Designed by You, Built for Life.

How do you captivate today’s consumer, who wants customization and personalization for any product? How does a specialty retailer compete with the big brands and mega-retailers that provide this, and turn a profit at the same time?

That was the question New Normal Consulting was asked after being approached by Hexa Recreation Products, a high-end international manufacturer of premium customized goods. After extensive research to determine the best approach, New Normal approached Capsule to bring their concept to life. The custom jacket kiosks would be displayed at two boutique outdoor stores: Ute Mountaineer in Aspen, Colo. and Midwest Mountaineering in Minneapolis.

After several design concepts and 3D models were rendered, a...

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Capsule 18: Must-Reads From Our Library

In celebration of turning 18 this year, the Capsule team takes a look at some of the things we have learned on our journey to adulthood. This week, we delve into our favorite reads from the shelves of the Capsule library.

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Integrated vs. Orchestrated

We can't trust advertising, but we can trust an experience.

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Sweet Design

In honor of World Chocolate Day, we had some of our packaging and design experts weigh in on some of the best chocolate brands.

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Best Buy: Turn it Around or Turn it Upside Down?

Please note: this post originally appeared on the Omnishopper blog.

If you’ve been in business in the last two decades, you’ve likely heard of turnaround situations or perhaps spent some time in the middle of one. Turnaround, often called a “company doctor” situation in the UK, has become an industry in itself. The metaphor of visiting a doctor works nicely as the company doctor can push, probe and prod us to find where it hurts and diagnose ailments.

Now, put yourself inside Best Buy just five years ago and consider what you’re facing. Retail is getting more competitive...

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The Sweet Smell of Retail Success

You don’t have to earn an MBA to know retail is suffering. In the age of Amazon Prime and big department stores closing (RIP downtown Minneapolis Macy's), it’s a new challenge to inspire shoppers to visit a brick and mortar store. But while many retailers are faced with empty stores and declining foot traffic, UK-based Lush cosmetics is still expanding their retail locations in the U.S.

How?

Simply put: you have to visit their store to get the Lush experience. 

The experience begins before you even walk in the door. Right before entering, the smell of vanilla, honey...

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Chasing the Dragon

First impressions are important. This is made painfully evident in high-pressure situations like a first date or job interview, and everyone does their best to design the best possible first impression. Do you fully consider this when managing a brand? The importance is profound, yet often has the easiest win in the arena of experience design.

“Chasing the dragon” is a drug reference. The idea is this: the first time you take any particular drug, the feeling is so dramatic it is seldom replicated on subsequent experiences. Part of the addiction is a desire to get back to that first moment or, using 1950s ad language, that first impression. This same idea applies to discovering...

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W.A.A.B.F.B?

Why are acronyms bad for brands?

The first rule of naming, don’t describe your product, company or service in your name. Why? Not only does your product, service, and company change, but it reduces your chances of trademark ownership and does not help memorability. Three strikes and your desire to describe is sitting on the bench instead of playing ball.

But what if you’ve been building some brand value in your descriptive name? And you’ve found a lack of receptivity from the USPTO.gov for ownership of your trademark? The answer in the past was go acronym or bust. This is why...

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Ring Lesson #3: Be Fearless

Today I met the brand icon, Martha Stewart. When I was in my 20s, I was intrigued by her. In my 30s, I learned from her. In my 40s, I envied her. Now, at the wonderful age of 50, I admire her. Why? Because she is fearless.

We’ve watched Martha build an empire, potentially fall from grace and emerge (wearing a stylish and sassy poncho) more bad-ass than ever. I use the term bad-ass with the utmost respect. I think Martha would approve because her drive comes from a deep desire to provide her followers with the very same recipes, home ideas, products and “Good Things” that...

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Ring Lesson #2: Fight with Anxiety-Inducing Creativity

The theme for FUSE this year is Change by Design. Change seems to be a recurring theme within a lot of general conversations. Why? Because change is inevitable, necessary and we as human beings like/need to talk about things that scare us. Change is scary. And as Clark Scheffy from IDEO stated, change is also hard. Today’s speakers collectively addressed the topic of Change by Design from very different experiences. It was a day filled with inspiring lessons learned from Facebook, Dolby, Coke, Apple, Citi, Kiehl’s, Kellogg’s and new to FUSE (I think), DreamWorks Animation and Cirque du Soleil. My main takeaway from today is what I am calling Ring Lesson #2 –...

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