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Written by ZOOZ consulting and training | (972)-9-9585085 | info@zooz.co.il | www.zooz.co.il

| Issue 20 |

Hello!

We are pleased to send you the new issue of LaZOOZ.
This monthly newsletter is sent as a free service to thousands of senior executives.
It features different sections each time, and does not include advertisements.

We tried to keep it brief, assuming that your time is precious and the work is plentiful.
Those who wish to learn more, will find links to articles and relevant information sources.
We hope that you will find the newsletter useful. We will be happy to receive any comments and suggestions.

Pleasant reading!
Ari Manor, CEO, ZOOZ

Details

An interview with a senior executive

Ami Regev, VP of Gibor Sabrina

  • Number of company employees: 350 in Israel, 850 worldwide.
  • Number of direct subordinates: 10.
  • We provide: Athletic clothing and underwear.
  • I have been in my position for: Half a year. I earned my Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Economics (from the Faculty of Agriculture in Rehovot). Afterwards I became an economist at Prinir (a food factory), Deputy Director of Finance at CI Systems (electro-optics), and a Department Economist at Delta Socks (textiles). Later I worked in sales management for the European market in Delta's sock department for nine years, and for two more years I was Delta's underwear department manager for Europe. From there I got to Gibor Sabrina approximately half a year ago.
  • What I like about the job: The dynamism. The fast pace of the changes in the factory that deals with fashion products and sports products. The ability to set steps in motion and see results within a short period of time.
  • The most difficult part of the job: To say what's difficult for me...
  • Goals I want to attain: In life - to be able to optimally combine family, work, and hobbies (cycling and snowboarding). At work - to continue increasing the company's advantages against international competitors, especially in the Far East, by increasing flexibility alongside leading innovation.
  • Our vision: We have a number of core values, including flexibility in leading sports products and in fashion and globality - all these as a response to challenges that the customers pose for us. We have arrived at these values through motion, and we implement them by doing: limiting product lines (only sport and seamless underwear products), which enables us to focus, innovation as a company culture - which enables fashionability and flexibility, and factories in Romania (6 years ago) and soon in the Far East as well - as global support.
  • An original product in the market: yoga pants (part of the sports line) that we developed in response to the request of a customer in the U.S. and were sold in large quantities - they have a nice feel and are optimally fitted to the body. This is an example of our ability to provide exceptional service - to develop concepts and collections for our customers out of existing trends within a very short period of time.
  • Sources of innovation: We have a creative team that develops new products in response to exhibitions, customer requests and marketing people, and original ideas that we generate.
  • Recommended professional book: "It's Not About the Bike - My Journey Back to Life" written by Lance Armstrong. It's not a manager's book, but an amazing book about coping with challenges. To purchase the book: Amazon.
  • Send comments to: amiram@gibor.co.il
  • Would you like to be interviewed?: contact us
  • Read about a success story about Systematic Innovation at Bagir: here

Education

A must-read book for managers

Purple Cow

Purple Cow + 99 Cows / Seth Godin / Opus Publishers

Published in The Marker Magazine, July 2006, in "The Management Bookworm" column written by Ari Manor, CEO of ZOOZ.

 

Seth Godin is considered an up and coming marketing guru in the United States. He has written a number of bestsellers that focus on new methods to successfully market products. According to him, the regular methods (advertising to the masses, for example using television commercials) don't work anymore. Customers have too many alternatives and too little time, desire and need to actually listen to your commercial. In his last book, Purple Cow, which was currently translated into Hebrew by Opus Publishers, Godin explains how to effectively market anyway.

 

First of all, explains Godin, you have to develop a truly remarkable product, one that can become the topic of daily conversation. Godin stresses that he is not talking about a very good product (but similar to other products), but rather a radically different product. Out of the ordinary, like a purple cow would be out of the ordinary and grab our full attention if we come across it grazing in the pasture.

 

Secondly, adds Godin, there is no point marketing the remarkable product to the masses. Anyway they are too busy and conservative. Instead, it should be advertised and marketed in a focalized manner, only to pioneers and innovation lovers, which constitute a small minority of the population. These will be quick to try truly innovative and exceptional products, and the idea (the innovative product) will diffuse from them onward to the rest of the population.

 

The diffusion of an idea in a "viral" manner, from an advocating and less conservative customer to an advice seeking and more conservative customer, is what Godin calls "sneezing". Innovation lovers will be happy to "sneeze" and recommend the remarkable product to other customers, in other words to the masses that have tuned out regular advertisements. The issue is a preceding majority, the delayed majority, and the followers - according to the model developed by Geoff Moore in his book Crossing the Chasm. But in order for the sneezers to indeed pay attention to the product and talk about it with others - the product must, according to Godin, be truly remarkable and interesting, a fascinating topic of conversation, or in other words - with sneezing potential.

