AlgoBueno Research es Design Thinkers Spain


Después de mas o menos dos años de encuentros y colaboraciones puntuales con el equipo de Design Thinkers en Amsterdam y además de compartir muchos puntos de vista sobre el trabajo, el futuro y lo que podemos aportar a empresas y gobierno, hemos recibido la propuesta de unirnos al Design Thinkers Group y trabajar proyectos y encargos para el mercado  hispanohablante en España y América.

Desde AlgoBueno Research adoptaremos la representación de Design Thinkers NL operando Design Thinkers Spain con el entusiasmo y la alegría que esto nos representa y aportando nuestra experiencia en investigación de usuarios, análisis de tendencias, management de proyectos,  cocreación, diseño de sistemas y procesos de innovación y facilitación de procesos en comunidades y empresas.

Nos integramos a la filosofía de Design Thikers Group desde la perspectiva de la actual transformación del mercado y la economía española esperando poder aportar a las empresas y el gobierno herramientas y procesos de  Innovación que les faciliten su crecimiento y expansión en el panorama local e internacional haciendo sus negocios y relaciones mas sostenibles y solidas.

Complementamos nuestras habilidades para ofrecer soporte, desde una mirada estratégica a empresas y organizaciones en:

  •  Diseño de servicios
  • Concepción de marcas, productos y sistemas de servicio
  • Fortalecimiento de procesos internos, capacidad de innovación y co-creación de valor con stakeholders.

Agradecemos la confianza y la amable bienvenida que nos han dado el equipo de Design Thinkers en Amsterdam y de las empresas del Design Thinkers Group en  Brasil, UK, USA,  Chile, Singapur y Alemania a quienes esperamos aportar nuestras habilidades, experiencia y metodologías.


Nuestro Portafolio de Investigación Online

Hasta hace muy poco nos hemos dado cuenta que del trabajo que hacemos, publicamos a través de nuestro blog un porcentaje muy peqeño. Por diversas razones, confidencialidad de los clientes, descuido, nos enrollamos en el día a día o simplemente porque como lo vemos todos los días, pues se nos olvida ponerlo a la vista. Con esto simplemente queremos anunciar que hemos resumido en fichas seis de la investigaciones realizadas recientemente para clientes, algunas de ellas de larga duración como Storytelling o  La Historia de la Diversidad Sexual , otras puntuales pero con seguimiento. como Materiales Inteligentes y Mercados Lingüísticos de Europa que se van completando con proyectos sucesivos.

Estos encargos han surgido de necesidades especificas de quienes lo solicitan o del interés de empresas por temas que desarrollamos como la Estética de la Protesta, temas variados, diversos y apasionantes que nos han abierto un mundo de conocimiento y a través de los cuales hemos ayudado a empresas a entender mejor a su usuario, su comunidad y las relaciones que se establecen alrededor de sus productos y servicios. Faltan algunos por publicar pero ya lo iremos actualizando poco a poco, por el momento, la primera parte del trabajo realizado.

Portafolio de Investigaciones

Market Revolution or Revolution vs Market? part II

The powerful internet  consumer and the vulnerable citizen

Internet citizens, digital natives and teleworkers have discovered a new habitat where a new society and community agreements can be built and lived. Privacy, anonymity and lack of physical danger have empowered many of us to expand our identities, express ourselves , socialize and develop our hidden talents. This new habitat has provided new spaces and dynamics for many subcultures and ideologies fully or partially repressed by the mainstream , conventional media and public policies. At the same time new markets and possibilities of exchange have grown opening opportunities to both entrepreneurs and customer to find satisfaction to their dreams and wishes online.

Online retailing and service providing has broaden the number of professions in a way, that no industry or employment policy in the world has ever reached. Free exchange and contribution has reached high levels of relevance as much as online stores, online education and content consumption via streaming. All this changes the way we buy and sell, but most of all changes the way we make decisions about it.

Control mechanisms have been created to follow and understand all sources of information, paths, tracks and the digital print all of us leave behind when online, this way governments companies and big corporations keep control of the flows of information shared, sold and offered in the net. So we can practically know almost everything that people do or think when online, assuming they do not ever lie.

Are the new generations becoming the new rebels for a digital nation or is the digital environment educating them ?

Access vs property (for everyone?)

This week Apple announced the release of its latest operating system. This time it won´t be possible to buy it at any store but exclusively online. Amazon has launched it program to rent text books to scholars instead of selling them, someone called this a sustainable initiative. What will happen when computers, can only operate if they are connected to the web and when would it become illegal to avoid digital surveillance?

