Cuban Signs, Branding and Marketing

Truck with plain, brand-less bags of water crackers in Pinar del Rio

Truck with plain, brand-less bags of water crackers in Pinar del Río

Post-Revolution, Cuba has been run as a totalitarian state with the government controlling all production and distribution. With no competition, such a system has little place for advertising or branding. In addition, Cuba’s mass media is all state-owned and commercial-free.  Indeed, Cuba’s marketing expertise lies in propaganda. Interestingly, propaganda in Spanish translates as advertising.

Only recently have Cubans had self-employment options, planting tiny capitalistic seeds and increasing branding and advertising’s importance. Now many Cubans run their own restaurants, guest-houses, transport and other businesses. Below are selected advertisements, signs and brands from Rocío and my visit. Continue reading

Startup Weekend Perth

I have just returned home inspired from witnessing the culmination of 48 hours of creativity, teamwork and action at Spacecubed. Tonight was the final evening of Startup Weekend Perth. Tonight, teams formed only 48 hours earlier pitched their weekend creations.

As an Observer, I could attend the opening and closing pitches and presentations.

It is amazing to think that Friday night all of the applications and businesses were only ideas at most and the team members who collaborated on them were yet to even meet. On Friday, concept validation was promoted as by far the most important factor for the startup businesses and by tonight most startups had already received orders or gained clients!

The winning startup was EasyOT, an application that helps occupational therapists manage their client relationships. This has huge potential, not only for occupational therapists but for many other health and non-health applications. On Friday evening I was lucky enough to chat with Lain, the idea originator, and I was stoked when her team won.

Another startup, worked on by former colleague Karlo, matched personal trainers to customers. Other startups included:

Walk On By – an app that helps one save towards a goal by encouraging people to walk on by and not give in to temptation to make unnecessary purchases

Textie – crowd-sourced responses to anonymous text messages (check out the website)

Equipd – recreational experience and equipment rental

Happy Quokka – quokka selfie sticks and tshirts

Open Oceans – categorising marine images via a fun children’s game

Pitches for Stitches – an alternative to the boring corporate icebreaker activity

Wow! Seeing what can be achieved in a weekend was fantastic and I recommend that anyone with any entrepreneurial thoughts attend their nearest startup weekend.