable routine.
So, Find the Time – Stop making excuses! Half the battle is getting there, once you’re in, you’ll see how easy it is and wonder why it took so long to get there. Insist, persist and reap the rewards. We spend more time nurturing the inanimate objects in our lives like preserving the colour in our clothes and using fabric softener sheets for that fresh clean smell. Yet one day, we know what we are preserving will find its way on a yard sale table or hanging on a rack at the Good Will. Your skin deserves your time! You deserve it!! After all, you only have one face. So, jump-start the year right!!

A simple yet powerful daily skincare routine is paramount. More isn’t necessarily better, but you can count on a five to seven step regimen. Don’t be deterred. It’s fast and easy and once you get into the groove, you’ll be glad you did!

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Luxuriously Worth It


Having previously blogged about the Experience Economy and its impact on your business in terms of value proposition to the customer, I stumbled upon a new campaign that falls in line with the concept of Experience Economy, and adds more fuel to the idea of implementing this concept locally in Lebanon.

Colenso BBDO, New Zealand, presented Kapiti Ice Cream to the public as the only product worth paying full price for. Their “Totally Worth It” ad, released both in TV & Print is brilliantly produced to associate the product to high-spenders, allowing themselves to sell their premium experience of consuming the ice-cream to a premium price only their target customers are more than willing to pay!

As you can see, perception is the key.

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The Experience Economy

The Experience Economy is a not-so-new concept, it was properly introduced to the public for the first time in 1999 by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore when they published their book “The Experience Economy: Work is Theatre & Every Business a Stage”. Throughout this book, they talk about what customers really value, better yet for what would they pay premium? And their answer is of course “Experiences”.
If you were to start a business and you are competing solely, basing your competition on Price, you become trapped in commodity. Therefore, you are considered  to be “offering little, or no true differentiation” to your customers. But if you are using goods as theatrical material and the services as a stage, the experience is created. That experience is evaluated on how personal and fulfilling it was for the customer.
“Companies stage an experience when they engage customers in a memorable way.”


The Progression of Economic Value


This diagram illustrates the process in a much simplified way.

If we look carefully, experience economy is everywhere around us. One of the examples listed in this book is the “Golden Opulence Sundae” served at Serendipity 3, a New York City restaurant. How much are you willing to pay for an Ice cream? $10? $50? or even a $100?

Suprisingly, this ice cream will cost you US$ 1000!


The Golden Opulence Sundae


This Ice cream dessert is made out of 5 scoops of ice cream, adding vanilla beans from Tahiti, vanilla from Madagascar and Chuao from Venezuela. The Dessert is served in a Baccarat crystal goblet and eaten with an 18 carat golden spoon. In 2008 this very same restaurant added the “Frozen Haute Chocolate” to its menu costing  $25 000!


"007 Golden Eye" Bungee Jump. Locarno, Switzerland.


Fan of extreme sports? The wall of the Verzasca Dam in Switzerland is among the top 10 bungee jumping destinations world wide. It got more popular after James Bond took the leap from this place in Golden Eye. The dam, measuring 220m in total, takes a whole 7.5 seconds to fall. However, you need to pay US$ 235 in order to be “engaged” in this experience, while you pay $60 to $80 for a 70m height bungee jump, which makes perfect sense.
Taking the leap
7.5 seconds is enough time to admire this staggeringly beautiful scenery, that’s if you don’t get struck by an adrenaline rush!
Dinner in the sky, Downtown Beirut.
One local example that deals with experience economy is the dinner in the sky, which has been around for a while, but was recently introduced to the Lebanese high society. It’s a 22 guests table that goes up to 50 meters high with the dinner catered by La Table d’Alfred.


Random (rich) people enjoying good food and amazing scenery


La Table d’Alfred is a fine dining restaurant offering speciality cuisine for around $80 per person. However the price list for the dinner in the sky experience is much different!

06:00 PM: $120 per person. You get to watch the sunset, and they serve you appetizers and drinks.

Lunch or Dinner: $250 to $350 per person for a complete meal!

People are always waiting on new experiences, and basically, if you manage to offer a unique and an inherently personal experience to your customers, you can set the prices high. You only become differentiated when your experience is sold at a premium price. Therefore, if you have a good idea, regardless if you are in the business industry, you need to be a good demagogue, find an investor and go for it!