Access to contents, cloud computing, interconectivity and the possibility to be “always on” means that a lot of information, resources, software and applications will be available for many people, to be used even free of charge. But also means everything we do in that environment leaves a track, a statistic that makes databases grow and become more and more efficient. Optimizing this databases provides hints on what people, like, do , approach, enjoy and need and also allows marketeers, governments and power circles to control and direct information, reactions and scenarios in the digital world. Property (specially intellectual property) becomes and obsolete idea under the slogan of sharing and collaborating.

One amazing thin about cool things is mutation. As soon as cool is identified it mutates into something unexpected, something new, something unreachable. That will be the circle of the future markets, permanent change and permanent adaptation, multiplicity and rebellion. Slippery creativity that mutates as plants and animals do, when the weather changes. A permanent survival.

Is the market ready for this revolution? Is it ready to change and adapt at this pace ? What are communication and advertising agencies capable of offering in this environment? or will this revolution transform our actual concept of markets and trade?

In the next part: Is there a future of Money?

Market Revolution or Revolution vs Market? part I

Recent events in global economy and politics make us think about the ways consumption, production and communications are rapidly changing the old ideas of buying and selling.

Corporations and companies seem to be in the task to think again and act in new ways, finding new ways to get in touch with massive amounts of  consumers and users, that rapidly change their attitudes and approach, towards products and services in the market.

Every change brings more changes and I am truly happy to witness this. It creates a particular state of mind where rigid structures see the need for renovation abandoning part of their established safe zones. In a word,  we are all allowing ourselves to evolve a little.

Rethinking the sense, goals and methods to connect with audiences, will probably provide the basis for deep changes in society as in markets. Some markets becoming more user oriented and other just turning more wild and tough. Production of goods and services has overwhelmed users and a loss of interest in  accumulation has started growing when people found themselves surrounded by more offers than their capability of consumption or even needs.

Abundance of goods and over production made corporations earn so much that a polarization of economic power has grown at the point of making them more powerful than many countries and regions, giving them politic influence and the possibility of changing and creating law.

At the same time the relevance of information technology has given users and consumers the power to network, criticize, oppose and gather to question their own governance, market, society and beliefs. An important awareness about social and environmental tragedies has changed the mindset for many customers who day by day get more information from multiple sources that help them make their shopping decisions. But these information also influence, political and ideological decisions when citizens feel themselves empowered, vulnerable, disappointed or betrayed by their own leaders.

The powerful internet  consumer and the vulnerable citizen + Access vs property (for everyone?) in the next post.

Adding Some Magic to the Factory

The toy retail business is a very different world. Finding out about it, we have discovered a whole new way of looking at toys, children moms and families. merchandising is a key word and shopping is the new game. 1 month of effective work, 50 product shots, some backgrounds & wallpapaers and a CMS were enough to bring some magic to Magic Factory.

The toy retail business is a very different world.

Finding out about it, we have discovered a whole new way of looking at toys, children moms and families.  merchandising is a key word and shopping is the new game. Toys are not just for kids anymore.

Magic Factory is a franchised network of stores in Spain, that sell merchandising items made mostly in China and distributed across the peninsula. It focuses on objects, toys and personal items licensed under major brands like Disney, Warner, King Features Syndicate (Betty Boop), Sanrio, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon & Viacom,  Marvel, and local brands like FCB Barcelona. These shops sell and promote brands featuring music, films, sports and cartoon characters.

Among all these brands Magic Factory has develop a classification based on sales and permanence. Products related to Betty Boop, Hello Kitty and classical Disney characters like Mickey or  the Princesses are considered permanent and basic, somehow essential. Big impact characters like Sponge Bob, Spiderman or Cars,  are strong and versatile and  attract  younger generations. Third category would be short term brands like Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers, Ben 10, Gormiti or Patito Feo (Disney LatAm) that come and go very fast and boost sales for one or two season.

The Nostalgic Grownups : one of the things we first noticed while visiting our client was the massive affluence of  women in their 30´s and 40´s buying items like key chains, lighters, pens and watches, not for their kids or nephews but for themselves. That made me think of  another experience at the Barbie shop in Barcelona, where communications were clearly directed to moms raised with a Barbie instead of kids themselves. Grown ups with strong attachments to brands like Barbie, Hello Kitty, Disney or Betty Boop act as preaching fans to their own children and other grown ups about new products and merchandising

Babyboomers & Young Couples: are also a strong presence in the stores, but as far as we could notice they are looking for ¨safe & standard¨ toys and contents for their actual or future children. this search is evident in the amount of questions they ask prior to buying anything. New babies or small children from young couples seem to be the basic parenthood learning course though commodities.

