Chama’s New Business Card

By: Moses Mehraban on January 3, 2008 

We kick off the new year, with our brand new Chama Business cards.

We finally got our new Chama business cards from the printing house – as the business card is one of our most important elements, our design goal was to:

01: Express chama’s creativity to potential prospects
(minimalist design, a card that stands out)
02: Ensure a consistent look with our web identity
(black and white, with big typography)
03: Make a great first impression
(clean, simple, different)

Our New Business Cards

Filed Under: Chama HQ | 2 Comments

Portugal’s Public Smoking Ban

By: on December 20, 2007 

Portugal remains one of the few European countries left that still allows public smoking, mostly do to the fear of lost business.

However, in May 2007, the Portuguese parliament approved a law banning smoking in all public places smaller than 100m2, by January 1st, 2008. So in a few days, Portugal will join other European countries in an attempt to cut down on tobacco-related deaths.

no smoking ad

Speaking to some of our favorite restaurateurs here in Algarve, there seems to be a mixed feeling about the smoking ban.

There’s the group that fears the ban will crush their businesses. Then there’s those who show optimism “we might lose some guests who smoke, but we could gain non-smoking clients”. Voila!

It always fascinated me how a quarter of the Portuguese population who smoke seem to have a louder voice than 75% of the population who don’t. So there could actually be a new opportunity to capitalize on the non-smokers who are about to come out of hiding.

What remains to be seen is the after math of the restaurants and establishments, who didn’t heed the warning to make their establishments non-smoking friendly. Either way, an interesting strategy to differentiate could be on the horizon.

Filed Under: Portuguese Business | {1 Comment}

10 Questions with Adegga.com’s Founder

By: Moses Mehraban on December 11, 2007 

Adegga.com Social Wine DiscoverThrough Algarvebuzz, we met André Ribeirinho – a Portuguese born Entrepreneur and founder of the social wine discovery website Adegga.com.

If you’re like me, you’ll probably find yourself doing some head scratching every time you’re faced with the seemingly endless rows of bottles at your local wine shop.

Living in Portugal, doesn’t make picking wines any easier, with so much choice it’s sometimes frustrating to pick just one…and lets not get into the considerations….what’s right for dinner, lunch, food, guests… on and on….ah, the stress.

Fortunately, Adegga takes out the guessing; and I now go to Adegga to check wines before heading out to the shop…its become my secret weapon in choosing my wines; so my “wine ego” remains in tack rather than in tatters. Next time you find yourself having to go “pick a wine” and sweating under the pressure to deliver something impressive…click on over to Adegga.com first and enjoy the results.

Adegga.com is currently on an invite bases; if you want an invite, please leave me a comment or email “moses[at]chamainc.com”, I’ll be happy to share some of my invitations.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Adegga’s founder Andre Ribeirinho and asked him the next 10 questions.

Adegga Team

Founders: from left to right: Andre C., Andre R., Emidio

1.What does “Adegga” mean and how did you come up with the name?

Adegga is a play on the word adega (only one g) which means cellar in Portuguese. We wrote several potential names on a white board while trying to come up with a name for our service. Eventually the name Adegga won because it was both inspired by the (strong) Portuguese wine culture but also readable in several different languages. I think that good names need to tell a story and Adegga tells the story of a team of Portuguese internet entrepreneurs that want their social wine discovery service to be useful around world but never forgetting their Portuguese origin.

2.Why a “social wine discovery” and who do you think will benefit from using it?

Friends opinions are the ones we trust most. When a friend makes a recommendation there’s a bond of trust that makes us feel confident.

It’s our real social network that helps us make decisions. On the other hand wine is inherently social and totally prone to discovery (who doesn’t like to try new wine?). The combination of friends, wine and discovery is the basis for our service.

Interestingly, Adegga is useful from the moment you and another friend are using it. You can both share wines you buy, drink or wish. This helps you and your friends make smarter choices when choosing wine.

3.Who is Adegga.com for?

Adegga is for wine lovers who find it difficult to choose wine. By sharing their opinions with their friends Adegga makes it extremely useful for anyone (from wine newbie to wine expert) to share their passion with other people they trust. Any person can use Adegga to search for a wine, see what other people think about it and know where to buy it.

Continue reading the rest of this article…

Filed Under: Wine Marketing | {1 Comment}

Example of Great Packaging

By: Moses Mehraban on November 16, 2007 

Good Packaging Sexy household cleaner…is that even possible? We’re not talking about frenchmaid costumes, but actual cleaning products, like detergents.

Well thanks to the likes of New Zealand’s BEE, the San Francisco and London based “Method Home”, cleaning just got sexy.

These two companies give some good lessons on breathing fresh “Sexy” life into a stale, tired product. The example below belongs to BEE “eco-friendly cleaning products”:

Bee from New Zealand

Here are two ways to keep the fires burning with your brand.

1}Revive stale products with sexy, fun and creative yet simple packaging

2}Don’t try to sell to everyone … instead tell your story to someone who cares … in this case environmental cautious individuals

At Chama we have a fascination with unique packaging and we look forward to sharing more cool examples. If anyone finds some really different and creative stuff, don’t be greedy, share your finds ;o)

Filed Under: Packaging | 5 Comments

Virgin in Portugal

By: Moses Mehraban on November 13, 2007 

Virgin Rumor has turned to reality; Richard Branson’s mega gyms Virgin Active are now confirmed for Porto, Lisbon, Coimbra and Faro.

With expectations of an additional 10+ health clubs across the country, the Virgin Group also plans to open more gyms in areas in the Iberian Peninsula where there are more than 50,000 residents.

