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Fab.com is another flash sale site, but instead of deals on dinner, yoga classes or high-end fashion, Fab.com caters to a very specific audience: the design lover. Whether it was designed and made by a couple in Seattle or designed by one of the most well-known industrial designers, Fab offers it to the users at a massive discount. So why do we need another flash sale site? What is so special about Fab.com? Well, to be frank, quite a lot.
Although Fab.com is now one of the most successful flash sale sites, it did not start out that way. Users might be surprised to learn that Fab.com is the latest iteration of co-founders Jason Goldberg and Bradford Shellhammer’s tech start-up, which started out in life as Fabulis, a gay social networking site. After the site reached its peak, the duo saw the opportunity to take their business in a different direction and, obviously, it was the right decision. Fab.com has been a flash sale phenomenon; in its first four months in business, Fab reached 750,000 users and $100,000 a day in sales. With numbers like that in a competitive sector of the retail business, they are clearly doing something right. Their success is owed to not only their selection of items for sale, but also how they go about gathering new users.
Fab.com built social into the framework of the site, harnessing the power of users’ social networks to gather new users while also rewarding current users for bringing in their friends. After encouraging users to invite their friend, whether after a purchase or just on a whim, current users earn a $25 credit when their invited friend makes their first purchase.
Co-founder Jason Goldberg says, “Social is built into the core experience, and if you take that and couple it with design people who love sharing their latest design finds and showing off and seeing, it’s a natural fit.” Fab.com knows their users inside and out and capitalizes on their behaviors and friendships.
Everyday at 11 a.m., I eagerly await the email from Fab.com to hit my inbox, telling me of the delightfully designed objects up for sale today. I will most likely do all of my holiday shopping on Fab.com, adding to the already long list of items I have purchased from them. Fab.com offers the unique, quirky items that myself and hundreds of thousands of others love; if you couple that with an easy-to-use, friendly shopping experience and mastery of users’ social networks, it is clear that Fab.com will continue its exponential growth.
I’m really proud of my President this week. In a bold political move, Obama finally took a vocalized stance on his 18 month “evolving” position on same-sex marriage. His advocacy for equality under the law and in society for “every single American” is now an integral part of his campaign platform. Despite his period of ambiguity, he was considered the best chance supporters of same-sex marriage had for change. Now, he’s the face of that change.
As much we would like to believe the President’s endorsement of same-sex marriage will directly lead to legislative change on a federal level, we must keep our feet on grounded in reality. The fight for the equality of all Americans will continue to be a painstaking, arduous process. As this is currently an issue left to the states, Obama’s authority is deeply limited in this matter. Likely more influential to this issue is our nation’s Supreme Court. A ruling in the courtroom establishing the constitutional protection of the LGBT community’s civil rights and liberties will garner the expansive change sought by LGBT equality activists.
Obama may not be the one-and-done solution many of us same-sex marriage supporters wish for, but he is an instrumental piece to the movement. By finally verbally advocating for marriage equality, the President is now a veritable beacon of hope for the LGBT community and its supporters; a prominent leader in the political sphere which is something the LGBT civil rights movement has lacked to this point – centralized, national leadership.
The myriad LGBT civil rights groups and individual activists whose assiduous work has led to significant progression on the marriage equality front now have headship with the first standing presidential backing in history. You can say Obama’s move was calculated, but he instilled unprecedented inspiration among the LGBT community and supporters, and united inspiration in all states regardless of same-sex legality, which mobilized the discussion around same-sex marriage equality more aggressively than anything to date.
It’s our president’s job to lead in the face of adversity, and now that his stance on same-sex marriage equality is manifested, his attention will shift to other important issues that challenge our country, as his attentiveness should. His support is uplifting and moving, and shows us how powerful national leadership can be.
From all the media coverage and the public discourse surrounding Obama’s “evolution,” I hope we see an activist, or many, emerge as nationally recognized leaders in the LGBT civil rights movement while the President focuses on his re-election. Obama will still be an integral constituent to the movement, but a leader outside of the political realm could be advantageous not only to work as “key” to the president’s “lock” for legislative changes down the road, but also for distancing a particular party affiliation to the movement. It’s important this does not become a political chess piece – this movement is about the equality of all Americans, both liberal and conservative.
