branding, Portfolio, stuff from my life

A Naughty Accomplishment

Very happy about this mention on Suzanne Young’s Blog.  Suzanne is a young adult novelist and brilliant scientist. Not really. But she is a former middle school teacher turned zookeeper (mother).  That’s all according to her bio. (hee hee)

Daisy Whitney asked me to design a T-Shirt for Suzanne’s upcoming The Naughty List young adult novel and the rest (as they say) is history.

Suzanne’s book is due out on February 4, 2010! That’s really soon, so save your pennies and buy it!!

I am tremendously honored to be part of it (even if it is like the size of a grain of sand).


branding, social media trends, stats

Gmailers more engaged according to MailChimp/MarketingCharts

According to a MailChimp survey reported by MarketingCharts, people who use Gmail have an email open rate of 30.94% compared to Hotmail with 23.79%, Yahoo with 25.54% and AOL with 20.09%.

Another interesting survey tid-bit is that Gmailers have a click rate of 7.41% compared to the less than 5% for the others mentioned above.

It clear to me that Gmailers demonstrate a willingness to try something new and this open-mindedness can be reflected right back to Google as a company.

As humans, we tend to be attracted to other like-minded people and somehow Google has managed to do just that but as a brand. That’s very powerful. Google consistently offers alternative online experiences and for those who want come along for the ride and don’t mind the numerous beta products; there are benefits, bonuses and advantages.

In the end, it’s up to you where you click and whatever email client you choose to use, but one thing seems to stand out, Gmail users have drank the Google coolaid – so yeah, it is a “demographic kinda thing”.

branding, new media

Google as a brand? or a brand facilitator?

29578v7-max-250x250-1Today TechCrunch published an article on which brand is worth 100-billion dollars.

The answer is Google.

I tweeted the link to the post on Twitter today and @wickedboss replied.  It got us both thinking.

The interesting question here is where does Google fit in our modern ideals of what defines a brand  in 2009?

For my part, I say Yes it is a brand!

As I tweeted:

I figure that anything that you use at least once a day… has a place in calling itself a brand.  Don’t you?

BTW:  Thanks for the RT @wickedboss!

branding, new media, online shopping, social media trends, stats

Milennials are only interested in email they can benefit from, duh!

I found this on one of my favorite marketing sites Marketing Charts.  According to Participatory Marketing Network (PMN), 28% of  Milennials (Generation Y) find that they receive email that is not relevant to them.

Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t that the case for the rest of as well?

Anyways, here’s what the study revealed:

Gen Y consumers are eager to see “innovative services” that allow them to better control, organize and manage email coming from brands.

  • 78% would like their email client to automatically categorize and delete expired promotional messages.
  • 62%  would like communicate directly with retailers about their favorite products in exchange for getting the best prices from them.
  • 44%  say they’d subscribe to an email service that collected and summarized multiple offers of interest to them.
  • 32%  say they’d share promotional email offers with members inside a social network and open emails from others.

More than half of Gen Y consumers (51%) say they’d join a separate social network dedicated to managing brand interactions

Now the better question is “Is someone listening to this out there?  Or better yet, has someone already figured this out and is working on the next BIG THING”.

branding, social media trends, stats

Where do consumers search for information

Consumers rely on social media websites as much as company websites for product information, and 70% of consumers have visited a social media website such as message board, social network, instant messenger, blog, video sharing site or chat room in order to get information about a company, brand or product.dei-otx-where-consumers-search-information-fall-2008

This just confirms the value of advertising on social media sites.  The price is right and it’s a great opportunity to get more eyes on your product.

N’est pas ?

branding, mommyness, social media trends

Oh Baby, Where were you when I needed you?

Back in June, one of my friends had her second baby – a boy – her first was a girl born about 18 months earlier.  I know – Whoa!

She and I were talking after the most recent birth and she mentioned to me a place she’d discovered a café/boutique/spa for new mommies called Maman, Bébé et Café. I; not being in the-new-mommy-thick-of-things, had never heard of such a place.

Turns out I really wished this place would have existed back when I was a new Mom (almost 12 years ago).

Maman, Bébé et Café is a place where new Mommies can go with their babies and meet up with other new Mommies and their babies to play, chat and participate in various activities.  The studio offers pilates and dance classes for Mommy (with baby of course) and feature nutritious snacks from their café.  They even provide Mommies on- and off-site baby-minding services which leaves time for some much needed pampering at the mini-spa.

And if that wasn’t enough, MBC also encourage local Mommie and Daddie entrepreneurs.  You’ll find Sweetie Cupcakes, natural cleaning products by Creations Maja, artwork by BigBlueHug and work from local artist photographer Julian HabarLa Boutique Azurewraps is also located at the MBC studio.  They specializes in cloth diapering solutions, exclusive toys (i.e. alternatives to plastic toys) as well as practical clothing and accessories.  Take a look and join their Azurewraps Facebook Group.

The  cold months ahead paired with having a baby or a young child at home can often leave Mommy with feelings of isolation (not to mention cabin-fever).  The good news is they even have a holistic pre- and perinatal consultant onsite. Wow!

