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Wednesday, December 22, 2010


in the business world and for marketeers there is nothing like extending. sure there are risks but it is so much easier than coming up with new stuff. you can do it with brands, where you take a much loved (and bought) brand and move it into other categories - just think of all those fashion houses who have gone into perfume or think of the virgin brand and how much that covers. then there are product extensions where you take the loved item and tinker with it and create a new version: think of coke, diet coke, cherry coke and coke zero.
if the exercise works you have increased sales and you have increased brand awareness; both key outcomes.

i like to write.
i like to carry notebooks around with me.
i have one to write about the art i go to see and i have a notebook to jot down ideas and musings.
both are lovely moleskine notebooks. they are simple, elegant, wonderful. they are legendary notebooks as used by vincent van gogh and ernest hemingway. so i am in good company when i use them.

now moleskine know a thing or two about product extensions their notebooks come in a variety of sizes and styles, the same applies to their diaries. a while back they added a range of city books (and yes i have a copy of the london one). recently they added a range called passions - basically allowing your inner geek to run free as you create a list/diary of your favourite books, music and films but still remaining totally cool an hip when you do it. how can you be a geek/nerd when you are using a moleskine? (answer is: just not possible baby!)
yes i was tempted by them (i resisted because in all my years of collecting i have never successfully managed to create and maintain a list of anything i have collected. mmm maybe a moleskine would be the answer! what am i saying 'a' for i would need a fair few.)

but today i was a bit shocked.
today i was a bit dismayed.
i have seen the latest two additions to the moleskine range and i am not sure that they are in quite teh same league as hemingway or van gogh.
today i saw the charles schultz peanuts 60th anniversary edition moleskine and the 30th anniversary edition pac man moleskine.
how i chortled when i saw them. how i thought 'pah', how i thought 'pitiful ruined the brand with those.'

then with a period of contemplation, a bit of mulling it over, a bit of letting it all stew in my mind all i can say is: i want them.

yup i am a moleskine junkie and i want them.

(unfortunately there is a sad end to this story. as much as i like moleskine my post employment status means that they are a luxury i can no longer afford, so when my current copies are filled up that will be the end of my moleskine habit: for now. i will be back to them, i am sure.
however if you happen to be working for moleskine feel free to send me a whole bunch of free samples - after all i share a lot in common with van gogh: he wasn't popular or famous when he was alive either.)

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