A glimpse into the quality of our thinking.
In the pages that follow, you will gain a glimpse into the quality of thought-leadership we have here at FutureBrand as the bloggerati in our network of employees share trends and technologies, observations and predictions, reflections and insights, across a gamut of branding, innovation and design. Youâ€™ll be rewarded with not just a wealth of knowledge that enriches your decision-making ability to bring tangible bottom-line benefits to your business, but also an understanding that the inherent power of creative strategy and expression is what transforms brands and fuels peoplesâ€™ relationships with brands, through loyalty, attitude, belief and even a cultural identity.
and take your time to savour the feast of information contained within these pages.
The brands of the future will help you consume less
Why Branding is not Advertising, and Advertising is not Branding
Iconography in Branding: The importance of getting it right
20. 24. 28.
Innovation sparks… innovation?
By 2014, your postman could be an astronaut
The hi-tech weddings of the future
Disconnect to reconnect! – The 1.0 holidays of the FUTURE!
Driving brand performance through creating desire
In the future, our home will be a Fashion accessory
How hard is your brand management tool working?
Managing v#content – Owned brand and consumer brand management
In the future, we’ll go back to school without schoolbags, but we’l still be making pasta necklaces!
Ebb & flow: How maps and big data can help us understand how diseases spread
Five things all brand managers should know!
FutureBrand at Tent London 2013
The power of the inner crowd: Building brands from within
Cannes 2013 – A post-modern approach to creativity after 60 years
3 brand lessons to learn from #fitchthehomeless
FutureBrand wins prestigious CLIO award for American Airlines
Top 10 brands “twentysomethings” cannot live without and why
Corporate Philanthropy: Now more than part of the agenda
American spirit in brand identity design
Davos 2013: How companies can create a better future
The 22nd century will be the African century (and other predictions)
42. 46. 52. 56.
Tackling the war for talent
Lessons in mobile marketing
Managing resistance to change
Future Brilliance! New brands for Afghanistan and the world
Partnership Branding: A growth strategy
ONE way to change the world
Congratulations Solar Impulse
When humans – not tech, are put at the centre of the experience, everyday problems get solved
The NINJA Generation and how they’re changing the world
â€œInstead of trying to blindly increase penetration and frequency, future brands will help consumers understand how much they consume, and what this means for their health, wealth and happiness.â€?
by Tom Adams
The brands of the future will help you consume less Right now, companies get by through pushing more and more stuff we don’t need. But with data and personalization, they might earn our loyalty and dollars by giving us exactly what we do. It is an article of faith in mass marketing that more consumption is good. Marketers focus on increasing penetration and frequency – selling to more people, more often – as ends in themselves, and research consumer attitudes to everything from packaging design and pricing to the position of products on shelves to do it. Brands help them to do this more effectively by making things attractive and easy to identify and playing on unconscious desire. So we quite often consume more than we need of the wrong things, which wastes money, time, and the world’s resources. For example, it is estimated that Americans throw away 20 pounds of food per person per month, restaurants in China throw away enough food to feed 200 million people a year and we send hundreds of millions of mobile phones to landfill annually. Not just that, but potato chips and sweetened drinks, among other convenience foods, make us more fat than any other products. So unthinking mass consumption, and the brand marketing that drives it, has to change before stuff runs out and we end up floating around in hover chairs like the future humans in Wall-E.
In the future, brands will still sell dreams, but will also provide tools for a better reality. We have the technology today to track exactly what we consume, when we consume it and how much it costs – individually and collectively. Branded products and services are increasingly connected, as are the people that use them, so individual brands and the companies behind them can learn how they are being used. Retail banks now offer services that allow you to track your history and see exactly how you have spent your money, which provides an unprecedented level of insight for the banks and builds customer loyalty. Fitness ecosystems like Nike Fuelband and Fitbit track and share your levels of physical activity on a real-time basis. Insurance companies have been offering telematics to peg premiums to actual usage for years in car insurance.
Nike Fuelband. <www.insider.nike.com>
What if brands were able to help us consume less, not more?
“As you would expect, brands tend to use our personal data to recommend more consumption to us, not less.” Major organizations now report exactly what environmental and social impact their manufacturing processes and products have on the world – from CO2 emissions to waste and use of resources. And the major global retailers that provide most of the things we buy every day know exactly what they sell and who to, often building sophisticated loyalty schemes around that data. But, as you would expect, they tend to use it to recommend more consumption to us, not less. This fragmentation will soon be a thing of the past and consumers will increasingly be able to join up their diverse personal data sources – levels of activity, spending, location, consumption – to create lifestyle
dashboards that provide real-time information on what they are using, where it is from and the impact it is having on the world around them. I will be able to measure how many soft drinks I have, how much sugar they contain, and what this means for my calorific intake. Combine this with basic measures of health and well-being – my blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, family medical history and levels of activity and my consumption choices will start to be framed not by marketing, but by a real understanding of how my consumption affects me and everyone else. Not just generally, but at the point of purchase and consumption. This data then becomes an asset to the consumer that they can optimize and sell to service providers.
Where do brands fit into this? Instead of trying to blindly increase penetration and frequency, future brands will help consumers understand how much they consume, and what this means for their health, wealth and happiness. My favorite pizza brand will know how many times I have enjoyed its meat feast this month and let me know if I should try a healthier alternative when I reach my pre-agreed limits. Instead of allowing me to overspend on my monthly mobile phone tariff every month, my mobile brand will calibrate my bill to my actual usage in real time, reducing as well as increasing the amount I spend based on personal activity not averages. My gym brand will only charge me when I use its facilities, but also find ways to help me exercise more based on my personal location, levels of activity and health, as well as connecting me to other members who can encourage me to visit more frequently – attending to my overall fitness and wellbeing, not just my hours using its equipment.
My favorite retail brand will build a personal shopping cart for me based not only on what I have bought in the past, but how much food I have thrown away, whether food is in season and available from local sources, as well as showing product alternatives bought by similar customers who have my desired body weight or health profile. It will also help me to reduce my household waste and environmental impact by recommending products with less packaging and brands that have a lower carbon footprint. Loyalty will earn insights and a better holistic life, not just discounts that encourage more consumption. My favorite car brand will allow me to access any model I like when I need it and only pay for the time I use. And because ownership will shift from me as a consumer back to the automotive company, it will take care to fully recycle its machines – reusing the raw materials that made it to create new cars, rather than committing them to landfill.
“Loyalty will earn insights and a better holistic life, not just discounts that encourage more consumption.”
Less will build loyalty Brands have always been a promise of quality and addressing personal needs and this is how they build loyalty – people want to recreate previous good experiences and brands help them to do it easily. In the future, this quality of experience will depend on helping people to understand and manage how much they consume, not just offering pleasure, efficacy and consistency. As they do this, not only will they deliver the great experiences we want, they will also help us to reduce waste, improve our health and be more conscious of the impact our consumption has on the world around us. This will make us more loyal to brands, not less, because we will depend on them as vital inputs to our quantified selves. And it will make sure that corporations continue to make money and grow sustainably by providing things that genuinely improve our quality of life, rather than just selling us too much of stuff we don’t need.
