Road Maps

Posted in My Thoughts... on June 9, 2011 by andrealidesigns

There are some journeys’ of the mind that seem to always begin the same. A state of mind that brings about familiarity. A place where we have been before. No matter how many paths we blaze in between this place somehow we find ourselves returning. Perhaps it is a default setting we have been hardwired or trained to return to when life throws us a curve ball. It is our roadmap. Sometimes not always the most accurate while other times it lacks the updated modifications. However current we often cling to it as our only resource in reference to dealing with certain unknowns.

My journey always begins on the same dark unnamed highway at night. The only visible guidance are the lines on the highway and cautionary signs. Memories of past trips along this highway remind me that there was once a time when my map resembled a blank piece of paper. Back then there were not necessarily wrong turns but as the journey progressed it gave light to the fact that there existed better turns. You assimilate knowledge through choices.

As you gain experience with life the roadmap begins to fill out and you begin to recognize landmarks from past mistakes or a rest stop that prevented you from falling asleep at the wheel. There are even intersections that instinctually cause us to want to turn left. A vestige of past mistakes in past journeys that give us pause in our decisions. Sometimes on our dark journey we are helped by a stranger that helps fix a flat.  As we drive throughout the night  to see the sun break our dark horizons we can learn. We gain knowledge that we can quantify in our memories and allow us to  recognize certain truths of our journey.

I have recently embarked upon such a journey. Here I was in the drivers seat staring at those highway lines. The same ones that have mesmerized me into oblivion and personal despair with past propensity. In the beginning as a I drove throughout the night of isolation it was no different that any other time I found myself in this place yet there was  a key difference…my roadmap. It’s presence not immediately beneficial as surely the indulgence of my malaise got the best of me but a slow phenomenon and progression began to formulate. Information inference that acted as a ruder and soon my whirlpool of directionless despondency began to dissipate.

It would seem that help always presents itself. However it is up to us not only recognize it but accept and apply it. Despite our connection as a result of our human condition we can often behave autonomously. Interactions often are not intended to assuage the most deeply personal needs of the situation but we can assign whatever purpose we want to it. The most meaningless interaction can have huge significance or vice versa. We help or hurt sometimes without realizing it as a reaction to the interpretation of our assigned intent. The important thing is to understand that while the benefit of help may not be immediately recognizable it is important groundwork that has limitless potential in its ultimate significance. In some instances we will go through our entire life without knowing how an action we never thought twice about changed somebody forever by giving them a new perspective  that anchored a new thought process and ended up as a significant marker on their roadmap.

Immediate gratification in progress is just that. But progress is progress. It is the slow progression of ourselves that can define our journey. It is a patience to see our own road maps grow in complexity and ‘right’ turns in order to better equip us the next time we find ourselves in that familiar place…..at the beginning of that same dark road.

Wholly Broken

Posted in My Thoughts... with tags , , , , , , , on April 14, 2011 by andrealidesigns

Over this last weekend the agate on one of my favorite pieces to wear broke in half. As I realized this the loss of the situation hit me with a recognition in how the brokenness seemed to imitate certain circumstances in my life. My thought process could have stopped there but instead I began to perceive the significance in a different manner. I knew that despite my sadness of having to retire one of my most beloved pieces that it would be replaced with something better and more evolved. It must have been almost three years ago when I created that particular piece and in that time thousands of hours have been spent honing my craft along with overcoming challenges. It then occurred to me that this perception could also be applied to our own personal evolution.

There have been a series of seemingly insurmountable challenges with a far reaching lineage of turmoil that has defined my past. What I am beginning to realize is these experiences are responsible for making me more whole than ever before. Broken pieces of ourselves that we set aside can be repurposed in a significant way. With the right alchemy of thoughtfulness and intent I can take what languished to transcend it to a higher purpose. Our weaknesses to become our strength.

This is a post that sat in my draft box and I am revisiting it because recently I have reintegrated the broken agate in reference to the earlier portion of this posting into my latest creation. To keep with the analogous nature of this discussion there are occurrences within the process worth mentioning. When the agate broke the original value allocated to the necklaces intended purpose had suddenly become irrelevant. As a result the necklace in it’s broken state sat in a drawer retired of it’s previous function. For many months it stayed there. Until recently.