Housewives & Grandparents: a very different approach was noticed when we asked about experienced parents, they know what their children like, how they would react, how to make it look like a reward or as a tool for negotiating with their children. In this case toys become a powerful tool to trade better grades, commitments and changes in behavior. Grandparents also earn points providing those toys parents would deny or cannot afford. Power roles and hard negotiation is also present here.

Teenagers are the oldest population in these stores, usually attending in groups and trying to find a symbol of status, identity affirmation or acceptance trough merchandising and commodities. For them the object is not relevant, but the power it gives to their public image.

Thinking about all these facts we created three pieces of communication: 1. shop window videos that include animated images featuring real kids with the main characters and store products, an updatable website where products can be seen as in a catalog linked to a facebook website 3. where all audiences can interact and get news and feedback from their local shop. 1 month of total work, 50 product shots, some backgrounds & wallpapers and a CMS were enough to bring some magic to magic factory.

The SECOT Project has been completed

After a year and a half of meetings, brainstorming, delays, lacks of contents, changes and all sorts of exciting situations our collaboration with Secot has produced a useful and informative site in both Spanish and Catalan languages.

After a year and a half of meetings, brainstorming, delays, lacks of contents, changes and all sorts of exciting situations our collaboration with Secot has produced a useful and informative site in both Spanish and Catalan languages.

This site is aimed to will serve as a tool for information, fundraising, recruiting and social presence for this organisation in Catalonia. The commited collaboration of Toni Calatayud ex-CEO for Walter Thompson Spain and Ramon Prats, made possible a bridge between an organisation with more than 200 members and our creative team at Algo Bueno Studio to materialize their needs and requests.

Secot is a non profit organisation with headquarters at the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce that offer support to entrepreneurs, small companies and government. their team counts with most of the CEO´s and VP of multinational companies and big national corporations that have recently retired and wish to stay active in business givng back to community, after years of company service. So this guys know a lot and have a lot to say together.

During this year we have learnt slow cook taste better and even when sometimes fast times are on top of us, well done things are more rewarding than fast-food-like projects. This organisation has taken the time to discuss, test, rethink and evaluate all processes in a way that only a really experienced executives can possibly think today.

Thanks for showing us the taste of a well cooked project in fast food times.

Would we need a Fair Trade movement for Information?

It was quite awkward last week, when this ghost company from Brooklyn contacted us for a research about Spanish trends.

As we always do with new clients, verifying the company was the first task. Even though we discovered the company did not exist  and the budget was laughable, we took it as a team exercise.

The brief looked pretty simple, asking for very basic information. We had  gathered similar information  in recent months for another client, so we went for it

A Tricky Project Brief

Soon, we discovered  they would want more and even a lot more, the brief was just the top of an iceberg. The project brief described the work was calculated to be developed in 2 half days (4-8 hours at the most) with simple descriptions of 2 deliverables: one for general trends and another one for descriptions. When the first deliverable format document arrived we noticed it was going deeper on the description of the trend and now asked for the sources of the information, authors, dates, location, etc. that wasn´t good. A good cop never reveals his sources.

We completed the first deliverable and sent it the same day, receiving a not very kind feedback from our ¨new boss¨. She wanted more specific and explained information, more details and descriptions so we felt like in the old times at school, when that lousy, rude and strong boy took your lunch and made you do his homework based on threats. Mmmm bad memories but also a bad idea, since our team does not respond well to threats, in fact we don´t respond to threats at all.

To be honest,we have found that a nice talk, a good tone and an interesting task has made us move mountains in the past and other types of dialogue make us very lazy. Some of us were uncomfortable because of the tricky brief, but still kept our word and provided some of the information in a first deliverable. The tone of our client´s emails  became more and more bossy, trying to make us feel we were not providing enough accurate information but just willing to get more than they asked for, this really bothered us.

A High Maintenance New ¨boss¨

The second deliverable format arrived the next day and  now it was asking for at least one hundred images, trend descriptions and sources and the influence of those trends in at least 9 aspects of life, that was enough information to develop a national trends report. A complete report that would have been worth  at least ten times the budget offered by “Ghost USA” . We know how much information and analysis is worth since we have been working on similar things for years, but now we felt trapped between demands, bossy emails and our rejection to the project.

Then we decided to let our client know about our feelings for the project. Bad response again, the tone suddenly changed to ¨…come on guys, this is not that much…¨ .

That was too much for us.

We decided to send the last info, an amount  we considered enough for the price and the time ¨agreed¨and say goodbye, it was time to let go. This was definitively the kind of client that would buy a one dollar piece of glass from you and sell it as a diamond in thousands.

