The Importance of Being Fresh

Five years ago Capsule was invited to participate in a General Mills project to study the concept of “fresh.” The group inside was a super-secret innovation team that resembled a SEAL squad. They had the ability to drop into any situation, study it deeply, produce profound insights and then facilitate ideation sessions with brand teams.

If you’re an innovation, research or consumer behavior geek, this would have had you salivating to a degree requiring a napkin. I carried one around the entire time. We won’t get into any more detail on the findings, methods or outcomes for General Mills because I’m not willing to give up my first born.<...

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Global Research on Moment Design

Our clients and friends at Patagonia recently commissioned our team to conduct a global study around the most valuable moments for their brand. If you’ve read up on our past work with Patagonia, you might have heard that when choosing a partner to work with, Patagonia always considers the question “are you willing to spend a week in a tent with these people?” We may be biased, but we have found this to be an excellent decision-making criteria. Yet, as we all know, the first opportunity to work together could be the last. Doing great work gets you invited back into the tent for another project.

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The Birth of Otso Cycles

The romance we have with the two wheeled vehicles is long and packed with history, going back to our work with Schwinn, Yakima and a variety of other brands. Many of the Capsule staff pause to watch a bike pass by our big windows and would readily admit to touching a stranger's bike without permission. It isn't something we're embarrassed about, we just love what the bike embodies: freedom, human energy, adventure, exercise and living life in balance.

So, when we got a visit from the entrepreneurs at Wolf Tooth Components to launch a new brand of bikes, the...

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Behind the Name: Towerside is Reaching New Heights of Innovation in Minneapolis-Saint Paul

What is Towerside? As Minneapolis-Saint Paul’s first innovation district, Towerside represents a new way of thinking about a significant area of underdeveloped land in the heart of the Twin Cities. The district is served by three Green Line LRT Stations, at the geographic center of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul interstate highway system and adjacent to the University of Minnesota’s athletic and bio-discovery facilities. It is a community that brings together brewing and biotech, robotics and rain gardens, and textiles and transit.

Towerside, previously known as the University Avenue Innovation District, partnered with Capsule to secure a name that would reflect the vibrancy of the area where Minneapolis and Saint Paul connect. This 370 acre neighborhood...

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Social Media Makes Fancy Food More Consumable

Stepping into the Javits Center last week for Fancy Food was exciting. After a significant hiatus, Fancy Food landed back on my networking calendar and I was amazed to see how the show had grown. Here are the most recent attendance stats from Specialty Food Association.

47,000+ industry professionals 2,670 exhibitors 400 first-time exhibitors

These numbers confirmed what my feet were telling me on the last day of the show. I need to bring a few additional team members next year to help cover ground. Really, how can one person adequately navigate these show floors that equal the size of six football fields? It certainly can’t be done on...

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I need more than the tiny spoon, please.

Capsule team members cover a lot of ground. This year alone we’ve “set up shop” in dozens of U.S. and international cities. We go where the design conversations take us. So, where am I off to this week? Capsule is headed to New York for the Fancy Food show. (If you could see my face right now you would fully understand the joy this brings...

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Stop with the Apple to Apple comparisons, please

One day, just over fifteen years ago we were in a meeting with a Silicon Valley client and discussing the importance of design thinking. We were introducing the client to some friends at IDEO and talking about findings from research we did on their brand experience.

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Does Co-Working Make Us More Innovative?

While in Boston for the Front End of Innovation Conference our team had a chance to learn about District Hall, a one-of-a-kind hub for innovation. Featuring various event spaces, cafes, and co-working spots, District Hall is meant to accommodate “everything from off-site brainstorm sessions to cocktail receptions, from hackathons to award ceremonies, from annual meetings to dance parties.”

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Aaron Keller to speak at the SCPD Annual Conference

Aaron will participate in the morning discussion on Friday, June 3rd at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul.

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Innovation Brewed and the Samuel Adams Brewery Tour

Each year at FEI we get a few tours of local organizations and hear how they approach the Front End of Innovation. This year was the Samuel Adams Brewery and it may be hard for any future year to top this experience. Sad, but true.

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