Attributing a face to change is imperative to progress for any movement of any kind: a person can accept responsibility for progression, a leader can inspire the hopeless and a president can set a precedent. Obama sparked the torch of united inspiration, but it’s our job as supporters of same-sex marriage to carry it and keep it lit. This united inspiration is a testament of the convictions of the LGBT civil rights movement – a birth of revolution. Our responsibility now is to leverage his leadership the best we can through education on the issue, contributing to public discourse and by taking peaceful physical action.
Obama reminds us that we are present in a time of historical change. In the words of Elizabeth Warren, “We must decide what kind of people we are and what kind of nation we are going to build.”
Marketing is about telling great stories. And this is the story of how Coca-Cola’s ingenuity touched the lives of Gen Y students. This is the story of how the world’s number one brand launched a global mission to spread the happiness of Coke.
As the Indian proverb goes, “Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever”. We human beings process information much more efficiently when it’s presented in the form of a story, and we’re therefore more likely to remember it.
Stories are also an incredibly important element in creating ideas that stick and thrive. Thus, storytelling should be embedded in the spirit of marketing because it helps consumers understand, recall, and retell a brand’s message.
Now, without further ado, here is one of the best modern examples of marketing storytelling in action:
Coke is about enjoying life’s pleasures, creating connections between individuals, and pursuing happiness. The challenge was: how can this brand experience be brought to life? More specifically, how can Coke become a player in the age of new marketing and deepen their relationship with the alluring, social media worshipping, digitally geeky, tantrum throwing, information and opinion overloaded generation who lives online and, when wooed properly, becomes influential brand evangelists?
The answer: craft a story that engages millennials and spreads in today’s sharing economy.
When you’re a multi-billion dollar corporation like Coca-Cola, you don’t just use marketing to sell – you entertain and create an experiential platform that earns the love of your customers.
So, Coke created the story of a magical vending machine that became a viral sensation. It cost them approximately $50,000 to set-up and the company left the machine in the cafeteria ofSt. John’sUniversity (New York) for two days.
On January 12, 2010, Coca-Cola uploaded the video to YouTube and announced it with a single, intriguing Facebook status update.
The video went viral. After 10 days, it had been seen 1 million times. Currently, it has over 4 million views. Coke also monitored the ad’s spread through blogs, focus groups, and re-posts and found that 95-98% of the comments were positive.
Coke’s Recipe for Storytelling Success
Structure. There is a chronological flow from beginning, middle, to end. The beginning captivates us and sets the scene. The cliff-hanger climax leaves us wondering.
Protagonist. The main character in this ad is the Gen Y customer because they take the journey from the boredom of routine student life to the happy ending Coke delivers.
Humor. People like to laugh and be amused. Funny is fun.
Authenticity. No actors, no special effects tricks. They didn’t fake it! This ad is about real people like you and me – and that makes this story very relatable and credible.
Unexpected. Everything from the innovative transformation of a vending machine to the surprises it pops out is supremely creative and unique for each button presser. This is the delightfully employed, attention-grabbing theme of mystery.
Emotion. “A brand that creates emotional joy is a rare thing,” says Pierre Chandon, a professor of marketing at INSEAD. Yet this is exactly what Coke does; it generates happiness. Every emotion from shock to excitement in the video is pure and engaging.
Social. Happiness is contagious. As A.J. Brustein, a senior brand manager at Coke explains, “We wanted to keep the happiness flowing.” Indeed, the video shows students sharing the machine’s rewards. Moreover, this video spread like fire across social media networks because it’s a good story and good stories spark conversations.
What the Story Is All About
Storytelling helps us learn, remember, and retell. Stories are the currency of human contact and communication. When the marketer becomes a storyteller, they gain the power to inspire and mould behavior.
What are some other great examples of marketing storytelling in action?
In a weird about-face, Asia seems to be getting all the pop culture phenomena first: most of Asia got The Avengers a week before the US, and more importantly, Lady Gaga began her massive tour, the “Born This Way Ball,” in Seoul.
I saw Mother Monster on the second stop of her tour, in Hong Kong. She originally had only scheduled one show here, but after huge demand and complaints about an “unfair” ticketing process, she added three more sold-out shows. Even disgraced Hong Kong actor Edison Chen tried to get in on the action—though Gaga reportedly refused to meet him.
