December 31, 2013

Sacrificing personal space, overemphasizing common areas

London, last leg of our year-end Family holiday.  Yesterday, we arrived at the Citizen M Hotel Bankside.  Cool check-in process all automated, borrowing a chapter from curb side check-ins at airports or ATMs.

What I thought was very interesting was the pod bedroom concept, which I had already experienced at the Pod 51 Hotel in NYC.  More and more, I seem to see a trend in urban boutique hotels that are sacrificing personal space and overemphasizing on the lounge experience that fuses canteen-style dinning, bar, working stations with Mac computers, with a fantastic attention to design that feels very socially inviting. It reminds me of how Virgin Atlantic re-conceptualized airport lounges decades ago and created a new industry standard.

I wonder if this hotel movement has any correlation with so many news articles I've been reading on how families are leaving suburbia for smaller living space in more centrally-located urban locations to be closer to work and study but also taking advantage of many urban renovation projects.  Speaking to friends from around the World, I keep hearing that many don't actually need such a large house in a place that requires commuting by car everyday, taking out the SUV just for latte.  High street versus suburban mall.  Running through century-old parks versus treadmill in the two-car garage.

This is exactly what happened to our Family this year.  We moved from a large house in a Sao Paulo suburb to an apartment with half the living space in Madrid's downtown that allows us to walk to the wonderful Retiro Park, Mercado de La Paz or the Prado Museum.  Sacrificing personal space to be able to live close to fabulous common areas.

It's another example of Adam Morgan's 'Sacrifice and Overcommit' principle from his book Eat Big Fish.  Make sure you obsessively focus on the things you really value, or in business, on the things you can execute better than anyone else and de-emphasize the rest.

Coming to think of it, what a nice thought as we move into 2014.  London is always so inspiring...

December 28, 2013

Nintendo Audio Guides at the Louvre

Yesterday at the Louvre Museum in Paris, it was interesting to see how the Nintendo brand is exploring new applications like audio guides for museum visitors.

December 23, 2013

What brand showed up on my ski holiday?

I'm enjoying our family ski holiday in Baqueira-Beret, Spain.  It was fun to see one of my favorite brands sponsoring the resort's main ski gondola.  Just a smart and playful way for Audi to communicate its Quattro technology to a target demographic that loves mountains.

December 20, 2013

...but well dressed

During Christmas shopping this week, I found this store window that in just a few words says a lot.  As we gradually move out of an economic crisis and people look at 2014 with a lot more optimism.... a little sentence that reminds as that a bit of fashion is always good.

Happy Holidays!

December 18, 2013

Turkey's iGaranti on The Most Contagious 2013 List

By far the coolest and most comprehensive mobile banking application I saw this year was Turkey's iGaranti, launched with 23 financial functions into one very powerful app.  So, I wasn't surprised (yet extremely happy) to see that it was featured in The Most Contagious 2013 List.

Garanti in Turkey, is one of those banks that is leading a true revolution in digital banking.

December 17, 2013

Mashable's 10 Startups to Watch in 2014

Our DDB Spain Planning Director, Samanta Júdez, is one of those wired and very passionate professionals who's constantly telling me about trends and topics I should keep an eye on.  This week, she sent me a link on Mashable's 10 Stratups to Watch in 2014.  It's interesting to see how there are a few mobile banking apps that made this year's list.

Happy holidays!

December 9, 2013

Partnering with the World's #1 Restaurant

Today, I'm here in Mexico City to communicate BBVA's partnership with El Celler de Can Roca - 2013 Best Restaurant in the World.  Next year, will will take the three Roca Brothers, Joan, Josep and Jordi, plus 20 of their staff members, to tour Lima, Bogotá, Medellin, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Houston and New York providing unique dining experiences to our clients.

During the tour, the Roca Brothers will be working with local producers to identify ingredients that can be added to their future menus.  We will also work with local culinary schools to find talent that will work on the tour and spend four months in training at the original restaurant located in Girona, Spain.

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity of dining at El Celler de can Roca and it was breathtaking, a wonderful combination of phenomenal food and engaging storytelling from Joan on the whybofneach dish, to Josep on the selection of wines, to Jordi on his desert creations....  an experience like no other.

There's a lot in common between private/corporate banking with the world of fine cuisine:  customer experience, attention to details, constant reinvention, catering to specific needs.  This is the beginning of an exciting new platform for the bank, adding to our global sponsorships of LigaBBVA and NBA.