I am pleased to see that there are real support systems for new Mommies (and new Daddies) available today and that the use of the internet is helping to propel these terrific ideas further into the community.

Maman, Bébé et Café is located in N.D.G. (5814 Sherbrooke Street West – Montreal – 514.509.7494).

branding, cause-related, foodie distractions, new media

Blog Action Day 2008: Pass the Food Please

Question. What do you get when you cross a chef who wants to save his native-country from all things processed, a passion for fresh and organic fruits and vegetables and today’s web technology?

Answer. Jamie’s Ministry of Food.

I’m not going to write another post about how Jamie Oliver gets it (btw he does get it), but rather I want to let you know about something that he launched on September 30:  Ministry of Food.

Ministry of Food; Jamie Oliver
Ministry of Food; Jamie Oliver

The art of cooking is dead.

Okay not dead; but it’s really not in good shape.  Jamie recognizes (and rightfully) that with today’s easy access to prepared meals and fast food chains, people aren’t cooking anymore and more importantly – they aren’t teaching their children how to cook healthy meals from scratch.   The process of passing down cooking knowledge is literally being extinguished because we are all too busy (or so we all say).

When I was a younger I remember the smells that came from my Mother’s kitchen.  I recall the comforting vanilla custard scent of a homemade bread pudding gently baking in the oven or the unmistakable aroma of yeast from a loaf of bread rising and of course, the calming bouquet radiating from the pot roast simmering in the oven.

I think it’s what turns a house into a home.  Admittedly, helping my Mom cook was not always high on my list of fun things to do when I was young, but fast forward 25 years and I am grateful to her because I CAN cook.   In fact, her lessons drive my passion for it now and without a doubt it influences my current cooking style.

Not everyone had (or has) this advantage growing up and that’s too bad.  No worries though: it’s not a lost cause. Thanks to Jamie!

Enter Jamie’s Ministry of Food: It’s all about getting people excited about cooking delicious meals from scratch again.  Jamie has a plan to get everyone cooking again and reverse this unhealthy food trend and it’s called Pass It On

Pass It On
Pass It On

Basically, it’s all about teaching, gaining confidence in the kitchen, having fun and best of all… sharing a home cooked meal!

We all know at least two people in our circle of friends who can’t boil water, right?

Well, the idea is to invite those inexperienced friends over and to teach them a recipe.  If you can’t think of recipe, why not pick one from the site to get started.

Once your “students” have mastered the recipe they then must then continue the chain of food knowledge by teaching two friends of their own and then they pass it on and so on…

Personally, I think that this concept can be pushed far beyond it’s original intention.  Organize an event for a group at work (i.e., the ones that never bring a lunch).  The object can be to take the prepared meals to a local soup kitchen.  Team up with your local chapter of Meals on Wheels or in the case of my own city Montreal, the Dans La Rue organization.

I really believe that sharing a meal with your friends and family is truly worthwhile but contributing to organizations such as these are even more meaningful as the Pass It On concept becomes exponential; especially when passed on from company to company.

Where do you sign up?

Sign up at

The process is very simple and like Akoha’s Play It Forward (, you get to see the chain of people who have passed on their cooking knowledge to others; creating a chain that takes on a life of its own.

The site is packed with tips and tricks for the kitchen.  You can download PDF’s on cupboard essentials, kitchen hygiene, kitchen equipment and cooking with seasonal fruits and vegetables.  Chances are if you aren’t sure about a particular cooking technique, it’s covered on the site or better yet you’ll find it in his upcoming book also named Jamie’s Ministry of Food.

Whether this will be successful is yet to be confirmed, but I commend Jamie for yet again, trying to change the way people think about food and more importantly nurturing our cooking knowledge (or lack thereof).  If history has revealed anything about Our Jamie; it’s that he’ll never give up trying to make a difference and for that I am grateful.


See Jamie’s video message about Ministry of Food here >>>

branding, foodie distractions, new media, social media trends, stuff from my life

Jamie Oliver…Say What You Will

I think Jamie Oliver understands the internet and the need to use it to propel his content.

He’s not only created a beautiful site, he also understands that you need to provide people with quality just like the food he prepares.

He’s on Youtube, iTunes, MySpace, Facebook are all places that lead you to his website which includes a well maintained blog, recipes, video podcasts, and a very popular forum.

Jamie has also (in addition to his School Dinners initiative) started the Unsigned Band Competition (in its second year) where, you guessed it, unsigned bands send in their audio or video demos.  Then the Jamie listeners can vote for their favorite band among the talented entries.  This year he’s teamed up with Universal Music *UK* which means the winning band will get a deal with Universal Music (still not sure if that’s a deal anymore but that’s whole other post for the future).  Last years winner was Tim Kay and for those unfamiliar with him, he sings the Jamie At Home theme song.  For those who listened to Jamie’s audio podcast on iTunes also know that he was often featured playing some of his songs on the podcast.

Here’s a commercial I came across a few months ago.  I think it’s great and sums up Jamie’s sense of humor bang on – Enjoy!