Saturday, February 14, 2009

nooka insight: collabs, markets, magazines and design.

markets, magazines and design. there are many joys and problems with running a small start-up company and one of them is marketing. the quality of my products and the relative slickness of our marketing materials give the illusion of an operation much larger than the reality. and the reality is: marketing is VERY expensive – parties and events start at $10,000 to do right, in store POPs [point of purchase displays] run $1,000+ per unit to make an impact, and advertising requires $1,000,000+ to make an impact. sorry to burst your bubble, but nooka is not yet big enough to engage in much of the above. that writ, we are creative in our marketing spends to leverage relationships and press coverage, which knock-on-wood, has been phenomenal.

phenomenal yes, yet there are still magazines i'm shocked have not given nooka love – mainly the design press [magazines like wallpaper for example]. the reasons for this are understandable from a business perspective as a majority of the ad pages in many of these magazines are from established watch companies, and may i add, these products are for the most part antithetical to the editorial take on design for these mags. this points out 2 issues: how much sway the ad sales teams over editorial content [no mystery, i worked as an associate art director at a condé nast fashion mag in the past] but more over, how much i/nooka need to do a better job defining our products NOT as watches, but as a design story. of course, the release of non-time related products this fall will help in telling this story [more on that in future posts].

part of the way small brands [and nooka] increase press exposure [whether online or off] is the collaboration. collaborations are a great way to: work with fun talented people; play with alternate visual language not native to ones own design vocabulary/brand, gain access to new press opportunities and expand your audience to new people/markets. i believe the public responds so enthusiastically to collabos because of all the positive energy involved in the process as the goals are always based in mutual respect. we have had great success with our mutual admiration society endeavors – kid robot, hellz bellz, yokohama triennial, garbege and hope to see exciting responses from upcoming collabs with a focus on europe [supremebeing (UK), bleed (norway), i love dust (UK) etc. also look for some exciting nookanooka promotions this year!

now, that may seem like a lot, but all collaborations must be a good conceptual fit as well as strategic. for projects that fall outside of the brand, the individual designer can function independent with a halo-effect for their association with their respective brands.

to facilitate non-nooka collaborations, i started toying with a "MW" logo which gets a public airing in the image above [it is not final, i'm still not sure the one 'w' for matthew and waldman is working in this iteration. i'm open to all opinions and suggestions]. the more i think about it, i don't see too many opportunities to use it, but i may be wrong. until i need to use it, i have time to tweak and re-design:)

pictured in this image is the deska™ desk nooka which debuted at tokyo design week 2007 [we are planning the commercial release next year], a peak at a summer model with a pattern designed by futuretron infinity, a zon, new heather model available soon and the adorable nookanooka.

want to do a collab? let me know!

nooka can be had at fine shops from the where to buy section of, and on our online store here.