Special guests in the local radio show in RADio Bang!, Kingston, London.( Me, myself, and I)

Feel glad to get involved into this incredible radio show in local area, and share some of my collections in a short mix to the whole radio fans in London. This time, the radio show hosts were trying to find out why exactly the DJ’s position and his future. More importantly, showing my recent inspirations and projects that I’m working with, please join the discussions and listen what we have argued, feel free to drop the line and response the topic !
Safe!

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A Reflective article

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Overview

After learning from the module :“Design Thinking”, there were some fascinated activities and lectures, which took place in the Kingston University’s business school. It is my honor to engage into this module. In addition, it is an ideal options for me to apply for studying it if I have a desire to establish my own business enterprise in the creative industry field. With utilizing teamwork and progressive learning of experiment, I acknowledged some of the basic approach from this module. Hence, the following article will narrate those fundamental events, which occurred in this model, and reflect the past critically about how much I learn from this course in terms of the theory, and most importantly, giving applicable future goals in practice which could combine the module’s concept after graduating from the university.

Design Thinking in Entrepreneurship and application
In the beginning of the three sessions, the course we have participated is the initial backbone of startup business. The tutor Eewei Chen introduced me and to organize and plan the lean startup session, which is the fundamental method for a company to launch a new service. And it consists of learning to be validating, experimental process, and iterative service releases to decrease the period of developing products, proceeding measurement, and obtain value from customer’s suggestion. At this root of the development of creating products, we continually modified our service in order to simulate the customer’s demand. By the time we were inventing an app program for smart phones, which has function for watching flicks via smart phones. However, I soon realized it was profound to launch a new product; you had to establish a persona (Cohen, 2011). Therefore, we developed our persona, his name is Jeff, a businessman who does not spend time on exploring the movie information from the online movie review website and forum. After building his background and the characteristics, we started to create assumptions to him. It was a surprisingly and amazing experience for me due to the fact I have no idea of setting up a service. In the end of the first session, I realized the process of launching a product does not simply create a product and sell it to the customers; instead, the company should aware of the features of the customers. Moreover, the activities for guiding us to inquire people inside of the campus to ask for the user-experience could be another significant case of leading us to go through the actual market research procedure. During this period of learning, I have realized that the essential approach to reach successful outcome is seeking for creative thinking, it is not just being concern about the basic need of the customers. More importantly, the consumers would like to explore a brand new experience that they never have in their life times. And this is the reason we created the most entertaining apps called” M-planner” (Organizing your movie lists in chronological orders) and “Movie Bingo”(An appealing game which associates with the knowledge of movie).

 

The fundamental point-Business Plan

I have learned from the lectures of how we created our business plan using multiple approaches, for example, setting up insight or developing suitable service and projections. It could be seen from Hockenson (2013), she implied about the 3 fundamental ways to reach an effective business plan. Despite it was a roughly process of forming a company, we have learned how to develop about our products, and decided about our future vision, and moreover, analyst the internal and external environment. At that period, we established our own brand, called Easthetic, which symbolizes eastern cultures and have sense of aesthetic within all of our members, and using different approach to produce the idea for our whole background of business. I also learned from the website IDEO (Brown, 2013), it has revealed that as an outstanding design thinkers, they may focus on exploring an opportunity for creating an idea from a common daily life. Therefore, we had an idea of seeing a problem through discussions with our members, and eventually we admit ourselves to have future visions that consist of simple idea and eco-friendly, and inspire people in certain ways.

New Commodity advancement and Prototyping

After learning from the roughly but intensively practice of startup business process, we were delighted to develop our own product. Hence, we were trying to generate the different ideas from brainstorming. As Tim Brown (2009) stated the creative process in design thinking as a valuable commodity, which could not only satisfy consumer’s demand but also finding out how does the product influence the customers. In the beginning of product development, our product designer Gott came up of an idea by carrying flowers, it was a problem for him as well. He pointed out that whenever he and her girlfriend went to the Columbia supermarket to buy flowers, they felt awkward of holding too much bunch of flowers. As a result, this will be a obstacle when people finish shopping flowers and go to somewhere else. That is why we invented a flower carrier, Pozzy, which protects the flower itself instead of the one thin plastic transparent paper. And most importantly, it offers a hands-free experience when people carry Pozzy, just like carrying a tote bag.

