Smartie Biking Goat Fans are Gaga

Goat's Milk


Cow’s milk might be the most popular healthy choice among North Americans, goat’s milk is actually a more popular choice of milk around the globe. Although dairy cows produce the highest amount of world milk supply, mostly in developed countries; more people choose goat’s milk more than milk of any other species worldwide. However, goat dairying is a vital sector to agriculture in developed countries such as France, Spain, Greece, etc. This shows goat’s dairy products are not necessarily synonymous with poverty or an underdeveloped business sector. Goat’s milk does not only provide the vital lines of nutritional and economical survival and well-being around the world, it has also been increasingly popular in the developed countries because of the recent trend in demand for healthy foods as well as those who suffer from lactose intolerance (i.e. allergic to cow’s milk). People who switched to goat’s milk has no ill effect because of the fatty acid and protein structure of goat’s milk is different than cow’s milk, making it a lot easier to digest. Furthermore, goat’s milk has 13% less cholesterol and 13% less lactose as well as 13% more calcium.

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Now that goat’s milk products have begun to enter the mainstream, there are many opportunities to do much more to help consumers recognize the value and benefits of goat’s milk and its products. There are two formidable barriers exist in marketing goat’s milk products are: 1) negative perception of goatly flavor and 2) seasonal milk production, which prevents year-around uniform marketing. However, multilingual language with accurate translation on the packaging could reduce the language barriers for all consumers, hence, allows consumers from different countries better understand goat’s milk and its values and benefits.

Product Improvement

The use of goat milk was on the rise in 2008, according to a survey of goat milk processors by the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. With this trend continuing, new goat milk products will hit store shelves in 2009 (Lan, 2009). For example, goat milk skin care products such as soaps and moisturizers of Deal Farm Soap Co. or Laloo's (R) Goat's Milk Ice-cream.

Consumer Perception

From negative perception of goatly flavor to healthy and smart choice that put the lactose problems behind, it all thanks to successful and effective marketing that include re-branding and re-packaging and all of the positive reviews in newspaper and magazines. Most importantly, words of mouth that was spreading around from all of the happy consumers.

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Smarties Candy Coating


Toronto, ON (April 16, 2009) - For over 50 years, Canadians of all ages have sucked them slowly, crunched them fast and even used the red ones for pretend lipstick. Today, "SMARTIES" announced they are now made with no artificial colours.
“SMARTIES" made with no artificial colours give mom one more reason to pick her kids’ favourite treat,” adds Beresford. “Plus, they still have the same great taste and crunch that have made "SMARTIES" such an enduring favourite for over half a century.”

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Consumers are now demanding that they know what is the food they are giving their children and companies are listening. Both Whole Foods and Trader Joe's are large grocery store chains in the USA and they both claim that the products they sell contain no artificial dyes. This is incredible bacause both stores sell products that are marketed towards children and most artificial food dyes are in found in food that is specifically marketed for children such as cereal, candy and juice drinks.


The change to no artificial colours will be communicated with a prominent ‘No Artificial Colours’ flash on the front of all "SMARTIES" packaging. As always, are available across Canada at a wide variety of retailers. The new colours are vibrant, pastel-like versions of the previous colours. Popular "SMARTIES" colours—red, orange, pink, brown, purple, yellow—are still available. Blue and green "SMARTIES" are not currently in the new mix, but green is anticipated to be added later in 2009.Nestle also markets "SMARTIES" for all holidays with special packaging and colour combinations. Eg: Halloween has orange and dark brown, Christmas has green and red.

Product Improvement

“SMARTIES" are a much-loved heritage brand, but we’re also in tune with evolving consumer attitudes,” says Kate Beresford, "SMARTIES" Brand Manager, Nestlé Canada. “The move to no artificial colours fits with the healthier lifestyles trend and greater demand for fewer artificial ingredients.”
The new colours are vibrant, pastel-like versions of the previous colours. Popular "SMARTIES" colours—red, orange, pink, brown, purple, yellow—are still available. Blue and green "SMARTIES" are not currently in the new mix, but green is anticipated to be added later in 2009. Nestlé’s research and development team is still developing a non-artificial blue colour that meets the company’s high quality standards.
The candy coating is now "Prepared from natural sources" which means that materials used to manufacture these colours are from vegetable, mineral or animal sources and are drawn from the CFIA list of Permitted Natural Colours in Canada (

Consumer Perception

Center for Public Science (CSPI) -- the Washington, D.C.-based consumer advocacy group, has a press release dated June 29,2010 and entitled “CSPI Says Food Dyes Pose Rainbow of Risks” references a 58-page report co-authored by Jacobson on the dangers of food dyes in our food supply. CSPI doesn’t mince any words in the report, singling out three dyes -- Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 -- as containing carcinogens. It also cites Blue 1, Red 40, Yellow 5 & Yellow 6 as causing allergic reactions in some people. Finally, it points out that Red 3, which “has been acknowledged for years by the Food and Drug Administration to be a carcinogen,” is still in the food supply. As a result, CSPI has called on the FDA to ban all dyes.
( Articles, Personal_Perspectives)