Blog Ping service

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Tablets, Applets & Newspapers

This video is the ad the New Yorker released a week ago to promote their new iPad application. They have released an applet that allows iPad users to download the full digital version of their magazine. Quite the idea if i might say…

That’s a thought for an upgrade to all our local magazines and even newspapers. We’ve reached the stage where our mags and newspapers such as Time Out & L’orient Le Jour are now present and active on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, but if they are to send a strong message that they are adapting to the fast wave of tech trends, an applet on iPad might just be the start of it! and that should be regardless of how many users in Lebanon do actually own an iPad…it’s the direction of thought that matters as it fortifies the public and social image and instigate inpiration!

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Greenpeace Versus Nestlé: The Power of the Consumer

With the evolution of Web 2.0 companies around the world understood the power behind the interactivity between them and their customers and in no time started including online campaigns into their yearly strategies. With this in mind, this article brings an example of the power the consumer can now exercise over their sellers and suppliers, and in tune represents a calling from my part to all Lebanese consumers, to acknowledge that shift of authority and control and take advantage of it.

By doing that, all those companies leading the emerging market will be inclined to follow the trend and respond to this evolution of powers as they will become subject to accountability and criticism on a daily basis. They can no longer affect the flow of demand and supply the way they please, and especially not tamper with quality over quantity in order to minimize cost, knowing the only way they can be held responsible is through the process of corporate law procedures, where the big money will get you the big lawyers, and the big lawyers will have the big arguments, and the big arguments will clear you of any big lawsuit or wrong endeavor.

See my example is the famous clash of ethics between Greenpeace and Nestlé’s Kit Kat. After a series of investigations, Greenpeace found out that Nestle uses a sort of palm oil to produce Kit Kat. This palm oil is extracted from the rain forests where Orangutans live and survive.

In order to protest Nestlé’s unethical use of palm oil and the harm they induce on these Orangutans by basically stripping them of their forests, Greenpeace released a video on You Tube claiming to give the orangutans a break. The video created an outrage from Nestle who quickly demanded You Tube removes the video. Having removed the video hours after its release, Greenpeace quickly reiterated by re-posting the video on Vimeo, creating a huge hype around the story with environmental activists and supporters stepping in on various blogs and social networks to express their discontent over Nestlé’s actions.

This in terms shifted from blogs to Nestlé’s Facebook fan page, especially after Nestlé posted some unfriendly statuses about removing any comments posted on their fan page by individuals using an altered logo of the brand as a profile picture.

Nestlé’s actions were hammered by angry fans who literally shook up its online reputation and equity. it was Facebook alone that created enough buzz to highlight the crisis publicly to the whole world and put Nestlé in a very awkward situation.

This story is a perfect example of the amazing power, consumers have over those leading companies that used to think they were untouchable. Facebook is not simply a picture portal where you tag your self and showcase your clubbing abilities. You can hold any company accountable, you can literally drive their stock markets down!

This is definitely not a discouragement to turn to social media for business use, but it gives a clear idea of how never to cross the ethical line because consumers have unlimited control and power over their online reputation.

For the You Tube link of the Greenpeace video:

Snapshots of Nestlé’s Facebook Fan Page:

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MTV Serbia: Disaster Date Campaign

I gotta hand it to MTV Serbia, that’s one funny creative way to get people to watch their show! We’re talking promoting a TV show here, that’s normally done in a high-profile campaign, from TVCs to billboards across the highway…But now we have a perfect reason to consider other, less convenient, means.

This idea can easily be implemented here, not necessarily copycating it, but at least resorting to classified Ads for example, and weighing on the element of surprise to hook customers.

Alfa, the Telecom network in Lebanon tried something similar by integrating the element of surprise through their radio ads campaign, but that was less direct than running a classified ad and waiting for the customer to call.

So who knows, maybe the next time you call in response to a humble, silent, newspaper posting you find yourself on hold, waiting for your invitation to try a new burger!

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Patient Encounter

About time we got this installed on those red lights…at least in Beirut for a start… They’re everywhere out there!

Imagine what a countdown mechanism would do? Drivers would learn patience! Yes, Lebanese drivers would finally and unconsciously learn patience!

