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Chilina Kennedy on Why Her Beautiful Debut Is Like Mountain Climbing

first_img Related Shows Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Chilina Kennedy Stepping into a headlining role in a hit musical is tough—just ask Canadian actress and Broadway alum Chilina Kennedy, who is succeeding Tony winner Jessie Mueller in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on March 7. But try doing it with a five-month-old baby. And 15 costume changes. And only one pee break (which we learned from Mueller is during “The Locomotion”). checked in with Kennedy right before her debut to find out if she’s ready to become the Great White Way’s new “Natural Woman.”Well?! Are you ready for Saturday night?I will be! I don’t think I could ever feel truly ready, but I’m ready to jump in with an open heart.Carole barely leaves the stage and has about 5 million costume changes—how are you navigating it all?When I first saw the show, I was overwhelmed. If she’s not onstage, she’s probably doing a quick-change. There’s one bathroom break in the entire show, and that’s it. So you really have to be focused. But when you’re looking at a mountain, you can’t think of it as a mountain. You climb a mountain one step at a time. You don’t take over the whole mountain at once, right?Who’s coming to cheer you on at your first show?My wonderful partner [actor Jacob James], who I’ve known for over 20 years. We’re getting a babysitter so that’ll be fun. And his godmother, who just turned 80 yesterday, is flying all the way in from Canada.You were pregnant during your Beautiful audition. Is it tougher to sing when you’re expecting?It was harder to sing earlier than it was later on, ironically. I worked all the way through my pregnancy—I was a pregnant Nellie Forbush in South Pacific [at the Huron Country Playhouse in Ontario] in a bathing suit! But Carole has a five-month-old in the show, and I have a five-month-old now. It’s funny how it works out that way.How’s your son doing?His name is Henry Benjamin Kennedy James. We thought he could be a writer…or whatever he wants to be. We had all these rock star names picked out, but then he was so quiet when he was born! He’s a contemplative little boy.So he’s a quiet kid…[Henry crying.] He’s hungry, but he’s usually quiet! I love being a mom. Truly, being a mom is the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s my favorite role.How else do you identify with Carole?I’m also a singer-songwriter and I have my very first album coming out next month, What You Find in a Bottle. Carole King is such a gifted songwriter and such a big influence on me. And I’ve been married and divorced, so I can relate to some of the troubles she’s been through.Carole King came to the opening night of Beautiful in the West End a few weeks ago—what if she comes on Saturday?I haven’t heard if she is and thank god, because I think I might fall down [laughs]. Oh gosh, if she does show up, meeting her would be at the top of my list. I just hope I don’t know about it until later!Let’s say you’re onstage and spot her in the audience, what’s your plan?Once when I was on tour with Mamma Mia!, Tom Cruise was in the front row with his two bodyguards—it was really obvious it was him, there was no one else in the whole row! I had a butterfly moment, but then I caught my breath and just continued. So if Carole came, I’d probably just have a little heart attack and then keep going.See Chilina Kennedy in Beautiful at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. View Comments Star Files Show Closed This production ended its run on Oct. 27, 2019last_img read more

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Rashford emerges joint-favourite for British Sports Personality, 2020

first_imgRelatedPosts Tyson Fury to Anthony Joshua: Don’t risk fighting Usyk Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ EPL: Crystal Palace stun sloppy Man U Manchester United striker, Marcus Rashford, has emerged the bookmakers’ joint-favourite to win Britain’s Sports Personality of the Year Award after his successful campaign for school food vouchers to be provided over the summer holidays.British ministers originally said that school food vouchers would not be available over the long holiday, prompting the 22-year-old forward to take up the cause and reveal how he had relied on such support as a boy. On Tuesday, the government bowed to pressure and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said it would provide a COVID-19 summer food fund costing around 120 million pounds.Rashford’s efforts have seen his odds of 80/1 cut to 6/4, making him the joint-favourite for the BBC award alongside WBC Heavyweight Champion boxer Tyson Fury, according to bookmaker Paddy Power.Rashford has already helped to raise around 20 million pounds with charity Fareshare UK to supply meals to struggling families.Other contenders for the award, voted for by the public in December, include Mercedes Formula One driver, Lewis Hamilton, and Liverpool skipper, Jordan Henderson, who are both at 12/1.Cricketer Ben Stokes won the award last year for his 50-over World Cup-winning heroics and Ashes displays against Australia. Reuters/NAN.Tags: British Sports PersonalityManchester UnitedMarcus RashfordTyson Furylast_img read more

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Laureano, Chapman start to get hot as A’s win eighth straight

