8 ways companies can unveil their greatness by Chris Hubbard

At DDG we talk a lot about "unveiling greatness." So much so that "unveil your greatness" seems to have become our official slogan. You'll see the phrase written on our office walls and throughout our company website. We love the phrase so much because it represents at least two of our core beliefs. One, that each and every company has something great waiting to be unveiled. Two, that we can help them to unveil it.

I believe there are 8 ways in which any company can begin to unveil their greatness starting today. 

1 - Identify your brand personality

Everyone has a personality, and so do companies and brands. Is your company personality more laid-back and friendly, or more corporate and professional? is it more cutting edge or established, fun or serious? Identifying your company personality is one of the key ways to gain insight into how others perceive you, how to make the most appropriate decisions, and how best to communicate with others.

2 - Be authentic

Being authentic as a company means being honest about things like the true nature of your brand personality. Who you are, how others see you, and how you desperately want to be seen can be very different things at times, and can lead companies down a dangerous path of inauthenticity. Only authentic companies have an ability to become great ones, and simply learning to embrace authenticity in small ways can lead to long-term unveiling of greatness.

3 - Think about your company culture.

Just starting to think about company culture will lead to small insights and awareness that can help to unveil greatness. A lot of big companies feel they are too burdened down with pressing business goals and day to day organizational issues to put any real thought or attention into something as seemingly insignificant as company culture. But company culture is a lot like brand personality—it's forming and defining itself whether you participate in it or not. That culture will either strengthen your greatness or weaken it. And once it's formed it's difficult to change. Simply taking the time to acknowledge this, will eventually initiate actions that can help to unveil your greatness.

4 - Be willing to make some changes

I wanted to title this one as "reinvent yourself" but then felt it was a little too drastic. You don't need to reinvent your company in order to unveil greatness, but you do need to be willing to make some changes. For example, when I did my own personality exploration, I realized that although I'm more fun and friendly—as opposed to serious and corporate—I'm also more upscale than "accessible to all." In order to communicate this, I needed to make some changes in the way people perceived me. So I updated my wardrobe. As a company, you might need to update your own digital wardrobe or the way you communicate with employees and customers. Being willing to make those kinds of changes is what will lead to your unveiling.

5 - Be patient

It's difficult to see the value in patients when the business world seems to move faster and faster and the pressures to perform become greater and greater. But no great company became that way overnight, and many more mistakes and blunders have been made by moving too quickly than by taking the time to do things right—with consciences and integrity. Patience can mean taking the necessary time to slow down, take a step back, and reassess what you've been doing all these years. Patience can also mean making changes and then giving those changes the time they need to actually unveil the greatness they have to offer. 

6 - Take accountability 

Taking accountability is about being honest about those things you aren't actually great at. Not every company can be great at innovation, and not every company needs to be. Some companies have great products with crummy names that cover up and hide their true greatness. Being able to say "we did this wrong" or "you know, this isn't that great and everyone actually knows it" is really one of the most powerful ways any company can begin to authentically unveil their greatness.

7 - Ask others to ask others what they think of you

Yes, that's correct. If you want to unveil your greatness you need to know what others think of the things you've been doing. I know if I ask my friends what they think of me, they are likely to say many kind things—because they are my friends and they love me. Internally survey employees and you're likely to get a lot of lip service. Companies get better feedback when they use outside people to do the asking because it creates a greater sense of comfort and helps eliminate the fear of being reprimanded for any less-than-glorious feedback.  

8 - Believe in the power of belief

If you don't believe you can eventually do something, then you'll never even try. And if you don't try, then you'll never do. I could never do handstands until I started to believe that it was possible. That possibility led to trying, and the trying to doing. Companies that want to unveil their greatness simply need to start with a belief that greatness can indeed be unveiled, over time, with continuous effort. 

Authentic greatness is already in you, your people and your company. By building awareness and taking action—like reading this article—the unveiling will be put into a motion that will build momentum and strength simply by continuing to give it time and attention.  