Because it costs them more to sell things that are wasted, and they might find that people are prepared to pay more for less, saving them money on raw materials, packaging and distribution that simply are not necessary – “concentrated” washing detergents being the prime example in mass market products today. But the key to this future is the creation and management of the dashboard itself. Who will we trust to aggregate this information, interpret it and store it on our behalf? For example, would I allow a food brand access to my health or financial information so it can design better food for me? The unspoken contract between people and the brands they love will need to be more explicit – I trust you with my data and you have my best interests at heart in return. If you don’t, the contract breaks down and brand loyalty is broken. The most obvious candidates for this kind of trust are the current
“Who will we trust to aggregate this information, interpret it and store it on our behalf ?”
aggregator brands â€“ the search engines, the multibrand retailers, the software service providers â€“ brands that exist to help us get access to multiple products, services and information, we depend on every day, and are increasingly personalising their services around individual customer needs and data. So what will our future consumption look like? Supermarkets will deliberately sell us fewer products in smaller packages. Automotive brands will stop selling us cars and start selling us access to mobility services. Financial services brands will help us to spend less money within our means. Soft drinks brands will sell us fewer sparkling beverages. Insurance brands will charge us lower premiums based on our individual behavior, not actuarial tables. All in the interests of building the loyalty that comes from being understood and not trying to manipulate us into using more than we want or need. And one brand will bring it all together to drive the balance. The question is, which brand will you choose to do it?
â€œA brand is used in business to differentiate goods or services from each other and to help create associations in the minds of consumers which lead to awareness, preference and ultimately, choice or purchase.â€?
by Chris Nurko
Why Branding is not Advertising, and Advertising is not Branding
As the Super Bowl in the United States fades from memory, and clients pay their bills for the megaspend on their ads (estimated by the AP to be $4 million for 30 seconds and exposure to an audience of 112m viewers), it seems an appropriate opportunity to remind everyone why Branding is not Advertising, and Advertising is not Branding. I want to make it clear that I am not “Advertising bashing”; in fact I am a huge advocate of Advertising in all of its forms as both a strategic and tactical means of creating effective brand interest, awareness, desire and sales. However, unlike the proverbial “chicken vs. egg” discussion, Advertising is only effective if the brand and its strategy have been established first and it is subservient to the brand strategy at all times. As the debate rages over what the “best” or “most effective” ads were for the Super Bowl – my question is, which brands used the Super Bowl and Advertising to the greatest effect for their overall Brand Strategy? Before I can answer that, let’s just be clear about what the difference and relationship is between Brand Strategy and Advertising. Branding 101 – defined. Branding is the term for a company, product or service that can be recognised by the following key ingredients: a unique name, a unique logotype/marque or visual identity, and a distinctive value proposition or “offer”. A brand is used in business to differentiate goods or services from each other and
to help create associations in the minds of consumers which lead to awareness, preference and ultimately, choice or purchase. Brands are strategic assets that on their own or across a portfolio, help to create customer loyalty and advocacy thus generating a predictive model for future income. By measuring brand choice (today’s sales, market share, loyalty, etc.) a brand’s owner can project future sales with a degree of certainty and thus value. This future value of a brand is thus dependent upon a brand being both consistent in terms of delivery and “offer” while remaining relevant and salient to consumers. A brand strategy is therefore all about being consistent and ensuring that existing and potential brand audiences are familiar with, and interested in, the brand’s offer. Keep in mind, when it comes to brands, consumers expect consistency and a strong current and future brand is reliable for its unique and defined set of qualities and attributes that appeal and sustain a consumer’s attention. If it is successful, a brand establishes an image in consumers’ minds that creates awareness and hopefully a “position” that makes it distinct, differentiated and desired by the target audience. In order to remain relevant and salient to consumers, a brand must continually reinforce its “position” (versus the competition) and build awareness and preference amongst its audience targets.
To this end, a brand strategy is the sum total of how the brand and its physical attributes (identity, product, packaging, services and experiences) are associated and identified with a set of emotional and mental attributes (brand image, values, associations, and unique selling points) that leads to sales. The brand strategy is the means by which a brand as an asset is linked to an offer of value that consumers are willing to pay for and repeatedly purchase over time so as to create demand. In this way, a brand strategy for a company, a product or service is executed and linked to the financial performance of a brand owner. In order to be successful, the tools and methods of how a brand communicates its salience and relevance must be uniquely determined and leveraged. This is the Brand Communications Strategy and it is most often made up of Advertising, Media or Channel Planning, Public Relations, Point of Sale and Digital/Social or Direct Marketing. Each of these communications disciplines must work both on their own and in concert to create an effective “Campaign” for a brand. This in itself means that a single theme or series of messages related to a brand is effectively communicated to audiences to create awareness, recognition, preference and ultimately, choice for the brand. A Marketing Strategy is the allocation of resources required for a brand to be effective given sales and marketing challenges or competitive activity. To reinforce my point, a Brand Strategy must come before the Brand Communications Strategy and it must be linked to future sales and growth.
So, isn’t Advertising just the TV Ads? No, the TV ads are only part of the equation – albeit the most expensive and highest profile aspect of the medium. Advertising has come to mean the collective use of all forms of Above the Line (ATL) and Below the Line (BTL) communications tactics and disciplines. Advertising tends to be “Campaign” oriented so as to reflect both the shopping/buying cycles of consumers in any given year, and it reflects the product or category innovation development of brand owners. When these two aspects are brought together, a Brand Communications Strategy can be developed. A single “theme” or “set of messages” are developed based on the Brand Strategy where the objective is to raise awareness and aid recognition of the brand and link this to the action of purchase and recommendation. A strong campaign helps to promote a brand’s relevance and salience by tapping into the consumer’s conscious and unconscious mindset. Ideally, the campaign’s goal is to help create stronger associations and interest in the brand, the product/ service/experience or category so as to “position’” the brand for future consideration and purchase by the consumer. Advertising that is well conceived and well executed is the ultimate means of bringing a brand “to life” for consumers by creating a link between the consumers’ needs and wants, which in turn drives purchase consideration and behaviour. Often, the strongest Ad Campaigns create additional elements of a brand’s narrative or story via campaign imagery, story lines, slogans/jingles, mnemonics and associations (including celebrity endorsements). Ultimately, it prompts the consumer to choose and buy the product, service or experience either for the first time (trial and consideration) or for repeated times (loyalty/ advocacy). If a “campaign” is well integrated and executed using a brand’s unique and memorable attributes, it creates additional elements that strengthen recall and preference, a brand gains in strength. Brand strength means that advertising not only delivers awareness and recall (aided and unaided) but consumers attach the specific brand attributes to the communications which derive from the brand’s core values, attributes and unique selling points. A strong brand therefore is able to generate future growth and value.
What happens when the Advertising becomes the Brand Strategy? Ok, so finally i get to my point! If an advertising strategy becomes the brand strategy, a few things can occur:
1 A brand becomes associated with a “Campaign” and by its very nature – the “Campaign” begins to take on a life of its own. This often leads to the awareness being high and recall strong (usually because the campaign elements become cultural signifiers, mnemonic icons or vernacular catch phrases) but this often fails to translate into actual sales or differentiating product/ service or experience benefits. The brand experiences a spike amongst consumers of media and the client becomes hooked on levels of marketing spend which need to be continually reinvested so as to maintain the brand’s profile. This can often occur with total disregard to either developing the product or service experience or without truly engaging the consumer(s) of the brand. The brand either becomes a “generic” for the category, or becomes invisible as each campaign becomes “wallpaper”. Often seen in the background but simultaneously ignored. There are frequently no discernible or unique aspects to the “ad” and one could easily substitute any brand for the storyline as long as the storyline stays the same. Conventional wisdom also says that when the storyline becomes too familiar, the audience begins judging the storyline of the plot against previous “episodes” or versions of the storyline – and this results in comments like… “it wasn’t as good as the last ad”. Forgetting about the brand and focusing on the ad story is never a good thing.