Virgin Gym

Now how will local small gyms compete vs. a mega brand like Virgin? As things stand, local gyms here in Faro will have a hard time when Virgin arrives and flexing it’s financial muscle. You can expect, Virgin Gym’s will be big facilities with the latest equipment, fancy machines and other membership perks such as a spa, great design, etc.

If I owned a Gym, here are 5 actions I will take immediately … like today:

1 }Identify my targeted clientele and focus on establishing a name for my Gym through strong brand identity — good signage, logo shirts for staff, etc.

2 } Launch a user friendly website with tips, exercise videos and a community supported network which enables my trainers and members to interact with one another … include diet tips, video exercises, blog, newsletter, and allow members to track their diet and workouts, etc.

3 } Set a budget to refresh the inside my gym (a new coat of paint, mirrors, improved lighting, and a plan to replace old machines with new machines over-a-specific time frame … for example, one new machine per month or quarter. Also look into new exercise forms if my facility allows it, like an indoor rock climbing, boxing classes, etc.

4 } Turn my trainers and staff into key stakeholders, so you keep good staff from going to the competition. Establish a program where trainers and staff receive incentive when Gym meets membership goals. Give each staff member a business card which they can use to hand out to friends. (Goal: would be to ensure the business cards are fun, different and one that staff would be proud to share with others)

With an improved member experience, motivated staff, and a fresh look, my member’s experience should improve greatly and lead to positive word of mouth.

5 } And then from here, what I would do is look into alternative marketing channels by creating buzz:

And bonus, I would definitely try a couple of fun marketing campaigns at Faro Beach over the summer when there’s a captive audience.

There are many ways a gym here in Faro can differentiate and build a better experience for their members, the above are just some examples. And if all fails, I would look into targeting an entirely new clientele such as ladies only, heavy duty gym or maybe even a… gym just for kids!

Do you agree or disagree. Love to hear some of your ideas.

Filed Under: Small Businesses | 9 Comments

How To Twitter

By: Moses Mehraban on November 6, 2007 

I consider myself an early adaptor of all things cool on the net. But when it came to Twitter (the next generation instant messaging) I held back the urge to sign-up at lightening speed, because I thought it would be more of an interruption, than anything else.

How To Twitter

But my perception changed after stumbling on this article by Jeremiah Owyang SR Analyst at Forrester Research, for social computing.

On his blog, he has a well thought article on “How To Twitter”. Check it out here.
Thanks Jeremiah!

Of course I’m now Twittering with my new Twitter account

Filed Under: Social Media | {1 Comment}

At the Movies in Portugal

By: Moses Mehraban on November 5, 2007 

A few weeks ago, I read an article in one of the national papers, that fewer people were going to movie theaters and the numbers were dropping significantly.

Then the other morning while listening to the radio, the subject of going to the movies came up again, this time, it was a radio personality out on the street asking passers by “what would make your movie going experience better?” Hummm…..coincidence?

at the moviesSome of the responses were as expected – “healthier food options”, “less people chatting”, “personal headsets, to block out those people chatting” and so on…

Personally, food is my big thing…but I’ve now adapted myself to the mix of sweet/salty popcorn and those tangy long strips of candy…guilty. However, if there were healthy and delicious options like a mini portable sushi, fruit cup or salad I would choose those just as easily, especially on movie nights that start at dinnertime.

But the question remains…what is the problem with the movies these days? Are more people downloading movies, buying DVD’s, watching them on home systems, or are there too many competing entertainment options? A friend of mine and new mom in Canada, tells me movie cinemas introduced Mom & Me programs a few years ago, promoting mom and kid times during slower times of the day. This allows moms and fussy little ones a break, plus entertainment that would normally be difficult to come by. Would this help here in Portugal?

Could it be movies aren’t the problem, but rather lifestyle changes are impacting our ability or need to go to the movies…?

Filed Under: Portuguese Business | Leave a Comment

An Alien Has Landed in London

By: Moses Mehraban on October 23, 2007 

No not an ET-like Alien, but rather something equally as rare: The NFL (National Football League) otherwise known as American Football – that other football from across the pond, you know with the melon shaped ball.

In an effort to extend its reach and become a global sport, the NFL will host its first-ever game in Europe on Sunday, October 28th.

When I saw this picture on the cover of Nytimes.com today, it looked as if an Alien had landed in London. Just look at the public in awe over the huge animated figure of Miami’s Jason Taylor.

NFL in London

In terms of creativity, AMV BBDO did a superb job by placing a Giant Figure in Trafalgar Square and getting people talking with this bold move – spot on for creating buzz.

Now, comes the questions of who will rule over the name game of “football” and how will American football be received in London and across Europe.

This might turn out to be a classic brand identity conflict, then again maybe not. It’s doubtful; Europeans will ever confuse their beloved football with any other game professing the same name. Maybe this is answered in the simple question, of how many internationally recognized football stars come to mind? I can think of Pele, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Christiano, Zidan, Beckham, Figo…and the list goes on….now how many American football players come to mind…Joe Green, OJ Simpson…well at least one is still a star. All I can say, let the battle of classic football (soccer) vs. American football begin …

Filed Under: Branding | Leave a Comment

Fight For Kisses

By: Moses Mehraban on October 20, 2007 

Before ending the first week with our new Chama blog, we wanted to share this great interactive website. Just click on the image below and watch the trailer … enjoy.

Click Here to Watch Trailer

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What’s Missing?

By: Moses Mehraban on October 18, 2007 

click to enlargeTo your left is a print ad that appears weekly on the “The News Portugal” paper. The ad belongs to Algrafica, the web design service arm of the paper.

See if you can spot what’s missing from the ad.

Filed Under: Portuguese Business | 3 Comments

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