 

2 Paragraphs On - Smelling good. by Chris Hubbard

I've always believed in the importance of smelling good. I've been known to use this example: You could be one of the most attractive people in a room, dressed in the finest or latest fashions, but smell bad, and that's the main memory you will leave with people—"something about that guy was a little foul, but his shoes were nice." Alternatively, if you smell amazing—in spite of your looks or character flaws—you have a pretty decent chance of being remembered as an appealing, quality person. When you smell good, people not only treat you more favorably, but a positive impression of you will be burned into their memory forever. Science backs this up.

The sense of smell is closely linked with memory, probably more so than any of our other senses. Bad smells were designed to repulse us because they could be a sign that something could be seriously wrong and a threat to our own health. Pleasant smells ensured us relative cleanliness and safety. Because of this, how you smell can either increase or decrease your social value—whether you feel it's fair or not—permanently. Some even believe that the best way to find your perfect match could be through the nose, such as this fascinating new dating site that uses smell instead of looks to find you a date. 

 

IF YOU LIKED MY POST, PLEASE FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER BECAUSE IT WILL ENCOURAGE ME TO WRITE MORE. THANKS, CHRIS.

 

 

 

Philosophy & Branding - The brand which is unexamined is not worth having by Chris Hubbard

Do you have a good brand?
How do you know it's good? 

Have you ever thoroughly examined your brand in order to determine if it’s as good as you say it is? If you haven't, then Socrates—one of the founders of western philosophy—would have said that your brand isn't even worth having. A brand not worth having doesn’t sound so good.

Socrates was a 5th-century Athenian philosopher who developed a powerful form of argument—often referred to as the Socratic or dialectic method—which was inevitably used as the starting point for the development of the scientific method and all of western philosophy. If such a powerful method could improve science and philosophy, perhaps it can be used to evaluate brands as well.

Here's what the Socratic method might look like in this scenario:

Even though Socrates never wrote any books, or defined any theories of his own, he did ask a LOT of questions. It was this style of relentless questioning, that led to the creation of a new way of examining what we think about ourselves, and our perceptions. He was the first philosopher to focus almost exclusively on this type of self-examination of ideas and values.

How often is your brand honestly and relentlessly examining it's ideas and values—asking difficult questions to uncover the real way people within the brand think about themselves, their products and communications, and the actual brand perceptions that exist in the marketplace? How often are you digging into the disconnects between the way you see your brands versus the way others actually perceive them.

Most brands are too scared to ask questions that threaten to disturb the comfortable branding bubbles built and supported around them. And yet, without "going there" most brands will never really achieve the type of success genuinely desired for them.

Socrates believed that understanding who we are right now—honestly and authentically—is the first and most important task. His central concern became the examination of life, and his method of direct and ruthless questioning of people's most cherished beliefs made him the enemies who ultimately sentenced him to death.

The fear that many of us feel within our organizations—about asking too many questions, or revealing wrong, displeasing information—is real and valid. Start to imply your brand is in trouble, or that it's not as grand as is claimed, could—in many organizations—cost you your job. But that only reveals a bigger, more dangerous fear—the fear of the real.

For Socrates, understanding reality was a process of questioning the meaning of essential concepts that we use every day but have never really thought about. For example, what is the real meaning of the word brand? Is it even useful or meaningful anymore? Is there a better word we could be using to communicate the modern meaning? 

This type of questioning, Socrates believed, would reveal real meaning, and our own lack of knowledge or ignorance. Only this would help us to eventually achieve true peace-of-mind by allowing us to do the right things; as opposed to simply living—or branding—according to false perceptions or deep-rooted working culture.

 

Socrates was one of the first philosophers to evaluate what it meant to "be good." He believed that virtue was the most valuable possession and that no one actually desires to be, or do bad. According to him, anyone doing "the wrong thing" would actually be acting against their conscience and eventually feel uncomfortable about it. Since we all strive for peace-of-mind, "the wrong thing" isn't something we do willingly. People do the wrong thing, simply because of a lack of wisdom or knowledge.

