Archive for January, 2010

As Sure As The Sun Sets…

Posted in Inspirational with tags , on January 25, 2010 by Artform

There will be Competition.
Unless you’re in the bubblegum shoelace market… (you get my point).

I was reading an article this weekend about how a business that doesn’t see growth will eventually be seeing the “closed for business” sign. The article then went on to address why this is. The key reason stemmed from competition. In a capitalist market such as ours, competition is inevitable, especially for products that have a healthy demand. Competition is good because it let’s us know that we’re still in the game, it also let’s us know where we stand against our competitors. A good question posed was this – is your company leading the pack or trailing behind? The author then went on to give his strategy for dealing with competition. He first made a list of his direct competitors. Then he went to work on eliminating the competition through offering better service, quality, price, and so forth.

The article made me wonder… how many brands out there are truly trying to differentiate themselves by simply being better? We all know that competition exists and I hope you know that growth is a necessity. What we don’t know is who is going to grab market share by eliminating the competition? I know for a fact that Big business has their eye on the action sports industry. They also have the resources to compete (Target and Shaun White anyone?). This is why it is imperative to know your competitor and outdo them before they have a chance to outdo you. It is a dog eat dog world out there and the dogs stay hungry, which means you need to stay on your toes.

My question for you is this… what are you doing today to stand up against the competition?


Everything Is On Sale…

Posted in Perspective with tags , , , , , on January 18, 2010 by Artform

It’s true. Damn near everything is on sale – Cars, Houses, Travel deals, Designer Apparel and yes… your products too. I recently has a conversation with an e-commerce specialist and he told me the Full Price retail business was dead. His position was that if you want to sell products at full price, you have to sell the illusion that the products are on Sale. This strategy is nothing new seeing how big box department stores have been running that tactic for years. The truth of the matter however is that the recession is far from over and the Recessionista may possibly be here to stay.

The average consumer is simply forced to change their spending/buying habits out of pure necessity. The jobs aren’t there, the nest egg is gone, the 401k is tapped and the prospects are slim. So when thinking of buying name brand Cereal for $3.99 or the generic brand for $1.99, guess what wins? Even more so when Mom takes Johnny in to buy some tee’s for school. The discount rack starts to seem much more appealing these days. Retailers know it, Consumers know it and Brands are scared of it. Rightly so. With out a customer willing to pay a premium price for a premium product, brands will compete at the bottom for scraps. This is why it is extremely important to maintain strong Brand Value/Perception.

Here is a bit of real world insight… I’ve been skating at the new Dyrdek plaza at Hollenbeck park in East Los Angeles, an area known for being “rough” to say the least. The locals obviously don’t come from high income homes and money for products likes shoes, t’s and skateboards simply isn’t there. However, one thing I noticed about the group of locals is that they all have one or two name brand pieces. Maybe it’s a tee or a beanie. Something small, but name brand. I got to talking about this with my wife and she said that you can really tell who supports what brand when it comes down to spending the little money you may have on that “One” piece. In this case Deathwish/Baker won, since the majority of the kids had an item or two from those companies.

Then I got to thinking. I didn’t grow up with money either and I remember how much it meant to me to get a Name Brand anything. I also took more care of my product since I knew it had to last. I remember buying a tee in the early 90’s that became my uniform for the year. I was so proud to of that damn shirt, it was worth any allowance I had or numerous lawns I had to mow (Kareem Campbell Blue Skateboards tee for any old timers out there).

To bring it all home, the point is this, people have less income now than they did in the past which means each purchase means more. Whether that purchase is to save a buck or two on a box of cereal or to spend two extra bucks on their favorite brand. So before you go and break out those “for sale” signs, try convincing the consumer that your product is worth the extra two bucks. If you can’t I’ll be seeing you at the bargain bins – size large.