2 The campaigns often are characterised by advertising that is disconnected to the actual product, service or experience. They become victims to advertising that plays to either a) stereotypes and archetype narratives which are category generics (thus not differentiating), or b) they become indulgent set-pieces in bizarre, humorous or surreal executions which often leave the consumer or viewer wondering what the ad was about and with no connection to the product, service, experience or brand at all. In many cases, the “creative” metaphor is one of extreme yet familiar storylines so that it either “shocks” or “grabs attention” yet fails to connect with any aspect of the brand that is unique or part of the user experience. Often these ads are funny in the short term, but do they make you go out and “buy” the product, or feel “better” about the brand itself? So, with this in mind… make up your own mind about the 2013 Super Bowl ads… and use this as a guide for whether the ads are good for the brand or not. Hint – if you can’t remember the brand, or there is no discernible difference between the brand, the product and any other competitor – maybe it’s time to re-think the Brand Strategy and Communications Strategy link. Bravo to the brand strategy directors and marketing teams who recognised the value of putting a strong storyline linked to brand assets (icons, symbols and unique attributes) into an emotive promotion. For these brands, the future is one of stronger recall, positive associations and reinforced attributes.
â€œThe iconography of a nation is representative of culture, patriotism, history and pride.â€?
by Chris Nurko
Bank of Canada. <www.bankofcanada.ca>
Iconography in Branding: The importance of getting it right
Letâ€™s explore three interesting and topical brand issues in the news that underscore the power and importance of Branding, national identity and design and the powerful role they have in communications. All three are examples of national identities derived from, and integral to, the flags of their respective nations.
The Flag Store. <www.theflagstore.ca>
Canada and Currency
First of all, Canada has introduced a new currency note that uses a maple leaf design as part of the security feature across the denominations of Canadian Dollars. The new design includes what has been described as a “representative” leaf as opposed to an “actual” leaf (meaning – a stylised interpretation of what a maple leaf looks like based on no specific variety of Maple Tree). However, Botanists and Canadians are not letting this one get “spun” – why? Because it does not look like the traditional native Canadian sugar maple leaf, but rather looks like an imported species of maple tree (the Norwegian maple leaf). One could be forgiven if the differences were subtle, but anyone familiar with Canadian symbolism and iconography knows – the leaves are different and the sugar maple is the definitive representation of all things Canadian. So, why and how could this happen? At the end of the day (as suggested in the BBC news report), the role of design is one of interpretation, and
therefore sometimes a designer needs to take the liberty of interpretation for various reasons. In commercial enterprise, theatre and/or entertainment – this is acceptable and encouraged. However, when it comes to government, business or any aspect of society in which a degree of trust, familiarity or citizenship is involved it is better not to stray too far from convention. The iconography of a nation is representative of culture, patriotism, history and pride. The symbolism of a flag or coat of arms is almost sacrosanct and needs to be treated with respect and care, and it needs to be accurate to previous and historic convention. I would argue, in the case of currency – that this is a base requirement. So – kudos for retaining the maple leaf design as an integral part of the currency, and embracing technology to allow it to be integrated as a security feature (a see through window). However, nil points for mistaking an imported leaf species or “stylistically blending” the Norwegian variety with the familiar, iconic and truly native Canadian sugar maple leaf!
Cuba and the Union Jack
Re-tiqued by Rae Bond. <re-tiqued.blogspot.com>
But we are splitting hairs… to young Cubans, it represents a cool design feature which is now very “on trend” because of the London 2012 Olympic Games. When asked in the BBC feature as to why they like it or what they associate it – a young Cuban answers that because “the country is beautiful, the people are friendly and the women are pretty.” Introduced last summer, the effect of the Olympic Games and the coverage of London 2012 has had an impact which has translated into a commercial opportunity for vendors in Havana. Suffice to say, the “Cool Britannia” of the Union Jack is evident around the world and in Britain as well – but, to the extent that an avowed Communist state and its people embrace a symbol of the United Kingdom versus just a nice piece of red, white and blue design depends on their associations. And, in this case – it is one not of politics but sport and the cultural coverage from The Games.
Daily Mail Online. <dailymail.co.uk>
The second example is the report out of Havana that Cubans are going “loco” for anything Union Jack. The “bandera inglesa” (English flag) is a popular design icon for everything from clothes, to bags, and tattoos! Technically – the flag is the British flag (made up of the English Cross of St George alongside the Scottish Cross of St Andrew and the Cross of St Patrick). It is officially the Union Flag but in common parlance is referred to as the “Union Jack”.
American Airlines and the new American
The third example is that of American Airlines. We at FutureBrand spent two years investigating and understanding every element of the American Airlines identity as well as what represents “America” in terms of symbols, icons, graphics, colors, type and associations. The result is the new identity of American Airlines. (You can read more about it on the futurebrand.com web pages and indeed, in the press). You can make up your own mind about it from a subjective or objective point of view. My point in this article is to merely highlight that when a branding or design firm is asked to leverage symbols and icons of a commercial enterprise (and one in which there is history, equity and pride) you have to be careful! Plus, if those elements are also part of a wider narrative or cultural symbolism (e.g. that of the nation) you have to be extra vigilant. In the airline business, logos and tailfins are the glamour elements and the icons that enter into the social and cultural vernacular.
Therefore, one cannot approach the task lightly. However, I believe the new American Airlines design gets it right for several reasons.
1 The iconic elements of the silver fuselage, red/white/blue, and “eagle” have all been retained, contemporised and incorporated into one system that is easier to implement and facilitates brand recognition. The tailfin is both dynamic and 2 expressive with a strong reference to the “flag carrier” concept yet it is abstract and not literal.
3 The “flight symbol” is a strong stand-alone element that unifies all of the components into one that aid recognition and ownership, making it distinctive. The symbols of America are enduring and strong, but also ubiquitous and to create something which stands apart is a tough challenge. Judging by blog forum discussions and overall press, the consensus is that American Airlines needed a “new” breath of fresh air into its design and visual identity, and whether you like it or not – for the brand and the business it was the right thing to do. Preserving equity and iconic status is a challenge, and for an airline it is vital. The new American represents a 21st century America and will stand the test of time!
â€œBuilding a structure within the business to encourage creativity requires the right people, processes and tools. Having these three components in place is vital in ensuring communication is centralised and teams understand the stages of an approval process.â€?
by Simon Jenkinson
Driving brand performance through creating desire
So what makes our brands and organisations tick? Most would agree that it’s our people who are responsible for driving success of the business. Surely it’s one of the oldest corporate challenges in the book – “How do we motivate our employees to perform better?”. From team building days, hanging upside down on obstacle courses to the good old fashion cash incentive. There have been hundreds of solutions to encourage staff to be more productive with a view to increasing productivity and the bottom-line. With over 13 million Google results – who has the right answer? Or is there even one model that fits all? One approach I came across was coined by Whetten and Cameron, who discuss the link between performance and motivation by referring to the following equation (I added the last part in the mix):
Performance = Ability × Motivation where Motivation = Commitment × Desire and where Desire = Creativity × Autonomy
Admittedly, this equation could go on forever, however by using this model it suggests that employees must first and foremost have desire – and to create desire, individuals must feel a degree of independence and/or freedom (Autonomy), coupled with being involved and leading challenging and engaging tasks to achieve shared goals (Creativity). Dan Pink suggests a similar approach, his book Drive highlights: “The secret to high performance and satisfaction – at work, at school, and at home – is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by us and our world.” He also goes on to suggest that cash incentives don’t provide an individual with the desire to be creative on a daily basis. Giving individuals the freedom to do what they please, including making critical business decisions sounds like a dangerous theory! But how about allowing such individuals to be creative with a degree of validation from senior members – a little more easy to digest? Building a structure within the business to encourage creativity requires the right people, processes and tools. Having these
three components in place is vital in ensuring communication is centralised and teams understand the stages of an approval process. So to summarise, if you want your employees to perform better and the business to thrive, start at the bottom of the equation and create the desire by: Ensuring aspects of your 1 employees’ roles are creativity, challenging and satisfying and provide them with the tools to foster collaboration
Give individuals the freedom to make their own decisions – with a level of oversight from the top – but not too much bureaucracy please
So as opposed to empowering teams (which is really another word for control), provide them with enough scope to take control of their own working lives and give them purpose in fulfilling what they already know as their role. The outcome could quite well be increased productivity, enhanced satisfaction, unforeseen innovation and in-turn creation of greater quality products and services for your consumer.