Aside from her popularity in Hong Kong itself, these were her only shows in Greater China. The promulgators of the Great Firewall cracked down on Gaga last year, categorizing her, Katy Perry and the Backstreet Boys as “national threats.” Six Gaga songs are banned on Chinese websites, including “The Edge of Glory,” “Hair” and “Judas,” though the Chinese government has gone so far as to ban the Backstreet Boys’ 90s hit, “I Want It That Way,” so you can’t really blame them for finding Gaga a little over-the-top.
Hong Kong is mostly unaffected by the heavy-handed censorship in China, so Gaga’s Chinese fans flocked to Hong Kong’s Asia-World Expo to see the shows
As expected, the set was epic: it was a forbidding castle, at least fifty feet tall with four different levels and an innumerable amount of moving parts.
She came in on a horse with a horn attached to it’s foreheard, which momentarily stunned the audience. Then she started singing “Highway Unicorn,” and the makeshift unicorn didn’t seem so weird after all.
Two songs later, to open “Born this Way,” an enormous round balloon with spider-like legs on either side was brought on stage. Weirdly, it had Gaga’s face projected onto it, and it soon became obvious that the balloon was a uterus, and that it was mimicking the actual process of giving birth.
Afterwards, Gaga said, “I want you to think of this arena as a vagina where you will be reborn,” which was the line of the night. She continued, but that line made the audience stop—at least where I was sitting. The parents in the row below us covered their daughters’ ears, and every guy in the audience quietly snickered.
Similarly explicit references went on throughout the night and in one of the weirder stunts, Gaga shot her floating alien “Mother G.O.A.T.” projection after “Paparazzi,” and it cried tears of blood.
As expected, the costumes were ridiculous throughout, from giant white dresses in “Bloody Mary” to a replica of the famous meat dress she wore to the American Music Awards during “Americano.” Meat featured prominently throughout the second half of the show; during “Alejandro,” shirtless male backup dancers lounged on a meat sofa.
Though Gaga’s set was seemed contrived, she was very aware of her audience. Rumors that she would try to speak Cantonese remained unfounded, although she screamed “Hong Kong!” at least 80 times. She spent a lot of time talking about how much she appreciates her “Little Monsters” and before “Hair,” she mentioned being different and feeling alienated in high school – a topic that resonated with the Hong Kong audience.
Amidst all the effects and outfit changes, the music was solid. “Hair,” played near the end of the show, was a particular highlight. Her big hits, such as “Just Dance” and “Paparazzi,” were enjoyable, though many were shortened to only a minute or so. The best part was that she wasn’t lip-syncing, which meant she could spontaneously have the audience join in for choruses. Her ridiculous outfits and bright blond hair made her really easy to follow onstage as she moved around constantly, which was great for the show’s energy levels, but horrible for iPhone photos: she appeared as a blonde blur.
Little Monsters aside, people go to Gaga’s shows because they want to see the spectacle—to see whether her live performances, outfits and persona are as ridiculous in person. She didn’t disappoint. Ultimately, the music was good, and the production value was high: the costumes, set and dancers were as extravagant, over the top and ostentatious as expected—if not more so. Hong Kong doesn’t have any over-the-top performance groups like Cirque de Soleil, but for four nights, it had something better: Lady Gaga.
Pinterest is the rising star of social media. Everyone is talking about the social pinboard network, speculating whether it heralds the switch from searchtodiscovery, what its popularityamongwomen means for Internet marketing, how it may potentially change ourpurchasinghabits, and debating digitalcopyright.
The major brands are hoping to use Pinterest to influence your purchases through sleek integration of their products, but the network is also the best tool for buying and consuming less. Before hitting the local thrift store or a swap meet here’s how you can use Pinterest to thrift shop like a pro, save money, and live a little greener in the process.
1) Start a Personal Style Board
The first step is simple: create a personal style board where you pin anything and everything that feels related to your own style. When you finally decide to hit the thrift store circuit you will know exactly what you want. Not sure what your style is? Just start browsing and figure it out as you pin.