Inspiration from newly acquired pieces of coral brought back from Bali by my dear friend Kir another jewelry designer of Kir Collection gave the catalyst to rework an older piece. Integrating new and old I finally found a place for my broken agate. Front and center of my latest piece it’s shape that was caused by the breakage emulated the form of the focal pendant so precisely as to cause a perfect nestling when placed inside the agate. The two broken sides of the agate flanking either side in serendipitous harmony. With this reintegration the broken agate not only had relevancy once more but sublates it’s original purpose to something more advanced then it’s first iteration.

It could be said then that it is a sum of all our parts and a willingness transcend that will epitomize our life. We engender our future by relying on experience and observation of our history then applying these to our present. It is the knowledge that everything we thought had gone to waste will eventually fall into place.

A Marketing Segmentation Primer, “Seinfeld” Style

Posted in Mobile Marketing on January 22, 2011 by andrealidesigns

I ran across this article and had to share it. The article is written by David Danziger and is cleverly insightful on how to approach marketing segmentation using a Seinfeld episode to draw a concise picture of how that would look for the average Joe.

Well over a decade ago, Comedy Central showed a particular stand-up comedy routine (quite regularly it seemed, based on the number of times I stumbled upon it) where the comedian did a bit about China’s enormous population. “Can you believe it? A billion people. A billion! Do you realize what that means? You can be a one-in-a-million guy (pause, for dramatic effect). But guess what? There are a thousand others out there who are just like you!” 

As marketers, when we drive the messaging for a product or solution, we are always faced with the challenge of finding the one-in-a-million person who has a need for our solution. We often think in terms of segments—geography, gender, age, technological expertise, household makeup—that are easily actionable. A workshop I recently attended defined a segment more elegantly, though not necessarily in a way that immediately translates into action. According to the facilitator, a segment is any group of individuals sharing a common problem. Bridging the gap from the “segment as people with common problem” to “segment where we can message effectively” depends on data and analytics, intelligently applied to reach our one-in-a-million target segment.

Let’s stick with comedy and work our way through a hypothetical example. Dedicated “Seinfeld” fans no doubt remember an episode in which Frank Costanza and Kramer decide to go into business developing and selling an upper-body support product for men. It’s not a bra (Kramer: “A bra is for ladies.”); it’s a Bro, though Frank wanted to call it a Man-ssiere. So Kramer and Frank are ready to market the Bro. What next? Well, not surprisingly, the show didn’t get far into the marketing plan, undoubtedly due to the time constraints of the 30-minute sitcom format. If they’d had an hour, a detailed segmentation would clearly have resulted. In its absence, I will seek to fill the void.

If we think of our segment as those who share a common problem, the Bro solves a dilemma for men who need additional upper-body support due to sagging pectorals (insert amusing slang here). I did some checking, and among major data providers there are no pre-defined selection criteria or targeted lists for “Men with Sagging Pectorals,” so logical use of typical data available is in order. Note: After we have some success in the market and have built a customer file, we’ll be able to build analytic models to find look-alikes.

In the meantime, we’ll use assumptions to drive the plan:

•    We know we are targeting males. It’s a Bro, not a bra.
•    We will assume that the proportion of males with sagging pectorals increases as men age beyond 50. 
•    We will also assume that the Bro functions as a nice-to-have rather than a necessity. So, early on, we will target those whom we believe have discretionary dollars to dedicate to the extra comfort associated with upper-body support. 

As we apply these selects to roughly 300 million U.S. individuals, we begin to close in on a targetable segment. Using the three criteria above reduces our target list to 5 million individuals—so far, so good. But any hack marketer could probably have gotten this far.

Now the heavy lifting begins. How do you reach this target group? And how do you maximize the effect of the campaign for near-term and long-term gain?

1.    Analyze the target list of 5 million geographically. Is there an unusually high concentration of the target population in particular DMAs (Designated Market Areas)? Such information can unlock opportunities for targeted mass advertising in cities or even neighborhoods via newspapers, billboards, TV or radio. 