It's hard to think there are any brands out there intentionally trying to be a "bad brand." Brands don't try to do "the wrong thing", or be unsuccessful. Bad brands become this way, simply by means of perceptions they are unaware of.

Socrates concluded that there is only one good: knowledge. And only one bad: Ignorance.  Which is why we must continuously examine our lives—and brands—in search of new knowledge that helps us to reshape perceptions. Otherwise—according to Socrates—they just aren't worth having.

IF YOU LIKED MY POST, PLEASE FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER BECAUSE IT WILL ENCOURAGE ME TO WRITE MORE. THANKS, CHRIS.

 

 

 

2 Paragraphs On - Enjoyment Matters by Chris Hubbard

When I first arrived in Taipei, I did a small amount of work for Worldshare, a small creative agency who's Clients BenQ and AUO were my first experience working with Taiwan brands. At the time, BenQ's slogan, "Enjoyment Matters" struck me as ridiculous—this bizarre video helps illustrate that feeling. It doesn't seem to pack any punch, or deliver any insight. It just feels like a statement of the obvious, which might be why it is in fact, such a good slogan after all. 

After writing the article on The life-changing magic of branding, I've come to realize how much enjoyment actually does matter. Of course, we should choose to do those things and interact with those products that honestly bring us a sense of enjoyment. But even the process is important. My boss, Mark Stocker, once reminded me—during a particularly frustrating project—to "enjoy the process." It's good advice, because enjoyment does matter, even where it seems to be completely absent. So many times I find myself simply going through the motions of an activity, interaction, task, or day, without really enjoying the minutiae of the moments. Enjoyment matters, it just sometimes takes a while to realize it. 

What I'm reading: The life changing magic of...branding? by Chris Hubbard

Reading_branding_Chris_Hubbard

A few weeks ago I was visiting a new acquaintance at his home. He generously offered to let me borrow one of his favorite books, and gave me a choice from about 4-5 titles he had prepared. One of the first books that caught my eye featured a long black braid of hair laid against a bright red cover. I'm a sucker for attractive book covers, and almost immediately went with it; I had barely even looked at the other books. 

Before I grabbed the book—my impulsive decision in hand—I became curious, and asked him which book he would prefer me to borrow. I was surprised by his response. He said he kind of wanted me to read "The life-changing magic of tidying up."—which was there on the table, but had not caught my eye—so that he'd have someone to talk about it with. As it happens, I'm also a sucker for books that claim to possess life-changing magic. And my interest in being tidy only seems to increase along with my age. So that's the book I took home.

There are three main things I took away from reading this book:

  1. Marie Kondo LOVES to tidy up. It's shocking to me how much passion a person could develop for something like "tidying up." If Marie Kondo can find this amount of enthusiasm for something as seemingly mundane as cleaning, then none of us have any excuses for not finding our own passions in life—seriously.
  2. Folding clothes—including sock and underwear—can honestly bring a sense of zen to your life, and create more useable space. 
  3. Deciding whether to keep or discard things based on if they bring you joy or not, is one of the most brilliant, insightful pieces of organizational advice I've ever heard. I think it could be applied to almost everything in our lives; how we spend our time, who we spend it with, and even how we choose to build brands, marketing and communications.

Does it bring you joy?

That's the key question that Marie Kondo suggest we ask of the things in our lives. The question is meant to give us a better way of deciding what to keep and discard. After experimenting with it myself, I believe she's right. For example, instead of keeping or discarding things based on how much they cost you, how useful something may or may not be, or what you may or may not want to do with it in the future, simply ask if it brings you joy. If it does, I keep it. If it doesn't get rid of it.