2) Follow, Follow, Follow
Following a lot of users is essential for figuring out what you like. You may be inspired by the traditional outlets on Pinterest—like LuckyMag and KateSpade—or want to pin specific spring 2012 trends. Following popular style blogs like Refinery 28 or ShopSweetThings may be more your thing. Or perhaps the ever popular craft site Etsy is where you inspiration lies. There are also a great deal of unlikely boards for style inspiration, like TheNewYorkPublicArtandPicturecollection which features a great board dedicated to the MadMenera, the atmospheric textile designer AmySia, or curated vintageandhistoricalephemera. Inspiration for style comes from a wide range of people, places, and things. So follow, pin, repeat.
3) Pin High, Buy Low
The best motto is to pin what you’d imagine wearing, not what you’d actually buy. You’re going to be buying second-hand anyway, so who cares if these items cost more than your rent? You might fixate on a pair of pricey brightgreenshoes or a one-of-a-kind geometricprintdress, but of course you aren’t going to buy them, so each item becomes a visual cues in terms of color, design, and print when you’re actually browsing through your favorite second-hand store. Forget the price tags, pin what you find visually stimulating, and remember what qualities draws you. That way when you’re lost in the racks, you know exactly what you’re looking for.
4) Crafts and D.I.Y.
Pinterest is a Mecca for craft tutorials and do-it-yourself guides, both of which are perfect for learning how to alter a wardrobe. Now you can learn how to maket–shirtyarnoutofoldt–shirts, sewingjeansintoskinnyjeans, or turning a men’sshirtintoadress. Knowing how to do it yourself may be what you need to take the items you already own or the things you’ve picked up into perfect items for you. Plus, you get to learn some new skills in the process.
Little do they know that during their Mexican culture-and-heritage-venerating activities, they’re actually celebrating the army’s 1862 defeat of France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War, not the country’s independence.
But for most, the history of the epic date is neither here nor there when considering the partying purposes.
What was once modestly celebrated with chips, salsa, soda and no classwork in high school Spanish class, has evolved to day-drinking Coronas and a night chock-full of tequila, salsa dancing and late nite burritos.
And brace yourselves, for Cinco de Mayo falls on a Saturday this year! Use these apps to best enjoy your day full of Mexican food, flavors, drinks and sombreros. What’s even more killer is that you don’t have to go to work hungover the next day. Score.
Mexican Recipes (iPhone and Android)
It’s not a party without sick salsa, enchiladas, and queso. At least on May 5 it’s not! This app houses 200+ recipes for breakfast, lunch, appetizers and dinner, from hot pickled veggies to ice cream. Throw the brews in the fridge and mosey on into the kitchen to get the good food flowing and the party going.
Radio Mexico Live (iPhone and Android)
Coronas come with limes (and a shot of tequila!),the annoying kid always strikes the piñata gold and Cinco de Mayo parties have live Mexican radio/music. Those are just the rules; how things work on May 5 – worldwide. To get your Mexican jams pumping, this app will fill your party with hundreds of radio stations from Mexico, including jazz, rock, oldies and more.
Piñatas are fun, true. But they’re messy. And require a bat (not all of us have baseball bats lying around the house….) So, if your Cinco de Mayo is just not complete without the explosion of a paper mache animal stuffed with candy, then this app can help you out. Though you won’t be able to reap the sugar-filled benefits, you can still play with a piñata, less the mess.
Liquor Run Mobile (iPhone and Android)
If you’re hosting the party, you’re going to want to stay well-stocked. This app will provide you nearby liquor stores, pulling from its database of 40,000+ U.S. retail liquor stores. While shopping, you can browse 1,000+ drink recipes, beer nutrition facts and alcohol percentages to guide your purchases. P.S. – it’s free, and doesn’t have banner ads.
Hangover Cures – 40 Home remedies (iPhone and Android)
As with any holiday or celebration involving daytime drinking, it’s likely you need an app on your side come Sunday morning – and many other things, like water, saltines, and a full two seasons of The Office on hand. This app will provide you with 40+ at-home remedies and tips for how to best nurse a hangover. For example, it’ll teach you what’s better: water or Gatorade; Tylenol or aspirin; rest or exercise, etc. Keep in mind that BrainWave Hangover Relief is also a magic worker.