To disseminate the above even further:
Refers to their drive to succeed.
Seen as the level of competence to fulfill the role an individual has chosen.
It is all about putting in effort.
Seen as enthusiasm for doing a task.
It is about being innovative, challenged and engaged.
It is about feeling aspects of freedom and self-control over ones own direction.
â€œBusinesses demand more from any tool(s) they invest in, and rightly so, many tools only provide a single solution to a problem though companies today demand that a single tool solves a plethora of business issues.â€?
by Simon Jenkinson
How hard is your brand management tool working?
When I researched the market to compare brand and asset management solutions about 5 years ago, I found that a lot of the web-based solutions looked like theyâ€™d been built in the 80s, primarily because they were created by tech houses with little or no design thinking applied to the interface. Of course, underlying technology plays a key role here, but should not be the prime focus. In order to be successful, user adoption must be at the top of the list, meaning â€“ first and foremost, the intended end-user must be able to easily use and adopt the tool with no training. When we introduced our own brand management tool at FutureBrand, the initial intent was for managing and sharing brand assets and communicating oneway brand thinking and best practice to our global network. Shortly after launch, the adoption of the Creative Workflow feature fell into place. The workflow component allows for team collaboration, review and approval of materials produced across regional/local teams. The uptake of the tool really filled a gap around multi-way communication; it reduced the amount
of in-bound emails and enhanced project team alignment. Managing branded assets and guideline materials in todayâ€™s market is a given, but having a centralised tool that tracks performance of review and approvals, artwork production and content publishing really brings great insights to the table while delivering brand consistency. Businesses demand more from any tool(s) they invest in, and rightly so, many tools only provide a single solution to a problem though companies today demand that a single tool solve a plethora of business issues. Brand management tools are no different; they need to satisfy more functions and departmental requirements than ever. From experience, other requirements typically fall into the following areas; managing multiple brands, creating & tracking campaigns, localising artwork, product management, material ordering, publishing and monitoring social network content and providing one-to-one support to the network.
So here are my top-five considerations when implementing a brand management tool:
Involve the right people at the start
M Getting the right stakeholders on-board at the start of the process will ensure adoption at the end, plus gaining insights from Marketing, Advertising, Legal, IT and Management teams will ensure the tool serves the purpose of the whole business.
Make it easy to use
As discussed above, the easier the tool and the more benefits it provides on a daily basis, the better.
Make the tool relevant in getting the job done
Managing a whole workforce to adopt new brand strategies and visual identity systems is all about change management. Equipping teams with the tools, training and knowledge they can digest in their own time will help alleviate the challenges they face.
Teams and individuals can engage with others on many different levels and in various ways. Providing a centralised location to foster collaboration is key; not just to make their lives easier but also for corporate compliance reasons.
Measure, measure and measure
By identifying the current state of play at the start of the project will allow benchmarking success later down the line. Tracking the performance and measuring retention, usage, adoption, operational processes and learning and growth metrics can provide streamlining opportunities and justifiable Return-on-Investment. To conclude, if you have a brand asset management tool, that is just that, â€œasset managementâ€?, perhaps itâ€™s time to think about what other business benefits a brand tool should be satisfying; one that provides efficiencies to teams, fosters collaboration, retains brand value and provides insights into overall brand performance.
â€œConnecting both realworld physical products and digital content with the consumer experience has, and will extend the opportunity to build brand loyalty with existing customer...â€?
by Simon Jenkinson
Managing v#content – Owned brand and consumer brand management
As we all know, the role of marketing was once focused on one-way communication to consumers; the 4 Ps evolved to 7 with the 8th arguably being “personalisation”, 9th – “problem”, 10th – “peer-topeer”… You get the idea. Today it’s the consumer that predominately promotes products and brands between themselves. According to a recent report by Forrester*, some 70% of U.S. online adults trust brand or product recommendations from friends and family and 46% trust consumer (written online) reviews, while just 10% trust ads on websites and 9% trust text messages from companies or brands. Technology has accelerated this change and word-of-mouth has opened up personal opinion globally.
The challenge now becomes: How do brands manage owned brand content and consumer created/ personalised brand content?
Brand Effectiveness & Efficiencies
Technology alone is not the solution – consumers still need to be put at the centre of the experience, with technology as a supporting role, Adriano Galardi sums this up well with the article “When humans – not tech, are put at the centre of the experience, everyday problems get solved” at page 77. Yesterday brand management was simply about managing assets, PDF guidelines, self diagnosis, decentralised touch-point silos and logo Police. Tomorrow, the role of brand management is about asset performance, “Just-inTime” approvals and centralising efficiencies of owned on- and off-line branded content and the life-cycle of such content when adopted and personalised by consumers. FutureBrand classifies this type of content-collaboration as v#content (virtual content). I believe that the tool(s) used in the brand management process need to consider three key components
to combat tomorrow’s v#content brand management challenges. 1
Solid rules and foundations of a “Brand”.
Flexibile, scalable, 2 relevant and high performing “Assets”.
3 Adaptable and compliant “Workflow” processes. Having these foundations in place will allow for brands to be successful; set, create, approve, publish, protect and measure the standards of owned and consumer based campaign branded v#content. Of course, v#content should not just be restricted to digital formats, real-world products also need to evolve… And they are… Recent innovations in mobile and sensor technologies allow for creating a digital representation of almost any physical entity and its parameters over time at any place, deemed as “Smart Products.^”
The plot thickens… Let’s consider that branded content comes in two forms: Physically, such as 1 product packaging. Digitally, such as owned 2 and consumer hashtag and/or image and video content. Connecting both real-world physical products and digital content with the consumer experience (via RFID, QR Codes and AR) has, and will extend the opportunity to build brand loyalty with existing customer, while providing a platform for said
customers to mobilise, connect and activate their affiliation with family and friends in an on-brand way. So, future brand management needs to consider not just the physical, but also virtual and social aspects of marketing consumer connections and the process and tools used to create, distribute, manage and measure the way consumers adopt and personalise v#content. The output will provide greater connection and engagement between products, brands and the consumers’ voice. And potentially reduce your marketing spend while retaining brand equity.