Cumulating social resources via social media

The social media power has ruled the world for ages. However, the lesson of what I have learned from this social media sector was not only superficial knowledge, instead, it has taught me the importance of expanding your social capital by utilizing different variations. I also acknowledged from Carter (2013), who specified in social media about the strength of social media, that is, to create a personality for our website, and generate more customers without geographic restrictions. At that moment we already launched our product called Pozzy, which was a flower carrier for people to carry with hands-free. To be candid, we were just established the account of our website and Facebook, and Twitter account in a basic approach, however, the interactions between customers and our group were developed to a certain level; Generally, the different social media sites offer different functions and benefits. For instance, we found out the Twitter account catch retailer’s eyes where they may have an eagerness to sell Pozzy. It has effective consequence to have access to stickiest, and the business experts in terms of the flower industry. About Facebook, it has been a sufficient implement to gain exposure. In the end of May 2013, we had made 5% sales within our products and obtained 500 followers in Facebook.

The social media gained much exposure to our products; nevertheless, there was another alternative together with social media. It is the power of crowdsourcing In terms of funding method, the crowdsourcing strategy I found it very fascinated from Nesta’s outstanding analysis (Baeck & Collins, 2013). Although we did not have enough time for joining into the competition of crowdsourcing websites(e.g., Kickstarter, Indiegogo), I still have made certain plans and promote statements for backup plans. Without knowing a way of using crowdsourcing, I would never know there was an alternative approach to do the fundraising. It could bring an unexpected effect for a startup business, especially if I would like to set up my own company in the future.

Branding concept

When pitching or approaching to the customers, there are some vital strategies I learned from branding theory, and those perceptions lead me to build up a suitable image from our company Easthetic. Based on the analysis from Design Council (2013), they suggested several branding strategies to improve the reputation of a company, such as defining brand with appropriate identity, adding value, personality, storytelling, and naming, ……etc. Thus, our brand Easthetic did discovered ourselves as modern, simple, inspiring lifestyles. Because of all the members are Asians and with certain talent of making creative stuff, the Easthetic Design became our brand name. And moreover, we identified our logo as a simple black and white shape in concern with our product Pozzy, which made with a simple strap and an illustration on the carrier. And the goal of our logo shape is to combine with the image of traveling, that is why our logo as created as a round shape and look like a stamp. As for the definition of insight, we developed our future vision as “ simple ideas, which could inspire people.”

Marketing

As a marketing freshman, I was searching for the related sources from books and website. I found the book marketing in a Nutshell: a key concept for non-specialists (Meldrum, 2007) was really come in handy, especially using SWOT analysis to exanimate internal problems and external competitors. In our Easthetic design, we have used official website and social media to attract on-line users. As for the offline users, we have attended several fairs to obtain exposure. In addition, there is a practical marketing strategy I have learned from my classmates, it is called guerrilla-marketing methods. Therefore, we created a Instagram account, and threw a campaign of taking flower pictures, and also emphasis the eco-friendly image from our company in our Facebook page, these essential knowledge enable me to know more professional ways of promoting our products.

Financial management and costing

In terms of the pricing strategies and the issues about finance, I used to struggle with the numbers, and until Mars (2013) revealed the four basic elements of financial statement, I began to do some researches of balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow. In spite of Richard Branson (NPR, 2012), who is a leader of Virgin, used to say that he had no clue of sense between gross profit and net profit, I still learned the basic knowledge from the lecture notes and research references. As for pricing strategy, I learned for the lectures about how to control our budget and capital utilizing cost strategy, and manipulated a suitable margin of pricing. For instance, we have two different Pozzy bags; the cost of Premium pozzy one is higher than Hessian Pozzy bags, so we set up the margin of the Premium pozzy is 19%, and the Hessian one is 33%, and the profit we earn from the Hessian is apparently higher than Premium ones.