So you’ve got spin class at the crack of dawn with barely enough time to gulp down a venti skinny soy latte with three shots of espresso before it’s time to dash to your 9:00 meeting. The rest of your day is a blur. Come 4:30 you’re sitting at your desk fantasizing about your couch and the all-new episode of Dance Moms Miami when you get a text from that girlfriend with a glitzy PR job. “Wanna come to a thing with me? Dress up –SisQuo‘s gonna be there!” What? What’s he been doing? Better yet, what are you gonna do… about what you’re gonna wear?
In a world where we have too much to do with not enough time (or caffeine), what’s a stylish girl to do trying to make that transition between crispy cool day and spicy hot night? Get your shopping lists ready, because here are the essential pieces you need to make the transition between day and night look effortlessly chic:
Master the smokey eye
What’s this nonsense with the smokey eye? Why is everyone so obsessed with it? Three reasons:
- It looks good on everyone
- You can use any colors, not just blacks and charcoals (the orignals). Use browns, greens, and my personal favorite… purples!
- It’s all about layerings. This is the reason the smokey eye is essential for the day to night look. It all comes down to layers, so you simply build over your daytime make up to make your look a bit more dramatic. And once you nail down the basics, it’s very, very hard to screw it up (the key is to blend your face off).
So next time you’re in Sephora, grab some brushes and some fun colors (I personally recommend their nifty kits, which have all the colors and break it down into super simple steps), watch a few tutorials, then lock yourself in the bathroom for the night with a bunch of eye makeup remover and practice until you’re a pro.
A great blazer
The perfect blazer is essential because once you find the right one, it covers all manner of sins. Perfectly tailored to every curve in a breathable fabric (and a great color — you don’t always have to do black!), the right jacket will take you from career cool in the day and give you that sophisticated, mysterious look at night (paired with that seductive smokey eye you mastered last weekend while watching a Golden Girls marathon and drinking an entire box of Franzia), while covering up any “problem areas” you might think you have. Oh, and it tends to get a bit chilly at night, so there goes that problem too!
The one thing about blazers is that they’re a lot like jeans and boys. You have to try a whole bunch before you find the right one for you. If you tend to carry your weight in your stomach (apple shaped) you might opt for something cut a little longer and not as fitted (boyfriend blazer), but make sure it hits you right at your waist, otherwise you’ll look like your swimming in it. Also make sure it fits through the arms and shoulders or the jig is up. Don’t be afraid to spend a bit more on a really great, high quality blazer, and sink a bit more into some tailoring because a great blazer is something you’ll be able to wear forever.
“With a fierce necklace there’s nothing you can’t accomplish.”
While I can’t prove he said that, it doesn’t make it any less true. Nothing kicks professional (coughboringcoughcough) clothes into high gear like a nice piece of statement jewelry. Some chunky bangles say “I’m a boho kind of girl, but I’m still able to hold down a job!” Some elegant, dangly earrings say, “I’m a lady in the street, but a freak in the bed!” (Yeah, earrings quote Ludacris. I was surprised, too.) A bold collar necklace says, “I’m smart, but also sexy… and expensive,” while a completely over-the-top cocktail ring says, “I’m good with my hands… now talk to my face!”
Note: You typically only need one piece of statement jewelry per outfit, unless you’re embracing the Samantha Jones aesthetic, in which case you can probably pull it off.
A Bold Lip
It’s called a bold lip because you have to have a bold (read: confident) personality to pull it off. But when you find the right shade and know how to apply it without getting it all over your face and pristine monochromatic white outfit, there are very few things more beautiful.
A word to the wise: unless you want to look like a *ahem* lady of the night, choose dramatic eyes or dramatic lips, not both.
Why do I have to explain this one?
Invest in that bag you’ve been wanting
No, seriously. It’s not too expensive and you deserve it. A high quality bag with the capacity to hold lots and lots of stuff that you just absolutely adore is always worth it because you’ll use it for everything, forever. Where else are you going to put all these new day to night essentials?
Oh, and check out my Day to Night Springpad for more ideas….