Now we ask ourselves if a fair trade movement for those of us working on information and research would be really necessary? Would clients pay the real value of the information and analysis they receive?

Since hundreds of teenagers see themselves as coolhunters, speculation and a black market are on the rise…!

A peek into the Future: Countries becoming Brands and Companies becoming Nations

What type of Nation do you think Apple, Microsoft, Unilever or Sony Corporation would be?

¿What type of Nation do you think Apple, Microsoft, Unilever or Sony Corporation would be?

That is a question that first came to my mind back in 2004, when I visited the Redmond WA area close to Seattle, where Microsoft Corporation owns its headquarters and long extensions of land. There, hundreds of mini-mansions for MS Executives decorate a Swedish-wanna-be-landscape. Was that a Microsoft country? maybe not, but that is how it felt while talking to people, driving the highway and exploring the suburbs. A particular kind of identity, lifestyle and behavioral agreements, very close to the Microsoft corporate image.

Maybe it is corporate identity that goes beyond the company, into people lives.

As it all sounds like science fiction, we should examine some realities. I guess it all started in 1955 with Main Street USA in Disneyland (The Happiest Place on Earth) where a typical American village was fully reproduced under the company parameters of Disney imagery. Then came Epcot Center, a vision of the existing world (third world excluded) from the Disney point of view, that featured the most touristic and iconic landmarks from an American perspective.

Main Street USA
Main Street USA

Back in the 70´s, the world was politically divided in Communism and Capitalism basically. After the coldwar and during the late 80´s the Perestroika, the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the political and economic changes in communist countries created an ideological change globally. People started changing their political beliefs and their affiliations changed to more private ones.

During the 90´, companies developed strong efforts towards positioning their

values transmitted via branding
values transmitted via branding
brands becoming economically and symbolically powerful; generating values, lifestyles, followers, collectors of memorabilia, urban tribes and radical beliefs in a global scale. Notions of culture, nation, country and culture mutate and people start believing in branded values, media promoted lifestyles and marketing designed ideologies.

Local, national and regional governments joined forces with the tourism industry to promote specific destinations, immigration, foreign investment and position economic value for countries and cities. That way, places like New York, Mexico, Barcelona and Berlin created whole new brands from their name, supported by local and global investors. Let´s think of Sex and the City, Barcelona Olympic Games, The fall of the Berlin Wall, or the FIFA World Cup as tools for touristic promotion and region branding transmitting values and beliefs, music, visual patterns, food and celebrations that make people come together and identify themselves with these parameters as their ways of expression.

Strong Marketing campaigns about certain regions, countries and cities at the same time that sold destinations, encouraged regionalism, nationalism and local pride. The impact of branding in this sense is double sided, and creates apart from consumption, social transformations followed by strong feelings about the branded place. Something close to the impact of corporate values among company sex_and_the_city_movie-6049employees and consumers.

So, where does the notion of national culture and product branding cross paths? a possible answer may be found if we ask people where do they belong? Do you feel Spanish, American or Mac user? What defines me the most? My place of residence or my habits? All these questions currently float inside a lot of people´s minds.

The Power of Mutinational Companies to provide services, products and messages to fill people needs has taken them to a position, where their speech may be stronger than politics, culture and the participation of civil society. Most of them have the power to influence law, politics, culture, governance and development in any country to the point of becoming providers of basic services covering people´s fundamental rights like water, electricity, food, health, communications, housing, education, retirement and security.

So, when only companies can provide people with most of the things half of the countries in the world can´t provide, ¿What is left of the notion of Nation? ¿What is the role of nations and governments in the new world order? pho_bg_vans¿What is left of civil rights when they enter the marketplace?

So here is my question again

¿What type of Nation do you think Apple, Microsoft, Unilever or Sony Corporation would be?

Cultural itineraries for Nexia Smith & Williamson UK

Since Nexia Smith & Williamson contacted us asking for advice about activities for their executives in the city during their annual seminar, we were willing to propose an itinerary that would give a cultural touch to their corporate events in Barcelona.

We were really devoted into finding the most representative of the Spanish Culture in terms of performing arts, gastronomy, landmarks, crafts and fun activities that would cheer up event participants and give the local culture a chance to  to show off and get in contact with foreign visitors. We wanted them to be excited about new aspects of the Spanish culture so a mix of folklore, arts, sophistication and excitement would do it. In 3 afternoons participants to the seminar get in touch with the history, the authentic and the contemporary Spanish life in Barcelona.

Not easy to do but fun to see it. We kept in mind what corporate meeting and events are about, but it was also important to keep in mind the fact that are human being those who attend. This  was a beautiful experience.

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