Photography – Southern Vacation

by Jamie Sanford on March 31, 2015

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As I did when we went to Dubai and Abu Dhabi in November, I mostly played tourist with photography on this trip. I took all of the images in this post with the Sony NEX-6.

The first part of our trip was spent on the road from New Orleans to Hot Springs, during which it rained almost the whole time. I had to stop and take a picture of this foggy bridge.

The best part of going somewhere during the off-season is having places to yourself. We were alone for at least 95% of the time we were in the Fordyce Bathhouse at Hot Springs National Park.

This photo is of the steamer room at the bathhouse.

This is the men’s gymnasium at the bathhouse. Definitely frozen in time.

Between Hot Springs and New Orleans, we stopped overnight in Natchitoches, LA. Natchitoches (pronounced nack-a-tish) is famous for meat pies and for being the location where the classic Steel Magnolias was filmed. We found a free local newspaper with a Steel Magnolias tour map, which led to us driving around the town all morning, me quoting the movie the whole way.

Our first order of business upon arriving at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans was to book an airboat swamp tour. We used Airboat Adventures, and it was super fun.

I mean, photos of the beautiful buildings in the French Quarter are required, right?

I haven’t made it to Brennan’s on any of my trips but apparently their breakfast is amazing.

We had wickedly cold weather for 2 of our days in New Orleans. I felt bad for the people who came ridiculously unprepared for such weather.

2 weeks after Mardi Gras, and there were random beads hanging off of all sorts of places.

I said in an Instagram comment that New Orleans is one of the places I don’t mind going back to. I want to see an explore new places, but both Will and I have a crazy affection for this particular city.

We will definitely be back. Despite the cold that was colder than we would have liked, it was a lovely trip.

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Link Tank #21: Southern Travel Edition

by Jamie Sanford on March 28, 2015

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Baby alligator! I am very excited in this photo. The alligator was incredibly soft and absolutely gorgeous to look at up close in such a way. It is like holding a dinosaur.

We recently returned from a spring vacation to New Orleans, with some road trip stops along the way. Here’s a special edition of the link tank!

 

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Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

For fans of Kate Spade who were not always interested in the price point, the introduction of Kate Spade Saturday was exciting. However, the price points were still sometimes unrealistic, and apparently there were fit issues, but I hadn’t tried any of the clothing. Fashionista has a good article on why Kate Spade Saturday didn’t work, but I’m here to talk about the email I received regarding it. (Also, apparently Saturday will be re-introduced as a product line within Kate Spade, instead of existing alone, but that is yet to come.)

HITS

I would like to address from the start that shutting down a company when you have somewhere else to send them is definitely a bonus.

  • Content relevant to this shutdown is posted on KateSpade.com, and customer account and order data has also been migrated to KateSpade.com.
  • Kate Spade customer service still exists, so they will assist with Saturday customer issues during the transition period where active orders are still being dealt with, etc.

MISSES

  • While there is no indication here about re-introducing Saturday as a line, customers are invited to sign up for Kate Spade emails as well.It does seem like a miss that there is no indication about the possible resurrection, because I do think a lot of people will reject this idea because they believe that the original brand is still above their price point.
  • This was a great opportunity to survey the Saturday customer to see what they liked and didn’t like about the brand, to see perhaps what their ideal price point is and to gauge what they liked about the Saturday products and experience. For those who completed the survey, you could give them a coupon code or some other incentive to browse and shop at KateSpade.com – a great way to get them to the Kate Spade site, perhaps regardless of any preconceptions about the Kate Spade brand.

I will certainly keep up with the possible reintroduction of the Saturday brand to see how that is managed.

If you would like to consult with me on brand experience, please contact me.

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Missing the Mark #2 – LORAC Mega Pro Palette

by Jamie Sanford on March 16, 2015

To view all of my content about brand experience, please click here.

In recent years, I have subscribed to a few YouTube channels of the makeup variety. I have learned quite a bit about the importance of blending and that wearing 3 colors of eyeshadow is almost a minimum requirement. There is a massive trend of beauty spending taking place in this country, with nail polish and makeup exploding in the last few years. New collections have emerged that are huge fan favorites, such as the Naked palettes from Urban Decay and the Pro Palettes from LORAC.

I had previously purchased some LORAC value sets from Ulta on Black Friday in the past, and really liked them. I then purchased a LORAC Pro 2 Palette and quickly fell in love with the shadows. The formula was great, blended well, and the colors were lovely. So naturally, I was pretty excited when I saw this:

Sigh – look at how great this palette is! I immediately went to the LORAC site and signed up to receive emails so I would be reminded when this would be on sale. Then it came out and things went downhill.

After having had success and an obvious increase in the brand’s following, LORAC clearly did not produce enough of the Mega Pro Palettes. They sold out before I had a chance to get one, and the stock they had released to Amazon was gone as well. I understand the concept of a limited edition product, but I seemed to see an inordinate amount of really angry customers like myself, who had greatly looked forward to this palette’s release and fully intended to pay the $59 to have a great collection of shadows.

A few days later, after what I assume was a barrage of emails, tweets, and Facebook posts about how people were disappointed, LORAC confirmed that it was sold out and they were not making more. You can see a sampling of the comments on the right there, with some customers being more cordial than others.

I understand that the pricing was certainly meant to be for a limited time (a Pro Palette about half the size of this is $42, while this was $59, obviously a value price), but this could have been what I like to call a gateway product. For all of the people who had contemplated buying a LORAC palette but had not, this great value could have convinced them to purchase, and in my opinion, it would have made them a LORAC fan. In addition, I’m sure some people were viewing this as an opportunity to buy a great holiday gift, another chance to increase exposure of the brand.

Based on the insane response and purchase rate of the palette on October 7th, I would have immediately opened a pre-order window for the next batch of the palette. Again, limited edition status could have been kept, but would it have been so hard to make another batch? It would have been a great moment of relief and excitement for everyone who missed the first batch. “We are taking pre-orders for the final batch of LORAC Mega Pro Palettes until 11:59pm PST on x/x/14. This will be the last batch of this palette, it will not be available again.” Something to address the large amount of people interested in the product! The decision to just say “tough luck” to everyone who wanted one is ridiculous.

LORAC has not introduced any more large palettes since the failed launch of the Mega Pro. (Well, I see it as failed. I’m sure they are happy to have sold it out.) The regular Pro Palettes are permanent to the collection, so they are a different story. I will be interested to see how LORAC handles future launches of limited-edition product. Hopefully they have learned from this missed opportunity to create customer joy instead of frustration.

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Link Tank #20

by Jamie Sanford on March 10, 2015

Click here for all of the link posts on JamieSanford.com.

An image I shot in a bar a few years ago. Mirror balls make their own magic.

Someone planned a road trip around the US to hit major landmarks. This is great.

Foodnited States of America is lovely, and I enjoy it even more since it was a family project.

Vintage photos from Mardi Gras – I was just in New Orleans, so these photos from 1938 are wonderful to see.

Julie Andrews + Christopher Plummer. I am excited for any and all celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music.

I would LOVE a 4-day work week, and here are 5 reasons why we need to get on that.

Margie Plus is awesome, but this Bullett Magazine shoot took it to the next level!

Nine Inch Nails mashed up with Taylor Swift is way better than it should be.

Watch the 20 best overtakes from the 2014 Formula One season. 2015 starts this weekend!

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