My patio has a large concrete planter built into it. When I first moved into the apartment, I discovered that it was filled with a mixture of bad dirt and bits of rock and concrete. There were a bunch of pitiful looking weeds struggling to grow in it. Looking at it definitely didn't bring me any joy. So I decided to spruce it up by replacing the dirt and planting some pleasant looking bamboo instead. The vision was simple. Little did I know how much work and money it would require. First, I had to remove all the bad dirt, which was—in spite of how simple it might sound—backbreaking work. Then I had to go buy new dirt, which had to be good dirt, which is surprisingly more expensive than I imagined dirt could be. Then I had to haul all that dirt back and get it into the planter. I bought some tall bamboo which, again, was more costly than I expected. I needed some ropes, pieces of wood, clippers, fertilizer, a hose. I even had to pay someone to drill a huge hole so that the water would effectively drain out of the planter. It required a special machine to do it and cost more than the bamboo. In the end, I spent way more money than I thought I would, and I did a tremendous amount of work. All so I could look at a simple row of bamboo on my patio. The numbers and work didn't add up. On paper, it was a horrible investment. But honestly, I now feel a very real joy when I step out onto my patio and see that pleasant bamboo swaying in the breeze. And that kind of joy is—as they say—priceless.

This got me thinking about how the technique could be applied to things outside the home. Perhaps we could even make better branding and communications decisions.

What if, when making branding and communications decisions we asked this same question? Does it bring us joy? Does it bring our customers Joy?

Maybe the questions would sound like this:

  • Does our brand, and what it represents, bring us joy? Do we imagine it brings joy to other people?
  • Does it bring me joy to look at my business card and the logo printed in the corner? Will it bring another person joy when I give it to them?
  • Will the name of our new product bring joy to those who see it on the shelf? Does the name of our old products bring the same joy?
  • Does engaging in this type of activity bring joy to our organization? Are the people involved experiencing joy?
  • Which of these designs for our new website will bring the most joy to us personally, as well as to those who arrive at it? 
  • Do our messages bring us joy to deliver them? Do they bring joy to those who receive them?
  • Does launching this new campaign bring us joy to do so, in spite of the cost and difficulty in measuring tangible returns?
  • Does our workplace culture create a sense of joy for those who are a part of it?
  • If nobody in our organization feels a sense of joy for the brand, is it at all possible for any customer to feel joy for it?
  • What aspects of our business and our brand have the most joy giving potential, and how can we make sure we invest more heavily in them?

Some people may find things to disagree about with Marie Kondo, but the fact is her strategies have proven to be superior, effective, and life-changing for many people around the world. Her book is a New York times bestseller, and her new book "Spark Joy" promises to take the concept even further. 

If a concept like this can change individual lives, perhaps it can even change brands. Imagine living in a world where brands around the world are all trying to "out-joy" each other? Sounds like an amazing place to be. It's a lofty idea, I know, but it's possible. And it could be one more way businesses can start to "realize" instead of "brand" themselves. 

If you liked my post, please follow me on Twitter because it will encourage me to write more. Thanks, Chris.

Science & Branding: Be the brand that one truly is. by Chris Hubbard

Like people, many brands at some point wish they were other than who they are. They look around and see a host of new brands who are cooler than they are, better looking, or having more success. They wish to have a different "brand self." So they attempt to make themselves into something different. But both failure and success at these attempts can lead to despair. 

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2 Paragraphs On: Moving by Chris Hubbard

ddg_Taiwan

This week, we at DDG moved into our brand new, yet not-quite-finished offices near Bo'ai rd in Taipei. The bathrooms don't have water, the tables don't have tops, but we're here and excited about the new location. Less than a few months ago I personally moved from the Songshan area to a new apartment near Guting station as well. It's closer to friends and work and has a patio area that can actually accommodate more than two people; unlike my previous place. 

