Last November, I launched a little open-source experiment, asking gapingvoid readers for their input in coming up with a new label and bottle design for Stormhoek [the old labels just weren’t doing the job].
We also offered a cash prize of $2000 USD for the suggestion that we found most helpful.
The feedback was terrific. About a hundred people submitted their ideas, both in the comment section and on the wiki.
We’re getting ready to go public with the results. Somebody WILL be getting the $2000.
Now, you will have seen the new cartoon labels. Sure, that’s part of the answer, but that’s not the whole answer. What ended up happening with this little experiment went far further than a mere label, but ended up re-inventing the brand from the ground up. It’s been huge.
I guess that’s why I’ve been so quiet about it over the last 10 months. The changes made possible by the open-source intervention took forever to implement.
And speaking of re-inventing: regular gapingvoid readers will know that “re-invention” is a subject very dear to my heart.
I believe the capacity to re-invent one’s life, one’s career, one’s business, one’s industry etc is not just a nice quality to have. I believe it’s an essential survival tool.
Which is why when I launched the open-source experiment, I posed the question, “Why shouldn’t a small wine company see Apple or Google as its competition?”
I think it’s wise to view companies like Apple and Google as your competition, even if you’re not in the same field.
Why does Apple continually do so well? Because every six months they introduce something that makes the world pay attention. Laptops, IPods, it doesn’t matter what it is. They deliver.
They deliver because they understand the concept of re-invention better than most. So by competiting with them, even indirectly, maybe you’ll learn something useful.
NB: That cartoon I did for DDB the other day. That was all about re-invention, as well. Somewhere along the line I figured that if Madison Avenue was to have a future, it would be all about helping their clients re-invent themselves. The actual advertising is just a by-product. Apple, of course, doesn’t need a lot of outside help re-inventing themselves. But a lot of companies do. A huge opportunity for someone.