Category Archives: Design

Speaking of Kanye…Introducing Big Baller Brand

Via your classmate Sinisa:

Big Baller Brand (BBB) is a new brand trying to penetrate a competitive apparel market dominated by Nike, Adidas and Under Armour. The brand is inspired by the 3 Ball brothers: Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball. Lonzo the most notable brother and oldest at the age of 19 finished his freshmen year at UCLA and has entered the 2017 NBA Draft.

The sports world is forever changed? This might be a bit far-fetched…. I watched some of Lonzo games during his freshman year and he’s definitely good, but will he be a superstar like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant or LeBron James? These guys changed the sports world and the game of basketball with their play and even clothing lines, but is Lonzo there yet?

He’s not the consensus #1 projected draft pick, he didn’t take his team to the into the Final 4 of the 2017 NCAA Division 1 March Madness Basketball Tournament, he hasn’t even played a minute in the NBA or scored a point professionally… but his shoe has changed the sports world forever? I guess when you look at the $495 price tag of the ZO2 Prime, it has changed the sports world. There hasn’t even been a pair of Air Jordan’s priced this high in years, making the BBB the most expensive basketball shoes in the market.

When Nike, Adidas and Under Armour all pass on signing Lonzo to an endorsement deal and don’t want anything to do with the BBB prototype shoe what do you do…. You compare your shoe to a Rolls Royce and jack up the price since like a Rolls Royce not everyone has the disposable income to buy a ZO2. “If you can’t afford the ZO2’s you’re NOT a BIG BALLER”

Big Baller Brand has received a lot of buzz on social media, however the over 51,000 likes and re-tweets translated into only 500 pairs of shoes sold in the first week. The brand is looking more like an overpriced version of the Starbury shoe…



You know an ingredient is popular when…

sriracha beer Rogue

This is the beer I mentioned in class, a product of Oregon-based Rogue Beer. I did not buy it, so I can’t say if it’s deliciously spicy, or just strange.

Does the beer “steal” too much from its source? Or does it provide important brand and product associations? Do we forgive the “Rogue” version because it’s an independent, craft beer–and it’s going rogue–or is it appropriating another brand’s identity?


Now you can do bicep curls while eating chips and watching TV!

Pepsi dumbell

Pepsi is gearing up for summer with a new bottle shape to help consumers get in shape. “Inspired by healthy habits and exercise, the standard 2 liter bottle has transformed into a 2 kilogram dumbbell perfect for light weightlifting.”

Since I don’t know of many folks who drink Pepsi in the gym, and I can’t picture anyone doing bicep curls while binge watching Netflix, who/what is this for? Showing off at the beach? And is it clever, or trying too hard?

In the overview, it says that Pepsi wanted “an irreverent way to show Pepsi Light’s benefits.”

Does it work?

More here:


Sam Who?


Via your classmate Emily–and a great lead in to our future discussion on global branding– this story about Samsung “debadging” (removing its logo) from its devices in specific international markets. Emily writes:

“[The article] talks about the company removing the “Samsung” logo from the front of the devices in the Chinese, Japanese and South Korean markets but leaving it for other markets such as the U.S.
There is no explanation so far from the company regarding this decision but I found this article’s proposed reasoning interesting. One explanation being that Samsung is attempting to replicate Apple’s iPhone prestige look, having the design speak for itself. On the flip side, another explanation was that Samsung is trying to remove negative associations of the brand (backed by sales decline) with their devices – perhaps more people will give the S7 a chance if they did not know it was a Samsung device.
However, in the other markets, the Samsung brand is necessary to drive sales as it provides the “halo effect” for all of its devices.
In conclusion after reading this article, my question is why did Samsung decide to remove its logo from the front of the device for these Asian markets and will this actually prove to make a difference in driving sales growth?”
What do you think – how would you answer Emily’s question?

Lean In…All the way to the front

Feminist facebook icon

From Adweek, the story of a symbolic tweak by Facebook’s product design manager Caitlin Winner. Apparently, the aptly-named Winner was thinking about the icons used on the FB site to denote friends or groups: they always put a man in front of a woman, so the woman was always in a man’s shadow.

Now, this is the company whose Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, wrote the book Lean In, which encouraged women to lead. And yet, that pesky women-to-the-back-of-the-pack symbol persisted. Until now. (She even fixed the female icon’s helmet hair – brava!)

What do you think – is this a silly little detail, or the kind of subliminal imagery that affects the beliefs both genders have about women?


The Power of Design


Artist Peddy Mergui imagines brands moving into new–and maybe threatening–spaces.


A new post on asks, “What if Nike sold Oranges?” It’s the subject of an Israeli artist’s latest exhibit, a reflection on design’s ability to influence consumption. What do you think – is there a limit to the value a brand brings?