1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 01 11 0 1 01 1 0 101 11 0 10101 01010 1110 01001011 0100011010110
Sources: * ^
Forrester (2013) report based on a survey of more than 58,000 respondents Wikipedia “Smart Products”
â€œA brand must drive its category forward in continually providing relevance and benefits for its consumers. Ideally, by innovating and continually improving where, what, and how consumers experience and derive value from the brand.â€?
by Chris Nurko
Five things all brand managers should know
Managing a brand is a tough job today. Not only are there continual pressures to manage budgets and gain more for less from your agency partners but there is also the added complexity of managing your brand in real time with metrics coming in from multiple on-line sources, communities and daily web traffic reports. Needless to say, Agency campaign results whether ATL, BTL or Digital can be confusing – and, when the “Boss” (insert Brand Director, Head of Strategic Marketing, SVP Marketing or even CMO) emails you to ask, “How is the Brand doing?”, you may be forgiven for either wondering if your response may be a career defining/limiting answer, or a chance to dazzle with the expertise and data points that will demonstrate your brilliance and importance. Either way, all too often the responses can be either poorly constructed or lacking in depth. So, here I offer my top 5 action points for all brand managers to keep on hand and know at all times about their brand. It goes without saying, that these 5 key points should be aligned to the 5 key things that a brand should always have at the heart of its strategy. Of course, there could be more – however, this is my list so feel free to add and expand! I hope it is useful for those at the “front lines” of brand marketing and sales.
Sales figures (and sales trends)
Market share is a key indicator of business performance as it measures the “units sold” of a product/service as a % of the total market sales. It can also be measured in revenue, or “dollar/euro/ pound/etc market share”. It enables brand managers to understand the competitive situation in relation to the market’s growth, stagnation (flat line sales) or decline. If a key target or strategic objective is to achieve or protect “share”, a brand manager must know the dynamics of the market and how his or her brand is performing. This will drive the choice of tactical brand marketing strategies and executions.
For any FMCG brand or retail brand, knowing the sales figures is critical to assessing performance across a set period of time. Whether that be weekly (most common in retail) or monthly/quarterly (consumer goods), the Net Sales figures give an accurate indication of what consumers are buying and at what price, which allows a firm to calculate its revenue.
Gross sales are useful to know, however they may not be accurate due to goods being returned or coupon/discounting. Therefore, from an accounting point of view Net Sales = Revenue, and for a brand this, combined with market share gives the most accurate indication of performance. The sales trends are the longer term history of a brand and category performance which involves tracking a brand, and identifying when and where consumer buying behaviours changed or were influenced by any external events or marketing campaigns.
Awareness (aided and unaided) scores by target audience
This measure is literally the number of “advocates or fans” whose contact details, addresses or “permission based marketing” approvals you have to engage in 1:1 dialogue. There are different means of gauging advocacy for a brand, but the most reliable is based on Permission Based Data (often held by the CRM function in a firm). This translates into consumers who have purchased and “liked” your brand enough to give you their permission to engage in dialogue or marketing promotions.
One of the critical factors for a brand manager is to understand and know whether their brand is “topof-mind” amongst target consumers and/or opinion formers or influencers. This information forms the basis of the Advertising and Marketing strategy which influences the degree to which a campaign is effective in translating into sales. The ideal and primary objective is for a brand to have strong unaided awareness so that when asked to name a brand in a category, or associated with a particular set of values or attributes, the brand is spontaneously offered and named by consumers.
Whether this is on-line or via telephone/direct mail, this data is the reservoir of advocacy from which a brand can further engage and interact with its consumers. Increasingly, as part of the social media landscape, these communities and databases can be segmented and further defined giving more detailed and granular data about who, why, when and how often a brand “fan” is buying or using a product, service or experience. The use of Facebook and Twitter often falls into this category for many brand owners, however I would suggest that the strongest advocacy metrics are related to those in which the consumer has not merely “liked” or become a “friend” or “tweeted”, but rather engaged in permission-based data marketing linked to an actual sale or purchase.
Aided awareness is recall that is prompted by imagery or associations in order to stimulate a brand’s familiarity with consumers. Often, this is with the category or product/service reference in research techniques. Aided awareness scores are positive for a brand, however it begs the question of category relevance and differentiation depending upon the brand’s strategy. It often reveals that the category is either of low interest or the brand is only relevant in the context of the category associations. Brand managers with a strong brand name that is only associated with a category must be careful, for as powerful as it might seem to want your brand to be the “defining” brand of the category – this often can lead to becoming an industry generic or a category limiting boundary which restricts the brand’s “stretch” and growth potential. Often this is referred to as the “Kleenex” or “Band Aid” mindset, as both of these brands have high awareness and brand recall, but have become industry generic terms and have had to truly fight hard to expand beyond the initial product and category attributes.
5 Core brand values
Finally, the fifth most important thing a brand manager must be aware of and intimately familiar with is the core brand values of their brand. It seems obvious to state, however that the core values of a brand are the words that define what the brand is and what it stands for, irrespective of the attributes of the category, marketing campaigns and/or competitive pressures. The core brand values are the bedrock upon which the brand’s story and narrative for consumers are constructed, and as such it needs to be clearly defined in a short set of words or descriptions. Many brands use credo and manifesto statements, and they combine precise adjectives with action verbs to define exactly what and how the brand provides “value” and “benefit” to its consumers and advocates. This is critical for a brand manager because the brand values direct and guide all aspects of a brand’s visual, verbal and experiential performance. The core values and the visual identity equities together become the benchmark and guardrails for the brand’s image and identity. When combined with strong advertising, the brand’s awareness and recall can be strengthened in relation to consumer preference and choice. Many a brand manager has come unstuck by creating too much elasticity and interpretation of a brand’s values and visual identity thus leading to a “schizophrenic” brand persona and ultimately consumer confusion. Brands are built upon the notion of consistency and reliability, as well as unique points of differentiation. In order to maintain and build a brand’s future growth plan, the core values must be continually reinforced and guarded from erosion or misinterpretation. When someone says something is “off brand”, what they are really saying is the core brand values are either missing, misrepresented or misinterpreted.
Has a compelling vision for the future
Redefines the category
Makes people’s lives better
Creates engaging experiences at every touch point
Builds a strong emotional connection
So, those are my 5 suggestions for what every brand manager should know and be aware of… and, it might be a good idea for more senior brand leaders to keep in mind as well! It always surprises me how some of these basic elements are ignored or misunderstood when considering a brand’s performance or relevance to consumers. As I mentioned, these 5 elements must always work and align to the 5 things a brand should always have at the heart of its future (and present) strategy. They are:
A brand must have a unique point of view on the future and be able to articulate it for all stakeholders. This is often referred to as the brand vision or brand idea.
A brand must drive its category forward in continually providing relevance and benefits for its consumers. Ideally, by innovating and continually improving where, what, and how consumers experience and derive value from the brand.
By doing the two points above, a brand is truly making people’s lives better. After all, why would anyone want a brand that did the opposite?
Delivers sustainable business value
If a brand is consistent at every touch point where it engages with its consumers and stakeholders, the brand reinforces all of the rational and emotional reasons why the brand is chosen or preferred.
Ideally, this then leads to the brand narrative being seen as an “emotional” benefit and connection for consumers and generates advocacy and loyalty from preference.
These 5 key elements lead to a final outcome and ingredient in creating and sustaining a “future brand”, and that is superior commercial or financial performance by providing value. At the end of the day, a brand is an asset and if the above key elements are in place, and a brand manager understands how they relate to the task of creating, measuring and maintaining brand strength – then, the value of a brand is delivered and measured by the hard numbers of market share, sales/revenue and advocacy. Ultimately, this translates into future demand, growth and success.
â€œTo simultaneously create better, more authentic brands while overcoming alignment challenges, crowdsourcing internally and co-creation with employees itself is critical to all future brand creation.â€?
by Sarah Reiter
The power of the inner crowd: Building brands from within
We have pioneered new branding practices including reinventing traditional brand strategy and identity methodologies by incorporating customer co-creation and embedding crowdsourcing with employees. The Power of the Inner Crowd is the new approach to brand creation â€“ one that addresses the challenges in branding today and ultimately creates great brands by building the brands from within.