2.    Analyze the list against syndicated research information. Based on your target list, what stores do these men frequent? What do they like to read? When they buy clothing and accessories, do they do their own buying? Or is someone buying for them? Attitudinally, is there a way to delineate those who would be embarrassed at the idea of buying a Bro versus those who would not? Or perhaps to identify those who would gladly buy a Bro via the relative anonymity of mail or email/online versus those who would prefer a more personalized fitting experience at their favorite retail outlets? There may even be opportunities for partnership/affinity marketing that are uncovered via ties to syndicated data. To what organizations do these individuals belong?


3.    Now dig further. By whom are those on the target list influenced? And who on the target list is an active influencer? There may not be many active Twitter users on the Bro target list, but it would not be surprising at all, based on the most recent statistics, to find that there are some very active Facebook users on the target list. Status Update: “Just bought the Bro the other day on a lark. Wore it today for the first time and it feels GREAT. You can’t believe the difference it makes. Shot four strokes below my average today at the club, too.” 

Most importantly, after the first wave of marketing, re-evaluate everything. Look at who actually bought the Bro. What are their characteristics? Were there anomalies in the target we did not anticipate? Were there particular tactics that were notably more effective than others? Are there opportunities to expand the line to address adjacent problem spaces that aren’t being perfectly addressed by the Bro? 

Marketing doesn’t need to be hard. But it does require a combination of logical thinking, willingness to utilize available data and ability to perform analysis. Otherwise, we’re just guessing. And when it comes to finding the one-in-a-million guy that has the problem our product solves, guessing just won’t cut it. Information is key. Even when there’s no data available that specifically addresses the issue, a combination of logical assumptions, data and analysis can yield highly-targeted, actionable segments for messaging. 

David Danziger is senior manager of innovation at Acxiom Corporation. He loves “Seinfeld,” but he does not wear a Bro. Yet.

 

Understanding how mobile influences purchase intent

Posted in Mobile Marketing with tags , , , , , , , on January 12, 2011 by andrealidesigns

Let me just start with a study by Adology research firm who focuses on specific demographic, psychographic, geographic or verticle market segments most likely to be the best customers for specific sectors and what motivates them to buy.

Consumers who report that mobile applications or marketing influence their purchasing are primarily male of which comprise 54.4 percent of consumers engaging with mobile advertising and branded smartphone applications. Additionally adults ages 25-34 influenced comprise 31.9 percent with homeowners coming in at 63.9 percent.

Almost half of the casual clothing buyer surveyed, or 46.6 percent say mobile applications or advertising influenced their purchase and 44.0 percent of jewelry buyers were also influenced.

For Industries relating to apparel and accessories using mobile advertising and smartphone applications to keep in touch with customers by sending promotional texts and offering a store related mobile application that could feature information such as a style guide, store locator and upcoming sales events is becoming more important to engage the influx of savvy consumers.

“Retailers may find success utilizing direct mail and mobile apps or advertising,” the study says. ” One possible strategy is to send out mail pieces that promote the business’s mobile app or text promotion, or allow readers to sign up for direct mail pieces via the text messaging or mobile applications.

“It appears that a healthy mix of online and offline marketing can influence a variety of purchasers,” it says. ” Mobile use continues to increase, and there is a large market for not only new smartphone users, but also for those who upgrade their smartphones.

“Retailers should be utilizing these marketing methods in anticipation of this expected continued growth.”

As far as media usage is concerned more than half, or 53.7 percent, of consumers influenced by mobile applications or advertising use a smartphone.

Iphone users lead the pack with 14.8 percent, followed by BlackBerry at 13.4 percent and Google Android at 9.1 percent. By type of phone the breakdown is as follows:

Adology said that the reason why Iphone users report the most influence, may be due to the prevalence of Apple’s iTunes, which is considered the leader in mobile application sales.

However, as other mobile app stores gain prominence, it is likely that users of other smartphone types will report increasing influence by mobile marketing.

Approximately 98 percent of recent consumers who report form mobile applications or advertising use the internet.

To reach more readers online, businesses may want to consider broadening the scope of their other online activities, particularly those that are the most popular among consumers influenced by mobile apps or advertising.

These activities include checking the news, weather, conducting online banking and shopping. Specifically, internet activity via smartphones in the past year includes downloading applications, visiting mobile web sites and watching mobile web.

