Vblog – Wake Forest Retail Innovation Challenge Team Aurilie

One of the very first lessons I learned in MBA was “elevator pitch”. What’s elevator pitch? Basically, it is a short summary to concisely describe one object to your audience. The object can be a business solution, a personal introduction, a picture…etc. The speech is usually within one or two minutes.

In business schools, MBA students are trained to deliver elevator pitch. We have to be able to say who we are, what we do, and why our products work efficiently and effectively. (Products can be a person, a business idea, or anything.)

Though elevator pitch is called “elevator” pitch, I had never seen anyone doing it in the real elevator until Wake Forest Retail Innovation Challenge.

Wake Forest Innovation Challenge was one of the most exciting and unforgettable memories I have ever experienced in the MBA school: Pitching new business plan idea in the real elevators to venture capitalists and industry experts. The experience was simply overwhelming and breathe-taking. I wrote a blog post detailing the experience, check it out in: Wake Forest Retail Innovation Challenge.

Unlike the old post with lots of words, this time, I want to show you what it feels like in the real elevators! Check out the following videos presented by the Retail Innovation Center at Wake Forest University. I was getting bumped while watching the videos.

(Introduction of the competition)

 

 

(Team Aurélie presented their business plan in the left elevator without judges interruptions)

 

(Team Aurélie presented their business plan in the right elevator with judges interruptions)

 

 

If you are interested to watch more videos about the competition, you can go to the official webpage: http://ric2012.elevatorcompetitionlive.com

Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 11.22.05 PM(Judith and I presented our business plans to more than 12 venture capitalists and industry experts in the final run.)

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(Team Aurélie members. From left to right, Xiang Bian, Pavarit Boonyasirichok, Judith Liao, and Grant Lee)

Introduction of the team members in Team Aurélie.

*All the videos shown in this blog belong to Retail Innovation Center at Wake Forest University.

New Running Races in Asia, why not?

April 21, 2013, exact 14 months ago today, I was bruised, scraped, cramped, and sore all over my body. It was all because of Tough Mudder! Today, I decided to experience that kind of pain again by attending Spartan Race on July 26 in Washington DC.

Spartan Race is a series of obstacle competitions that test participants’ physical limits and team works. Unlike Tough Mudder’s 12 miles obstacles, Spartan has varying level of difficulties and distances for participants to choose from.

As I finished online registration, one idea came across my mind: Why don’t we have this kind of running event in Asia?

As a running enthusiast, I have attended many running races in Taiwan. They were created with different themes, but the separations from one event to another was not much. After two years of living in the States, I have had many opportunities to closely observe and study Americans’ running races. I came to better realization about the different attitudes between Asians and Americans in running.

Generally speaking, compared to Asians, Americans are more adventurous, love outdoor activities, and consider working out as part of their lives. In here, it is not uncommon to see female runners wearing professional outfits running at noon under 90 degree Fahrenheit on street. It was also quite frequent to see lean men running nude at 5pm across pedestrians on a busy street. These scenes are not easy to find in Taiwan.

Because running is so common here, traditional running races could no longer satisfy American runners. (Traditional running races include 3K, 5K, 10K, half marathon, and marathon.) Thus, the new untraditional running races emerged: Running with a theme. Running with muds, colors, teammates, zombies…etc. Yes people are still running, but they are doing it with more emotion involvements.

Here are some of the non-traditional running races:
The Color Run – The Happiest 5K On The Planet.
The Great Bull Run – Running with the Spanish tradition… with live bulls.
Tough Mudder - Probably The Toughest Event On The Planet
Zombies, Run! – Running to the goal without getting caught by zombies.

“In the past five years, according to the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), participation in adventure racing was up 211% and ranked in the Top 5 of most popular outdoor activities tried by first-timers.” (For more details, check the article, 2014 State of the Sport – Part I: Non-Traditional Running Events)

As a marketer, I can foresee these non-traditional running races with tremendous growing potentials in Asia. Recently, I found more and more Taiwanese, regardless of age, gender, and occupations, are willing to sacrifice their sleeping time on the weekend, waking up early to join running races in Taiwan. And the latest example was Nike’s new running campaign in Taipei: WERUNTPE : NIKE WOMEN’S HALF MARATHON 2014.

Why am I so positive about the non-traditional running races? I have my own reasons:

1. Sense of fulfillment. The non-traditional running races give participants rare opportunities to do something different. They attend not only a running race, but also a new and different one. From psychology’s stand point, the level of rarity can increase people’ desires to partake events.

2. Self-empowerment. More women are getting active in social and sports events. By participating in non-traditional running races, they gain more confidence in their physicality. They want to prove, guys can do it, we can do it too!

3. Fun really matters. The non-traditional running races add-on one more special ingredient in running, fun. I discussed with my friends who play regularly basketball but rarely run about the reasons of not running, and their responses have one thing in common, boredom. It is not that they can not run, instead it is the fact that boredom makes them shy away from running. The new invented running races will be so much fun. I believe even non-runners will be likely to give it a try.