Yet, as more and more scientific research comes to light, the health benefits associated with eating chocolate, acknowledged since its discovery by the Oltecs in Central America, are ringing true. Consider the latest study published in the September issue of the Journal of Internal Medicine. The findings, tracked by Imre Janszky of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, indicate that heart attack survivors who eat chocolate two or more times per week cut their risk of dying from heart disease about threefold compared to those who don’t consume chocolate. This research adds to growing scientific evidence that chocolate improves blood flow. As a result, chocolate’s good health aura continues to have an impact on consumers, chocolate manufacturers and chocolate makers. As Courtney LeDrew, marketing manager for Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, explains, it’s clearly having an impact in the marketplace. “The most common product requests that we’ve been getting lately from our confectionery customers have been for natural products and for products that do not contain hydrogenated oils,” she says.
( Ingredient Intelligence, Back to it's Origins)

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Ergonomic Performance Bikes


A recumbent bike is an ergonomically designed bike where the rider sits in a laid-back position, has horizontal pedals, has comfortable steering, and is faster than an upright bike. The recumbent bike designs started taking shape in the 1860's and the first genuinely considered recumbent bike was in 1893.

"The Horizontal Bicyclette normale" - M. Challand, picture from "La Nature" October 1896.

But in a 1905 article titled "THE LATEST IN CYCLES" it said that “these bicycles are built for comfort and not alone for speed” which would have given the consumer a perspective that you couldn't go very fast which was quite the opposite. Another write up from 1910 said its top speed was less than 10mph when in fact, they could go well over 20mph. (see image below)

And again, in a 1919 photo the writer assumed that a comfortable bike could hardly be a fast bike, because of “the reclining posture” of its seat. (see image below)

In fact the recumbent was so fast that in 1933 a recumbent bike rider had broken a 20 year old record for distance most travelled in one hour by about one kilometre more, and as a result the recumbent bike finally started getting some good press and recognition.
But just one month later the bike was being questioned as to whether it was even considered a bike, and a year later the Union Cyclist International (UCI) committee withdrew the record and banned the recumbent from competition because of regulation disagreements. It was also rumoured that upright bike manufacturers and pro bike riders used their wealth and contacts to pressure the UCI in banning the recumbent. The recumbent bike was NOT good for upright bike business.
However, the ban seemed to have given the recumbent a more “edgier” persona. The pubic saw the recumbent now as a “forbidden” machine and enjoyed watching independent races between upright bikes vs. recumbent bikes very much. But, it still was not getting the mainstream exposure that the recumbent could have had through major compitition and rider endorsements, which is why it took another 40-50 years for it to resurface in popularity.


The recumbent bike today comes in so many styles, colours, and brands. They have recieved technology advancements to make it llighter, faster, and more aerodynamic and has numorous accessories that can be added to it.

Product Improvement

It wasn't until the 1970’s that the recumbent started getting more recognition with new designers and technology as well as during an oil crisis people were looking for alternative transport methods.
And now with the power of the internet, it has never been more popular through online sales, blogs, websites, and podcasts of people saying how great of a product a recumbent bike is. There are bent bike clubs, modern versions are even more comfortable due to fancy suspension systems, they are being made into exercise bikes, and even an off-road recumbent mountain bikes are now available.

Consumer Perspective

So, the consumers perspective has gone from "these bikes look comfy but they say they're not very fast" to, "wow, they're both fast, comfy, and cool!!". They are most popular in European countries, but North America and the rest of the world are quickly catching on.

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Bicycle History
Recumbent Bicycle

Lady Gaga


In the last 10 years, consumers began to use computers and computer networks as the primary means to record, store, distribute music. (wikipedia). It has impacted the music industry so hard like a 500 lbs giant rock landed on a beautiful and lovely cake of 30% profit margins on CD sales.
According to Wikipedia, “Total revenues for CDs, vinyl, cassettes and digital downloads in the U.S. dropped from a high of $14.6 billion in 1999 to $9 billion in 2008”. The transition had lead to massive layoffs, record store close downs, and artist-roster cuts at major labels.

