Creativity with Purpose
2 years ago
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?

2 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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MIT Media Lab Identity: 40,000 permutations, one brand.

It’s rare enough that we we look at a new corporate identity with slack-jawed wonder - but this stopped us in our tracks.

To mark 25 years of innovation, MIT Media Lab commissioned former student Richard The (working at agency The Green Eyl) to create a new brand identity.

He delivered a result as clever and innovative as the client: An algorithmic device that generates a new visual identity for each user - while still sustaining visual consistency and recognition for the brand.

Given the visionary students that give the Media Lab it’s well-earned reputation, this was an innovative way to reflect the ideas and aspirations of the individuals who study there as well as the institution itself.

And as a footnote - This story reminded us of how much Ireland lost when MediaLab Europe closed down in 2005. (Sigh.)

- - - - -

Big thanks to Stepa for the find.

Cite Arrow via stepa
3 years ago
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Creative cartons: Why brand-led disruption delivers at every level

We only occassionally post about another agency’s work… but this beer brand from Landor in Sydney really resonated with our philosophy on maximising a brand’s personality in every possible communication channel.

When we created the Java Republic brand, there was no budget to do anything other than physically get the beans to the coffee houses: So we used every packaging opportunity - including the shipping carton - as a means to explain *why* their coffee was better.

With Lovells Pure Lager, Landor started with a brand personality that was strikingly different, and then expressed that distintiveness by every means possible - including a set of quirky packing-case cartons.

In a category where the consumer’s typical purchase has evolved from the six-pack to the slab, the carton has become increasingly important - and Lovell’s decision to deliberately underplay their otherwise sophisticated visual language gives them real standout in store.

The upside-down bottle is something of an acquired taste - but overall, this is a suite of superb brand communications for a brave and bold client.

First found here, on Landor’s own blog.

(Source: )

3 years ago
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Starbucks continues the trend towards stripped-down brand identities

It’s been all over the web since yesterday: Starbucks announced an evolved brand identity - with everything removed apart from their “siren” symbol.

Starbucks

Created by Lippincott and Starbucks own in-house design team, this follows a growing trend towards minimal consumer brand identities: From Pepsi’s new look in 2009 - noteworthy for possibly the most ludicrous rationale ever - through to less successful attempts by Tropicana and Gap in 2010. Not forgetting two of the world’s most successful brands - Apple and Nike - who have long since dropped their name from brand identifiers.

The Starbucks news follows on nicely from a blog-post we spotted in December from the Antrepo agency - where they imagined how some well-known consumer brands could benefit from minimalist packaging design.

Antrepo

It all raises some interesting thoughts: First of all, Starbucks went about their change with more customer-sensitivity than either Tropicana or Gap: They’ve announced the change three months ahead of launch, and (most cleverly) they’re showing the new mark applied to their ubiquitous coffee cups, where it already looks at home.

But the key reason why we believe Starbucks can take this kind of bold approach is because of the broad brand-communication canvas they work with: Most consumers encounter the brand in the context of their coffee shops, where their warm, hyper-kinetic and multi-layered visual language can still run riot. This new brand identity is simply the identifier to punctuate a richly-expressed brand environment. It’s the badge in front of the car, rather than the car itself.

That’s why Tropicana didn’t work - and why a super-minimal Pringles pack wouldn’t sell either: Consumer brands have a tiny piece of on-shelf real estate to work with: They need to convey all the values and character of their brand in their packaging in order to create recognition, appeal - and to prompt a purchase.

Unless you have Pepsi’s advertising budget, Starbuck’s physical presence, or a target audience that values visual restraint, consumer brands will always need to strike a careful balance between complexity and simplicity.

3 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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Creative brand environments - the brand as “art”
Like many, we were impressed with this Nike installation created out of 5,500 footballs for this year’s world cup.
The Cool Hunter blog has gathered together a great gallery of similarly grandiose brand installations, which they’re (rather excitedly) describe as “brands tapping into the art space.”
Even if you’re not prepared to go as far as hanging thousands of footballs in a shopping centre, there is a great power in tapping the visual language of your brand to create a dramatic physical presence. Irish company Made in Hollywood has carved out a particularly successful niche for themselves in executing the giant-sized branded elements needed to make these ideas work, even if you’re not on Nike’s budget.
How could your brand communicate more creatively and memorably in a physical space?

Creative brand environments - the brand as “art”

Like many, we were impressed with this Nike installation created out of 5,500 footballs for this year’s world cup.

The Cool Hunter blog has gathered together a great gallery of similarly grandiose brand installations, which they’re (rather excitedly) describe as “brands tapping into the art space.”

Even if you’re not prepared to go as far as hanging thousands of footballs in a shopping centre, there is a great power in tapping the visual language of your brand to create a dramatic physical presence. Irish company Made in Hollywood has carved out a particularly successful niche for themselves in executing the giant-sized branded elements needed to make these ideas work, even if you’re not on Nike’s budget.

How could your brand communicate more creatively and memorably in a physical space?

4 years ago
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Using the power of branding to sell… carrots
This is a great find by the folks at redesign:related :
A co-operative of US carrot farmers has commissioned a brand and packaging agency to add “brand appeal” to baby carrots. The agency - Crispin Porter + Bogusky has come up with the wonderfully manic campaign: Baby Carrots: Eat’em Like Junk Food.
You can read the USA today article about the campaign here - and see the pack designs above this post.
While we can debate the merits of inflicting the hardcore branding practices of snack foods on an innocent vegetable, their plans to have the packs available in chilled vending machines has to be applauded.
What do you think?

Using the power of branding to sell… carrots

This is a great find by the folks at redesign:related :

A co-operative of US carrot farmers has commissioned a brand and packaging agency to add “brand appeal” to baby carrots. The agency - Crispin Porter + Bogusky has come up with the wonderfully manic campaign: Baby Carrots: Eat’em Like Junk Food.

You can read the USA today article about the campaign here - and see the pack designs above this post.

While we can debate the merits of inflicting the hardcore branding practices of snack foods on an innocent vegetable, their plans to have the packs available in chilled vending machines has to be applauded.

What do you think?

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