October 25, 2010

Is this the coolest parking garage?

Back to Lincoln Road in Miami Beach this mroning and we ended up parking at 1111 Lincoln Road Parking Garage. What a surprise. Everything about this inspiring structure of concrete and steel cables is outstanding. It's fascinating to see how great design tends to have universal appeal. The kids we had in the car were like 'wow, this is the prettiest parking garage!'

I was super curious to find out more about the project so, later in the day, I went online to find out it was designed by the Swiss architecture firm Herzog and de Meuron, This is the same firm behind the National Stadium at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, known as the 'Bird's Nest' and London's ultra-cool Tate Modern.

If it's possible to reconceptualize something as mundane as a parking garage and create something extraordinary, it's only proof how transformational architecture and design can be.

Next time I'm in Miami, I guess I'll need to rent a Tesla Roadster...

October 23, 2010

I know this day is coming....

Don't you just love it when advertising strikes an emotional chord? When there is a powerful insight that leads to great brand storytelling. It happened to me the other day with this Subaru spot called "Baby Driver".

As a father of two little girls, this campaign is certainly making a connection with other people who are in my same lifestage. A nice little reminder that yes, this day is coming...

Using design to re-invent the fast food experience

You have to give credit to McDonald's for constantly looking for ways to re-invent the fast food exeperience. Reason why I enjoyed reading FastCompany's article "Making Over McDonald's" as part of the special edition Masters of Design 2010. The article talks about how the burger icon has been using the power of design to recreate the mcexperience.

If you also agree that design is one of the most fascinating forces behind marketing, it's worth the read.

Giving customers what they really need

Apple Store Lincoln Road, Miami Beach - Today 11:00am. I walk in determined to buy a MacBook Pro. I had done all my research online back in Brazil, which I usually do, so I knew 'exactly' what I wanted in terms of hardware configuration. A salesperson comes by and starts asking all sorts of questions about my family's computer habits and makes a completely different recommendation. I end up paying US$ 700 less than my original order. I swipe my debit card on the spot, no lines, no hastle. They guy finds out I like photography and gives me cool tips in terms of storage, photo compression and file sharing resources. No hard sell. Pure bliss.

In a world where we're so used to so many annoying salespeople pushing high-ticket products or features you don't want just to guarantee a higher commission, from insurance brokers to car rentals, today's experience was awesome. An experience that only reinforces my love for the Apple brand and makes me coming back.

Giving customers what they need even though that means selling for less than the person had budgeted for is an amazing lesson... that will certainly pay off later on in terms of loyalty.

October 15, 2010

Miami's Design District

Last week-end, I went out to dinner with a friend who took me to the Sra.Martinez Restaurant in Miami's ultra cool Design District.

We lived in the Miami area from 2000 to 2003 and at that time, the area north of midtown was pretty run down. I was amazed to see the transformation: art galleries, chic boutiques, renovated historic building housing an exciting gourmet scene, loads of people in the streets. Proof that, with the right planning and entrepreneurship, cities or degradated parts of town can morph in something amazing. What a refreshing makeover.

Click here to get more info on the place, in case you're heading to Miami anytime soon.

October 11, 2010

Using visuals to bring ideas to life

In any brainstorming session, I can only properly function when I have something to draw on. I feel there's a more productive flow of ideas deas when I'm able to draw certain correlations, flow charts or conceptual ideas. So, I was happy to find out I'm not alone. I just read an interesting article written by Clive Thimpson for Fortune Magazine called "Think Visual - Why the best way to solve complicated problems might be to draw them".

If you're also the type that feels an uncontrolable urge to draw in meetings, worth reading the article.