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Ari Manor, CEO, ZOOZ
An interview with a senior executive
Ami Regev, VP of Gibor Sabrina
- Number of company
350 in Israel, 850 worldwide.
- Number of direct
- 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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Would you like to be interviewed?: contact us
- Read about a success story about
Systematic Innovation at Bagir: here
A must-read book for managers
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.
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
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
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.
An innovation which
surprised the world market and competitors
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?