Patrick’s Back

Looks like they have brought back the designer of the Presso/ROK as the front man. I guess the ROK band was a one hit wonder.

Dan Swan-Elephant Tamer

It’s so exciting to have a great idea and have no idea about how to monetize it. You just need to have faith, patience and belief. It also helps to know people who you trust and share your passion for business.

Bring on Daniel Swan. Dan and I have known each other for over five years now and have worked on some exciting projects together. We also have allot of fun outside of business including playing rugby union and having a go at sustainable farming.

Dan brought me this insight this morning.

Elephant or Feather – Lean Marketing
“Amplify and Accelerate your business”

If you are looking at how to brand and market your idea or business in today’s world of opportunities we would love to help you tame the elephants and take flight.

Smell the Gunpowder

Did a bit of firing. Just bought the rights to use this illustration from our istock account.

Funny little pooches

Now that I have had my fun it’s time to bring in the big guns to have a go at rebranding this moth balled site. Aim carefully Jason I think this idea is ready to take flight.

Elephant Feather Logo Design

A website/blog about branding & marketing really does deserve a logo. Classic shoe makers children story here. Time to put into practice the fire, ready, aim strategy that has got me into almost as much trouble as it has got me out of.

This classic illustration linked to the physics of elephants and feathers does a good job of communicating what I believe is the magic behind the branding paradigm/paradox that is Elephant or Feather.

Elephant and Feather Dropping

Time to do a little bit of research to see who is behind this illustration and see if it can be purchased or used with permission.

Presso and ROK

For the last four years, we have been the exclusive distributors for the Presso Espresso Maker in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the USA. The Presso has taught us a lot about espresso and the growing coffee culture. What a ride it has been on the proverbial 3rd Wave of Coffee!

It won’t be very long before we drop the ROK into the market in Australia. The agency that Presso HQ brought in to rebrand Presso has a great logo/icon that got me thinking that we have a potential Elephant or Feather case study in the making. This flying fish might be a good brain starter for a designer to do up an Elephant or Feather Logo too.

If a Fish could Fly

The Kindrid Agency has done a great job at getting the case study started. It won’t be long before the consumers get to vote on the new branding. Here is a bit of background from Kindrid on their thinking behind the ROK.

  • The challenge

    We needed to rename the Presso coffee machine, developing a new identity and packaging concept that would appeal to men who are into coffee and gadgets.

  • The solution

    We chose the name ROK as it is ownable, simple, and strong and created a roundel logo that suggests a quality stamp. It incorporates the male-oriented description ‘Kitchen Tools’ and a crossed spanner and fork, which aims to represent the meeting of male tools and kitchen tools in a deliberately amusing way. Our new metal packaging concept adds both premium value and a male-oriented appeal. The official product re-launch is in September, yet the US distributor has already tripled its order at a higher price. The metal packaging concept adds both premium values and again male-oriented appeal.

And now for the just released ROK video that will position the rebadged Presso as a must-have Kitchen tool targeted squarely at Men.

By contrast, this is a video for the Presso produced to show people how to care for and repair the Ecofriendly, Green, Hand-Powered Espresso Machine.

Consumer Voting on ROK vs Presso

Observation-Nov. 15,

Big discount = Bad for margins

Australia-Nov 24

ROKs have been in stock for over a week now, and after the initial pre-orders that had built up over 4 months, sales are below volumes for the Presso from last year. Initial reaction to the new name and packaging has been mixed.

Observation-Dec. 10,

More discounts before Christmas

Observation-Dec. 13,


How low will it go?

Observation-Dec. 14,

You had one. Hope the next one ROKs your world!

Love the product shot

Observation-Dec. 20,

Discounting into the New Year

Observations-Dec. 22,

Have we hit ROK bottom yet?

It would appear that the price in the shopping cart has been adjusted up for the latest and greatest deal.

Increase the price, and then offer a discount. Nice.

Which wolf to feed?

A friend of mine, Faythe Murphy, posted this on facebook a day or so ago. It really stuck with me and fits the elephant or feather paradigm.

An old Cherokee told his grandson, “My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, & ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, & truth.” The boy thought about it, and asked, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?” The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed…”

Image: Evgeni Dinev /

Object of Desire

It has been a while since I have had a chance to think about my shed inspired elephant or feather. Yes I know that does happen once in a while. However, some ideas just take a bit of time to get traction.

Ideas are not the only thing that can take time to get traction: Brands and products are like that too. One of our brands that has got traction and is in straight ahead and give er mode is the Presso. Over the last month our sales in Australia have gone through the roof. We achieved some serious lift off. Over the last twenty five years I have been part of quite a few PR hits that have turned elephants into feathers but I have never seen anything like this before.

A few months back we were contacted by a journalist who was interested in the presso. Our mate Jason let us know that this guy was  a heavy hitting Aussie journalist and that it would be worth sending him a presso. Alison sent one off right away. A month or so later he got in touch with us looking for some high resolution images. We could not get what he was after for a few reasons; a small lesson that we have learned from. There is allot more to the story which I may fill in one day as I turn this event into the first chapter of the Elephant or Feather book. For now here is a a scan of the article, which I saw for the first time yesterday believe it or not. A month after it came out. We have been so busy scrambling to get product and keep presso people patient that we did not have time to chase it up. Like all good things it eventually came to us.

Just to give folks an idea of the impact this article had (and continues to have) on the presso brand have a look at this graph extracted from our most excellent shopify dashboard.

Feather icon ideas

Same drill. Here are some istock feathers for your rating and ranting pleasure.