Entries Tagged as 'Tech Thoughts'

5 Great Reads to Inspire You This 2014


I’ve always believed that Christmas is the only time of year you can really switch off. People all over the world are genuinely not at work, that red Blackberry light isn’t flashing and you’re not rushing to and from meetings. Whilst I’ll be watching myflashtrash.com like a hawk, this is one of the few times in the year that, wherever you are in your career, you’re free of the micro day to day tasks giving you the time to really think macro. Where is your business going in 2014? What are you own personal goals? Write down your plans and let the sky be the limit. With determination and a to-do list nothing is impossible. So in between the turkey and the wrapping paper, why not use the holidays as a time to get off your laptop and into a thought provoking book? Here’s my top eight reads to get you inspired for 2014.
1. The Everything Store – Winner of the 2013 FT & Goldman Sachs Business Book Of The Year Award- this definitive biography by Brad Stone charts the birth and rise of Amazon.com 
2. The Greatness Guide – Robin Sharma of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari fame, packs another powerful motivational punch with this clever little hand book. Split into short chapters (lessons) you’ll be revved up with inspiration before you know it.  
3. Nassim Nicholas Taleb – an author, trader and mathematics professor examines what randomness means in business and life and the role of dumb luck in most human success.   
4. Man’s Search For Meaning – A physcatricst’s account of surviving the Holocaust. Deeply moving and insightful, a powerful book that sheds light on a human’s true strength of character and ability to survive through the most challenging of struggles. One to sense check the reality of your issues and drive you forward.   
5. Thinking Fast & Slow – This cult book will challenge you to disrupt the way you think. Giving you practical techniques to make better decisions, full of self-help value and intellectual surprises. A must read.  
6. The Happiness Hypothesis – What will really make you happy in 2014? Love, money, success? Psychologist Jonathan Haidt challenges the norms.  
7. The Meaning of Things – I’m always challenging my team to be more observational because the unconsidered life, as Socrates put it, is not worth living. AC Grayling’s books are always enlightening and this one, in particular, is an invaluable lesson about what’s truly important in life.  
8. The Social Animal –  I believe deeply in the will power of the unconscious mind and this best-seller delves into the curious power of the mind and our ability to dictate our own success.

What if brands made their slogans honest?


Transparency and honesty  have emerged as trends in brand building in the last year, with company’s like Everlanewho are creating greater traceability throughout the supply chain, gaining considerable traction. Instagram has provided a great platform for brands to convey that transparency through images of sketches, workshops and the offices and studios where the people behind the product work. Video uploads in tandem with this are consistently more apparent on my feed from brands, like DollMemories (a Russian apparel company), that uses the feature to show beautiful clips of their illustrator creating incredible drawings.  
As supply chains become more accessible to consumers, Instagram lead businesses are thriving as enterprising individuals capitalize on the network’s unprecedented commerce function.  I’ve seen overwhelming growth in individual jewellery brands who are curating product from wholesalers and branding it (If only I had that marketing tool back when I started My Flash Trash from my dorm room at school! Armed only with wordpress and facebook as a marketing platform) The creative process and manufacturing is getting honest, but what if brand’s slogans became honest too? My top picks from new site honestslogans

Are online sizing tools really the best way for retailers to reduce returns?


ASOS Chief Executive Nick Robertson said a 1 percent fall in returns would immediately add 10 million pounds ($16 million)to the company’s bottom line. The debated ‘basket sealing’ offering off ‘Free Returns’ from online retailers is widely expected by US consumers and increasingly demanded by their UK counterparts- but with up to half of all clothes bought online being sent back is that up lift in sales actually damaged by increased returns?  

A wave of virtual fitting room, and sizing tech start-ups are attempting to minimise costly returns for retailers by personalising the shopping experience. But will consumers really want to reveal their vital statistics and go to the trouble of measuring themselves?  If you don’t have to return something then clearly that is a better experience than having to return something. In Online Jewellery we see an increasing number of shoppers coming in to our Flash Trash showroom to try before they buy, whilst we will continue to offer this service, ultimately we see a lower return rate in the jewellery that is most accurately and beautifully displayed in product and model shots. Good photography and video content remain key as ASOS’s popular catwalk feature proves. A huge selling point- thousands of young female shoppers can voyeristically see themselves sashaying down a runway. (I’d still rather see that and imagine it was me than see a digitised online model of myself in the dress.) House of Fraser is another retailer trialling size tech with their true fit tool, whilst Warby Parker offers an impressive 5 pairs, 5 days 100% free at home trial. (I cannot even begin to imagine what that is like to manage, chasing consumers to return the not 1 but 5 pairs) So as retailers scramble to deliver the most efficient omni-channel strategy what are the  return-reducing tools out there right now?

