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    Friday, January 06, 2006

    Consumer Built?

    There seems to be a lot of trends popping up (new years resolutions no doubt). What i find interesting are 2 on the inclusion of consumers in the process of brand creation and development. Influx has two great posts, one about a chef taking on the fat food school system and the other on ferrari. Cars and food, my favorites. Celebrity chefs are often known for their self-promotion all designed with the goal of selling more of their cook books and food lines.

    It's rare to find someone who is prepared to step out of the limelight and take real action on an issue. Britain's Jamie Oliver has done just that in taking on school meals that is now having an impact on the business of a number of the UK's food suppliers. Oliver's premise is simple; good nutrition is essential for kids and this requires more than burgers and fries as school meals. With the help of a television network, Oliver persuaded one school to let him experiment with his healthy menu that met the cost guidelines of 75 cents per meal. His biggest obstacle were the kids themselves, who were reluctant to give up fast food for the healthy food. However, by involving them in the preparation of the food and educating them in the process, he succesfully won them over. Try that in America.

    Ferrari has long been thought of as an exclusive luxury brand, that only the elite can afford, but its new FFX model takes the idea to an extreme. For a price tag of close to $1.7 million you don't just get the car, you get a pit crew and 6 race circuit test-drives, over a two year period. The cars are living laboratories for Ferrari, instead of the company doing all its research and development in-house, it is going outside and asking people to pay for the privilege. (where is the sign up sheet? im selling every organ possible to get on this.) Of course its already full but its an interesting idea in here for companies looking to create new markets. How about inviting and charging customers to be participants in your research and development process. Sneaux is one example that comes to mind.




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