Among influenced consumers, the most popular social networks are Facebook used by 73.8 percent and YouTube at 43.3 percent.

“Cross-promotion of both social network profiles and mobile apps or marketing could be successful way to capture even more consumers’ attention,” the Adology study says.

These numbers should be perceived like writing on the wall. As we enter the new Millennium of Gen Y Affluents understanding how to engage with your market will be critical to the success of your brand. The internet is here to stay but more importantly how we use the internet to be social, shop, research and live will dictate how we should evolve our own marketing efforts to meet the needs of our consumers.

 

Complete Transparency in 2011

Posted in My Thoughts... with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2011 by andrealidesigns

As we roll into the new year I have come to realize that many industries specifically fashion are in need of a restructuring in their business models. We are living in a world that is rapidly changing due to mobile capabilities with smartphones, mcommerce, millienial technologies, mobile marketing campaigns, consumer engagement on social media platforms and much more.  In all my recent research to educate myself on such trends to launch my own new business concepts meant to dove tail off my jewelry design I have found that the rabbit hole goes much further that I could have ever imagined. In fact that hole becomes deeper everyday. The rate of which information is pouring in on a daily basis with the dozen blogs I subscribe to along with the links off the articles themselves is tailspinning me into a world of technology that one can easily become overwhelmed by. Figuring out how to cut through the subterfuge of irrelevant information to find the information that is relevant and how it pertains to your specific industry. Then learning how to apply such tactics so that there is a visible  return on the usage is an art form that takes time. An art form that I am currently a student of. After all the mobile marketing campaign the Coca-cola launches would not apply to an independent designer whom does not have the type of brand recognition the corporate giant carries with it. So how can small independent design houses take advantage of all the technology and marketing tactics associated with them?

Welcome to the new format of my blog. As I find what trends, technologies and tactics can be utilized in a way that makes sense to the independent designer I will be posting my findings on this blog in efforts to help educate my community of designers to make their own brand successful in the new millennial consumer era we all suddenly find ourselves in. Like many of you who did not grow up with the internet the base line of savvy in such trends is limited at best however I aim to change the perception of accessibility to this new revolution of mobile marketing by pursuing the informational gateway that will important in the continuum of success in this new era.

In addition to my postings here I will be tweeting great articles that I stumble upon. Follow me on Twitter under Andrealidesigns.

2010 in review

Posted in Uncategorized on January 3, 2011 by andrealidesigns

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2010. That’s about 4 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 18 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 79 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 199mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was April 28th with 103 views. The most popular post that day was Metal Heads-Another artists great interpretation of the concept of jewelry as sculpture.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were andrealidesigns.info, facebook.com, mail.live.com, mail.yahoo.com, and en.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for andrea li wordpress, harper’s bazaar frida kahlo, andrea li designs, andrea li jewelry, and andrea li.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Metal Heads-Another artists great interpretation of the concept of jewelry as sculpture April 2010

2

Talent, talent everywhere May 2010

3

303 Magazine Fourth Annual Hair Show presented by schomp BMW October 2010

4

And from the beginning April 2010
5 comments

5

About Me and this Blog April 2010

Translation Gallery Trunk Show

Posted in Trunk show with tags , , , , , on November 8, 2010 by andrealidesigns

Event: Trunk Show with Top Denver Jewelry Designer Andrea Li

Date:  November 12th, 2010

Time: 5:00 – 8:00pm

Location: Translations Gallery

1743 Wazee Street

Denver, CO 80202

Phone: 303.629.0713

Website: www.translationsgallery.com

 

Nature is the source of jewelry designer Andrea Li’s inspiration. The fluid forms of her designs effortlessly capture the brilliant color palette and rich textures found in the earth’s most beautiful gemstones resulting in an alchemical blend of polished brilliance and raw strength. Each handcrafted design defies trend with timeless beauty and aesthetic wisdom, thus insuring its rightful heirloom status. Andrea Li was named Denver’s Best Jewelry Designer by 5280 Magazine in 2010.

 

All jewelry is for sale. The event is free and open to the public.

 

Translations Gallery is a contemporary fine art gallery that represents artists who live in the Western region of the United States and work in painting, mixed media, printmaking, and sculpture.