So cheers to that!

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Skype-ing Sensation

I’ve had several individuals working in the corporate world express their fear and resistance to all the various tech trends that are leading the online market today and frankly I don’t agree with that…at all…

Most of them were arguing that resorting to online methods for business solutions was either risky, profitless, or even impossible to calculate the ROI, and because of that still resort to the offline method of spreading the news, and putting the word out there when it comes to implementing their business plans. Surely they’d integrate an iPad, everybody wants an iPad, it looks sexy, but if you consider the services it can help with, now that’s something else!

For them, unipoles and billboards still get the job done, newspapers and magazines are still efficient as ever, and TVCs and Radio Ads still hook you up. Okay I dig that, but on top of that some believe that all this online drama going on in the world, all these trends, this commotion and hype surrounding them will eventually fall apart with time, and evidently the business world, with all its advertising, marketing and PR departments is going to go back to offline. That I don’t dig.

Basically with this logic you are sentencing to death from its birth, every single trend, every single tech solution that is being put out there. Web 2.0 has been going on strong with its integrated interactivity, and this seems like it’s not going to stop anytime soon! The emergence of all those blogging portals, the interactivity in almost everything online doesn’t hint that anything is going down-ways anytime soon, so why are we jumping to conclusions?

I can visualize a blooming business world in Lebanon the minute every corporate person lends an ear and gives those tech trends a shot. The cut-down on cost is substantial, and the reach is unbelievably superior.

An idea I find very interesting, and very simple to set up as a start-up for that shift of interest towards the new emerging tech trends is the integration of Skype as a business solution. I think we all like and use Skype, why not benefit from its features by integrating it in our every day business?

Mobile tariffs in Lebanon are the most elevated in the World, and I’m sure we all agree on that, so an idea is to use Skype as a feature within the company’s Call Center. Customers can now Skype you to make a complaint, or to place a food delivery order for example. There are plenty of software that offer these services for a fairly low price, and are 2 examples, and through them companies will be providing their customers with an extra benefit literally at the click of a button!

Cool thing is, Skype is just the beginning of this…

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An opposite approach to Stupid

It is frequently the case where I find myself in the presence of people, which happen to be considered smart by your whole society, people who’s smartness has reached international standards because of their high GPAs and their perfect academic course. And sometimes people just like to act smart regardless of their GPA and their academic course. The whole point is to look smart, talk smart, walk smart, and live smart.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with smart people, and neither people who pretend to be smart.  But I guess sometimes, just sometimes…Smart is not it…not because it’s bad, but because it’s not effective anymore. And by effective I don’t mean stock market effective, I’m talking about living the life effective, the power to change effective, the power to influence, shock and inspire effective. All of these require less textbook measures.

This is where stupid comes in, where foolishness prevails over great wisdom. I believe it is inspirational enough to consider looking at things the stupid way, where no Smart & Sensible considerations are put in place. You’re more likely to take that risk, and make those mistakes.

But that’s where the element of surprise lies, because to dare and take the risk, to dare and make a mistake in order to better learn, you need to deviate from your sensible behavior. You sit in a room and you hear the Smart talk about how this is bad and this is wrong, but what’s in it for change then?

Smart is the fuel of critique, the fuel of pointing the finger at all the things you consider wrong around you. But from wrong comes innovation, from bad comes better, from awful comes a funny story, from idiotic comes inspiration and from big-time-loser-failure-of-an-idea comes a beautiful lesson on how perception is the word that stands between a “Two Thumbs Up!“and a “What In The Name Of Zeus Is That?!”.

And that’s what its all about! Turning around that mass perception of things.

That calling is for my own self as a person, to stop trying to get smarter, and instead work more on Stupid, unleash all those ideas without filtering, go knock on that door and make a complete idiot of myself even for a little while. Pitch for a stupid campaign and dare to raise questions in a stupid manner.

Those pictures you’re looking at throughout this post, as well as the genius video are all taken from the new Diesel, Be Stupid campaign. I think it sums up in a far better way what my whole point is. It’s not live moronically, but rather rid yourself of the sensible in your actions and Live!

This is the viral You Tube video:

More Prints From Diesel , Be Stupid:

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