first_imgRamon Laureano is heating up >> What was the most important swing of the game? A quick … Oakland >> Mike Fiers returned to the Oakland Coliseum mound for the first time since his no-hitter and, this time around, tossed something a little more on brand.A six-inning, three-run outing helped the A’s to their eighth straight victory after taking the 6-5 win over Seattle on Saturday in Oakland. The A’s go for a sweep of the Mariners on Sunday.Here are three observations from the win:last_img read more

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How Birds Calibrate Their Navigating Maps

first_imgThree researchers tracked birds in the wild and concluded that “night-flying thrushes set their course using a magnetic compass, which they calibrate to the setting sun before takeoff each evening.”  The team of three captured thrushes in Illinois and attached small radio transmitters to them, then followed their flight for up to 1100 kilometers.  By tricking them with false magnetic fields, they were able to steer them off course.  But after next sunset, the birds were back on track, apparently having recalibrated their maps by the position of the sun.  Erik Stokstad, reporting on the research, adds more interesting details:This work may explain why birds don’t get lost when they cross the equator.  That had been an enigma because birds can’t tell magnetic north from south.  Instead, they check the inclination of the field lines relative to the ground; the angle becomes steeper near the poles.  A bird using only its magnetic compass would risk getting turned around near the equator, but calibrating it to the sunset would keep it on track.  Of course, the position of the sunset changes with latitude and season, but Wikelski thinks that birds may be able to correct for that through a biological clock that tells them the time of year.”This is the first time birds have been monitored for navigation in the wild.  The team must have looked odd chasing birds with “meter-tall antenna mounted on top of a battered 1982 Oldsmobile.”  According to Stokstad, “Many nights, the team was delayed when suspicious police officers pulled over the electronics-laden car.”See also: National Geographic News.1Erik Stokstad, “Songbirds Check Compass Against Sunset to Stay on Course,” Science Vol 304, Issue 5669, 373, 16 April 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.304.5669.373a].Thus multiple levels of correction and calibration are involved in this mind-boggling ability of little birdbrains to use natural cues to migrate vast distances unerringly, day and night, north and south, east and west.  Congratulations to creative and diligent scientists who risk jail to find out these amazing feats in the animal kingdom for us to enjoy and ponder.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Safa and PSL aboard for 2010

first_imgTamara O’ReillyTwo giants of South African soccer have signed a memorandum of understanding with the 2010 Local Organising Committee to ensure the success of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.The agreement will see the national football governing body, the South African Football Association (Safa), and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) collaborating with the LOC on issues that affect the event such as media and marketing, security, match organisation, events management, protocol, accreditation, transport and logistics, and volunteer recruitment and deployment.According to Fifa, the memorandum outlines co-operation between the bodies to ensure Safa and PSL personnel have maximum exposure to the 2010 Fifa World Cup, as well as the Fifa Confederations Cup in 2009. For the two sporting bodies, the main aim is to ensure that there is a transfer of knowledge and skills between them and the LOC so that once the tournament is over, the knowledge gained can be used to enhance the game locally.“We want to use the Fifa World Cup as a tool to build skills for the PSL which will help in the running of professional football after the games,” reiterated Kjetl Siem, the CEO of the PSL. “This is a dream come true for the PSL. We respect the role of the LOC 100 percent but we will use this opportunity for the benefit of our future.”Raymond Hack, CEO of Safa, said co-operation from their side was aimed at ensuring the event goes off without a hitch and to create a football event that the country can be proud of. “You will not find more passion anywhere in the world. We all have the same goal which is to make sure that South Africa delivers the best Fifa World Cup ever.”One of the first issues the PSL, Safa and the LOC will collaborate on is pitch management. The LOC will look at including the two bodies on a proposed pitch monitoring committee to ensure consistency in the quality of pitches at all stadiums being used for the tournament.Already the PSL is training its media personnel as venue media officers who will handle queries at each of the stadiums during the Fifa Confederations Cup in June next year. This tournament is held every four years and the title is contested by winners of the various Fifa tournaments held worldwide, like the African Cup of Nations and the European Championship.Useful linksFIFA SA Premier Soccer League South African Football Associationlast_img read more

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An Interview with Building Science Pioneer Terry Brennan