Future goals

After graduating from the university, I always eager to work in a music industry. Generally speaking, it could be considered as a product to sell music in this field. Therefore, an systematically method to justify the practical issues would be required to implement, even I do not start up a musical label or relative business, those theory and practices would help me to identify the key points, and success in this industry. In design thinking logic, my goal would look at the product/service’s (or a gig event) strength and weakness in terms of human-centered behavior, and use market research more often to understand the customer’s feeling. As business plan, it is essential for me to discover a future vision that could change customer’s behavior and accommodate them to begin a new user-experiences. In addition, Problem-solving and observation from prototyping (Fastcodesign,2013)played a significant role in terms of developing products. I would focus on seeking the problem of the product/service, and maintain the decent quality of my product. About the social media strategic, not only can I set up several social media website but also I can find some other alternatives (fundraising) to gain publicity. In terms of branding, I would consider about using sort of branding strategies (e.g., storytelling) to highlight the personality of our products in the future. In addition, it is also important to be my goal, which is analyzing internal factors and the external environments. As for pricing, I would focus on finding a lower cost in order to obtain profitable margin price of the product in the future.

 

References

Baeck, P & Collins, L. (2013). Working the croWd A short guide to croWdfunding And hoW it can Work for you. Available: http://www.nesta.org.uk/library/documents/Working_the_crowd.pdf. Last accessed 20th May 2013.

Brown,T. (2013). Class of 2013: Start Designing Your Life. Available: http://designthinking.ideo.com/. Last accessed 20th May 2013.

Brown,T (2009). Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation . London: HarperCollins. 21-22.

Carter,T. (2013). 6 Benefits of Social Media for Small Businesses.Available: http://smallbiztrends.com/2013/02/benefits-of-social-media-small-businesses.html. Last accessed 23th May 2013.

Cohen,H. (2011). How to Create Marketing Personas. Available: http://heidicohen.com/marketing-persona/. Last accessed 22th May 2013.

Design Council (2013). The power of branding: a practical guide.Available: http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/resources-and-events/business-and-public-sector/guides/the-power-of-branding/. Last accessed 22th May 2013.

Fastcodesign. (2013). Google’s Project Glass: Inside The Problem Solving And Prototyping. Available: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1669937/googles-project-glass-inside-the-problem-solving-and-prototyping. Last accessed 20th May 2013.

Hockenson, L. (2013). 3 Elements of Every Successful Business Plan.Available: http://mashable.com/2013/04/15/business-plan-elements/. Last accessed 22th May 2013.

MArs. (2013). Financial statements: The four components. Available: http://www.marsdd.com/articles/financial-statements-the-four-components/. Last accessed 20th May 2013.

Meldrum, M. & McDonald, M. (2007) Marketing in a Nutshell: key concepts for non-specialists. Elsevier Ltd, London.

NPR . (2012). Virgin’s Richard Branson Bares His Business ‘Secrets’.Available: http://www.npr.org/2012/10/10/162587389/virgins-richard-branson-bares-his-business-secrets. Last accessed 20th May 2013.

As a newcomer producer of music industry, how to promote your music?

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This is DJ Harry Love, a British DJ who collaborated with IKEA

If you take a recently marketing strategy of IKEA, they try to link with the local cultures and obviously they have made a big success of it. DJ Harry Love, a british DJ that has produced dozen of music with so many talented rapper and singers. With the outstanding arrangement of helping him to fix the problem of excessive vinyls, he therefore become more famous than ever.

As a producer, or a musician, he or she may comprehend to distribute their musical works to the end user, so to speak. Generally, there are plenty of ways of promoting your tracks to the crowd, including online and offline types. The founder of Gigturn( a website that offer DJs associated with fans and events), whose name is Mohamed Kamal, is an ex SiriusXM DJ, and a Producer-turned-entrepreneur from Washington DC suggests his own theory and the experience:

” Well I have made plenty of mistakes from marketing textbooks when I was promoting my all music,and thats why I perceive myself is much more effective at this moment. ” we all need to learn the experience from doing it, by trial-and-error.” And here’s some basic tricks and mistakes which this CEO (of Gigturn) has learned :

1. Don’t Promote a Bad Track

It could be said and done that once the bad track has been released, and it’s not coming back, the reputation will keep on chasing you. So Kamal’s suggestion is a musician should have a pocket list, whom are  around 30 producers and respected in the house community, and if 60% of them enjoy the track, it could be possible to release the track. And you don’t have enough of community of pocket list, it is possible to utilize some sort of music feedback service website, such as Soundout to receive the feedback in a short period.