Branding traditionally creates static personas that bear little resemblance with reality. It assumes a top-down approach in which no truth is being told and thus falls short of achieving proactive internal support. As a result, most brands do not grow organically, detached from the organisation, with little momentum. In contrast, future brand creation needs to assume a holistic perspective on building brands based on internal strengths, core truths, customer centricity and experience design. And, branding must become strongly integrated in business strategy, product and internal operations.
Here is a list of the many benefits in harnessing the wisdom of employees:
1 Achieve a sound congruence between brand promise and corporate reality 2
Create a strong brand relevancy based on a diversity of ideas and perspectives
3 Empower employees and increase staff motivation, morale and commitment 4 Better integrates staff with corporate goals and values, through recognition of their contribution to these
The involvement of internal stakeholders often leads to the discovery of hidden strengths since employees are a rich source of insights and ideas. Hence, building brands on the basis of culture and core internal truths is more credible and effective, and it allows the brand to be created organically, reďŹ‚ect the corporate spirit and grow with business.
5 Recognises the important work that staff do and therefore harnesses their commitment to the business Discover compelling brand 6 stories that are ideal for external activation and internal alignment 7 Engage employees to make them identify with our brand and become a desirable employer
In short, to simultaneously create better, more authentic brands while overcoming alignment challenges, crowdsourcing internally and cocreation with employees itself is critical to all future brand creation.
8 Manage cultural variation by building brands around a shared purpose and corporate culture 9 Develop sustainable brands that speak of the people and company they proudly represent
â€œIt matters to us that our favourite brands are managed by businesses that care about their role in the world beyond sales and profit.â€?
by Tom Adams
3 brand lessons to learn from #fitchthehomeless
There are 5,711,249 reasons why Greg Karberâ€™s #fitchthehomeless video on YouTube should be taken seriously. His attempt to readjust the Abercrombie & Fitch brand by donating its clothing to the homeless in LA has provoked universal outcry. Most of it against Abercrombie for comments on exclusivity made by its CEO Mike Jeffries in 2006, and some against Karber himself for exploiting homeless people to attack a billion dollar brand. Jeffries has taken to Facebook to set the record straight, including a defence of the realities of managing an aspirational brand, and asserting the strong values of the business he runs, particularly in relation to diversity and inclusion. But consumers donâ€™t seem sympathetic to this. The short-term reputational impact of this consumer backlash looks severe. Time will tell whether it significantly affects sales, or changes the way Abercrombie & Fitch is run in the long term. But the whole affair teaches us three simple lessons about how to manage a major brand today.
Have a clear organisational purpose
Connect your purpose to the value chain
Part of the challenge Abercrombie faces is that it doesn’t seem to have a clear organisational purpose beyond helping young people to look great. Or at least one that can be seen from the outside. Increasingly, consumers want to know about the business behind the brand, and this is often best articulated through the spirit and commitments of its leadership, CEO included. This goes beyond values like diversity and inclusion – both of which are increasingly obligations rather than strategic choices – towards a sense of your broader role in the world and why this is important for society as a whole. When you dig into the business, they are clearly making some broader commitments to helping communities and giving back – through their mission, vision and corporate philanthropy initiative – but this doesn’t seem to be guided by an overarching sense of corporate purpose.
American Apparel, although much smaller, is another international US fashion brand. And it is explicitly cause driven. Its “vertically integrated manufacturing” idea is strongly connected to its brand, product and organisation – they talk about being “sweat-shop free” and are proud of making all of their clothes in the USA. They are also now showing growth year on year (4% to April 2013), indicating that this commitment does not mean sacrificing commercial success. The more closely you can connect your purpose to your people, supply chain and product, the more likely you will be taken seriously by consumers when things go wrong – which they have for American Apparel and often do in complex businesses. Other brands like Unilever, P&G and Virgin also embed a bigger purpose into their operating approach in a way that is consistent with consumer willingness to choose brands that demonstrate they offer some kind of social good – improving lives, building enduring organisations or simply doing the right thing.
Karber, Greg. <youtube.com/user/gkarber>
3 Prepare to be hijacked
Activists hijack powerful brands to promote their own cause. The bigger the brand, the bigger the target. And it doesn’t necessarily matter what the truth is. Abercrombie & Fitch is a major global brand, with over 1000 stores worldwide, 85,000 associates and over $4.5billon in net sales in 2013. They also make a significant effort to help their communities and demonstrate their social responsibility. But this story gets lost if it’s buried in corporate reporting, and if it feels somehow separate from the main business of the brand – i.e. “we are a fashion brand, but we also do good.” Social channels make it possible for anyone with a smartphone and access to YouTube to attempt a brand “readjustment” of the kind managed by Karber, and engineer the type of instant global reach that could only have been dreamed of by activists a generation ago. And it’s been happening for a while – think Axe vs. Dove from Rye Clifton as early as 2007.
The key is to know what you are going to do when it happens, make sure that your public statements reflect your broader purpose, are evidence driven, and that you are making an attempt to reconcile the contradictions that naturally occur in complex multinational organisations. That way, you can even use it as a platform to build your brand, rather than just defend it. Above all, this is a good reminder that brands are no longer just about great advertising, product and experiences. People want to know what’s going on behind the models and the storefronts. It matters to us that our favourite brands are managed by businesses that care about their role in the world beyond sales and profit. And when that is already the case – as it very likely is for Abercrombie & Fitch – we need to see it in every aspect of the brand. In the end, it’s increasingly “cool” to genuinely care.
â€œAs generation Y evolves and utilises multiple media formats to educate and entertain ourselves, YouTube offers us an abundance of content with 100 hours of content uploaded every hour.â€?
by Bradley Walsh
Top 10 brands “twentysomethings” cannot live without and why
Facebook has grown under the influence of Generation Y. Facebook was released to a worldwide audience in 2005, and reached 100 million users by 2008. The public reception and acceptance of the social networking service has made it an internet phenomenon. Facebook wouldn’t be what it is without its users – 1.15 billion of them and 699 million are daily active Facebook users. Facebook’s attraction to users is in how it links an individual’s life and friends into one social circle platform. The site has continued to innovate by
repeatedly adding more features in order to keep users engaged and, more importantly, in order to keep them active and returning. Facebook’s mobility is also a factor in its popularity as it is available on all mobile web browsers and operating systems. 62% of the UK’s internet users are Facebook users signifying the impact Facebook has had on our population.
YouTube is the provider of the most popular site for user uploaded videos. Generation Y knows all too well that YouTube is a great way of killing some spare time. Whether it is watching video after video of your new found favourite subject, or a humorous video link which has been sent between friends, YouTube entertains. As our Generation Y evolves and utilises multiple media formats to educate and entertain ourselves, YouTube offers us an abundance of content with 100 hours of content uploaded every hour. Granted, some may not be worth the individual’s time, however, with the opportunity and size of the catalogue available, there is surely something for everyone which makes it one of the most visited websites online.
Put the books away. What is it you would like to find out? Type it in to Wikipedia and have the answer in seconds. It really is that simple for Generation Y. Wikipedia has brought information to our fingertips in an online encyclopaedia which, best of all, is free for everyone. Wikipedia is funded by donations from its users. Wikipedia educates many people daily with its extensive content. As the saying goes, “Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it.” Wikipedia gives Generation Y great knowledge as a source of information.