There's something really wonderful about moving. It's a brand new beginning. A chance to start over and make some changes in both your environment and your life. It allows you to clear out clutter and reassess those things you may or may not need. It allows you to enrich the lives of others by passing on those unneeded items to friends or strangers who can put them to better use. It forces you to shift your perspective a bit by changing environments, interactions, and daily expectations. Moving gets you moving in a way unlike any other experience in life. it's exciting to be experiencing moves both at work and home this year.

The best and worst brand names in Taiwan by Chris Hubbard

Taiwan may be a small country, but it’s brand ambitions are large. In the past, creating powerful brand names that could hold their own internationally, probably wasn't at the top of anyone's priority list. But today, as increased competition from China and the rest of Asia—and frankly, the whole world—demands Taiwanese companies become more brand savvy, choosing the right names has become an essential component for reaching the top—of any list.

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Gogoro - An owners review by Chris Hubbard

5 months ago I was the first foreigner in Taiwan to buy a Gogoro–perhaps I'm still the only one who does own one–and it's been an exciting experience. Yes, I'm tooting my own horn a bit, but as I pointed out in my previous article, the real reasons I got behind Gogoro have far less to do with the actual product than they do with the by-product of the product. I didn't just buy a fancy scooter, I bought cleaner air and quieter streets. I invested in the energy revolution, and I want others to join me. That being said, the product itself is what I experience daily; I've ridden my Gogoro about 1600 kilometers so far. In those 1600 km of Taipei city riding I've gotten to know the product much better, and there's both positive things and negative things to say about it. 

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2 Paragraphs on: Tesla Model 3 by Chris Hubbard

The Tesla Model 3 is here, and by the numbers, it looks like it's already a big hit. I was happy to see Elon Musk–in the launch video–pointing out that the car isn't just a fancy automotive alternative; it's a replacement. Everyone's had just about enough carbon monoxide poisoning–code named smog–to last us the rest of our short lives, and I feel confident that all of it's about to change.

Back in 2009 Tesla was barely on the map, and now hundreds of thousands of people are signing up to purchase a car that hasn't even been built yet–amazing. What we're seeing is the launch of a sea-change that is about to take place before our very eyes, and I feel it might happen faster than most of us can even imagine. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that in the next 5 years the death of the gasoline vehicle will be on the horizon. That might sound unfathomable to some, but 5 years previously, so did the idea that close to 300,000 people would be reserving a Tesla. Shit, 5 years ago I also wouldn't have predicted I'd be driving around on a Gogoro.

Welcome to the electric vehicle revolution. It's about time.

2 Paragraphs On: Barbie by Chris Hubbard

Today I read – via Twitter – an extensive article on Barbie's new body, and the expected controversies to follow. Maybe it has something to do with being a man, but I just don't understand all the controversy. So there's a "plump" new Barbie? Cool! ( and like, so what? ) I personally think the "plump" Barbie looks more attractive, but I really don't think they're making her for me, or are they?

My little sister was a "plump" little kid, who had a mountain of Barbies. I never thought about it before, but I wonder if she had played with the bigger Barbie if it would have impacted her in a more positive way. We'll never actually know. But she also played with tiny rainbow-colored ponies, which don't even exist in reality, and somehow managed to grow into a very realistic woman. I think the new Barbie body types are just fine. If I had kids, I'd probably buy them the "plump" version.  But do kids need dolls to show them how humans should look in the first place? Maybe kids should be spending more time interacting with actual humans than tiny plastic replicas.

 

2 Paragraphs On: The New Coca-Cola Slogan by Chris Hubbard

Coca-cola_Chris_Hubbard

Most of my friends know that I rarely drink soda pop. But once in a great while, I do, and when that happens it's usually a Coca-Cola. My desire for a Coke tends to be ignited by the sight of those vintage glass bottles. They just give me that–feeling. You probably know exactly what I'm talking about and so does Coca-Cola, who just wrote one of the best slogans I've ever seen– "Taste the feeling."