With the negative impact, how did Lady Gaga sold over 15 million records worldwide along with 40 million singles worldwide? Before we explore the question, followed is an introduction of Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga, 24 years old, an American recording artist is truly a global phenomena. In 3 years, she has recruited over 14 million Facebook fans, 5 million Twitter followers and 300 thousand You Tube subscribers (FameCount). She is also the first artist to surpass one billion online video views. This has made her the most popular online living musician today. According to FameCount, “Lady Gaga is not only the most popular music star, she is the most followed global social media entity across any genre, including consumer brands”


Lady Gaga has two albums so far, The Fame and The Fame Monster. Her albums and singles had topped global music charts, earned hundreds of nominations and won many awards internationally. (See List of awards and nominations received by Lady Gaga on Wikipedia).
Some of her popular singles include Just Dance, Poker Face, Paparazzi, Bad Romance, Telephone and Alejandro.
Furthermore, Lady Gaga ranked 73rd Artist of 2000-10 decade by Billboard. She was included in Time Magazine's Time 100 list, one of the most influential people in the world. Forbes also listed Lady Gaga fourth on its list of the most powerful and influential celebrities in the world. Not surprised, Lady Gaga was listed Number 1 most creative people in business by Fast Company in 2010.


Lady Gaga has put together a package so unique that it not only gets people's attention and also differitiates herself (the product) from other artists. Singing is not the only element in her music videos and stage performance, she also includes visual theatrics and fashion. Watching her show is like living and experiencing in a “Gaga land”- a place that's unimaginable by normal human beings. See video.

She wears weird and yet creative costumes everywhere she goes. And that has earned her a spot in every social media every time she appears. Most people just can't turn their eyes away from the I-don't-even-know-how-to-describe costumes and millions follow and mimic her . See pictures
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Lady Gaga also packages her product in away that's easy for global consumer to access and at the same time engage these consumers. She puts her music video, interviews or meetings with fans on You tubes. She twits what's going on in her life or links to her performance on Twitter. To the 500 million active Facebook users, Lady Gaga sensationally says “Become my friend on Facebook — I'll never forget you” (Time-Quote of the Day)

Product Improvement

Since Lady Gaga was a little girl, she has devoted herself into music and craft. She creates her own performance and is often very picky of how it is done. Lady Gaga continues to improve the quality of her performance by creating new and memorable experience for her fans (consumers). In her engagement with the fans, she is at the front line of detecting their needs and wants. Lady Gaga always claims that what she does she does for her fans.

Furthermore, with booming online consumers and their font for digital music, Lady Gaga's team has uploaded many high quality music videos to You Tube.
In an interview, Troy Carter,Founder & CEO, Coalition Media Group and worldwide Manager for Lady Gaga said openly that he and Lady Gaga “create music videos for YouTube.”

Consumer Perspective

In an essay, Digital music and how the consume became king, Alain levy the chairman and CEO of EMI Music claims that consumers' turn to digital music has changed how music artists present and market their content.
He also states, “The heartbeat of the internet has always been and remains its ability to leverage social connections and give the consumer a voice. Technology and new business models in the last few years have simplified those connections and given music fans a much louder voice.”

Lady Gaga has grasped the transition so well that she presents and markets her product on multiple internet platforms- Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and iTunes.
Her ability to engage her fans and connect with them diminishes traditional layers between superstar and fans (consumers). She calls her fans “little monsters” and herself the “Mother Monster”. She goes further to name her 2nd album “The Fame Monster”

How does Lady Gaga reacts to the shift of Consumer Perception to download free music?
She explains she doesn't mind about people downloading her music for free, "because you know how much you can earn off touring, right? Big artists can make anywhere from $40 million [£28 million] for one cycle of two years' touring. Giant artists make upwards of $100 million. Make music -- then tour. It's just the way it is today." (Source)

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Wikipedia-Lady Gaga
Wikipedia-2000s in the Music Industry

Lady Gaga's Social Media Success and Strategy
Lady Gaga Says No Problem If People Download Her Music; The Money Is In Touring
What Can an Artist Learn From Lady Gaga on Branding?
Fast Company- Lady Gaga- Most Creative People 2010
The Most Outrageous Lady Gaga’s Costumes
The Wall Street Journal
The 2010 Time 100
Fame Count
Lady Gaga-official site

Sports Fans - Skateboarding


Skateboarding was first started in the 1950's, when all across California surfers got the idea of trying to surf the streets when there was no waves, commonly referred to as "sidewalk surfing". The first skateboards were homemade and consisted of clay or steel roller-skate wheels attached to planks of wood. In 1959, the "Roller Derby Skateboard" appeared on the market. It was the first mass-produced skateboard.

Roller Derby Skateboard

In 1963 surfboard manufacturers such as "Hobie" and "Makaha" began producing skateboards that resembled small surfboards. The boards themselves were wooden and the wheels were typically made of clay. The popularity of skateboarding grew, and the first skateboarding contest was held in Hermosa, California, in 1963. By the mid-1960s skateboarding was decried as unsafe and its popularity began to wane. Many still interested in the activity again resorted to making their own boards at home.
In 1972, Frank Nasworthy revolutionized skateboarding with his invention of the urethane skateboard wheel. Nasworthy named his invention "Cadillac" wheels. Due to the increased stability, maneuverability and speed allowed by urethane wheels, the popularity of skateboarding began to grow. Advancements were made in board construction. Mass-produced skateboards were offered in a wider variety of shapes and materials, such as wood, plastic, aluminum and fibreglass.