4. Differentiation. Take a look at those successful brands, and they all do a good job in differentiating themselves from competitors. Nike differentiates itself by nike air, Twitter differentiates itself by constraints in 140 characters, and Egypt differentiates the brand by historical heritages. From the examples above, we can see that these races all have clear a theme, and these clear themes help them in differentiating themselves and telling a story with clear messages.

5. Social Network. Since the introduction of Nike+, Nike enable its users to run together. They don’t need to actually run together, but they can feel in that way. How? The key point is “share”. Users can share their running information on the social networks anytime, anywhere, with all kinds of captions. When people see their friends posting interesting running pictures on the social media, they can like, comment, and get more involved with that post.

Tough Mudder was invented by Harvard Business School students in 2010. They handed in their business plans with pride and confidence to professors, but they received “It will not work” as response. 4 years later, it has become one of the most popular non-traditional running races in the world. If they listened to the advises, this great invention will never happen. As I said in the title, new running races in Asia, why not?

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Nike Taiwan Kicks Lounge 2 參加心得

今天看了一系列的運動品牌的youtube影片,看到2013 Nike #SUMMERISSERIOUS experience 看的我熱血沸騰! 2011年在台灣有參加過Kicks Lounge,其實活動的概念很類似,過程有些許差異,但流程大致如下:

廣告信息>消費者網路報名>限量消費者抽籤>事先不告知活動內容>現場驚喜(遊艇)>提供消費者最新產品體驗>消費者廝殺>球星現場指導>活動後部落格徵文放送獎品(活動過程影片)

這活動印證我之前的一個想法: Nike在做策略時,是在美國擬訂好,再在其他地區execute的作法。這影片,讓我想到我2011年參加Kicks Lounge 2寫的文章。在這裡分享之前活動寫下的體驗,夏天到了,好想要比戶外籃球比賽呀!(越看越熱血,每個男人內心,果然還是住著一個大孩童的!)

(原文寫於2011/5/16)
身為一個行銷活動愛好者,我參加過各式各樣的主題活動,像是路跑活動、品牌夜店派對、產品公關記者會、音樂祭表演活動等等等,而Nike Kicks Lounge 2絕對是我參加過的活動中,最屌的一個,為什麼? 因為它超乎我的想像!

從收到邀請卡那一刻,想像力開始無限沿伸。我上勘履仔細流覽了去年的活動流程,看完後,除了興奮還多了份期待,真不曉得這屆到底會怎麼辦。

終於,睽違已久的五月七日來到!我和老弟因應活動主題James組,分別穿了James在騎士隊及美國隊的球衣,自信滿滿地前往會場。到達會場,Wow!參賽者的穿著、工作人員的陣仗,及摩曼頓南西店的主題空間規劃,沒三秒鐘,我就興奮了起來。報到完後大家換完各組的隊服,紅Lebron、藍KD、紫Kobe一字列隊排開,威風凜凜、氣勢磅礡!

Team LeBron James 我在右下,我弟在我背後

Team LeBron James 我在右下,我弟在我背後

Team Kevin Durant

Team Kevin Durant

Team Kobe Bryant, the black mamba!

Team Kobe Bryant, the black mamba!

一行人浩浩蕩蕩地搭上遊覽車,前往未知的目的地。主持人幽默自high的主持方式讓乘車時間咻一聲地一下子就渡過。下了車,走了幾步,看著眼前偌大的MJ飛人活動看板,我愣住了,是‧遊‧艇‧趴!我的媽,主持人真的沒有唬爛,遊艇趴係金耶!

看到Kicks Lounge的招牌,都興奮了起來!

看到Kicks Lounge的招牌,都興奮了起來!

遊~艇~趴!

遊~艇~趴!

上遊艇前全體合照

上遊艇前全體合照

在遊艇上,球鞋”魔”人正哥扎扎實實地給我們上了一課,從球鞋的構造、功能到其中的典故,聽他娓娓道來,不啻是一種享受。上完課後,就是比賽搶答的時間。身為James的忠實球迷(從高四就持續關注他),我自告奮勇地代表James隊上台。 ”請問KD最愛吃的食物是什麼? ”主持人問。第一個問題就讓全場霧颯颯!答案是─螃蟹腳。天啊!這問題誰會,難不成,螃蟹長長的腳是KD的臂展長達7呎4吋的原因嗎?! 我心中暗自喃喃。接著,我接連答對了幾題,讓James隊維持領先。搶答過後,走秀時間到了!看著衣架上多款繽紛的春夏新裝,我第一下就鎖定了灰色休閒海灘褲做為造型的基調,上半身搭配北卡藍GS Polo,腳踩同色系Hyperfuse Low,搭配輕薄的風衣外套,屬於我的Urban City Casual Style立即成型,這款都會型男的俐落搭配,讓我們組獲得了12分的好成績。

代表Team James 回答問題,問題千奇百怪,我記得有一題問KD最喜歡吃什麼食物,答案是阿拉斯加大夾蟹! (編輯案,這誰會?!)