The slogan works so well because it literally sums up what many of us now experience when we drink Coke; memories of good feelings we had while Coke was present. I think about when I was 10, watching a movie in the theatre, a party at a friends house, a backyard bbq, skateboarding after school, Friday night board games with my parents. I now avoid sugary drinks like the plague, and I'm not sure if Coca-Cola is a company I feel comfortable promoting–which isn't my intention here–but I have to admit, with one simple phrase Coke just ignited a little desire inside of me. I think I'll go taste some of that feeling this week.

My best and worst of 2015 by Chris Hubbard

2015 was a fairly good year for me. I gained some clarity and learned to balance certain aspects of my personality. I've gotten better at knowing what and who I should and shouldn't spend time and energy on. 2015 had it's challenging moments as well, but I overcame these and made another successful trip around the sun. Here's some of my best and worst of 2015:

Worst of 2015:

1. I seriously injured my knee a few times this year. It hasn't been the best experience. The injuries are a result of past abuse and current recklessness with my body. It set me back significantly in my yoga practice and caused me to worry about my body in a way that I never did before. Perhaps it's been a good thing in that regards. I'm not indestructible and as I get older being kind and careful with my body should be more of a priority I guess.

2. I had my first acupuncture experience. ( thanks to the knee injury )

3. I had a small tumor removed. ( thanks to all that sunbathing )

Best of 2015

1. This year I spent a considerable amount of time contemplating how to become a kinder, more generous person. As part of this effort, I randomly and anonymously paid for a few strangers dinners. Nothing boosts the ego more than random generosity followed by a self-promotional blog post. I know this minor sort of thing doesn't equate to being a kinder or more generous person, but at least I can say that I made some honest efforts. That being said, I have a lot of work yet to do in this area in 2016.

2. I finally made it to Lanyu island in Taiwan. The island is as stunning as everyone told me it was. As our boat approached, all I could hear was the theme song from Jurassic park playing in my head. It's, it's, an island! I was able to do some diving ( considered to be some of the best in Taiwan ) and spend quality time with some of my best friends. I regret not buying this really cool neckless.

3. I did a lot of riding on my fixie.

4. I began my new role as a Communication Strategist for DDG and updated my website to reflect this and other work I've done over the last few years. This new role has been both challenging and rewarding. I'm thankful for the opportunity to work with so many talented people and learn from the masters of Taiwan branding. 

5. I gave my first client presentation in Chinese. It wasn't bad, it wasn't great, but it was. I just have to remember not to use 很嚴重 in place of 很重要.

6. I hosted my first Greativities event and had a "great" time doing it.

7. In order to cut down on film expense, I picked up a used Fujifilm x100 and have enjoyed taking pictures with it this year. 

8. I did a week of Paleo diet, after which I decided I wouldn't eat meat, rice or noodles during my lunch in the future.

9. I received both Cheez-its and Triscuits from America. I ate both boxes in only a few days.

10. I bought the book Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, mostly because I love the hardcover book design, but I also enjoyed reading it as well.

11. This is one of my favorite quotes this year.

12. After nearly 4 years of long hair, I got a hair cut at biba solan. This action was the direct result of a sort of, personal brand audit after one of my dear friends humorously referred to me as Fabio. I think Fabio is just fine actually, but it was a great time to reinvent myself.  

13. I started wearing the same thing to work every day.

14. I read a lot of Sam Harris and even purchased his Waking up presentation from Vimeo. If you don't know who Sam Harris is you should check out his TED Talk and explore some of his books.

15. One of the best movies I saw this year was Interstellar. I'm not sure why, but this movie had a huge emotional impact on me. I know not everyone loved this movie as much as I did, but I was really blown away. I felt the music was amazing. It's one of the few movies I've gone back to see again in the theater. 

16. I bought myself a Gogoro Smartscooter and wrote an article about it.

For the year ahead I don't have a list of resolutions.
I just plan on continuing to do what I have been doing, perhaps with a little more guacamole here and there. 

Happy New Year everyone!