A California drought in 1976 resulted in many empty swimming pools. Enterprising skateboarders would skate inside the empty pools creating new styles and maneuvers.
Skateboarding was no longer just for flat ground as skateboarders were now skating on vertical surfaces and performing aerial tricks.
The first skate park was built in Florida in 1976 to accommodate the new styles of skateboarding.

Skate Park in Davis,California

Many skate parks were forced to close in the early 1980s due to the high cost of insurance. Skaters began to build their own ramps with vertical surfaces and the style of skateboarding on such ramps and performing aerial maneuvers became known as vert skating. Concurrent with the development of the vert style was freestyle skating, which involved intricate tricks performed on the flat ground. The new and varied styles of skateboarding resulted in the development of new board shapes and equipment specific to each style. "Street" style skateboarding arose in the mid-1980s as skateboarders developed maneuvers suited to such urban terrain as stairs, handrails and banks.

Skateboarding Rules


From Tony Hawk Computer Games to "The Simpsons Movie", it has become part of popular culture. One of the big success stories of skateboarding has been the transition of skate clothing brands into high street stores.

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Skateboarding brands from Billabong Clothing to Zoo York , and shoe companies such as Etnies and Vans were originally founded by people that were involved in sports like skating and surfing and now can be found in most major shopping outlets.
This has resulted in many of the top clothing brands producing innovative designs that have attracted the attention of those outside of their key demographic.
Etnies shoes are a skateboarding brand that was started by a professional skateboarder from France and Volcom clothing was started by a couple of skate and snowboarding fans.
A few other popular brands are Quiksilver, DC Shoes, Hurley International, and Zoo York.

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Product Improvement

Skateboarding was brought into the mainstream in 1995 when the sport was included in the ESPN-sponsored X-Games in Rhode Island. Skateboarding thus became very popular as a spectator sport and a big money maker for an increasing number of new companies and corporate sponsors. Professional skateboarders began to earn higher salaries than before for their endorsements and participation in contests. Skateboarding currently includes the many forms and styles developed throughout its history. Many types of boards and wheels are widely available to suit any style. The sport enjoys more mainstream legitimacy and visibility than ever before.

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Images above depict the evolution and advancement of skateboarding.

Consumer Perspective

The Skateboarding Consumer Research Study 2005, conducted from June 1- July 30, 2005, included thousands of participants between the ages of 13-24-years-old from 49 different regions based on a representative sampling of skateboarders and a highly screened demographic of those most interested in learning to skate. Label Networks, producers of the Study, are widely known for their street-level global youth marketing intelligence and research fromNorth America, Europe, Japan, and China. By creating the most in-depth consumer study from America that captures data from young skateboarders and those who most want to learn, the goal of the Study is to provide brand leaders, agencies, and designers in skateboarding and related lifestyle industries with a new resource for authentic, consumer-based research from which to make the smartest business decisions.

Marketplace Changes + Potential: New market trends illustrate where the greatest potential lies, such as the female and youth marketplaces, plus changes in perception of skateboarding-inspired footwear, denim, T-shirts, accessories. Marketplace changes are also apparent in hardgoods based on what’s taking shape in decks, trucks, and wheels. Comparing results of skaters and would-be skaters indicate market opportunities based on shopping patterns and explain the age-increase of those who shop in Specialty Skateboard Stores.

Change in Perceptions: Skateboarding in the past has always attracted fringe players and original personalities, but now in its Tony Hawk phase, skateboarding is clearly a mainstream activity in youth markets. This Study details the future concerns of skaters, changes in brand perceptions, and comparisons with those who are most interested in learning to skate, thus insight into the market potential based on the shifting lifestyle aspects of the sport.The modern public skatepark is relatively new, made possible by legislation such as California's 1998 law stating that skateboarding is an inherently "Hazardous Recreational Activity" (HRA), and therefore municipalities and their employees may not be held liable for claims of negligence resulting in skateboarders' injuries.

New Skater Insight: What will it take to grow the sport, but keep it ‘core, and continue the dynamic nature of this notorious industry? Who’s driving trends now and what’s the profile of future skaters? Such questions are answered within the Skateboarding Consumer Research Study 2005.

Overall, for industry leaders looking to maximize their strategies as they pertain to the youth culture marketplace based on the ripple effects from the influential industry of skateboarding, the Skateboarding Consumer Research Study 2005 provided a vital resource for gaining trend insight and knowledge from quantitative and qualitative research.

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Etnies Shoes
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DC Shoes
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Skateboarding- A Brief History
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Rip Stik