Trends + Concepts = Products in Saudi Arabia

Working with Saudi professional women from fields such as Marketing, Architecture, IT, Engineering, Consulting, Design and fashion has been and amazing experience apart from a great challenge. Women in the middle east are a strong professional power developing themselves in all industries and fields, becoming incredible and resilient entrepreneurs with many resources at hand. from online consultants to magazine editors they are everywhere with great ideas and incredible commitment.

In these professional sessions AlgoBueno joined Creative Dialog Association who with the support of Tashkeil and the British Council brought the Design Road Project to Jeddah. Our participation was centered in workshops and assessments to professional women developing skills for their business. More about the program and workshops can be found at the work-site 

Here some additional images of the sessions.

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Urban Picnic tiene nueva cara

urbanpicnicNuestro lifestyle blog en Facebook tiene nueva cara.

Urban Picnic es un espacio donde desde 2009 los temas e inquietudes de la vida urbana se comparten y comentan con humor y desenfado. tendencias, consumo, nutricion, vida sana, actualidad, cultura, media, diseño e ideas para hacer nuestra vida diaria un poco mejor y más interesante. Multiples puntos de vista y datos asombrosos nos acompañan cada dia gracias a la colaboracion de los miebros y a la increible creatividad de las ciudades que nos proporcionan cada dia más oportunidades para expandir nuestra vida.

para verlo y comentar  Urban Picnic: Life as a Sunday

EPIC Europe: Ethnography in Motion

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 Great people, great  presentations and  a very productive interaction would be our synthesis for this meeting. The need for a closer communication and exchange among professionals in the field and the dialogue with clients and innovation programs has been the main conversation topic in the workshops.  A longer meeting  that allows to go deeper in discussions and solutions and more networking activities were also a common wish.

Epic promotes Ethnography taken to a different level and builds networking mechanisms for those of us who work understanding people´s lives to help companies and institutions offer better opportunities in the market for them. Academia, Industry and Consultants meet around a traditionally social science that evolves and sees itself as more than just knowledge.

We wish to thank the organizers, the local staff and the volunteers for the great work they have developed and keep in touch with the new connections made. Highly recommended.

A Trend Overview of Dubai

Five days of intensive work, interviews, pictures and visits to different locations in Dubai showed us some of the most important trends and guidelines about how the city is transforming itself after the economic slowdown and which would be some of the future “hot topics” for emiratis in the next years.

We had the lucky coincidence to be there for the commemoration of the UAE´s 40th anniversary and its celebrations across town, letting us see many aspects of Dubai´s contemporary culture, identity and market opportunities.

As a city built for experiences Dubai features many opportunities and faces many challenges in the future scenarios we currently envision.

A work-in-progress website has been developed for those interested in following the analysis of Dubai Trends at https://sites.google.com/site/coolhuntingdubai/

Trending Dubai

A week of work in the streets of a city where everything is possible (even mission impossible), has brought to my attention a new way of approaching middle east and to find out, how few we know about our own civilizations.

The starting point is of course, the city: an amazing and shiny scenario built-in a very short time, where the biggest, the tallest and the more expensive can be found. The big boom is gone and left emiratis with a powerful infrastructure that would need to be filled by time, social interaction, a big challenge for  the government to develop a vision about the future and the participation of that 60% of foreign population living in Dubai.

New generations of locals and specially young emirati women,  have their own perspective: a deep and cosmopolitan pride about their roots, that would hopefully help them with the task, of keeping their wealthy children and grand children in the track the emirs envisioned for their people back in the 70´s.

I would describe the UAE as a young state (last week celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Union) born from a very old culture that turned sand in gold, changing the dunes for grass and pearl diving for financial investments. An d would approach Dubai as a very masculine city, filled with symbols of contemporary and very old lifestyles  focused on becoming the dream city of the present and still not planning in the long-term what their own present will bring. Luxury cars, endless highways leading to crystal skyscrapers are mixed with decorated bridges and the now invisible homes of harbor workers or fishermen that surrounded by white walls disappear under the sun.

Many question arise after a week of intense work in this city and many opportunities for building future scenarios too.

Consumerism,  Habitat,  Sustainability, Cultural Interaction, Heritage and Welfare are some of the topics to be commented in our following posts.

Urban Trends Dubai 2011/12 by Algo Bueno

From Nov 30 to Dec 8 we´ll be exploring Dubai, hunting for trends and innovative creation at the megametropolis of the eastern world, One of the most ambitious projects of the century, the city of Dubai offers visitors the most impressive architectural and technological developments of the Arab world.

Economical transformations of the global market have affected the Dubai project, currently facing more than one delay or unexpected situation in its development. New visitors, residents, creators and dynamics make of Dubai a trend mecca for the future, offering trend researchers a new view about many aspects of contemporary life (technology, luxury architecture, society, wealth, etc) . The east/west dialogue here has a new meaning as the presence of multiple cultures and beliefs produce infinite lifestyles that make the city move and change.