代表Team James 回答問題,問題千奇百怪,我記得有一題問KD最喜歡吃什麼食物,答案是阿拉斯加大夾蟹! (編輯案,這誰會?!)

主持人Jay 炒熱現場氣氛有一套

主持人Jay 炒熱現場氣氛有一套

代表 Team LeBron James走秀,我自選衣服,風格是urban summer style

代表 Team LeBron James走秀,我自選衣服,風格是Urban City Casual Style

 

結束了遊艇上的活動後,我們到達真理大學體育館,是秀出真本事的時候了!換上Nike Pro Combat、腳採最新Hyperfuse Low,我有種到了Nike訓練營的感覺!左從凱一對一指導、小碎步、基本動作、換手運球、轉身過人等等,汗水伴隨著興奮感從皮膚一點一滴地迸出!吃完了前菜,接著開始吃大餐─三隊5 on 5循環賽。第一戰,人高馬大的KD隊仗著高度的優勢,硬是擊敗以外線跳投為主的Kobe隊。第二戰,我們James組熱機過慢,苦苦追趕被Kobe隊的外線給射爆。第三戰,KD隊再度靠著隊員本身優異的基本動作,領先我們,但我們不氣餒,被打了一波9比0後靠切入反擊,兩次小帳加一將分數追成落後兩分,無奈關鍵失誤被對方反快攻擴大差距,導致輸了比賽。大餐後,餘興節目上演。Kobe組是四秒中籃、James組五個點20秒內得手、KD組三分球十顆進四顆。KD與James隊各有兩名球員獲獎,Kobe組則因難度過高,獲獎名單從缺。

Team LeBron James 的Barbosa (我取的,因為他第一步超快) 切入2+1

Team LeBron James 的Barbosa (我取的,因為他第一步超快) 切入2+1

Team Spirit!

Team Spirit!

活動接近尾聲,到了頒獎的時間,第一名是…KD組!靠著最後兩場球賽全勝的優異成績,KD組硬是後來居上,逆轉獲得了第一名。(James組之前一直都維持些微領先)每位隊員皆獲得了限量球鞋鑰駛圈一組。

Team KD 冠軍

Team KD 冠軍

SBL璞園球星左從凱現場指導基本動作

SBL璞園球星左從凱現場指導基本動作

透過這個活動,我深刻感受到,這真的是我參加過的行銷活動中,最超乎想像的一個!誰曉得我們會上遊艇開趴? 誰知道有機會挑戰球鞋大獎? 誰又規定,行銷活動一定要千篇一律? Nike將這些存在腦海中天馬行空的想法,透過這個活動,具體而微地創造無限驚奇,而這些,在一次又一次的驚呼與歡笑聲中,深深烙印到我的內心深處。回家後,看著活動照片,我得到了一個結論─想像力,是沒有界限的!而Nike再度證明了這點。Just do it! sky is the limit!

 

太正點了!有機會一定要再來!

太正點了!有機會一定要再來!

這種灌籃高手式的大合照,式每個擁有籃球魂的男兒的夢想呀! 猜猜我在哪?

這種灌籃高手式的大合照,是每個擁有籃球魂的男兒的夢想呀! 猜猜我在哪?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Power of Social Media Era

Recently I watched a powerful video about social media revolution. It was already the third time I watched this video, and I watched it in three different MBA courses. This video forced me to think about the emergence of social media, and I can not help but begin to recall what social media has changed the world.

During 2006 to 2007, I was as an exchange student in University of St.Thomas in Minnesota. I witnessed the booming of Facebook. In 2008, I went back to Taiwan. Facebook was just introduced and accepted by the general public at the time, and I was amazed by the different online behaviors Taiwanese showed. Simply put, compared with American and Europeans’, Taiwanese are more sticky on social media and willing to share our personal lives on Facebook.

Now here comes Instagram and Snapchat. These two sites are especially popular amongst youngsters. Facebook used to be associated by users with cool and fun, but as it has grown bigger, it gradually lost that elements. It needs to post advertisements to earn revenues, and that kills the momentum for youngsters to enjoy it. Though Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook have different use base, they have one thing in common: It is hard to measure the ROI in the short run.

However, social media has become an inevitable trend for marketers to adopt when determining marketing mix strategy. Below is the video of social media revolution 2013. It has just been ten years since the introduction of Facebook, and that already dramatically changed our life in many perspectives. What will happen in the next ten years? Will Facebook survive for another ten years? Friend, unfriend? Like? Or perhaps, dislike? We are living in the uncertain era, and nobody knows what will happen next.