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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AlpineAire

How does design thinking move a bottom-of-the-shelf, fourth place brand to achieve a ninety percent leap in sales, jump to the lead position on shelf and continue to gain more share years into the future?

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IBM or Watson?

Should we ask Watson to rebrand IBM?

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Thought Experiment: A World Without Innovation

Please note: this post originally appeared on the Front End of Innovation blog.

How would you describe a world without innovation?

We are heading into our annual trip to Boston for the Front End of Innovation conference. And, in honor of our book, The Physics of Brand we’ve identified an appropriate thought experiment.

What would the world be like without innovation? For those of us living, working and thriving in the “innovation” universe, it seems like heresy to even write this thought experiment. We are taught in business school, “innovation is the only sustainable competitive advantage.” We grow...

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Unlocking Creativity: FUSE Day 1

"Everything is people-centered."

The first day of Fuse is nearly wrapped up, and it's clear that everyone's focus is on one thing: creating memorable experiences for people. Not consumers - people.

Taking that to heart, below you will find easy and digestible summaries from a few of the presentations so far. Think theSkimm but with more uses of the word "innovation".

Christian Martinez: Communication In A Mobile-First World

Overarching point: Our desire to connect is what makes us human, and though the methods we use to communicate change dramatically, the desire for trust and community will always remain constant.

Key takeaways + stats: -One minute of video is...

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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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