Archive for September, 2009

Erik Ellington and Geoff Rowley Round One – GOSK8

Posted in Review with tags , , on September 30, 2009 by Artform

Man, these guys handle some serious business…


Check out Malakye’s new iPhone App

Posted in Knowledge with tags , on September 28, 2009 by akila004

Just a quick note to let you know about the new iPhone app that our friends over at Malakye just launched. Check it out!

Success or Value…

Posted in Perspective with tags , on September 28, 2009 by Artform

Albert Einstein said “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value”.

I was thinking about that all night. All of us want to be successful. But what is success? I often tell my clients that success is defined by however we measure it. What may be considered success to you may be small potatoes to someone else and vice versa. That is why it’s important to set realistic goals that are achievable. Once goals are achieved, that feeling of accomplishment will drive you to want to push forward for more, and more…. I feel it has little to do with success being a destination rather a journey.

So how does one become successful? There are many elements – hard work, drive, luck, passion and so forth. What Einstein was telling us is that if you can be “of Value” then success will follow. I’m sure we can all see the logic in that.

So how does that translate if you’re a brand? Are you bringing value into the marketplace or are you looking for success and bypassing value? That is entirely up to you to figure out… after all Einstein also said “The only real valuable thing is intuition.”


My Euro Trip & Its Flagship Stores

Posted in Perspective with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2009 by akila004

Walking around Hossegor is always a quick adventure. Everybody is hanging out at the brasserie, drinking their coffee and smoking a ciggie. What striked me most though, is the number of action sports flagship stores in this tiny town. They are countless, and are even more numerous compared to my last year’s trip to the Landes. Huntington is nothing compared to Hossegor. You can find all the brands here: Quik, Billabong, O’Neill, Rip Curl, Pull In, Kanabeach, Banana Moon, DC, Volcom, Globe, Oxbow, Insight, you name it. Even my American buddy that works at ASG asked me where the moms and pops stores were at. And all I couldanswer was “somewhere we’ll never notice them”.

So, why so many of them? And why have a flagship store in such a satured area? Well, all this comes back to reminding you the purpose of flagship stores. The concept of flagship stores started with the idea of penetrating higher income markets. As Wikipedia explains it, “Flagship stores are main stores from retailers designed to serve a mainstream of customers. Most noticeably, flagships are found in prominent shopping districts that are targets for a main set of worldwide high-income shoppers. Because of this, shopping at an upscale flagship is seen as high social/economic status. […] These stores become a more preferred shopping destination for the retailers’ goods. Flagships are meant to overshadow its sister stores in its area.”

With this in mind, you can better understand why so many of them in such a touristic, expensive place like Hossegor. The place is jammed packed with wealthy people from around the world in the Summer time. These tourists want to live by the lifestyle of the French West Coast, which basically comes down to the lifestyle of surfing. As a part of their vacation, you might see them take a few surf lessons, but most importantly, you will see them going nuts over shopping. And what a better place than Hossegor, the French meka of surfing, to showcase your full product line in the most controlled environment. Flagship stores are a full representation of what a brand is all about and for all these reasons, they have to be present in a surf town like Hossegor, therefore leaving barely any room for moms and pop retailers to get noticed.


Organically Speaking…

Posted in Perspective with tags , on September 21, 2009 by Artform

The other day I was reading a skate mag and I noticed a bunch of ads which I felt looked contrived. It seemed as though some brands were trying to convince the skate community that they we’re who they say they are. For example, there was one brand that was going for the raw gritty urban look, but the rider in the ad just looked like a normal, run of the mill, suburban Joe. Granted the kid rips, but he didn’t fit the part. Then I was looking at an opposite ad, where the brand was going for the Hesh/Punk thing and it just seemed so overdone. Almost as if they were trying to convince themselves that they were hardcore. I see this time and time again.

When I saw these ads it reminded me of a time when things just happened. When brands simply just “were” and everyone knew it. Let’s take Zoo York for example… when they came out with Mixtape it was so raw and uncut. RocRaida (RIP), Harold Hunter (RIP), Method Man, Pang, I mean c’mon. No one was trying to create an image that they were hardcore, they were just being themselves and that’s why we jumped on board with Zoo. Their branding happened Organically threw the process of just being themselves. No one needed to be convinced that Vinny Ponte would punch you in the face or that Steven Cales was a raw ass dude, it just came across naturally.  Same with Menace, everyone knew Fabian Alomar was rugged. The point is this, they all ripped and they all fit the part. So marketing the team and their association with these brands was a natural relationship.

So when I see an ad nowadays with some 16 yr old kid from the valley acting tough, I find it a hard sell. Remember Brands- use what you got, be yourselves and let others in on it. You’ll be way more convincing that way, organically speaking.