It’s a booming spectacle all over the Internet: The infamous rapper, late Tupac Shakur, took the stage in digital form at Coachella this year to perform “Hail Mary” and “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” with Snoop Dogg. While some lauded the holographic performance, many devout 2Pac fans regarded the resurrection as disrespectful and in bad taste. Amidst the controversy, it has everyone thinking the same thing: are holograms the future of past musical legends?
The possibilities are endless. Whether it is talented artists like 2Pac who passed away prematurely, or iconic artists and groups that had longer, fulfilling careers, the thought of what their posthumous shows would be like is undeniably intriguing. Although Dr. Dre, the visionary behind Makaveli’s digital return, asserts the hologram “was strictly for Coachella” and “not done for a tour,” it is difficult to believe that four months of work and a price tag of $100,000 to $400,000 would be wasted on only a debut appearance. It seems far more likely that the rest of us who missed the 2Pac hologram at Coachella will have the opportunity to see if for ourselves in some kind of future tour. Even if Dre doesn’t take the virtual Pac on tour, other artists will certainly be eager to play around with this technology and create a hologram of their own.
And to be technical, 2Pac’s hologram is not actually a hologram. It is an example of the Pepper’s ghost technique utilized by the Musion Eyeliner system. From the audience at stage level, 2Pac appears to be 3D, but actually the illusion is created through a 2D image. His image was projected onto a piece of glass at a 45 degree angle on the ground, which reflected the projection of the image onto a customized 302 by 132 screen on the Coachella stage, giving 2Pac the three-dimensional appearance.
Almost regrettably, the opportunities for holographic performances don’t end with the departed. Bands, groups and duos that are still alive but have broken up, have a deceased member, or have retired from the industry could reunite for die-hard fans that have never given up faith. Our favorite current artists who are alive and well today could potentially harness this technology. Touring is immensely strenuous work; when artists experience personal or health related issues while touring and are forced to cancel a sold-out show at the last minute, could a hologram performance of the artist be enough to satiate fans and keep the ‘show on the road’? At a discounted price, would you pay to go to a hologram concert of your favorite musical artist in lieu of the real deal? It makes one wonder how far this technology will take us, and if society accepts it, will we be settling for smoke and mirrors in place of raw unadulterated talent.
All postulating aside, it is evident we are turning a corner in musical innovation. Do you think holograms of artists should be embraced as the future of the music industry or does the potential power of this technology threaten everything music stands for?
If you haven’t heard of Tumblr in the last year, chances are you don’t have a computer. 500 million page views go through Tumblr every single day with 40k requests added each second at Tumblr’s peak usage hours.
But why? It’s just another blogging platform with nice UX right?
The beauty of Tumblr isn’t the design. It’s the content and community that has flourished there. Whether you’re looking for inspiration or entertainment or connection.
So what does the Tumblr Landscape look like?
Like any blogging platform, there are those who use their Tumblrs as personal blogs. They record their day, interact with other Tumblrs, share things they like and write out their shopping lists. But many have taken it much further than that.
Some use them to document their creativity and projects. Such as showing off their fashion, like Nicole Loher or using it to contain their poetry, like Warsan Shire. These two in particular have gained a level of fame in the Tumblr-sphere and are well know, but there are many who do similar projects with a smaller group of fans. Other Tumblrs are personal projects, like this one to capture the best neon lights of NYC.
Then there are Tumblrs that people create as a lifestyle blog or to show their taste such as Young Folk’s Society or Only Cool Stuff. While there are one off Tumblrs of other lifestyles, for the most part in this category the hipster reigns supreme, and there’s an upper echelon of Tumblrs that all interact in a public social forum.
There are motivational tumblrs filled with thought provoking and generally upbeat “love thyself” messages that give the user a feeling of connection and support. Unlike the hipster lifestyle Tumblrs, these connect with all levels of users.
Other Tumblrs are places where people aggregate information on a certain topic. These gained speed with the Fuck Yeah [InsertSubjectHere] Tumblers, with subjects ranging from nail art to sharks to beards to cilantro. In the realm of topical Tumblrs there is everything from science to street art to architecture.
The best part is that through the variety of types and categories of Tumblr it turns out that there is (at least) one for everyone. Ranging from DJs to fans of Ryan Gosling (though to be fair, Ryan Gosling has many many many many Tumblrs).
Do you have any favorite Tumblrs? Think I missed a piece of the landscape?