Vendor Watch - ALT TERRAIN

They seem to be a cool guerilla firm.

ALT TERRAIN's mission is to be the premier industry resource for Integrated Alternative
Media and Brand Experience Marketing. ALT TERRAIN creates and implements integrated alternative media and brand experience marketing campaigns that authentically engage and influence consumers.

They specialize in providing advertising agencies, PR firms, marketing agencies, and media
planning/buying companies with opportunities to create consumer connections, ignite word-
of-mouth, and build relevant experiences for their client's brands.

Nontraditional media and marketing platforms are based on propriety lifestyle research, return on investment, cultural trends, touchpoint insights, and the constant analysis of the
changing relationship between consumers and media.



How Companies Turn Customers' Big Ideas into Innovations

strategy+business/Knowledge@Wharton White Paper
January 12, 2005

Traditional product development has portrayed the inventor, from Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs, as the hero. The truth is, though, successful product innovation has always required imagination and incisive action from heroes in the lab and in marketing. Whether it's wizards in Menlo Park or Xerox PARC leading the way, the best product development and commercialization processes are based on a dynamic and complex exchange of ideas and interests among engineers, marketing experts, and the end-consumer.

From Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs, the conventional view of product development has always portrayed the inventor as the hero. In fact, the inventor is only part of the process. Edison himself hinted as much when he described the inventor as being a “specialist in high-pressure stimulation of the public imagination.”

Click here to read the entire White Paper

Cool Quote: 01.13.05

"The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself." - Peter F. Drucker



TRENDWATCHING.COM now allows instant access, 24/7, to all of its published trends, newsletters, updates etc. A great source of new ideas around the world and potential business opportunities. Its good to subscribe to its newsletters as well.



Building a Brand by Not Being a Brand

Some people seek their calling. For others, like Dov Charney, it is bred in the bone. "I think I was born a hustler," said Mr. Charney, the fast-talking founder of American Apparel, the rapidly expanding youth-oriented T-shirt chain. "I like the hustle. I like selling a product that people love. It's nice when a girl tries on a bra or a tie-dye T-shirt, and it's, `Ooh, I love it,' " he said, affecting an ecstatic moan. Mr. Charney cultivates his faintly off-color persona, part garmento, part 1970's pornographer. In fact, he works it studiously, as attested by a photo of him in his store on Orchard Street on the Lower East Side, which shows him preening in a snug polo shirt and white belt, his mustache scrolling from his upper lip to his mutton-chop whiskers. He is nearly a ringer for the photographer Terry Richardson, famous downtown for bringing the aesthetics of soft-core pornography to fashion photography. The image is meant to resonate with a target market of 20-somethings. Urban hipsters — and some of their elders, too — are scooping up Mr. Charney's form-fitting T-shirts, underwear, jersey miniskirts and hooded sweatshirts, sold in white-on-white stores that double as art galleries. On the walls of the 26 American Apparels that have sprouted across the country and in Europe and Asia are snapshots of 1970's suburban proms and Christmas Eves, poster-size blowups of seedy Los Angeles storefronts, surfers, skateboarders and, not incidentally, scantily outfitted street kids vamping for the lens...Perhaps most important to younger consumers who have grown suspicious of corporate branding, there is not a logo in sight. A business built on the mystique of no mystique, American Apparel had sales of $80 million in 2003, which are expected to double this year, as they have in each of the last four years, Mr. Charney said. He is planning to open 14 more stores before Christmas. Fast outgrowing its status as an under-the-radar phenomenon, the chain is seen as a new model for the marketing of hip...Consumers may like Mr. Charney's management style, but industry insiders are more impressed by his marketing skills, which they say are in tune with a cultural shift. "There is a highbrow stand against commercial culture right now," said Alex Wipperfürth, a partner in Plan B, a marketing firm in San Francisco. "People are sick of being walking advertisements for clothing. By stripping brands of logos and of pretense, by being more subtle in your cues, you are saying that you are more about quality than image."

By RUTH LA FERLA, NYT, November 23, 2004

Read the whole article

Visit American Apparel's website


Cool Quote: 1.6.05 - That's not the only thing that is ironic Tony...

"The irony about selling out is that they only call you a sell-out when your stuff finally sells - I've had products bearing my name since I was 14, but nobody was buying them then." - Tony Hawk, professional skateboarder


Vendor Watch - BzzAgent

As lovers of good vendors, I've decided to add a new regular segment on the hypermediate blog. As new and/or interesting agencies or resources we'll post them for us to check out, in case any of us are in the market. Scott, this particular vendor looks like it might be a good one for 180s.

If you come across any good groups, send them along for posting.

BzzAgent, a small Boston company recruits thousands of propaganda agents who agree to talk up certain companies and products to their friends, family and colleagues. Its clients have included Anheuser-Busch, Estée Lauder and Monster Worldwide.