Creativity with Purpose
2 years ago
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Jameson Dublin International Film Festival - new brand, new beginning

Our JDIFF brand emerged with some fanfare at the launch of this year’s festival last week. It’s been a thrill to work with this this great event, and the launch marked a culmination of strategic and creative work that started last summer.

Our primary goal was to ensure the festival had its own identity: Despite 10 years of success, the festival had no consistent branding, and was at risk of being subsumed by the strength of the title sponsor’s brand.

We worked with the festival’s CEO, Joanne O’Hagan, to create a strong but flexible brand that still allowed each year to have its own visual theme, and that respected the requirements of their title sponsor. Roll on the 16th of February, when the brand will get to rub shoulders with Al Pacino, Glenn Close and Mark Wahlberg - among others! 

Credit to David Mannion for the photographs

2 years ago
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The art of brand name translation in China

We liked this NYT article recently - it’s a fascinating insight into the big business of adapting Western brand names for the huge Chinese market.

While early attempts at localising established brands just created phonetic equivalents, recent entrants have opted to convey both meaning and a phonic mimicry of the original name.

Some of the results add a poetic resonance to well-known brands - such as “Quick Steps” for Reebok (Rui bu) or “Tasty Fun” for Coca Cola (Kekoukele).

It made us think: What will happen to the names of Chinese brands that eventually become sought after on this side of the world?

3 years ago
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Give your brand the “no-logo” test
We missed this great Fast Company article when it was first published earlier this year, but it’s worth a read. Martin Lindstrom asks: Do your communications still convey your brand - even if the logo is removed?
His thesis is that a true brand will still create recognition without the primary identity device, and the examples he cites (Coke, Apple and Guinness) certainly prove the point.
But don’t despair that your marketing budget will never create the recognition of such mega-brands. Yes, part of these companies’ branding success is a self-fulfilling function of their market share: But the primary reason their brands are strong is because they have always followed a brand-led marketing strategy. Every aspect of their customer experience is oriented in their brand values, and they invest wisely in design (across every medium) to deliver this consistently.
Can you say the same about your brand?

Give your brand the “no-logo” test

We missed this great Fast Company article when it was first published earlier this year, but it’s worth a read. Martin Lindstrom asks: Do your communications still convey your brand - even if the logo is removed?

His thesis is that a true brand will still create recognition without the primary identity device, and the examples he cites (Coke, Apple and Guinness) certainly prove the point.

But don’t despair that your marketing budget will never create the recognition of such mega-brands. Yes, part of these companies’ branding success is a self-fulfilling function of their market share: But the primary reason their brands are strong is because they have always followed a brand-led marketing strategy. Every aspect of their customer experience is oriented in their brand values, and they invest wisely in design (across every medium) to deliver this consistently.

Can you say the same about your brand?

3 years ago
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A history of pirate branding
No, this isn’t a blog post about pirated products: Instead, it’s a link to a fascinating New York Times article on how the skull and crossbones went from an esoteric ensign to become the internationally recognised symbol for all pirates in the early 1700s.
The article argues that the Jolly Roger was an early example of brand power: It was recognised, understood and responded to because of its “clarity of meaning” - and so added value to the pirate’s operation:
"What pirates wanted was profit, and to make it in the least costly way… If they could terrorize a ship on approach, they could get what they wanted with minimum trouble."
It’s a lesson for every would-be brand: Does your identity immediately and emotively convey your intent? Does it provoke an intuitive response that saves (or makes) your business money?

A history of pirate branding

No, this isn’t a blog post about pirated products: Instead, it’s a link to a fascinating New York Times article on how the skull and crossbones went from an esoteric ensign to become the internationally recognised symbol for all pirates in the early 1700s.

The article argues that the Jolly Roger was an early example of brand power: It was recognised, understood and responded to because of its “clarity of meaning” - and so added value to the pirate’s operation:

"What pirates wanted was profit, and to make it in the least costly way… If they could terrorize a ship on approach, they could get what they wanted with minimum trouble."

It’s a lesson for every would-be brand: Does your identity immediately and emotively convey your intent? Does it provoke an intuitive response that saves (or makes) your business money?

3 years ago
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In another nod to Ireland’s current state of election branding, here’s a brief video for all parties to peruse:

Scott Thomas (aka SimpleScott) on designing the Obama Campaign. 

(Source: vimeo.com)

Cite Arrow via creativeinspiration
3 years ago
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This wry look at the recent Starbucks redesign caught our eye this morning…

This wry look at the recent Starbucks redesign caught our eye this morning…

Cite Arrow via creativeinspiration
4 years ago
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Do branded goods need a visible brand identity?

This interesting statistic comes courtesy of the New York Times, in an article they published over the summer.

The article points out that higher-value brands tended not to feature visible brand identities on their branded goods.

According to a paper published by The Journal of Consumer Research, this is because consumers of high-end branded goods prefer their status symbols to be discrete. While they do want to broadcast their status, they only want this message to be understood by fellow member of their “elite” group.

This research proves two of the tenets of our own thinking on brand strategy:

1. Effective brands convey their uniqueness using 10% identity, and 90% communication, experience and engagement.

Your brand identity is just the badge on the front of the car. There’s only so much it can say. It’s the design and performance of the car itself that really counts.

2. Sometimes it’s more effective to whisper than shout.

It’s a running joke that designers like to use client identities at small sizes. But this is with good reason: In general, the size of a brand identity is in inverse proportion to its credibility.

What do you think?

4 years ago
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Our post on sochi2014.ru generated an interesting conversation of comments with @aidenkenny on the evolution of the aerlingus.com brand.
To continue that theme, click the pic above to see another archive of visual brand evolutions. Sadly, the commentary only discusses the visual changes - with no insight on the strategy that led to the change in each case.

Our post on sochi2014.ru generated an interesting conversation of comments with @aidenkenny on the evolution of the aerlingus.com brand.

To continue that theme, click the pic above to see another archive of visual brand evolutions. Sadly, the commentary only discusses the visual changes - with no insight on the strategy that led to the change in each case.

Cite Arrow via szymon
4 years ago
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Protecting the Brand of a Living Legend
Great article from Time on the complexities of managing the brand assets of a public figure - Nelson Mandela.

Protecting the Brand of a Living Legend

Great article from Time on the complexities of managing the brand assets of a public figure - Nelson Mandela.

4 years ago
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