November 30, 2011

Baguette vending machine that provides 24-hour fresh baked bread

It's fascinating to see the evolution of vending machines. I was amazed when I first travelled to Tokyo four years ago and saw machines dispensing all sorts of things, from electronics to bento boxes.

Recently, I read about Jean-Louise Hecht, the French baker who invented a baguette vending machine that provides 24-hour fresh baked bread. For businesses looking for ways to offer more convenience and reduce operating costs, this certainly is a fresh idea.

We're living in a 2-speed World

Here in Barcelona this week, I also listened to Anthony Pralle - one of the Boston Consulting Group's senior partners - talk about some of the trends that are affecting and shaping businesses around the globe. One of the concepts that I particularly enjoyed was the notion that we're definitely living in a 2-speed world: slow growth in developed markets versus the vibrant fast pace found in emerging economies.

As an example, he mentioned that 10 years have gone by and the Freedom Towers at Ground Zero in New York have not been completed. In contrast, he showed the video below of a hotel in China that was built in just 6 days.

Listening to Derek Redmond in Barcelona

Last night, I had the privilege of listening and talking to Derek Redmond - 1991 World Champion 4x400m Relay - and I was blown away by his personal and very inspiring story of determination, passion for winning and perseverance.

One of his stories was portrayed in a 2008 VISA 'Go World' campaign and he also appears in the Nike 'Courage' TV campaign.

Some are certainly destined for greatness.

November 27, 2011

New Milka Concept Store in Buenos Aires

Last week I spent a few days in Buenos Aires. I got to visit our second Milka Concept Store, this one located in Las Canitas, one of the city's cool neighborhoods. A great place for a capuccino with a Milka bom bom, to read the paper or go online. I love how Milka's strong iconography - lilac cow, alpine feel - works so well for in-store activation.

Great partnership with Open 25 and La Tienda del Café.

November 19, 2011

Kinect Effect

I remember last Christmas when my brother-in-law James Maul gave my nephew an XBox 360 Kinect. Everyone in the house was in awe with this technology. In our house, we don't own any video game consoles but I have to admit I was quite amazed with this almost magical new experience.

I loved watching this video on how this technology is inspiring so many different applications. It's remarkable to see how technology is a beautiful way to open doors and inspire people to find new possibilities.

Importance of listening

Yesterday, I got back from our annual consumer relations meeting. It's always great to intereact with the team that engages with our consumers on a daily basis, specially in a time of social media and amazing brand advocacy. They opened the meeting using a TED video featuring Julian Treasure - Sound Expert. The speech covers the importance of listening to the quiet, subtle, understated.

A wonderful way to start a meeting on consumer relations.