 

 

 

Why I finally bought a Gogoro smartscooter, and you should too. by Chris Hubbard

After going back and forth on it for months, I finally bought myself a brand new Gogoro; the slick new electric smartscooter™ designed and built in Taiwan. No light or regular version for me, I went full strength, opting for an orange Gogoro Plus. Turbo, reverse, floor lighting and USB charging for my Bluetooth connected iPhone are all mine.

This thing is more then awesome. #gogoro #chrisgoesgogoro #李悟

A video posted by Chris W. Hubbard (@chriswhubbard) on

It’s obvious why anyone would want to buy a Gogoro; they’re incredibly cool. If you haven’t already, swing by the flagship store near the 101 and check out their incredible display–you’ll instantly get it. The ability to to customize display colors and sounds from an app are impressive but not the real reasons–in the end–I bought one. There are a few bigger reasons that drove me to finally buy myself a Gogoro smartscooter.

1 - Putting my money where my mouth is.

Everyone knows a person who’s always complaining about cars, the burning of oil, and how the world would be a much cleaner place without them. Most of these people do very little aside from complaining via fact-filled Facebook posts, as they drive off to pick up some more organically grown tea. I’m guilty of being one of these people. While I might not complain verbally as much as I do in my own head, it’s an issue that’s been bugging me for nearly a decade. Particularly now that I live in Taipei–home to over 15 million registered gas-powered scooters. ( One of which has been my own Kymco vp125 )

There's nothing worse than breathing the poisonous fumes from an ocean of scooters, as you sit in traffic, waiting for the light to turn green. Or walking out on your balcony early Saturday morning–to take in the view–only to be greeted by the depressing sight of a city blanketed in toxic smog. In these situations, it sometimes feels the most you can do is silently hope that someday things will change.

I remember the first time I heard about Tesla's electric roadster and went online to check it out. I was amazed. I wanted one. But even more, I wanted to be a part of the electric revolution I could see starting to take shape. Unfortunately $100,000 US is not in my immediate, or extended financial reach. Gogoro might not be the cheapest scooter option available on the market, but it’s well within my reach. I feel like it's worth the investment to finally feel that I’m contributing to a change I want to see in the world. I honestly feel that if I want to live in a high-quality world, then I need to invest in high-quality products that have real positive impacts on myself and the people around me, and Gogoro is one of those products.

2 - A Taiwan brand we should be proud of.

Gogoro has the opportunity to be Taiwan’s Tesla or Apple. It’s a truly innovative product, with no other scooter like it on the market right now. Sure there are electric scooters, but trust me, this one goes way beyond what others are doing. Gogoro could finally be the global brand that all Taiwanese, and those of us who call Taiwan home, can be proud of. It’s not a cheaper copy of some other product, or something that claims to be more than it really is. 

It’s surprising–and a bit depressing–to hear so much petty negativity from Taiwanese about the product and how much it costs. ( Here's another great article discussing this. ) Gogoro is a brand with a realistic vision for the future, and it needs people like you and me to invest in that vision for it to happen. If it does, it could not only improve the lives of us here in Taiwan but the lives of everyone around the world. Gogoro could help build the type of companies young Taiwanese are eager to work for, while bringing about additional change in other industries. If you really want to support Taiwan, you should buy a Gogoro.

3 - It’s really fucking cool.

I don’t care what you have to say based on one photo you saw online. Anyone who actually goes in, takes a look, and learns about Gogoro walks away impressed. 

Your new iPhone may have pressure sensitive swiping, which is neat, but I can change the colors of my dashboard, the sounds it makes while driving, the way the lights function, how the battery uses energy, and even how fast I want it to go–all with my phone. If I’m low on power I simply use the app to locate the nearest battery swapping station, ( they are everywhere ) and swap the batteries in 2 seconds. I don’t need a key to start it or turn it off, and it doesn't make a sound as I whizz around the city at 95 km/h. It goes 0-50 in 4.2 seconds making it faster than an Audi. It won't even let me forget where I park it and automatically makes a map for me back to its location. Now that's innovation.

