Radiant Orchid, Mauve and Permission to Innovate.

The market knows best except when it doesn’t.

It’s a nice safe strategy to be market-led.  Deliver your customers what will solve their problems and make their experience better.  But what if the market doesn’t know what is good for it.  What if the market makes beige and never experiments with Radiant Orchid (Pantone colour of the year 2014)?

What if the market thinks natural = sustainable and never tries to get better, smarter and more efficient?

perkins mauve

Perkins Original Synthetic Mauve

Yesterday I was lucky enough to see the very 1st synthetic dye ever produced, kept behind glass at Leeds University.  When William Perkins invented this he wasn’t following market signals, he wasn’t even trying to invent synthetic dyes. He was trying to create a cure for malaria!  But it turned out the market was tired of beige natural dyed potato coloured clothing.  A textile and chemistry revolution took off and the rest is history.

Funny enough the 1st synthetic dye was actually mauve or as Pantone call it Radiant Orchid.

We must listen to the market and be guided by its trends and the opportunities it demands.   We have to look far ahead of what the current market can tell us and build new innovations that will create new product categories and new industries.

Good market research and understanding your customer’s future needs gives you the intuition to innovate.    Permission is not required just get on with it.

radiant orchid

Pantone Colour of the year. “radiant orchid”

Conformity is an Industrial Disease

Innovate or Die (of industrial disease)

We all have the choice to make something special.  We can choose to make things Purple or make things beige.

Standing still, watching your competitors win and slowly moving from the heart of the industrial revolution into oblivion is a choice.   Samuel Pepys once wrote “Conformity is a social disease” As a textile designer I have to agree, as an innovator I would say…

  “Conformity is an industrial disease”

“It is better to be more wise and not be catched” To complete Pepys’ quote.

Keep making beige, me too, products and compete in the ever decreasing spiral of lower prices and lower profits..  Or break out of the commodity cycle with added value innovative “purple” products and services.

How to win and stay alive..

Understand Future Costumers

Deliver Outstanding Customer Experience


samuel pepys

Samuel Pepys with his purple scarf.

Staying On Track

There have been mixed reactions to the little purple sheep that pops up around WoolBlog.

Staying true to Niche Marketing “Purple Philosophy” That’s a good thing.

Pleasing all the people all the time is an impossible task and one that leads to beige boring mediocre stuff.

Being a little quirky will win fans from people who appreciate quirky.

Fans like Hoopers Floor-coverings by Sunniva.

If you are in Royal Tunbridge Wells go and see how customer service and high quality natural floor-covering are sold to customers who keep coming back.

Sunniva  like the Purple Sheep so much they asked to use it as a motif on the rally car they are sponsoring..

I guess they like the humour, but more than that they want to be different, to stand out, and to stay on track.   Andrew Mollison will be driving at Rockingham this weekend.

Purple sheep just got a lot faster…  Baaa! Vroom!

Purple Sheep Rally car

Purple Sheep on Wheels

The Curse of the Vampire Sheep


A special spooky treat for the lead-up to Halloween

Please enjoy Purple Sheep in…

The Curse of the VAMPIRE SHEEP

Filmed on an iPhone 4S using Fimo on my dining room table. Dim the lights, grab your popcorn and get ready for the most frightening sheep flick of the week…


Sheep Jubilee

Another Purple Sheep Production.

The sheep celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in their usual quirky style.

Stars of Sheep Jubilee

Like that. Go and watch SHEEP STORY

Sheep Story – The life cycle of wool textiles

Wool textiles and carpets are essentially made from grass.  This short film tells the story of how wool, because it contains nitrogen and sulphur, can be returned to the soil where it is an ideal plant food.  Although told with humor by sheep, the story is real.   Wool carpets are being used now to transform barren land into fertile forestry.

Sit back and enjoy “WOOL STORY”

The complete life cycle story of wool as told by little animated sheep.

Sheep Story was made for fun all shot on an iPhone and edited on an iPad.  Even the music is made using garage band.

The story of New Zealand wool being sustainable is true.  The vast numbers of white sheep in New Zealand means it is available in economic batches and is processed efficiently.  Sheep eat grass and grow a new fleece of wool every year.  The wool is a carbon sink, and also contains trace elements that are essential for healthy soil.  Real life experiments have proven that recycled wool significantly increases plant growth..

Purple sheep are rare, and special.  The purple sheep are the innovative ones…  I hope you enjoy the film…

Purple Sheep stars in SHEEP STORY