this is a momiji doll. they're a friendship doll. lovely to touch and look at. and they have a little place for you to write and store a personal message...
attention to detail is on my mind a lot at the moment. it's what i'm noticing and i think its more important than ever. especially in product and marketing. so often the output of all this thinking and planning just lacks any..well, detail. interesting touches, stuff that makes you smile, pick something up, share it. so detail is something i'm going to be championing wherever possible.
here's some more nice detail.i subscribed to the airside t-shirt club and just got the membership through with a fab branded wax seal on the envelope. smashing detail.
just read a brilliant article in the new scientist (6th Jan) about the urgent need for product design to tackle our 'throwaway' culture. apparently the brits alone produce enough rubbish to fill the Albert Hall every 2 hours. it covers a fair bit but the focus is on the need for sustainable design to try and halt the huge waste produced from mass consumer culture. the main thing that stood out for me was Jonathan Chapman, a sustainable designer and senior lecturer at brighton university. he talks of a time when we had deeper relationships with objects and possessions, keeping them for many years and often passing them through the family. all this created huge emotional value and a 'narrative' which he feels todays mass products cannot achieve.
he adds "most consumer products today are like stories that have an incredible opening line but just continue repeating it throughout, their narrative capabilities are pathetically limited".
i thought that was brilliant. it immediatley made me think about brand communications beyond product design. the 'opening line' is still often the focus of all communication activity- the single organising thought played out through different media channels. this, while new opportunities for brand narrative remain numerous and largely untapped albeit in the hands of the people.
faris's transmedia thinking is an excellent way i think of opening up opportunities and new possibilities for brand narrative and has/is still being hotly discussed.
Chapman's approach and solution to this 'limited narrative' is something he calls 'emotionally durable design' and the challenge for designers is therefore to create products with a 'sustaining narrative'.
i think this is arguably the same challenge for all brand communication. developing sustainable products is clearly an urgent priority but at the same time for a brand's narrative to be 'sustainable' in people's minds i.e interesting, worth engaging with, want to talk about it, it also needs to be an 'emotionally durable' relationship. it needs to unfold and change over time, develop new connections and directions, share new moments good and bad.
this deeper relationship with a physical product is described in the article by industrial analyst Walter Stahel as 'the teddy bear factor' - no matter how worn out and distressed a favourite teddy becomes, we feel no need to buy another, it connects us to our childhood. and this he argues is the job sustainable design needs to do with more and more products, and i reckon with communications overall.
it's a fascinating approach as we move forward on our delicate planet. the teddy is my son Fin's. the relationship is very very deep, no other bear gets a look in.