first_imgLast week I got a chance to sit down and talk with Terry Brennan in Dallas at the Air Barrier Association of America’s annual conference. He may not be as famous as Joe Lstiburek, but he’s every bit the building science pioneer. Armed with a physics degree, the ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals, and a desire to reduce the environmental impact of buildings, he built houses and wrote energy modeling computer programs back in the 1970s and ‘80s.When he finally met Lstiburek in the early ‘80s, he learned not to bet against Joe’s ability to do ridiculous things. Read the transcript of our conversation and find out what that bet was and more.The interviewAllison: How and when did you get into building science? Your background is physics, right?Terry:  Yeah, I trained in physics at Northeastern in Boston back in the late 1960s.Allison:  Undergrad degree? Graduate degrees?Terry:  Undergrad. In 1977, I had gotten real interested in ecology and, of course, there weren’t any real graduate degrees in environmental science so I got a job as an interpretive naturalist at a wildlife sanctuary. I did that for several years and then both University of Michigan and Antioch offered master’s degrees in environmental science, so I went to Antioch and got a master’s degree. RELATED ARTICLESAn Interview with Dr. Joseph LstiburekAn Interview with Dr. Iain Walker on VentilationA Conversation With Wolfgang FeistAn Interview With Martin HolladayThe History of Superinsulated Houses in North AmericaSolar Versus Superinsulation: A 30-Year-Old DebateForgotten Pioneers of Energy EfficiencyThe History of the Chainsaw RetrofitRevisiting an Energy Saving Handbook from 1979 Allison:  How did you go from there to buildings?Terry:  Well, because of the oil embargoes in the ’70s, I had gotten real interested in the amount of energy buildings use and the impact of that energy use on the environment. We knew about it back then in the environmental field. So I got interested in buildings via sustainability. I came at it from the impact on ecological systems that I was seeing from energy production and how can we reduce that. That was the path I came through and that was while I was working as a naturalist. I had already acquired an old ASHRAE handbook while I was working as a naturalist. We had built a nature center at the sanctuary and…Allison:  Was that the Handbook of Fundamentals?Terry:  Yeah, Handbook of Fundamentals. So with the training in physics it was pretty easy for me to figure that stuff out. I grew up in construction. My first job was with my uncle as a mason’s tender.Allison:  Mason’s tender? Is that like a hod carrier?Terry:  There’s a lot of lifting and carrying. A lot of what I did was mixing mortar and carrying mortar to the mason’s and striking joints, which is where I learned that if they’re not going to see it, don’t bother to strike the joints.Allison:  That was when you were a teenager?Terry:  Yeah, I was 13. We did a lot of concrete flatwork and a lot of 4-ply, built-up hot mop roofs.Allison:  That was in the Northeast somewhere?Terry:  Yeah, I was up in New York near where I live now. So with those skills I worked my way through physics training as a carpenter, so I had a construction background and I had the science training. I had realized that the chances of being able to contribute something significant in physics were pretty remote. I would have had to somehow gotten access to a synchrotron…Allison:  There is one in New York.Terry:  There is! Brookhaven National Lab, and I actually was there for a couple of months when one of my physics professors was testing out theories he had waited his entire career to test. This was one of those transitional events for me. He had spent his entire career developing some hypotheses about some subatomic particles. He had two months to demonstrate his theories and nothing panned out. There was a big argument between the theoreticians and the experimentalists, and I thought, I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to bust my ass developing theories or learning to be a good experimentalist in order to go through what these guys just went through.When I have free time, I get myself up into the mountains and go camping and climbing. In graduate school, I worked on independent studies because I was real interested in buildings. I worked on independent studies with Bruce Anderson’s total environmental action principle, which at that time was doing lots of solar energy and energy conservation in the design of buildings. They had lots of money to do that.Allison:  Who was that?Terry:  Bruce Anderson. They published Solar Age magazine, which eventually turned into Progressive Builder and then eventually went out of business. I had a great time. I did practicals at a community land trust in Vermont. They designed a number of houses, grain dryers, and they have solar hot water heaters, heavy insulation, solar-dried composting outhouses. I… did classwork in forest ecology and fieldwork in forest ecology, a lot of work on environmental economics.Allison:  Environmental economics?Terry:  Yeah, how to think about our economic systems. At that time, the report from the Club of Rome had just been published.Allison:  Limits to Growth?Terry:  Yeah, Limits to Growth had just been published so we were reading the limits to social growth and Herman Daly’s steady state economic theories.Allison:  How long has Camroden Associates been around? Is that your company?Terry:  Yeah, that’s my company that I started in 1982 after graduating and returning to central New York and helping to develop a two-year solar energy program at Oneida County Community College. The part of that that I actually taught was the building enclosures and mechanical systems, and other folks were already teaching about solar thermal