Shop Vintage or not?

What is up with the vintage fever? I think that some people are going crazy over it. I see it from two perspectives:

It is nice to recycle, be more sustainable, think about our planet -be “green”.

velorbis

However, some people “go vintage” just because the “looks” of it. Ok the style is nice and always, when there is a crisis, when our world is falling apart, we tend to recur to the idiom “good old days” -vintage is better.

Today I was riding my “new” bike -bought from a guy, which bought it from another guy- and I had infront of me a “vintage new” bike. Well, the seat looked uncomfortable,  I bet it had cost a small fortune, and then comes the sustainable part of the “vintage fever”. This girl did not recycle an old bike because of nostalgia, she bought it brand new because of its looks.

Is it not the main point of buying vintage to recycle, to help our planet, to reduce consumerism? Well, if you buy a “new vintage” you are destroying the whole point.

I am happy as hell with my “new” road bike, with my soft silicone seat, my 8 gears and my disc brakes, and my 11kg bike -try to ride Aarhus’ “little hills” with less than 8 gears and more weight… How much did I pay? 150€. And then, try to ride with an uncomfortable leather seat -hard as hell, 3 gears, no disc brakes, and 18kg of bike -700€ minimum.

So, what is the point of going backwards? Vintage is nice but do not be stupid. If it has the looks, the price and the comfort -go for it, if not…well, you might answer the questions yourselves.

The unreal situation in the Spanish job market

I am a spaniard myself and sometimes I find myself looking for job offers in the Spanish job market, curiosity maybe -or maybe some deep hidden wishes to go back to the warm and sunny weather.

What I have noticed is that enterprises are even crazier than before. They ask for a master’s degree, a Phd., a minimum of 3 languages, and 5 years of experience or more, all that for 18,000 € a year. WTF? (sorry for my language).

What are they looking for? Do they want to attract the best of the best or just liars? If you have all these qualifications I am sure that you are not aiming to work for a medium enterprise –and even less for that salary. What does this say about these enterprises? A LOT. That they are just vultures.

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I mean, if you are an enterprise in a country that is going through a humongous crisis, where the unemployment is almost 30%, where young professionals can not find a decent job or even a job and you, as a powerful enterprise -or not so powerful, you are asking for insane qualifications for little money and worse working environment, you are just ruthless. And when an enterprise has these kind of “values”, well, as sure as hell I do not want to work for them. And that is a problem, certainly, because in Spain young professional talent is treated like trash. Believe me, I know about that, my friends know about that.

So, what do many Spanish companies do? They do not know anything about organisational behaviour, communication management, strategic management, et cetera. They do not nurture their employees, they only support them while they are useful, they do not know about knowledge management and mentoring. That is a big problem. That is why we are behind. And it makes me sad, so sad, because we have so much potential and is all going to waste.

These communication management problems all come from the same place. Spanish enterprises values are just wrong, are so last century. So, if an enterprise’s values are wrong, even if you get new talent -eager to change and create new opportunities– you will corrupt this talent, or that or this new talent will fly away as soon as he/she gets a better offer. And then, we are back again to the start.

So my conclusion is that if you are looking for great talent, you should take a look at yourself. Which values do you have? Which values are you trying to communicate? Which values are you looking for in an employee? And then, with the answers, try to change something. You can not change the world if you can not change yourself -or your company.

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Branding – J. Crew

While watching this interview I noticed that these two women are two standout examples of branding and the new social media era. It is amazing.

On the one hand, Ms. Doré. It is incredible how much bloggers have done or influenced the fashion and marketing worlds. Will it last? Good question. My opinion? Only the fittest will survive. We will get back to this in another post.

On the other hand, Ms. Lyons –I know she is not a blogger but she is almost as exposed as they are. She is the face of a masstige brand –and c’mon, when did a desginer of a masstige brand have a face? Uh? (A big hello to all Zara’s designers!!! -wink).

So, I guess the trick is to find your own “voice” –what does make your blog/brand unique. I guess it is a question of character. So guys/girls/ladies/gents, it is not only about writing and writing about stuff that many write about, but to write it from your own perspective. Sounds easy -ehem… But it is not.

Off I go! You can find me trying to find my “voice” -other two winks.

The Sartorialist Dinner, Florence

What a wonderful setting, light and people. It is so nice to see that despite the frenzy of consumption, fashion or just superficiality, some things like class and style never die. In one sentence: character lasts, trends die. 

Maybe we should ask @garancedore for one dinner with ladies as well.

Increíble video. La luz, el lugar, las personas, lo hacen único. Es curioso ver que a pesar de la locura consumista, la moda o simplemente todas las cosas superficiales que nos rodean, algunas cosas como clase y estilo nunca mueren. En una frase: el carácter perdura, las modas pasan.

A lo mejor deberíamos preguntarle a @garancedore por una versión en femenino.

Source: The Sartorialist Dinner, Florence « The Sartorialist.