1) Sizing Tools

Companies like Fits.me create virtual fitting rooms for brands. I really don’t know how useful this is…how many women really want to measure themselves and store these details online? I can see a privacy leak scandal now….So I have to enter all of my measurements and then see a stranger’s body represent how it would look. ( see below) Whilst the tech is slick, the overall experience does not incentivise me to buy- I’d still rather go into a store, or take a risk and buy and return it. Perhaps new ‘luxury angled’ sizing tool start up Befittd will offer a better experience..


( The Virtual Fitting Room on LK Bennett)

2) ShowRooms

E-commerce still only accounts for 15 percent of total garment sales. Just imagine if ASOS had a huge TopShop style Oxford Circus FlagShip, where you can try on until your heart’s content. Providing somewhere consumers can hang out, and feel cool (Apple Stores, Private Brand Member Clubsand try out products still seems the most viable option to link products online with a real life experience that is more than a packed high street store, overloaded with merchandise and a queue for the fitting rooms.  

( The Warby Parker Show Room)

3) Augmented Reality

 I love watching the steps company’s like Holtion and Blippar are taking to make enjoyable 3D digital experiences. Whilst that often means printing out a piece of paper with a barcode on for the webcam tool to use- the effects on screen are still pretty cool. The steps right now are not dissimilar from a virtual fitting service, but as the tech improves with projections and more I think this is an exciting tool to watch.

Holition Portfolio from Holition AR on Vimeo.

4) Social Approval Tools

My Instagram feed is full of people’s photos of themselves in dressing rooms..should they buy this dress or jumper? Apps like Go Try It On (recently acquired by Rent The Runway) allow users to vote on each others outfits, if you know 50 friends have liked that pair of shoes you just bought, im guessing your chances of keeping them is pretty high. The inclusion of social buttons on product pages or MADE’s customer review programme (that offers a £15 voucher code incentive for customers who share a photo of their Made purchases at home) is another social tool that counts.


Consumers are increasingly uploading an image of the product they just bought to Instagram- tagging or @’ing the brand. If there was a way for the brand to not only like back but get it’s follower base to like the photo too- making it one of the most liked photos of the users page- then those thoughts of social approval and ‘cool points’ are definitely going to remove any  intention of returning. Maybe the solution for this lies in a specific affiliates network or own brand social platform with a gaming structure and rewards.. 

5 Awesome Things I saw on the Internet this week


From Instagram traction to pavement advertising attraction, check out the Top 5 things I stumbled upon this week!

1. I love this PHONE BLOKS idea from Dutch designer Dave Hakkens – mobile industry disruption and true, practical personalisation.

    2. Hipsters, wannabe hipsters, and just all around Brooklyn lovers can now purchase a genuine Piece of Brooklyn and in return $1 will be contributed to the Brooklyn Arts Council.  Nice update on the 90’s buy a piece of the moon/stars idea.   Travel concepts in general seem to translate really well commercially as I’ve experienced with my city bracelets.



3. Everyone is on instagram and every brand is trying to figure out ways to engage and convert followers. I think the gaming elements of instagram are exciting and there’s tons of brands experimenting with more than just giveaways. Australlian boutique hotel 1888 is giving a free stay away for anyone with over 10k followers, giving each follower a value of $40.

4. Fun visual ad from Brothers Landscaping. A fusion of street and community is a nice way to spread the love! We had a lot of people take a heart from our FLASH TRASH poster that went up around San Fran last year.



5. Walk down Shoreditch High Street and you’ll no doubt stumble across some guerrilla advertising. Mainly stencils that are put down before a ‘flash clean’ so the pavement is branded with a message. Sea World did some fun ads like these using stencils and water which lasted for a while in the sunshine but what about a stencil you only see when it rains? Emerging from a HomeDepot Forum it’s never wet…perfect for a weather centric brand to define it’s marketing message.

If you don’t make things happen then things will happen to you. #amberattitudes

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