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November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Sunday, August 15, 2004
PowerBlog Review: PSFK.com

Editor's note: We're very pleased to present the twenty-sixth in our popular weekly series of PowerBlog Reviews of other weblogs...

PSFK.com is an exciting new blog covering an area near and dear to us: trends. It is a "collaborative trend spotting site run by Piers Fawkes and Simon King with a team of contributors in Europe, the US and Asia."

The PSFK blog has a cosmopolitan feel to it. Maybe it's because the site owners and main contributors bring viewpoints from around the world. Piers Fawkes is in New York and Simon King blogs from London. Other key contributors include Ian McCallam, who is in Madrid and soon to move to Sydney, and Guy Brighton in New York.

They started the site because they were in the habit of sending one another emails with interesting news stories and trends. They simply decided to take it all public in a blog. Each person posting speaks in a different voice and tone, which lends variety and interest.

The site owners are grounded in the design and advertising industries. Piers was a co-founder of New York ad agency, thread. Simon founded the denim brand London Denim.

Their collective eye for sleek trendy design is evident in their choice of content and even the look of the blog.

The site focuses on trends primarily from a consumer perspective. The emphasis is on popular culture and design. But you can also find posts in categories as diverse as advertising, media, luxury, cars, shopping, the Web, and even science.

This is a blog that's easy to scan quickly. It's energetic, upbeat and tends towards the urban hip. Posts are usually brief -- a paragraph or two. Most include a colorful image. They appeal as much emotionally and visually as they do intellectually.

One of the best things about this blog, in my opinion, is how it takes you inside the heads of younger consumers today, and leaves you with no doubt how they see things. It's as insightful about the trendspotters as it is about the trends. (Ad agencies and consumer brand companies, take note.)

A recent post entitled "Viva Brand Dinosaurs!" lambasting brand awards that go to traditional brands, illustrates this:

"Interbrand and Business Week have just released their latest 100 top brands. The list is full of the usual dinosaurs that even your grand father would have been familiar with. Why do brands like IBM, GE, Intel, Amex, Marlboro warrant such approval when there are far more dynamic brands shaping our world around us (versus screaming from a billboard down on us)?? Like the Superbrands awards, given out in Britain recently to antiquarians like Marks & Spencers, Interbrand and Business Week are sending out a message to big business that creativity, innovation and validity should be spurned and reliance on sheer size, distribution and history is key.


...Business Week argues that Cult brands are scaring the established corporations but then they go on to cite Harley Davidson as a classic cult brand. 'Harley Davidson?' PSFK cries. Harley Davidson is the Tyrannosaurus Rex of super brands! Like the baby boomers who ride them, Harley Davidson is a bloated monster shrieking loudly and clinging on to the past it once knew then! Time to award brands on their ability to create real and valuable experiences for their customers, we think."
This is the kind of passion and strong ideas that drives innovation.

The Power: The Power of the PSFK.com blog is in the fresh, iconoclastic, exciting way it looks at the world of design and popular culture. This is a blog that anyone (consumer, ad agency exec, consumer brand owner) can follow to see trends not only spotted, but reflected in the eyes of the trendspotters.
More news... more trends... more insight...

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