collectors and photovoltaics. I was helping people to design and build low-energy use houses. We did that. We built houses and we were sealing them to between 1 and 2 air changes per hour…Allison:  Camroden Associates built houses?Terry:  Yeah.Allison:  Do you still do that?Terry:  No. You know that’s what I was doing essentially to bring in the money. I was teaching at the community college and designing and building additions and houses in central New York with a small markup. We weren’t doing many projects a year.It turned out, yup, we could make them airtight, we could insulate them heavily and deal with the thermal bridges, so I got to think about all this stuff. So I wrote some thermal network programs so I could model things that we couldn’t model just using what’s in the [ASHRAE] Handbook. I did that first on a TI-59 programmable calculator and then I wrote…Allison:  You didn’t have an HP?Terry:  The RPN [Reverse Polish Notation] HP, I did have an HP, but I didn’t have one powerful enough that I could program it to do what I could with the TI-59. I wrote a program to do Glaser analysis on assemblies to look at dew point conditions within the assemblies.Allison:  So when you were building and working on houses back then, this was the heyday of solar homes and superinsulated homes, did you fall on one side or the other? Superinsulation or passive solar? Or you did both?Terry:  Well, I did a cost-benefit analysis on incremental changes in the insulation… the level of insulation in the walls and the foundation and the roof assembly, and I used the solar radiation models that Beckman developed for solar collectors, and I used that to calculate how much sun would land on a window anywhere in the house. I calculated what model… would transmit, absorb, and re-radiate and reflect, solar… and all that.When I would set up a program to do those calculations and change the levels of insulation and go through a whole list of possible improvements and calculate the cost-benefit for each improvement, do them all and then select the one with the best cost-benefit ratio, I’d put that in the model and then do all the calculations all over again, and it would print out a prioritized list that would then allow us to go into a house… and where I ended up the houses I was building were about an R-24 to R-28 wall, sealed up to…Allison:  This was in upstate New York.Terry:  Yeah. Upstate New York, a seven to eight thousand heating degree day climate. All the walls I came up with, I did something to get rid of the thermal bridging… Insulated the foundations to about R-12 with foamboard on the exterior…Allison:  Did you do under the slab or just the perimeter?Terry:  It depends on how far down we actually went. I did a fair number of energy audits in the early 1980s and what I discovered was that my computer model, for how much energy they should use, way overpredicted the amount they actually used and when I looked at what might cause that, I came up with, the basement walls, what they tell you in the ASHRAE Handbook for basement walls was way too high. And I calculated too big a heat loss for infiltration, so I did a 2-D model of heat loss in basements and developed a table that I could use for doing that — what ASHRAE came out with a few years later.Allison:  Were you a member of ASHRAE by then?Terry:  No, I didn’t join ASHRAE until about 2000, so I had done that, and then [some researchers] in Canada came out with a method for basement walls that came up with a lot… that I came up with, so that helped a lot. And then I thought about why the infiltration calculation would be so wonky, so I…Allison:  Were you aware of Larry Palmiter and those people? Was Larry working on infiltration at that time? I know Max Sherman was.Terry:  Yeah, I think he was. Max Sherman I knew about because I knew him personally — because I had met him in I think ’81. He had just finished his PhD at Princeton, and I had gotten his thesis and talked to him a number of times. I knew about Max’s and Grimsrud’s model so I was looking at their model, and I was using their model in my program and did a bunch of tracer [gas] measurements…Allison:  So you wrote a program to do the energy modeling for a whole home including infiltration and all that?Terry:  Oh, yeah. Once microcomputers came out, I got a microcomputer in 1979.Allison:  What language did you write it in?Terry:  I wrote it in BASIC, and I wrote two programs. I wrote one that was an hourly thermal network simulation in which I could model almost anything I wanted to, but it would take me three days to set it up and then I’d start it running and… it would take all night for it to run.Given that, what I did is I made a modified heating degree day model. I divided the day up into daytime, nighttime, and dusk and dawn time periods and calculated separate heating degree days based on what I extracted from the hourly data and TMY data, and divided each month up into cloudy days and sunny days and then divided the cloudy days and sunny days up into those time periods for the day and calculated heating degree days from that.So if I had a typical sunny day and a typical cloudy day and I just weighted them by the number of them so I could do two simulations that were not hourly where you had four calculations for the day or two calculations for the day. Then I could do much simpler calculations without simultaneous equations and numerical solutions, and then I just did the ordinary heat load calculations and applied that. I used [someone’s?] calculation from LBL for the window