If Wikipedia doesn’t have the answer, Google will. The ability for Generation Y to simply type in any query and search for the answer is nothing short of remarkable. Even as Google expands its services, its search bar still remains its defining feature. Generation Y is adept at saying the phrase “Google it” when confusion looms. Google as a resource tool is fantastically convenient for users. Intelligent “doodles” (interpretations of the Google logo) celebrate holidays, anniversaries, the lives of famous artists, pioneers, and scientists; another example of the innovation Google provides its many appreciative users. Google does not stop at producing interesting logos: they are relentless at providing their users with useful applications to make people’s lives easier. Google’s tagline is “Don’t be evil”, which is a nice touch from one of the most influential brands of the time.
Xbox and PlayStation are the most popular game consoles on the market for consumers. Although many consumers are forced to choose between them at the point of purchase, deciding between the two is very much up to personal preference. In many ways comparable to voting Democrat or Republican; you get two very similar products wrapped up in different coloured boxes. So instead of labouring the argument between which console is best, what must be said is that these game consoles have played a large part of a millennial’s existence. Generation Y have grown up through the advancements in gaming technology. Gaming has been one of the catalysts of the technology race with gamers demanding the best quality gaming experience. The highly anticipated release of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will, as before, have customers forming seemingly endless queues at “ridiculous o’clock” for the chance to get their hands on one of these decade defining consoles in time for Christmas.
Travelling does not come cheap and travelling by rail is no exception. However, this does not prevent the rail services provided being an extremely popular and important mode of transport for many twentysomethings. The ability to travel around the country is very important to a younger generation trying to find their independence.
SkyTV is the nation’s leading television providing service. SkyTV is responsible for supplying consumers with hundreds of channels which include the very popular sports, movies, documentaries, entertainment, music, etc. SkyTV provides a great deal of choice for its customers, and is the most coveted provider in the UK. Many competitors have attempted to chisel away at SkyTV’s market share and most have fallen by the wayside. There really isn’t an alternative that competes on the same level as SkyTV. Sports fans would be lost without the fantastic SkySports coverage, which covers a large volume of variety within the sports realm and continues to produce an excellent, watchable and very enjoyable service. SkySports is considered the flagship package of the SkyTV bundle and I know of many who could not even consider a weekend without it.
“If you don’t have an iPhone… you don’t have an iPhone.” Apple sells itself within many markets. It would be fighting for a higher spot on the list if it was more widely available to more of Generation Y. However, that does not mean Apple’s products are not highly sought after by Generation Y. User-friendly, intuitive based platforms bring the masses to Apple’s products. Apple only makes a product if they can make
it better. By using this method as a filter by which they develop products, Apple will always be pushing to be the market leader.
Convenience is a desire for many consumers in this modern age. The times of supporting the local butcher, bakers etc., have been sacrificed as a result of Generation Yâ€™s thirst for efficiency. It is now almost taboo that one would not do all their food shopping for a week under the one roof with the ease of shopping at Tesco. Tesco have become the most effective producer of convenience, feeding many individuals and families on a daily basis.
Many individuals love to travel the world and Generation Y is certainly no exception. However, these price conscious individuals cannot perhaps afford the luxurious getaways older generations can. EasyJet provides an excellent service that gives individuals the opportunity to fly and explore the world whilst removing the barrier of price. Flights abroad can be cheaper than trains across the UK. Without EasyJet many consumers would not have the ability to do something as exciting as travelling abroad. Many individuals recall their favourite memories having occurred whilst on holiday. EasyJet will be continuously appreciated by the public as long as they continue to provide people with the opportunity of flying at a reasonable, transparent price.
“ When we design for a global American company, it’s important to know these associations and take advantage of them. America’s sense of optimism, especially, can be a strong selling point for any American brand – no matter where it goes.”
by Sven Seger
American spirit in brand identity design
I’ve noticed a strong shift in the associations people around the world make when they think of America. Our research indicates that, today, the world values America for its technology, social media, entertainment, optimism and its cheerful service culture. Other countries love these new-American qualities and values. When we design for a global American company, it’s important to know these associations and take advantage of them. America’s sense of optimism, especially, can be a strong selling point for any American brand – no matter where it goes. This is the American spirit that the world loves, and it should be emphasised over the old post-war themes that associated America with size, politics and power. Today those old associations can tend to make others see America as over-aggressive or bullying. Many companies manage to very successfully incorporate and live the new-American spirit, including Harley Davidson, Apple, Nike, Facebook and Levi’s. Each finds ways to communicate America’s sense of freedom, opportunity and optimism in its branding and advertising.
There are even people in politics who manage to accentuate these new-American ideals, in spite of the strong pull of old-American associations in the political world. A good example of this is Michelle Obama. While she is not an elected or appointed official, the world sees her as part of the American political scene, and she is seen as accessible, inclusive and optimistic. Even her fashion sense has become an emblem of the new-American spirit. New-American associations point the way to a huge opportunity within the branding and advertising worlds. While many seem to think that American companies need to appear to be â€œbeyond a countryâ€? in order to make themselves more attractive in the world market, there are strong American themes that are very credible in the global market that can give an American company a great competitive advantage. When the personality of the company is a match, the right competitive approach may well be to incorporate these new-American themes into the brand. Given how highly so many people in the world value these qualities, the American origins of a company can now be a highly positive differentiator in the global market.
The number one strategic issue regional CEOs and leaders cite to me is “the war for talent” as they seek counsel for how their organisations can attain the coveted status of “employer of choice”
by Sarah Reiter
Tackling the war for talent “The Singapore Ministry of Defence’s attempt to attract female recruits to the service by sending out army green eye shadow attracted the wrong attention. Recognising the challenge of War for Talent, what MINDEF needs is a more relevant, meaningful and sustainable strategy.” The campaign by the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), advertising the 2013 Army Women’s Seminar, took a surprisingly tongue-in-cheek approach in order to gain traction with young women in Singapore. And while there is a time and place for levity in campaigns, dealing with military recruitment most probably isn’t one of them. In protective services, such as military, intelligence, policing and security, women play an equally critical role, often providing unique insights and skills necessary for these types of organisations to be contemporarily effective. When servicing the country, society and community, accenting facial features is certainly not a female officer’s main concern but this is how the campaign from MINDEF sends the wrong message from the outset – painting an improper image of the role women play in protecting the nation.
Singapore’s protective services are facing an uphill battle in attracting and retaining high-performing, values-driven employees — regardless of their gender. Recent research, as conducted by my team in Singapore, has revealed that young Singaporeans search for professional opportunities where they can pursue their passions, develop professional skills that are in high demand, as well as achieve recognition for the unique individual contributions they make. In fact, the number one strategic issue regional CEOs and leaders cite to me is “the war for talent” as they seek counsel for how their organisations can attain the coveted status of “employer of choice”. Through our work with many top organisations in Singapore, we have identified universal principles to becoming an employer of choice. They are:
Strong & accessible leadership
Develop careers & individuals
Strive beyond category standards
Whether operating in the public or private sector, each principle requires full organisational commitment, for delivering long-term outcomes of effectively attracting, optimising and retaining top talent. Needless to say, to give meaning and distinctiveness to candidates and employees, how organisations follow and apply these principles should be directly driven by a brand strategy — developing a clear and distinctive employee value proposition that addresses the needs of both the employee and the organisation.
Reward fairly & recognise creativity
Nurture a healthy lifestyle
Choosing a career is a life-changing decision, and in the context of providing protective services, it is often a “life or death” decision. Many officers and employees put themselves in harm’s way to protect our nation, our communities and our people. Therefore, a respectful understanding of their needs and ambitions are simple hygiene factors.