2. Market to your own audience

Choosing any platform wisely and Finding a suitable specific forum to insert your tracks inside is the essential strategic for promoting your track correctly, and you have to identify certain audiences from certain area, even in certain region from all over the world. Some of the website (Youtube, Soundcloud) have a function for tracking what kind of audience clicked your tracks and where do they come from. It is strongly prohibited that posting your tracks into a wrong genre. For example, Sending your hip-hop track into a techno forum.

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3. Don’t Believe the Hype

There are thousands of artists and musicians who are promoting themselves in the so called Top10 or Top 100 lists in every well known musical website, it is unnecessary to compare wit them in the beginning, those popcorn musicians or producers would move fleet, goes up and down frequently.

4. Your Competitors Feel the Same

A useful methods for identify the weakness could be utilized by SWOT analyst.  By doing so, a musicians could also realize the strength of the competitors. However, the competitors are not the No.1 producers in the marketplace, they still have limited equipment and fan base as you. Therefore, the effective way to increase your experience is knowing the veteran from the game, who are the producers that started 10 years ago. You could get significant feedback if they could see your potential.

5. Build Relationships

Many new coming musicians think about work with the well-known producers or musicians without getting any effort on it. The opportunity is not so easy to gain in the beginning. As a new comer, you should do any favor of the musicians and support their works , buy their CDs or mp3s, more importantly, walk into his or her real life if you have the chance. And this is not a interrupting strategy, conversely, it could build a good interactions between you and the famous musicians. In addition, building a fan base is essential as well, but do not rush to expand the quantities, it all takes time to establish it .

 Original reference: https://www.udemy.com/blog/how-to-promote-your-music/

Music as a branding strategy

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It could be said that every human kinds are obsessed with various types of music, so to speak. However, it seems like no one would treat advertising as the same position as music. Due to the fact that the customers are changed rapidly, some of the well-known companies have been toward to the music and artists to attract the fans and collaborated together, it has emerged that in using music in the advertisement, the music and the artists trigger our emotions and feelings, and connect with different man kind then begin with communications and have a topic. If it is wisely used, it could turn a not loyalty customer into a frequent buyer, or even faithful to the brand for good.

Sounds Like Branding,  written by  Jakob Lusensky, is an fascinating book for describing the process of history in music and marketing field, from the humble jingle and the advent of Muzak to Michael Jackson’s pioneering  collaboration   with the brand Pepsi in the early 80’s , and also analyst those current famous brands  such as Nike, Starbucks, Levi’s and Coca-cola.

The reason marketers would have a responsibility to realize is the music has been no more a background sound, music could be a very big secret weapon for “playing” a brand’s characteristics.

These strategies would offer a different thinking of promoting brands in the big screen TV, playing some background music for adornment. In this competitive world, the music, or the sound, play an vital role for a advertisement or a brand to demonstrate itself, and if applied it correctly, the value and the loyalty would increase in a certain level.

Here is the successful application of music and branding : Michael Jackson and the Pepsi- Pepsi Generation

The Coolest way of promoting music for pop singers – Mixtape

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 Mixtape Trend

In this rapidly changes world of music industry, artists have different ways of promoting themselves. As for recently artists, well, lets say it has been generally utilized by some hip-hop musicians from back then, they offer a mixtape of their works in order to testify the marketplace. The originality of mixtape is established from DJ mixing techniques. It was an old-school methods that enable DJs to promote their mixing or their beats into the market, even if the quality is raw and unfinished. Although the process of making mixtapes are easy to access and could be done in the somebody’s bedroom, this methods then widely be used by large amounts of DJs and producers in the music industries. The notable example is the Hip-Hop music, which were emerging from 1970’s on the street of New York City. Whilst Africa Bambaata (most known for his singe hit” Planet Rock”) or the Kool Herc( Godfather of Hip-Hop) performed on the stage, some of the fans recorded their songs and live performance and sell it into the streets (also called bootlegs) . And some of the DJs took the vital part and rearrange it in order to produce their new mixtape, this could also treated as a mixtape as well. In current music industry, there are dozen of musicians and artists who desire to test their market would distribute the mixtape first, and issue the final EP or LP afterwards. and it could also decrease the risky of lower sales. For example, Rasheeda released her “Boss Bitch Music” or Kreayshawn’s Kitty x Choppas Mixtape