Planned Obsolescence

This documentary is one of the most interesting programs I have seen in a while.

I know, it’s in Spanish, but it’s worth a try -some of you may understand it. I’ll try to make a little summary anyway.

Wikipedia says about it that: “the planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence in industrial design is a policy of planning or designing a product with a limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, that is, unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time. Thus, the consumer is under pressure to purchase again”.

Companies can use the least expensive components that satisfy product lifetime projections. In other words, some companies do worse products with worse quality components exclusively so we have the need to buy more as soon as the product breaks down. This fact is shown in this documentary, like a light bulb that it has been working for almost a century, within others.

Our only hope it’s to buy more responsibly and sustainable, and see if this barely legal practices come to an end.

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Os dejo con el documental de la obsolescencia programada. Muchos de vosotros habréis oído hablar de él, incluso algunos lo habréis visto. Vale la pena sentarse y ver los escasos 30 min que dura.

Nuestra única esperanza es el comprar mas conscientemente e intentar ser sostenibles. A ver si así combatimos esta práctica que roza casi la ilegalidad.

An original CV

Nowadays finding a job can be difficult –even more if you live in Spain! However, hard time have always sharpened people’s skills.

It is known that if you want to stand out between hundreds of other CV’s your CV has to have something that calls the attention of the HR guys. How do you do that? -you might ask. We’ll get to that next week* but first let me show you an example.

Spaniard José María Díaz accomplished it. He wrote an incredibly original CV. It was the first Spotify list that was not made for listening but for reading.

source – click on the image to download the Spotify CV list

He used the name of the songs to create his CV and sent the list to approximately 20 PR/advertising agencies (by the way, he’s a copy writer). Nobody answered. But he didn’t give up. He knew that he had a great idea. He created a Facebook group and used ads to reach his target audience. His segmentation was so precise that he only  targeted approximately 400 people that worked in the best agencies of Spain. The cost of it? 3,30€. The next day his CV was trending topic (TT) in Spain and Spotify’s director in person got in touch with him. He was offered 11 interviews in the best agencies of Spain and 4 serious job proposals.

This is an example of “thinking out of the box”. You shouldn’t always toe the line and use a channel how it is supposed to.

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Hoy en día encontrar trabajo puede ser difícil, mas aún si vives en España. De todas formas, hay un dicho en español que dice que en tiempos de hambre el ingenio se agudiza (seguro que te hicieron leer en el colegio a El Buscón de Quevedo, verdad?).

Sabemos que si quieres que tu CV llame la atención de recursos humanos tiene que tener algo de especial. ¿Cómo conseguirlo? Llegaremos a eso la semana que viene*. De momento, dejadme introduciros un ejemplo. Aunque dudo que los españoles que me estén leyendo no lo hayan leído ya en alguna parte.

Curiosos? Unas palabras: Una lista de Spotify que se lee, no se escucha. Os suena? Haced click en el link para leer la historia completa en español.

Es realmente un claro ejemplo de que no siempre hay que seguir las reglas a pies juntillas y que muchas veces tener ideas fuera de lo tradicional tiene su recompensa. Si no, no habríamos evolucionado tanto ¿verdad?

“Health, freedom and friends”

Really loved this video/interview to Wanny Di Filippo’s Florence – at NOWNESS. Ok he’s an artisan founder of Il Bisonte –an Italian company of leather goods, so yes, he has a little of advantage. But what I liked the most is that he has a pair of shoes 15 years (15 years!!!), and have you seen them in the video? A-ma-zing.

I really like old stuff (now called vintage) but in Spain people doesn’t like it so much. Drift stores or second hand stores are not as popular as they are in other countries -aka UK, France, Nordic Countries and even the US! Maybe it’s because we had a buy-and-throw-out culture for too many years. What I wanted to say is that maybe we should think before buying, what’s the history of the garment, the production method, who’s behind, the quality, et cetera. Just think about it, don’t take for granted what marketers tell us about a brand or what people think is “cool”.

In a very useful platform called LearnVest it is explained how to shop more consciously. We wear only once or twice (or maybe never) half of our impulse buys, with that money we could have bought a car or some durable garments that our children could wear –if we take care of them. I know that when you’re young you don’t have the budget to buy more expensive stuff, but as you grow old you do. So, what do you need most? A wardrobe full of cheap clothes or a wardrobe with quality classic statement clothes and some cheap basics? A little more info about brands and their CSR and environmental policies, and their workers’ rights here: www.goodguide.com

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Cuando he visto este video de Wanny Di Filippo’s Florence – en NOWNESS no es que me haya impactado, pero me ha hecho pensar. Ok Wanny tiene ventaja, es un artesano dueño fundador de la marca italiana de piel Il Bisonte. Pero lo que mas me ha gustado es que tiene los zapatos que lleva en el vídeo 15 años (15 años!!!) y los lleva a diario.