Anyone of these reasons is good enough to invest in a Gogoro, but the three together make it really hard to come up with excuses. I'm looking forward to my fantastic new Gogoro experience this year and hope more people find reasons to believe and invest in something that–as we like to say at DDG– is about to unveil a lot of greatness.

#李悟 #gogoro

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Singled Out - Why 7-11's new campaign is so sad by Chris Hubbard

Yesterday 7-11 launched a new ad campaign entitled “Single friendly.” As someone who’s been happily single for over two years, I was pleased and excited to see a brand launching a campaign in support of Taiwan's single population. You might find it hard to believe, but single people can face an enormous amount of prejudice from cultural stigma and the media, so it’s always refreshing to see support from brands we know and love; and who can't say they don't love 7-11 on some level.

The first video I watched from the series ( below ) was hard for me to wrap my head around. Titled “Lesson 6" the story revolves around a sucker of a guy who apparently lacks any sense of self-worth.  His horrible girlfriend takes advantage of this by endlessly commanding him to rush to 7-11 to purchase whatever her nasty heart desires. The story culminates with us realizing that, although they've since broken up, he continues to serve as her personal shopping stooge, even as she requests two tickets to a show he's not even invited to; they're for her and a new boyfriend who's waiting impatiently in the car. In the end, our sucker shrugs it off. He's content with the satisfaction and pleasure he receives from buying things at 7-11; it's apparently the best thing going on in his life. Our 7-11 clerk observes all this, unbiasedly, and simply continues to do his job.

At first, I thought there must be something I was missing. Some kind of Taiwanese cultural humor I was losing in translation. After a discussion with some of my Taiwanese coworkers, I was assured that no, I wasn't missing anything, the story was as I had perceived it, and yes, it was super weird.

The rest of the videos in the series aren't much better. Each story delivers a somewhat dismal portrayal of a single person who's only bright spot in life appears to be his or her frequent trips to 7-11, where a caring yet disconnected clerk takes care of ringing them up. Cigarettes? Beer? Whatever makes you feel better about your sad life buddy. We're always open, so come back when you need more.

I just couldn't help feeling, after watching all these videos, that the main message is that 7-11 is a place for lonely losers, aka Single people. 

I like being single, I’m always there when I need me.
— Art Leo

What an enormous missed opportunity for 7-11. The campaign name itself "Single Friendly" is actually brilliant in my opinion. I immediately liked the sound of it when I saw the words, so whoever came up with it was definitely on to something. I'm not sure what happened from there, but it's clear the execution took a more sinister direction. Perhaps they should have attended our Greativities workshop on brand personality first.

It's a well-known fact that more Taiwanese young people are staying single for longer. ( this is actually true for most of the world as well. ) There's rumor that the government sees this as a national security threat, which may have some influence, but the truth is that most singles are single because they choose to be that way. This was shown to be true even back in 2006 when the Bureau of Health Promotion conducted a survey showing that one-third of Taiwanese preferred to remain single. In fact, new research shows that single people don't feel lonely at all, and they might even be far less lonely than those who are married or in a couple. So presenting singles as sad and lonely not only appears ignorant but is ultimately a poor way to win them over as loyal customers. 

Imagine, instead of attempting to demonstrate how miserable and lonely the single life is, a series of stories focused on the positive side of being single; staying out all night with friends while making frequent 7-11 runs, the freedom to enjoy some quality alone time with a coffee or a snack, or even the opportunity 7-11 provides to meet other happy single people, which who knows, could result in a happy new relationship. 

I'm single, and I love shopping at 7-11. I have fond memories of using 7-11's excellent free wifi to skype with friends and family on Saturday mornings. I've even had a few great conversations with strangers I met there. That's what single friendly to me is all about, and what 7-11 could be all about.