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Life at Brenthaven

Finding “Balance” in Design How Brenthaven finds the right balance of style, function and innovation.

It’s not about designing products for the sake of putting more stuff out there. Besides, the world is already full of so many product choices, many of them bad. Instead, at Brenthaven it’s about finding the right balance of style, function and innovation through a considered design process that makes the end result worthwhile, compelling and desirable. A product that can bridge the gap to its audience by generating an emotional connection can be highly rewarding for the creator and receiver. That reward is usually reinforced through the life of the Brenthaven product in terms off the purpose it serves, the difference it brings and the inherent built in quality.

There are many consumer products in the market regardless of their respective category that fall short of this “balance.” Many are purely style driven while others completely lack unique aesthetics and are more utilitarian in nature. These solutions often end up in market for some amount of time, but tend to be short lived and ultimately leave a void in the consumer experience. Consumers are savvy, however they move on if their needs aren’t being met. You might fool them once, but chances are they won’t come back again. On the other hand, when a Brenthaven product merges those key three key elements of style/function/and innovation in a considered and consistent way, the impression can be lasting and the bond between brand and consumer can be built.

As for the Brenthaven designer behind the idea, it’s essential to continually evaluate that balance throughout the actual design process and, never lose site of it. That’s easy to say and hard to do. Sometimes compromises in the design are made along the way to conform with manufacturing processes, cost constraints, or even biased feedback. This is normal and it becomes the Brenthaven designer’s responsibility to properly filter what is going to resonate in the end solution. Those behind the product must ensure alignment in the objectives and maintain a focused effort from start to finish. If this is done, then the chance for long-term success of a new product increases dramatically when one has adhered to these key principles of design.

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Life at Brenthaven

Photo Plus Expo | New York City Brenthaven exhibits BX2 Camera Cases at the Photo Plus Expo.

In October 2013 a few lucky Brenthaven employees had the chance to exhibit our new BX2 Camera Cases at the Photo Plus Expo tradeshow at the Javits Center in New York City. It was a whirlwind week of press meetings, excited consumers, New York City entertainment, and just barely escaping from Hurricane Sandy. Since the Camera Industry is relatively new to us here at Brenthaven, we weren’t sure what to expect at the tradeshow, but it did not disappoint. We were excited to find that our line of Camera Cases really does offer something new and different; seeing people’s faces when we demonstrated how our unique BX2 foam absorbs impact when dropped, solidified our confidence that you won’t find a more protective camera bag on the market. PPE was a great introduction into the world of photography tradeshows and we look forward to many more to come.

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Giving Back, Life at Brenthaven

Seattle to Portland Bike Ride Brenthaven employees participate in the Seattle to Portland (STP) bike ride.

At 6AM On Saturday, July 14th, five ambitious Brenthaven employees took off on their bicycles to complete the well known Seattle to Portland (STP) Bike ride. After a grueling ride the team camped and spent the night in Chehalis, only to awake bright and early the next morning to complete the trek down to Portland, Oregon.

Brent Lundstrom, a Brenthaven Sales Channel Manager was able to use our unique commuter program to get set up with gear for the STP ride.

“I love working at Brenthaven! I’m an avid mountain biker and have always liked biking to work when I can. I was asked to join the Brenthaven bike team for Seattle to Portland ride earlier this summer. I didn’t really have a good road bike for this 200 mile ride… Brenthaven has this sweet commuter program where they pay you to commute to work. I was able to use this money to buy a new bike. Now I’m riding 4-5 days a week, getting fit, being eco-friendly and have a sweet new bike to show for it!”- Brent

The ride was a great experience for all involve, in the words of one Brenthaven rider:

“Training and riding for STP was a great physical and mental challenge. We had amazing views and roadside adventures that included a bee sting, one flat tire and someone flipping over the handle bars and landing on other rider that wrecked while taking a picture going 20 mph. The most memorable parts included crossing the bridge into Oregon with thousands of cyclists, looking forward to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at each rest stop and the beer garden at the end of the ride.”

Here at Brenthaven we support the biking community not only as an enjoyable pastime with fitness benefits, but also as part of our Zero Impact™ strategy towards environmental sustainability. By encouraging our employees to bike to work we are able to reduce carbon emissions and our company’s footprint as a whole.

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Life at Brenthaven

Notes from the CEO A reminder of what the ‘Brenthaven experience’ is all about.

This morning I was in a mad rush to leave the house and get to work. I reached for my latest Brenthaven laptop bag (I have a few) and at the exact same time, my son knocked my coffee out of my hand. As the hot scalding coffee hit my skin, I inadvertently let go of the bag and it, along with all of my precious belongings, fell about 3 feet and hit our wood floors with a thud.

Now, you have to understand, that I am your quintessential mobile tech guy, I love my technology and I spend a lot of time with it. My MacBook Air 13” has my latest TV shows downloaded from iTunes, it holds all 60GB of my eclectic music collection, and it has every photo I’ve shot of my kids since the first one was born 11 years ago. Outside of my family, friends, colleagues and perhaps my road bike, my MacBook Air 13” is my most valuable asset. So I’m watching this bag hit the floor and thinking to myself “great, now I’ll be spending the day at the Apple Store getting my computer fixed.” I gingerly reach down for my Brenthaven laptop bag, pull up the front flap (it’s our cool new Broadmore Messenger Bag) and remove my MacBook. I grin and pump my hand in the air! The Brenthaven protection has kept my MB Air safe and sound. Not a dent, not a scratch, still works perfectly.

Reflecting back on this morning and that transition from absolute fear to sheer joy, I was reminded that this is what the ‘Brenthaven experience’ is all about. This is what we do better than anyone else. We keep our consumers connected to their digital lifestyle. To some, this may seem like a trivial thing, but to those of us living ‘the digital life’, it’s really important. For me today (and for every Brenthaven consumer out there about to drop their bag), it’s the difference between a really bad day and a really good day…

Scott Armstrong

CEO, Brenthaven