hi, its me florian. last year i turned 40 and started an experiment. no news. no fu*** news anymore! i woke up after having my cell phone up and running with news sites CNN, BBC and others. i fell asleep still reading those sites. it was an addiction which didnt even please me. a total waste of time i thought and BOOM i deleted all the bookmarks and ... waited. nothing. a bit of an itchy feeling to check them sites again but, hey. it worked. just like back in 1996 when i through out my TV. same thing. went from stupid ads to amazing movies on DVD's or torrents.
at the same time i started following the pod casts of Tim Ferris. inspirational. exciting. new. reading a lot of his posts and listening to his interviews while spinning wheels. wow. how easy to acquire loads of knowledge and experience from those people.
fell in love with this openness towards sharing what you learned on the way. fell in love with the stories. and then. amazon. click to buy. yep. the books just flew in like mosquitoes. ordered a dozen of them and then. read. and read. and read. such a beautiful way to learn. much better than reading blogs or anything else. so much details and so much depth of information.
read Ed Catmull's Creativity.Inc or Ben Horowitz's last one. great ones. next i may order Steve Jobs. but the one which got me the most was Eric Ries's Lean Startup. clean, easy to understand and soooo true. just the way things should be done. and then listening to Steve Blank's videos totally got me hooked on the lean development and all its ideas.
so i thought why not just following their concepts and exchanging the idea with friends we thought why not just going public. public with the entire process building a brand from scratch. the blog was put up in a matter of hours. and now we will (not see where we will end up) but much more we shall carefully watch each step and we walk. and if there are dark corners or paths in the maze we are going to discover - just stop, think, learn and decide where to go next. the final destination is set by the quality and outcome of the conversation between all people involved. not just us but more importantly you. and you.
why DWNTWN ?
Downtown is more than a place in a city, its where most of the cities public life takes place. its where the heart and brain of cities are located. its where you meet your friends, family and colleagues for lunch, coffee or dinner. its where you hang out with your first date. its where you're having your first burger just hours before your first hangover. its where all the offices are, the cool shops and malls, the best restaurants in town and great places to hang out on the street watching bypassers watching you. its where subways, skytrains, busses and trams meet and exchange their guests like we do exchange words while talking. its where there are skyscrapers, taxis, homeless and the ones with one.
many years ago, together with my dear friend and neighbour Uli, we had this idea to start a fashion brand. simple T-Shirts with a print on their front. the print - the name of a city. the name spelled just wrong. like Zao Baolo or Puenos Airez. quite stupid actually but we thought it would attract and please a massive amount of people of those very destinations while disturbing them at the same time. this idea went a bit further. we printed 100 shirts with 15 different names of cities on each continent. and then wore it. and tried to figure out how people in the street would feel. but sure, back than in 2007 we haven't had a clue how to test such idea nor did we know hoe to offer it via the web. we still wear those shirts.
this idea sunk down into the past but somehow when we started DWNTWN we came back to the same kind of approach. to address a place, or person, or feeling which everybody could relate to. which would be easy to refer to and which would be globally understandable. and after a dozen of a dozen of idea we finally ended up with DWNTWN. which is probably the only place in a city where everybody has been at least once or twice. which most meetings with friends took place and which most of us do have a very special feeling about.
what does a brand stand for? how did the phenomenon of a brand evolve? who is involved into the creation of a brand?
we all believe that the customer follows the brand, that the brand was there first and the customer went for it, tried it and endorsed it to the extent of being more than a physical product.
however we believe that the origin of each brand is actually the other way around, that the customer steered a particular manufacturer or service provider into a certain direction. a direction which the customer wanted the product or service to go because there was nothing else before covering specific expectations and needs of the customer.
in todays world, where everything is at our fingertips at instant speed we started to forget about this initial conversation between the manufacturer and his customer. we assume that putting a branded environment in front of the customer will eventually convince and lure the customer into the artificially constructed world of such a brand.
not to fall for this trap we start out with exactly this very conversation with each and every individual which walks into our live in order to learn from and for. in order to get an idea what you actually want. in order to avoid wasting energy and time walking roads which nobody follows.
the DWNTWN blog shall be the place where we interact with you and your pals anywhere in the world on an either personal or anonymous basis to exchange ideas, to learn and to get directed towards an outcome which shall be the most 'wanted' out of all the ideas flying around in our headz.
do you think its the right way to start working on a brand ? would you like to be part of such an experiment?
who would have thought that we once have the guts and ability to start a brand just exactly where we actually want it to arrive at. at the customers side. yes, we wont do any step without asking you. this blog will showcase the process of a lean brand development with customer involvement from the first minute. we started this blog based on a youtube video of Steve Blank, a genius entrepreneur and lecturer at various US universities.
welcome to the crowd experiment
identifying the identity of..