Me gustan las cosas viejas (ahora llamado vintage) lo malo es que es España no nos gusta mucho lo viejo. No tenemos la cultura de las tiendas de caridad o de segunda mano como en otras ciudades europeas -véase Francia, UK, los países nórdicos, y ¡hasta Estados Unidos! A lo mejor hemos tenido una cultura de usar y tirar durante demasiado tiempo (visteis el documental de TV2 sobre la “obsolescencia programada”? Muy interesante. Ahora no sé dónde lo podéis conseguir).

Lo que quería decir es que a lo mejor deberíamos pensar un poco antes de comprar cosas. Deberíamos hacernos preguntas sobre la procedencia del artículo, el modo de producción, si han explotado a los trabajadores, qué empresa está detrás, la calidad, etc. Pensar en todo esto antes de “tragarnos” lo que las estrategas de marketing nos quieren hacer creer o lo que la gente piensa que es “cool”.

Me gusta mucho una página llamada LearnVest (lo siento, está sólo en inglés). En ella a parte de darte consejos económicos de una forma muy sencilla, te enseñan a comprar con mas consciencia. Muchas veces las compras que hacemos por impulso (y normalmente en tiendas de “moda rápida”) son las que acabamos poniéndonos una o dos veces. Personalmente con el dinero que yo he desperdiciado en este tipo de compras, según LV, me podría haber comprado un coche. Sé que cuando somos jóvenes no tenemos el dinero para comprar cosas mas caras y de calidad (a veces lo caro tampoco es de calidad…) pero cuando crecemos sí. ¿A estas alturas qué prefieres, un armario lleno de ropa barata y que sabes que vas a donar en un año, o un armario con prendas que llaman la atención por su calidad y diseño –y sabes que si las cuidas te durarán toda la vida? Por supuesto siempre nos podremos permitir comprar cosas baratas porque están de moda, no lo niego. Pero quiero pensar que voy a intentar hacer algo para no sucumbir al marketing sin escrúpulos, a esas empresas que usan niños para producir sus productos, y cuya calidad y respeto al medio ambiente dejan mucho que desear. Un poco mas de información sobre marcas basándose en la protección del medio ambiente, nuestra salud y los derechos de los trabajadores aquí: www.goodguide.com

Ca Sento, other restaurants, and the crisis

A tweet from Nada Importa took me to the page Salsa de Chiles by Carlos Maribona.

I had read before about the closure of Ca Sento but Carlos made clear in his article that sometimes talent is not enough.

source: Ca Sento

As Carlos writes, it is a shame that during the past year three restaurants with Michelin stars have closed in Valencia (Arrop, Torrijos and now Ca Sento). Such a shame… Maybe valencians did not appreciate what they had –or they did but they weren’t up to pay around 75€/per person/dinner…

One thing is clear, the ignorance of the consumer’s needs and the lack of a good marketing strategy –or just a good PR professional– may have pushed them to the end.

Nowadays, being a genius is not enough. Every business, small or big, has to have a consultant that knows about marketing and the consumer, management, and communication. If not, I’m sure your business won’t survive. Even being the most brilliant expert in your field –cooks, artists, or finance men, it doesn’t matter.

So, I’ll try to make my point. Business should seek the help of professionals in the marketing and management communication fields, it’ll pay off.

We still have some good restaurants in Valencia. Let’s hope they last…

Here recommendations from Nada Importa and Carlos Maribona: La Sucursal (Jorge Bretón), Rausell, Morgado, Riff (Bernd Knoller), and El Alto de Colón (Enrique Barella). I would add Les Nits, La Pitanza, and Casa Montaña. I also enjoyed very much a dinner at Restaurante Submarino L’Oceanogràfic –but maybe I’m not being completely objective as we enjoyed a “exclusively tailored” menu just for us.

Note: Best wishes for Raul Aleixandre’s new project “Trenc-a-dish”. I definitely should go and try it!

source: Restaurante Submarino

Brandication

I guess you’ve already seen that I’ve change the blog’s name. Ladies and gentlemen, the new name brandication is born out of indignation after a chain of events. I found myself in the kitchen saying out loud four words: We are not stupid.

Haven’t you felt the sensation of manipulation? I’m a marketer and publicist tired of other marketers thinking that people is stupid. There is another way of doing marketing. Creative marketing is the answer. Creative marketers don’t need to fool people because they understand and surprise them. There’s no need for anything else.

I’m not saying that you should listen to me. I’m just sharing my opinions, that’s why this is a blog, right? I’m no 20-years-expert in marketing but more a chick just out of the egg that has read No Logo and became angry; saw what the DNR has been trying to do to some family farmers (we’ll get back to that later in another post) and became outraged; witnessed the closure of three Michellin star’s restaurants in Valencia and became sad; and saw the Diesel Be Stupid campaign and loved it. From now on this blog will be a mix of all these things. A space to describe my indignation, share my knowledge, talk about my passions and hobbies, and –why not– propose change. Be creative my friend, and treat people as the smart human beings they are.