components. That gave me really good results except infiltration… Then I check through all those options and then print out the cost-benefit ratios. It made life much simpler.Allison:  There must have been quite a lot of time put into developing that.Terry:  Oh, yeah!Allison:  I can see you typing line after line of codeTerry:  Yeah, and debugging it and making sure that it was actually the calculating the parameters I wanted…Allison:  Did you store the programs on cassette tapes?Terry:  It was initially on cassette tapes and then on floppy disks and then eventually on hard drives. It got to the point where I couldn’t run them anymore because all the operating systems had changed and there were other models available that were pretty good. By that point I was drawn from… Well, for a while I was the basement guy and for a while I was the window guy, and by then, buildings were so tight I started seeing moisture problems, high humidity problems, and started working on indoor air quality.But I did figure out what the infiltration issue was… So I modified the calculations for that, and then I thought, well, the air coming in through the cracks in the walls [?] so I measured it. I made my own collection boxes and I put them on the electrical outlets and I measured the temperature of the air coming out of the electrical outlets and it’s basically [something?]. So it’s the cracks and air leaks in walls where heat’s being sucked in, so there’s a little heat recovery ventilation. So once I accounted for those things. Suddenly the model’s predicting…We had a panel discussion about that one time at Affordable Comfort. Gary Nelson was on it and I was on it. I think Mike Blasnik was on it, and maybe Joe, maybe Joe Lstiburek…Allison:  When did you meet Joe? He was doing a lot of work with infiltration back then, too.Terry:  Oh, yeah. Joe and I met back in the early ‘80s. We’d been hearing about each other from people who knew both of us…Allison:  He was also building houses and doing the airtight drywall approach and…Terry:  Yeah, that’s right. People were coming up to me and saying, “You’ve got to see this guy, Joe Lstiburek. He’s doing the same kinds of things you’re doing.” We eventually met and hit it off right away. I think it’s probably because of two things: One is that the New York state energy office wanted to have him come and give a talk, but they were afraid, so they said, “We want you to introduce him and moderate him.” I said OK.His plane was delayed and he got there about 20 minutes late. There were all these people there to listen to him, and I said, “Well, I’m not Joe Lstiburek, but I can tell you he’s going to make a joke about a spider.” I sort of told them what two or three of his jokes were about, and I had a little Canadian flag up at the podium. And then I said, “And he’s going to tell you about how much dumber Americans are than Canadians.”Then Joe came in, and I introduced him. He got going, and he was doing the Joe Show. Then he said, “Let me tell you a story about a spider,” and everybody cracked up laughing. So he tells the joke, and then he starts a rant about “you Americans,” and I picked up the Canadian flag and I was waving it around. Everybody’s laughing, and he turned around and said, “What’s going on?” Then he told another one of his jokes and everybody started laughing again, so then he caught on that I had set him up. He just loved it. He loved that someone would break his balls like that.Then we went out drinking later that night. I lost a bet that he couldn’t stand on his head on the table at the bar and drink beer and sing the national anthem of Canada at the same time. And it turns out he can. I believe we got thrown out of that bar.At any rate, Joe and I hit it right off, and I think it’s because of a combination of — we looked at these issues and we came to the same conclusion. Now, I’m jealous that the had Timusk and Handegord and those guys to help him, and in the U.S…. I mean, I love Doug Burch and Max and Dave Grimsrud. Most of those guys we had, I’m grateful for them. But we just don’t have the building science tradition that Canada does. So we… Thank God I didn’t go to school to be an architect or a structural engineer, because I was coming to it fresh, with a physics background and a biology background. I could just apply fundamental principles to a problem. I didn’t have the baggage of having been taught to think about it in a certain way. That helped me a lot to figure things out.Anyway, I guess that’s a long way of telling you how I got interested in this stuff. Then I looked at the ASHRAE Handbook and I realized a bunch of this stuff’s wrong. And the ASTM standards about moisture… We just had no real understanding of how water molecules behaved… And that’s all changed. I never thought it would change. But I’m astonished at the progress.Allison:  What is your biggest concern with buildings right now?Terry:  You mean like building science stuff, not like the entire way we fund buildings is completely criminally insane?Allison:  Well, yeah, it’s hard to avoid going to that issue because that’s where the problems stem from.Terry:  Well, there’s plenty of things that I worry about. I’m worried about a proliferation of standards and codes. Quite a number of the changes have stopped [people from] doing dumb stuff, but when you do a code or a standard, there’s this tightrope you have to walk. How can you write it so it’s protective and stops the really stupid stuff from happening but at the same time doesn’t prohibit people from doing something innovative or