 

Godin explains that sneezing potential is greater in certain domains. For example, domains that constitute an obsessive hobby ("otaku" in Japanese) for certain customers: super spicy chili sauce, jeeps, or golf. But it is also possible to develop a truly remarkable in fairly common domains, and provide a conversation topic. For example: The band-aids with pictures of Curad characters became a topic of conversation among kindergarten children, and Schindler's elevators (with a control panel on the entrance level, where you determine what floor you want to get to in advance) shortened waiting time and became a topic of conversation among people visiting buildings where these elevators were installed.

 

The book Purple Cow contains tips and insights into how to develop purple cows, based on dozens of examples of remarkable products and services that succeeded by sneeze power, without massive advertising campaigns. In fact, claims Godin, most successful brands that have been developed over the last few years have been purple cows. Opus Publishers combined another one of Godin's books in the Hebrew edition, which was written as a supplement to Purple Cow and describes another 99 purple cows.

 

Godin's examples and writing style are very American (perhaps too American for Israeli readers) but the book itself is readable and highly recommended, and might also generate ideas for innovative enterprises in Israel. The worm, by the way, much prefers the original English version, perhaps because the book in English is remarkable in its smallness on the store shelf (in accordance to the author's doctrine) and its cover is of higher quality. Worms, what can you do, start reading from… the cover.

 


Invention

An innovation which surprised the world market and competitors

Brush-ups

The ball is (even) rounder

Adidas is the leading international brand in the soccer market, and not by chance. Since 1970, Adidas has been developing the new official soccer ball of the Mondial games every four years - the soccer world cup. Before Adidas embarked upon this enterprise, the soccer ball was heavy, brown, and bulky. The innovations that Adidas introduced over the years were design oriented and functional, and changed the sport unrecognizably.

 

The 1970 (Mexico) ball was made entirely of leather like its predecessors, but was sewn from five black pentagons and twenty white hexagons, which gave it a more attractive design and a rounder surface area (that made it possible to kick it further and more accurately). In 1974 (Germany) the ball's colors were changed, and in 1978 (Argentina) it was sewn from 20 panels with groups of three, making it seem as if it were made of 12 identical circles, and it was more durable to weather. In 1982 (Spain) a waterproof coating was added to the ball (and since then the ball is not as heavy when it rains).

 

In 1986 (Mexico once again) a soccer ball from synthetic leather was introduced for the first time (more durable and absorbs less moisture). In 1990 (Italy) an internal polyurethane layer was added, and for the first time the ball was completely water resistant, and faster than ever. In 1994 (United States) the polyurethane layer was improved and it made the ball springier (softer to the touch, easier to control, and much faster when kicked). In 1998 (France) a soccer ball made of three colors was introduced for the first time, and small gas bubbles trapped in the internal layer improved the ball's durability and precision. In 2002 (Japan/Korea) a change in the segments the ball was sewn from and the addition of layers increased the ball's precision while airborne.

 

The 2006 Finals' ball (Germany, this month) will reach the shelves on the 10th of December of this year, and is expected to be the best sold ball in history. It contains 14 parts with an innovative design, whose sewing together decreased the number of stitches by 15% and the quantity of points where 3 parts touch each other by 60%. The result is a ball that is rounder than ever before, smooth, and easier to control. In addition, the parts are joined by an innovative technology that uses warm adhesion, and therefore the ball absorbs less than 0.1% water (compared to the FIFA standard that permits 10% absorption). A dry soccer ball flies even faster and higher through the air.

 

Additional tests, conducted with typical German precision show that the new soccer ball is even more accurate by 30% compared to other esteemed balls (when the ones kicking are… robots), its diameters (which are measured in 10 different spots) differ only by a quarter of a centimeter (in contrast to the standard - a whole centimeter), the weight of the new balls differ only by 3 grams (when the permitted standard is 25 grams), and the difference between the ball's various bounces when it is tossed from a height of 2 meters is only up to 2 cm (the permitted standard is 10 cm). Without a doubt this is the best soccer ball that has ever been manufactured: it's faster, rounder, more precise, and easier to control. Maybe this is why the Brazilians have lost their relative advantage?

 


Published by ZOOZ | +972-9-9585085 | info@zooz.co.il | www.zooz.co.il

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