branding

Real leaders collaborate

It’s the businesses that can assess their culture’s health that have a tendency to produce the best work. It’s the teams, lead by values driven leaders where ego has no part to play, that are the happiest and most productive. Collaborative management, consumer focused products and services, marketing communications which target dialogue and engagement as central to achieving objectives, satisfied and inspired employees – today these form the blue print for business success. Interesting that whichever way you look at it, it all starts internally.

“My definition of a dickhead is a person whose ambition for themselves or their own career is greater than their ambition for the project or team.” Rhys Newman and Luke Johnson, No Dickheads! A Guide to Building Happy, Healthy and Creative Teams.

Creative businesses, perhaps unsurprisingly, are great at sharing their thoughts and guidelines on the subject. The common idea celebrates the empathic, accountable and thinking individual which itself acknowledges how we thrive personally and professionally, and the connection between the two.

In their sharing of how they’ve made their workplaces happy, healthy and creative, Rhys Newman, (ex Director of Advanced Design, Nokia and VP/Head of Design, HERE – a Nokia Company) and design researcher and internal communications specialist Luke Johnson (ex Internal Communications Strategist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Principal Design Researcher, HERE) – talk through every facet of a studio laying bare the power of simple gestures – “good morning”, “goodbye” – the importance of food to bring people together, the lives we lead outside of work with family, hobbies and pets, the wonder of language and story telling .

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Follow this link for a relieving and validating exhale – A guide to building happy, healthy and creative teams.

Brooklyn based digital agency Big Spaceship is equally as culturally aware. They’ve shared their philosophy on Slideshare – read Our Manual. Big Spaceship also makes for a great case study in a recent interview by Lindsay Rothfeld on Mashable which looks at people, physical space and human interactions.

Let’s hope this thinking becomes the mainstream with “No Dickheads!” 2015’s professional development mantra.

Logorama – 2,500 logos in 2009 award winning French animation

Logorama is a 16-minute animated film written and directed by H5/Francois Alaux Hervé de Crécy and Ludovic Houplain, and produced by Autour de Minuit. It won the Prix Kodak at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 82nd Academy Awards. It uses no less than 2,500 logos to show the extent to which brands are embedded in our existence. Logorama is of course a visual hyperbole of our daily branded lives yet frighteningly realistic. On viewing this film you realise our relationship with any of these brands rests almost exclusively on consumer action and direct experience.

Craft your brand to drive business success

Consumers are brand curators in this integrated, experiential, social screen age. What are the questions brand owners need to be asking, and to whom?

The sheer number and complexity of meanings assigned to the word ‘brand’ is a modern marketing dilemma. Add to this consumer expectation of the role we expect brands to play in our lives, and how we want them to behave, and you’ll hear dissension in the ranks.

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More than a logo

LogoHereIn the land of brand (in Australia), some practitioners would agree it is enormously restrictive to align the discipline of branding so closely with the “logo”. The weight we assign this particular brand asset may contribute to a brand’s profitability over time by cleverly shifting perceptions, appealing to the visceral and ultimately affecting consumer purchase decisions, but a brand’s actual success is derived from a more complex application of the term. (more…)

Australian brand and design companies suffer from media invisibility.

Australia has some bright sparks in the brand and design industry, but who’d know it outside of its network?  As a marketing discipline that is responsible for the creation, development, evolution and management of brands, it is curious why design and branding in this country still exists as a mystery to those who are not directly involved.

My prompt for this article comes from online searches (including key industry media) that consistently fail to show much content with a brand and design focus to attract readers in the business, brand management or marketing sectors. The point here is that design and business are intrinsically linked yet there is a clear disconnect between the two. Why? (more…)

Call to action for the business sector to change their ways

My recent discovery of TuShare and Retrash has helped to validate my belief in the concept of collaborative consumption as economically, socially, politically, environmentally and ethically imperative.

If we extract this moral code – where products are consumed through sharing, or an artist’s work is created using pre-existing materials – and ask the business sector to consider how this perspective could be transposed and applied to a commercial paradigm, it may be possible for brands to move closer to a culture of customer centricity, relevance and functionality. Think product ingredients, useability, value-adding. Surely this is the kindest way to profitability. I’d written this prior to coming across a blog article by TuShare’s CEO James Bradfield Moody in which he says:

Brands that successfully sell their purpose, rather than their services, have much more potential to success in driving loyalty and building community over the long term. And a clear and compelling purpose has the potential to give a brand the opportunity to more effectively connect with its core audience and market.

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Here’s the link to James Bradfield Moody’s article – http://www.marketingmag.com.au/blogs/collaborative-consumption-and-the-sharing-economy-shaping-the-market-in-2014-and-beyond-47488/#.UxsGG-eSzOc

Brand-less cigarettes: tobacco companies not happy

Smoking Kids

Australia is about to become the first country in the world to ban tobacco companies from branding their products. As of July 1, 2012, no brand images or colors will be permitted in cigarette packaging design. Additionally, there are to be restrictions introduced online plus a 25 percent hike in excise tax bringing a pack of smokes to about $A16.70 or $US15.40.

In Australia where tobacco advertising is outlawed, the government described cigarette packaging as, “one of the last remaining frontiers for cigarette advertising.” And so it looks like Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd is about to take the big boys down. Only brand and product names will be allowed using a standard color, position, font and size making cigarette packs look similar to a prescription medication.

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