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In terms of mixtapes, because of the benefits of the mixtape is most of them are usually free for downloading on the Internet, this would let the new generations, who so called digital natives, could download immediately from their fan page ,as well as social media websites, such asTwitter. The reason for audiences and fans could download is because the artists could observe the level of popularity of the mixtape, and then decide to release their albums or EPs. Moreover, another advantages would be very obvious: Increasing word of mouth. Due to the fact that there are bunches of musicians who were famous from the Internet( Youtube, Facebook…..etc) , it goes without saying that they could obtain more attentions from this approach.

Another pros of releasing mixtape is using collaborations with some other DJs and musicians to raise the reputation, this could be considered a co-sourcing, a business term which implies collaborations between various of companies. In terms of music industry, co-sourcing could be treated as gathering different works from different musicians and DJs. And it could not only boost the output value of the existed musicians but also introduced the new comers from this music industry.

The mixtape  “Kitty x Choppas ” (picture above)makes Kreayshawn release her Hit Single : Gucci Gucci, which  generated nearly three million views on YouTube in the first three weeks

The creative Management style of IDEO

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The consulting company  “IDEO” from California of United state, has created tons of masterpieces , and they all contribute to the whole entire Creative History. The significant products is designed for Tooth paste, which is called

“Crest Neat Squeeze Tube”

 

 

It is far from imagination and beyond control, which is the topic for how to generate the creativity, however, it could be more tougher to manage the creativity I would say, but why could IDEO done so brilliant?

Workforce magazine interviewed the founder’s brother, who is the Managing Superviser of IDEO, Tom Kelley, and discussed about the reflection of the managing in creative people within IDEO.

Linus Pauling(has won Nobel Chemical Prize) used to say: ” The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas”. and also if you need to find talent and gifted people, it is the right way to go .

For a company like IDEO, Kelley also pointed out  it never has a problem of attracting creative people, the reason behind the scene was because the Inc. magazine has voted IDEO to be the one of the best middle-sized business’s  companies. He personally think the company need to manage and develop the relationships between the community and the branding itself.

Moreover, the characteristics of IDEO  in hoping the employees to work for IDEO in the two followings :

1. A place where work for those people that as a “Friend”  with each other.

2.There is no such titile of “Boss’s boss” or “your boss”.

It could be shown and considered as a evidence that when IDEO declared a convention in Headquarters, those employess are lived with their “friends”, obviosuly, their colleague.

All of the benefits for managing a creative environments are stated as follows:

1. Employees could learn more from the colleagues.

2.In terms of sharing, they sharing each other’s opinions and exchange their wisdom and transform to their own intelligence.

3. The  supervisors will understand more about the employees.

The survival elements of music industry in Taiwan

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The picture above is the percentage of how many albums sold in Mainland China.

It goes without saying that the Mainland China has become the most competitive field for the Taiwanese singers, as well as  its  outstanding opportunities for expanding their business region.

Meanwhile,the government in Taiwan has considered to boost the Taiwanese music and promote it to other countries in order to raise the exposure. Therefore the government  decided to invest capitals in the music creativity, and the China market will also bring about 1 Billion pounds output for only one year revenues.

Fortunately, the copyright laws seems to support the whole music environment as well, couple of years ago,  under the old copyright law, an offender would have to be considered as a copyright infringement only when they have five optical discs or TWD30.000 (600pounds) worth of capacities that has fully filled with unauthorized musical files. The minimum value has now been declared in no boundaries. if any file in the hardrive or CD of the offenders, they would have to face the problem of going to jail.

Although this could be considered  as a giant step for a musical industry in Taiwan, most local people still look forward to have access to download music for free, the education of piracy should be a vital approach for Taiwan’s government if they hope to receive more profit from it.

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