Our Journey will explore the urban lexicon, emerging aesthetics, bridges for creation, relationship and technology, urban dynamics, lifestyle exchange and consumption, habitat and environment and their interactions towards the development of new products and services in town.

Thanks to the invitation of Creative Dialog Association and the support of Dubai Culture, Tashkeel, Kingston University, Elisava School of Design in Barcelona, emirati artists and designers will explore the city with us for a week, finding inspiration and methodologies for new products, services and experiences in this wonderful city. Understanding the present to build future scenarios is the motto this time.

CrowdShopping for Groupon CityDeal

Some weeks ago  we were contacted by Groupon CityDeal,  who were interested in working with us towards offering interesting activities for their Group Deals, and we found this was an interesting opportunity to get to know this system from the inside and accepted the proposal as a learning experience.
Groupon is a Northamerican company created in 2008 by Andrew Mason based in Chicago USA and currently classified as the fasted growing company in history, due to its business model. It promotes discount vouchers to very large databases of users in more than 250 countries across the planet. People acquire discounts that are available for 24 or 48 hours only as a special collective deal.

groupon photocircuits promo

The first idea that came up at Algo Bueno was to create a PhotoCircuits promotion specially designed to fit a Christmas Gift and it had to be affordable, attractive and  desirable for a wide range of customers, and that is exactly what we did.
The way it works is very interesting and of course profitable. Groupon hunts for  interesting products or activities that can attract people massively in short time and partners with local products / services to promote  for 24 or 48 hours  with an attractive discount (40-80%).
So this is how it goes:

  1. An attractive product or service is chosen
  2. The Service/Product provider  finds out the biggest discount they can offer, looking for massive sales and promotion in a short time.
  3. Groupon opens a promotion for 24 hours offering your commodity directly to customers, who buy from Groupon’s website.
  4. Some promotions remains for an additional 24 more hours as a side promotion not in front page, offering customers the opportunity to still buy the promo.
  5. The promotion closes and they might have sold a big amount of commodities, but the sales results haven’t reached your business yet. A big amount of discount coupons have been sold by Groupon.
  6. Groupon provides you with a list of codes corresponding to the Vouchers that have been sold in the last 48 hours.
  7. You provide the service or sell the discounted product and then charge group in a period of 6 months.

The Bright Side
This represents a great opportunity to promote new services and products, to introduce new ideas to the public and to test future products and service at a great scale with a very low investment. Groupon reaches a very big number of potential clients interested in getting involved and wanting to try out new activities, products and services. Most of those potential clients are young middle class women with a good level of education and an open mind, looking for new opportunities and experiences.
This promotional space is fully pre-designed and impact is guaranteed, so the marketing research, clusters and database work is done, and no investment is required. Just a couple of good attractive ideas to bring more people’s attention to your business. The territory for the promotion has also been set by Groupon and there is the possibility of running multiple cities, sequences of cities or regions depending on the capacity of the company offering the commodity. You can choose one city or several depending on how your business runs.
Crowdshopping is a very good tool for entrepreneurs who wish to give impulse to their small businesses but do not have the resources to do it themselves. Designing these type of promotion is not an easy task but we can always give your company a hand with it you find it useful.

The Dark Side
Apparently a lot of people buy the promotion, but they did not really buy the commodity, they just a bought the intention to buy it.
A lot of people buy the Vouchers during the 24 to 48 hour promo, then those coupons have a validity of 6 to 24 months. In that period of time the service should be provided to the client. This gap in time, means that not every coupon becomes an effective sale. Since people buy and give these coupons as gifts to other people, that remain unused or forgotten during the period of validity. A lot people even forget they have bought the voucher, postpone making their purchase or reservation and finally loose it. Considering that not everyone uses the Vouchers, this system can be a great promotion tool for start up companies who wish to boost their communications, but not as a way to boost sales or increase revenue on new commodities.
Why? Users buy the commodity once, at an unreal price that most companies will not be able to sustain. They may be clients for that kind of offer, but not clients when the real price shows up  creating low price expectations on the rest of the products of the company promoted
It works in a similar way as:

  • Experience boxes (where you give to  something to your friends that may not be used, but you accomplish to give a present and fulfill a commitment)
  • Gift cards (when you do not know well the other person or care too little to take time to choose a gift)
  • Gym affiliations (where the intention is strong, but the commitment is low)
  • Insurance Policies (where driven by fear of possible tragedies you pay someone to protect you for things that may never happen)

And in general, all pre paid services that are available but consumers eventually never use. In this case sold by a third party that invest large amounts of money in self promotion to attract a massive number of coupon buyers.
Crowdshopping is a brilliant method that benefits all parts, consumers, companies and Groupon itself. We are currently observing all copycats and versions of this systems that may lead to new creative ways for consumer to act as prosumers with companies offering more accurate and desirable products and service at prices regulated by demand and not by speculation. Probably in the future, as Doc Searls from project VRM at Harvard University proposes, customers will manage service providers with Vendor Relationship management Systems instead of Companies managing them with the now almost obsolete CRM Systems.

Consumption is changing all markets and a revolution is going on.