in some way better?The standards in museums have really ratcheted this up a notch. It’s like, we really don’t want [interior conditions] to vary much, just a little bit all year round. You know, there’s real problems with that. First, it’s not necessary to make that tight a control. If you take a masterpiece out of someone’s mansion that hasn’t been held to that and it’s now in an entirely new temperature and moisture regime, it’s going to tear it apart. It’s going to fail.I’ve done a few museums over the years, so I’m real familiar with this. I helped an archivist at the Smithsonian. They were having problems with the film storage vault, where they stored photographs and movies, and they had an amazing collection. You want to keep it dry and cold to slow up the chemical reactions because it eats itself. So they were trying to keep it at 34 or 35 degrees, and they were getting icicles. They contacted me because they wanted to know how you can accurately measure relative humidity at 35 degrees. Down near freezing temperatures, how do you do that? Because ordinary humidity monitors don’t work. So I told them you need to use chilled mirrors. That’s the only way you’re going to be able to do that. Then they did that and we figured out they had an air leak. So they got the mechanical guys in there and they tore out the whole system, and that’s where the air leaks were — duct leakage. They redid all that and got it under control.Those kinds of things fascinate me.PostscriptIt was a pleasure getting to sit down and talk with Terry about his building science history. He’s one of my role models, too, because the first time I heard him talk (at EEBA, 2009), I found out that he also experiments on his family; he showed bath fan data from his own home. Also, I spoke with Joe Lstiburek and heard the spider joke and the reason they got kicked out of the bar. Since this article has gotten so long, though, I’ll have to tell those stories another time. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. Check out his in-depth course, Mastering Building Science at Heatspring Learning Institute, and follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard.last_img read more

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How to Differentiate Your Startup in a Red Ocean Industry

first_imgTags:#Blue Ocean#Brand Differentiation#Competition#Red Ocean#Startup Marketing We all dream of coming up with the next ingenious idea that redefines an industry, or creates one from scratch. Netflix opened the floodgates to the world of streaming content, and they benefited enormously from being the only players in town (at least, for a few years). Uber capitalized on an existing need–transportation–but provided a fast, convenient, and cheap service that essentially created the new industry of ride-sharing.These are examples of “blue ocean” opportunities, as defined by the popular book Blue Ocean Strategy by professors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. In case you aren’t familiar, they posit that there are two types of market opportunities when you create a startup from scratch. There are red oceans, which are filled with blood from fierce competition. These oceans, representing mature industries in a free market, are incredibly difficult to enter—at least without paying a price, either in more aggressive marketing and advertising costs or by settling for a smaller market share. Blue oceans, by contrast, are all but free from competition, giving you more flexibility, lower costs, and domination over nearly 100 percent of the market share.To many aspiring startup entrepreneurs, this is disheartening news, and a borderline tragic way to look at things. Coming up with a blue ocean strategy is hard, if not impossible. But the good news is, red oceans and mature industries aren’t as hard to enter as the root analogy would imply; there may not be quite as much opportunity to become a tech unicorn or acquire Bezos-scale wealth, but you can certainly succeed in a mature industry, provided you take the right marketing approach.The Truth About “Red Oceans” If we’re following the ocean analogy here, then we need to address the true nature of the competition. These red waters aren’t uniformly infested, nor are they infested in every corner. Instead, there are pockets of blue ocean to be found within those red oceans. In more literal terms, even mature industries, filled to the brim with competition, have untapped market segments and new opportunities for those willing to look.For example:Specific product features. The product itself may not change, but you can certainly add something to it. New product features may be enough to differentiate the product, and enter a world free from competition, even within a competitive industry. For example, the fast food industry is currently saturated with burger joints, but McDonald’s has introduced and maintained the Big Mac, a unique burger that can’t be replicated without violating copyright laws; if you want this specific taste, you can’t simply go somewhere else.Target demographics. You can also target a different demographic, or capitalize on consumer preferences that aren’t being met by the leading competitors. For example, in the past few years, Dollar Shave Club practically took over the subscription razor industry, and giants like Bic and Gillette quickly followed suit. Yet in the razor battle, was able to enter the mature shaving industry and make a name for itself by focusing on the smaller niche of wet shavers who prefer straight razors and safety