The Cambridge Satchel Company - an amazing British company success story. Now a World famous fashion brand, it started out from necessity - a mother's desire to send her daughter to a better school which she could not afford. The company was founded in 2008, in Cambridge by Julie Deane with just £600. Initially targeted at school children, the brand suddenly developed a cult following, thanks to young fashion bloggers. They now have their own factory in Wigston near Leicester.
The company opened their first permanent store in Seven Dials, Covent Garden. The store has a 'Bloggers Lounge' a space for the blogging community who are credited for the brand's initial success.
I received an interesting email about an innovative form of advertising yesterday. Hugo Boss has come up with an innovative way to show off their BOSS summers 2013 collection - a short movie (advertorial with a story-line?) called Shanghai Affairs starring Taiwanese model and actress Lin Chiling and Spanish model, Jon Kortajarena.
Supposedly, customers can shop products from the collection directly from the movie. At certain points on the movie, text links titled "discover this look" appears. Clicking the link takes you to a page listing the products shown in that particular scene.
However, contrary to their promise, you cannot buy the products directly online from the movie. I found out the links take you to their main web page and not to the products. In other words, if you are interested in any of the products, you have to find the the nearest HUGO BOSS outlet and buy it from there or have to search whether the product is available on their online shop.
I wonder if this a wonderful plan that was not clearly thought out in the beginning, when they realised that most of their customers prefer to shop at their outlets rather than online.
Of course I would have preferred it if the products in the movie had direct links to the product pages on their online store.
Just received an email recently about the Coventry University graduation ceremony in July. This time I will not be one of the spectators up on the stage but rather, one of the graduates. I will be receiving my Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Professional Practice.
This will the 5th University I am graduating from. The first was Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry in Himachal Pradesh, India. The second was University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I then became a Certified E-Commerce Professional from Informatics, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. The last university I studied in before Coventry univ. was the University of Warwick.
It was not part of a plan - it just happened. Wonder what's next?
Last week, I attended the basic and advanced NVIVO 10 training sessions (2.5 hours each) on the 3rd and 6th. Some of my friends were quite surprised as I am a "quantitative" guy and one even joked "You are moving to the other camp". This actually underlines the philosophical divide that exists in academia (especially in the social sciences) between the positivists and the interpretivists in particular.
My research philosophy is grounded in positivism and my PhD Thesis was based upon extensive quantitative research, using structural equation modelling. Previously, I did not have the inclination (nor the time) to learn more about the various qualitative methods (and tools like NVIVO). However, after teaching research methods and the fact that a number of my dissertation students were using qualitative methods forced me to move outside my comfort zone. There also seems to be an increasing move towards research involving mixed methods which I feel is a good development. I am really into netnography, the process and term coined by Professor Robert V. Kozinets, Professor of Marketing, Schulich School of Business, York University.
Anyway, the session were led by Dr. Laura Venn, Co-founder and Director of Research, Innovative Futures Research, a company based in Warwick. I found the two session really useful and wish I had taken them much earlier. I have used qualitative methods to analyse discussions forums on the net (paper submitted for presentation at a Conference recently) and it would have made my life much easier. I had to download hundreds of webpages and code them the old fashioned way with a lot of cut and pasting. The ability to visualize connections by generating tag clouds, tree maps and cluster analysis are what attracted me in the first place. However a new amazing feature of NVIVO 10 is that it allows you to to actually capture all the information from the discussion forums and social media including Facebook and Twitter straightaway.
Laura did provide some examples and I know the time was quite limited but I wish we had more hands on training using actual exercises. I did learn a lot but will definitely need to play around more before I am really fluent with it. Fortunately QSR (the company which owns NVIVO) offers a number of free online webminars and I am attending one tomorrow.