50 Ways to Promote Your Business – Seminar Notes

Posted in Knowledge with tags , on September 15, 2009 by Artform

“50 Ways to Promote your Business” Seminar Notes

Thanks to everyone that came out to the seminar. I hope you enjoyed it and found it useful. Now get out there and start promoting your business!


Word of Mouth
1. Talk about your business to EVERYONE at all times. Spread Your own word of Mouth
2. Ask others to spread the Word Of Mouth for you

3. Start a Shop Team – flow, A team/ B team / Pro Team
4. Sponsor a Local band/DJ
5. Sponsor a Local Little League
6. Sponsor a local Artist
7. Let others get involved. If kids or locals express interest in being involved, let them be.

8. Advertise in the Local Paper – The print industry is hurting meaning it’s a good time to buy space.
9. Run Banner ads on local blogs
10. Hit the street with Flyers – high traffic areas, schools, skate parks, etc

11. Host in-store events – Artshow, themed day, Art contests
12. Have a BBQ
13. Movie Premiere – work in conjunction with vendors to host a video premiere
14. Community-based events: bring your skate/snow/surf community together to celebrate certain days such as the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Easter, Arbor Day, Groundhog Day, etc…
15. Skate/Snow/Surf Contests: Host contests at the local skatepark where you give away schwag and branded products
16. Autograph Signings – If there is a tour going on, make sure it stops by your store
17. Fundraiser for local nonprofit
18. In-store Music Friday’s – local band / Dj
19. Anniversary party

20. Write a Blog (News, Photos, Videos) – Start a blog, enhance your blog, promote your blog, build hype around new products, etc.
21. Podcast – Webcast, Vlogs
22. Social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Youtube – start a page, interlink your pages
23. Newsletter – have fun with it (constant contact)
24. Link exchange with vendors and local sites/blogs
25. Allow others to contribute to your blog – high level influencers, guest articles, local bloggers, etc.

26. Produce a video each week, month, year with your team
27. Film a Commercial for the store with employees and team to be spread to all online platforms
28. Sell your videos online or give them away as quick time file downloads

Branded Products
29. Produce and sell branded products for your store: boards, tees, hats, etc
30. Talk to your accounts to try to create co-branded products with them. Brands love it and so do your customers
31. Allow local designers/artists design clothes for your store – t designs, hat designs, stickers, etc…
32. Co-brand with your local schools
33. Be consistent with all of your creative – logos, color ways, product designs, store name, concepts, etc…

Community involvement
34. Start a skate park
35. Start a Skate/Surf/Snow Club
36. GO GREEN – trash pick up day

Fusion Marketing
37. Cross Promotional opportunities with local businesses (restaurants) aka the XYZ shop slice (ie Dopierre’s hot sauce)

38. Use any event you are involved in to generate and distribute press releases to local publications. It¹s not just the kids that shop at the store, the parents too! – local event listings, action sports calendars via media channels

Branded Shopping experience
39. Atmosphere – the right music, vibe, energy
40. Window displays – something unique to your store (rotate employees to design them, allow locals to design them, etc)
41. Excellent customer service – exclusive only to your business helpful, informative, etc
42. Have a store mascot
43. Employee uniforms – something cool and specific

Consumer Focused
44. Comments Box – allow customers/employees/vendors to comment, air out complaints, give praise, ask questions, make requests, etc
45. Customer Incentive programs – bring a friend in get 20%
46. Punch Cards
47. Discounts/ Coupons
48. Side Walk Sales
49. Loyalty programs – rewards cards, VIP member cards, etc…

50. Create a marketing plan and budget for the year – nobody plans to fail, they just fail to plan

“The New Faces of GOSK8”

Posted in News Wire with tags , , on September 15, 2009 by Artform

GOSK8 is proud to welcome onboard pro skateboarders Erik Ellington
(Deathwish skateboards) and Geoff Rowley (Flip skateboards) who will serve as the new face of the company.

GOSK8_EE-GR2GOSK8 is a new iPhone application/tool for physically playing the
traditional game of skate. The developers of GOSK8 have gone to great
lengths to spice the game up by adding three different skill levels (basic,
medium, advanced) and four obstacle options (ledge, manual, transition,
flat-ground), making it the only skate application of its kind.

Rowley – “GOSK8 takes the game of S.K.A.T.E. to the next level. There are so many options with the different levels and obstacles that anyone at any level can play it.”

Ellington – “When I first downloaded GOSK8 to my iPhone I didn’t expect it to be so sick. There are hundreds of tricks depending on what level and obstacle you choose. What I really liked most is that you can play by yourself or against another skater. This is no “sit on your ass” game. You actually have to get out there and skate with GOSK8.”

Geoff and Erik will be battling it out in a series of games using the GOSK8 app. Stay tuned for videos hitting the web soon.

For more information on GOSK8 visit