razors.Price points. One of the more obvious points of differentiation is price. If all your competitors are selling something around the same price, you could easily capitalize on their existing audience, or target a new audience by offering it cheaper. You could also capitalize on a luxury market by charging more (assuming you can offer a higher-quality product). A key example here is the Fidget Cube, a stress-relieving toy that was crowdfunded successfully at a roughly $20 price point; a competitor, Stress Cubes, hijacked the idea and sold cubes for far less, reducing profit margins and beating the Fidget Cube to market.Geographic locations. You could also feasibly find more opportunities in a different geographic area. If there’s a specific business, product, or service that’s popular in one area of the country, you could bring it to a location that’s unfamiliar with it. Rural areas tend to be fantastic opportunities here.Peripheral services. It’s also possible to stand apart from the competition by offering services that aren’t available from mainstream competitors. For example, the Home Depot initially stood out as a competitor to traditional lumber yards because they offered a wider variety of products in one location, as well as classes to help DIYers.The Role of Brand Differentiation The secret to finding success in a mature industry is twofold; first, you need to find a way to differentiate yourself, and second, you need to make that differential element evident to the people you’re trying to persuade. That often means adjusting your brand values, your core products, or your overall marketing strategy for these key benefits:Competition reduction. Pursuing a path of your own instantly reduces the number and ferocity of competitors you’ll face. Fewer competitors means you won’t have to worry about someone else poaching customers from you, and you’ll probably spend less on marketing and advertising.Increased visibility. Being different immediately helps you stand out. Capitalizing on what makes you different from the major players in a mature industry is a strategy certain to attract attention naturally, aiding you in your marketing and advertising efforts.Niche exploration. Exploring a specific niche within the mature industry can help you cultivate and nurture a sub-industry. The more you learn about these customers and the more you cater to them, the more loyal they’ll become—especially if they never had an options like yours before.Marketing an Undifferentiated Startup Of course, these brand differentiating factors aren’t exactly valuable unless you have a method of making them visible to the public and explaining why they’re valuable. This is where marketing comes into play. You can build up your brand’s visibility and perceived value with these strategies, at a minimum:Define your differentiators (or make new ones). The most obvious answer here is to play up what makes you different in your advertising strategy. A simple message, like “sick of paying high prices for ____?” can be a good start (though you’ll want something a little more original). Are you cheaper? Higher-quality? More convenient? Targeted to someone different? Make this clear in your ads from the get-go, and try to include at least one brand element that encapsulates this, like a company name or tagline.Leverage untapped channels and outlets. There are invariably marketing and advertising strategies that your main competitors aren’t currently using. That could be because the strategies are new and unfamiliar, or because these channels haven’t historically worked for the industry. But because your company is different, it may be able to leverage these channels more efficiently. For example, if your competitors are all over Facebook but you’re differentiating yourself by targeting a more professional, older audience, you could turn to LinkedIn for your needs.Exploit key differences. Chances are, what makes you different from your existing competitors is a pain point for their current audience. You can use this to your advantage by portraying these unpleasant experiences or perceptions. For example, if existing customers are frustrated with waiting too long for a product or service, you could use a video ad that depicts someone waiting indefinitely—and someone beside them who gets the task done much quicker.Piggyback on existing brand value. As long as you aren’t lying about your competitors, you can mention them directly in your marketing and advertising campaigns, as a way to capitalize on the brand value they’ve already established. You can do this with a side-by-side comparison, or with a catchy tagline, such as “like COMPETITOR, but ________.”Truly creative startups that disrupt an industry or attempt to create a new one will naturally have advantages over those that attempt to move into already-claimed territory. However, entrepreneurs who know how to differentiate their brand, and are willing to discover and exploit niche opportunities can easily enter “red ocean” mature markets, and succeed. The trick is to learn which markets or needs aren’t currently being addressed, and find a way to work them into your business model. How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua… Frank Landman Frank is a freelance journalist who has worked in various editorial capacities for over 10 years. He covers trends in technology as they relate to business. How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture Related Posts The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who …last_img read more