Haiti Gets Hit…

Posted in News Wire with tags on January 13, 2010 by Artform

Haiti suffers the worst earthquake in 200 years. Please watch the video and get involved however you can from donating to passing this video along…

SurfAid’s Kick4Humanity Tournament – 1/23/10

Posted in Event with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2010 by monskeez

iMa is putting on the much-anticipated SurfAid International Kick4Humnaity Soccer Tournament in San Clemente on January 23rd, 2010. Brands involved in the surfing industry will battle it out at San Gorgonio Park to help raise funds for SurfAid. It’s going to be a day filled with food, drinks, prizes and good times.

This Year’s Tournament will feature teams such as SurfAid, Jedidiah, RVCA, Endemic, Volcom, Firewire Surfboards, L*SPACE, Surfshot, Chas Surfboards, Transworld Biz, So Cal SK8 & Surf, Laguna Surf & Sport & more to come. If you would like to become part of the “family” and make a donation, we have a page set up that gives you an easy access to donate to your favorite team and help SurfAid International help people in need.

Click HERE to make a donation.

We like to thank all of our supporters, donors and companies that have made this event happen.

I also like to give a special thanks to the members of WIAS, who have volunteered their time to help out with the tournament.

Don’t hesitate to come by and check out the tournament! To keep the festivities going, please join us at the OC Tavern after the event.

For more information on the Kick4Humanity Tournament, please contact:

GOSK8 Game #2 coming soon

Posted in News Wire with tags , on January 7, 2010 by Artform

A little birdie told me recently that Rowley and Ellington are gearing up for round two of GOSK8. We’ll post the game here as soon as it hits the web, so stay tuned in the coming weeks! For more info visit

Instant Gratification: An International Polaroid Celebration

Posted in Event with tags , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2010 by monskeez

When I was a kid there was this camera, which I thought was a magic camera, that took pictures which allowed you instantly to see and hold. Well, not exactly see instantly, technically you could hold it, but the picture was more of a blob, but then a minute later you have the picture right in your hand. You didn’t have to drop off the film and wait a week later to pick up the photos.

The Polaroid camera has to be one of the coolest gadgets, in my opinion. A few years ago, I had bought myself this iconic Polaroid camera and in all honestly I had no idea they were still around, so I was so stoked and felt like a kid again. When I found that Polaroid was getting out of the Polaroid business the very same business that made them popular, I was bummed.

Over the past decade digital cameras have grown in popularity and have become a household item. These days you can also take pictures on your digital camera & cell phone, but then you have to upload them and then how many of us actually take the time to print them out.

Well, for those of you like me that still love and appreciate the “instant gratification” of Polaroid film, then you’re in luck. This Saturday January 9th, 2010; ISM: a community project is celebrating instant film and the Polaroid 600 Series with a special, one night only, gallery exhibition + limited edition book featuring over 200 professional and amateur photographers from around the world.

The event will be held from 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. @ Bergamot Station, Copro Gallery, 2525 Michigan Ave T5, Santa Monica, CA 90404. The special event will be accompanied by live musical performances with The Fling, Sam Outlaw and The Romany Rye.

or Email

Welcome to 2010…

Posted in Inspirational with tags , , on January 4, 2010 by Artform

Over this past Holiday I spent my down time (which seemed to last forever) reading tons of articles both print and online about the future of business/marketing in various sectors from healthcare to small business, etc. There was one point where I said out loud to myself “everything has changed”. Looking at companies like Hulu and Twitter, it’s easy to see that new models of business are being created before our eyes and yet it’s hard (if not impossible) to see the what the future will hold for those businesses or any other for that matter.

We are entering the dawn of big businesses needing to find ways to increase sustainability and social responsibility. We are seeing humans take online social interaction to new levels and the technological age seems to be in full swing. Add to the mix the global financial crisis and it is plain to see that things are not only changing, but that they need to change fast.

To tie it all together, what does this mean for your business moving forward? One thing is for sure… nothing will ever be the same and you need to remain elastic enough to adjust to the certain changes that lay ahead. Not only is it important to be able to roll with the punches, but I’d suggest getting out there and throwing a few punches of your own, because the only way to change the world is to get out there and change the world.