Think about your smartphone for a moment. Of all the apps you have downloaded, how many are â€œbranded,â€? i.e. mobile apps created by a brand you like or admire? Now ask yourself something else: in the last three months how many of these apps have you used more than once? Does the answer surprise you?
by Dan Dimmock
Lessons in mobile marketing
The importance of mobile as a marketing channel has experienced substantial growth recently but its effectiveness as a means for brands to create valuable and lasting relationships with customers has, to date, been utilised by only a few. By following several key strategic steps, some brands have discovered ways of using mobile technology to deliver real customer value, building brand loyalty.
Recent statistics indicate that while the landscape of mobile applications is indeed vast, the usage rate of each of these apps is much lower than expected. This not only speaks volumes about the lack of customer value provided by these apps but also paints a poor picture for the brands that are trying to build a consistent relationship with their customers. The size of the mobile app market is indeed impressive when you look at the statistics. In June this year, Apple celebrated 50 billion downloads on Apple App Store. In addition, their largest competitor, Google Play, recorded a higher number of downloads in the last quarter achieving a 10% margin over Apple for the first time in history. Looking a little deeper at the Apple App Store, we can draw some conclusions about the competitive landscape of the mobile apps industry. Presently, there are over 500 million active Apple App Store accounts. Therefore with 50 billion downloads, we can then assume that each user has downloaded approximately 100 apps, on average, onto their mobile device (in the case of Apple). For both the Apple App Store and Google Play, games dominate the share of revenue at 75% and 80% respectively. This is closely followed by
Communications, Social Networking and Music. With such intense competition for customers’ attention, is it any wonder that brands find the mobile app landscape daunting, challenging and increasingly competitive? More interestingly, according to Deloitte, 80% of branded apps have been downloaded less than a thousand times, with only 1% actually eclipsing a million downloads. Again, comparing this to Apple App Store’s 50 billion downloads, branded apps are failing to attract attention. While the picture painted is specific to mobile apps, it reflects the state of mobile marketing as a whole – ripe with opportunity but an ever-growing graveyard of failure. Regardless of whether they choose to leverage or invest in the newest technology, we have found that the few brands that have managed to achieve app success share one simple characteristic: customercentricity: adding tangible value to peoples’ lives in seamless and consistent ways. Adopting this approach requires two critical shifts as to how brands must and should view mobile engagement with their customers.
Lesson 1: Change the focus from generating transactions to fostering relationships.
Case study: Domino’s Pizza Mobile marketing efforts are valuable in using innovation to, not necessarily pioneer the use of new technology, but, recognise human behaviours to solve simple and pressing daily dilemmas, frustrations or inefficiencies. One recent example of this is Domino’s Pizza who reinvented the entire pizza delivery experience by creating not just another order placement alternative, but a real-time tracker that enables customers to follow their order from the assembly line down to the exact delivery time. Coupled with an interactive and customisable menu, a built-in game to amuse the customer, and mobile coupons for them to redeem against their next purchase, the application proved to be a success, providing the customer with an enjoyable distraction while awaiting delivery of their order. Thanks in large to the advances of mobile capabilities, the once inconvenient activity – searching around for a menu, being held in a queue on the telephone, combined with the uncertainty of the time taken to deliver your purchase – is now a seamless and enjoyable customer experience.
Daily transactional issues were not only addressed and refined, but a useful customer tool was created, bringing both tangible and emotional value to the overall customer experience. Domino’s Pizza adopted a tailored strategy that focused on attraction, engagement and retention. They provided a convenient and intimate experience centred around their customers’ needs without deviating from their brand mission; shifting from “the quickest pizza delivery service on Earth” to “the quickest delivery of pizza that’s made with care”.
Lesson 2: Evolve from selling a lifestyle to serving a memorable experience.
Case study: American Airlines From booking a flight, to arriving at the airport, checking in and boarding a plane, until landing and eventually sharing experiences online, travellers are continually evaluating their experiences with airline brands. These soaring customer expectations continue to put pressure on airlines to deliver a standard of service throughout the entire airline travel customer journey: from booking to beach. Borne out of the recent brand revitalisation programme, American Airlines created a unique concierge journey, embodying the American spirit, as it is perceived today – one of progress, entertainment and technology.
Leveraging off American’s positioning, the airline embedded the role of mobile in the overall customer experience consequently heightening service standards throughout the customers’ experience. This resulted in the creation of a complementary mobile app that addressed customers’ needs as they progressed through crucial milestones of the flying experience– from travel booking and flight detail tracking, through to providing a virtual boarding pass, entertainment, and finally into the airlines’ customer loyalty programme.
Great brands view mobile as just one of the means to make peoplesâ€™ lives better.
Developing a mobile strategy in isolation from the brand inevitably results in wasted opportunities for connecting with customers in meaningful and valuable ways. How brands effectively respond to what people want today and need tomorrow requires marketers to stop thinking of mobile as a lone channel or initiative and recognise it as one of the many touch-points within a customerâ€™s ecosystem of brand experience. When businesses think more about the long-term value to their customers, future brand success will be attributed to responding to people in smart and engaging ways. Todayâ€™s generation thrives on connectivity, and a needs-centric approach to innovation in mobile marketing can give fresh perspective on how to avoid the pit so many brands have already fallen into. Successful brands will be those that create a better future for their customers, resolving tensions between what people want today and need tomorrow. The implication is that mobile does not connect brands to potential customers; rather, mobile connects people to experiences that leave a positive impact on their lives. Mobile devices are and will continue to be inextricably linked to human experience. As such, to be a successful brand requires the implementation of strategies that focus less on short-term gimmicks and more on longterm, sustainable and commercial creativity.
â€œAfter all, transformation means change. And change hinges on a vision and faith in what will be.â€?
by James Cockerille
Marshall Mcluhan. <www.marshallmcluhan.com>
Managing resistance to change
“While people are engaged in creating a totally different world, they always form vivid images of the preceding world.” This isn’t one of Marshall McLuhan’s most prescient statements, but it is an articulated one and addresses a paradox of any organisational change program. It highlights both the fundamental barrier and a reliable solution for moving a group from one way of doing things to another.
The context I’m thinking of is that long journey organisations make (often as unwitting participants) as they move from an existing brand strategy and brand experience to a new one. In such a situation, it is rare to avoid hitting the cultural inertia that change inspires. It doesn’t matter if it’s a huge intercontinental effort or a small, local enterprise shifting into another phase of growth. Individuals start asking… Why change? Will it be good for me? What caused this? How much is this going to cost, anyway? What are the guarantees? The important differences, however, will be the scale of that inertia and what resources are available to offset it. So on the one hand, it’s frustrating to think you’ll need to pry a company’s cold dead hands from their old positioning, logo or ways of going to market. It’s daunting to watch as formerly compliant voices come forward with crisp, fact-laden portraits of a past that may not have been perfect but are demonstrably working. This is one meaning of McLuhan’s quote: the barrier. After all, transformation means change. And change hinges on a vision and faith in what will be. But the counter-arguments will be based on facts, things that have happened. There never seems to be enough case studies, comparable statistics or credible experts to sway a person or group accustomed to acting on scripts and data alone. It isn’t even the point to compare the past to the future, but inevitably this is what humans try to do. It is the crux of the transformer’s challenge. You would think it’s just another example of kooky branding people persuading more rational clients to do something that isn’t good for them. But oddly enough, some of the most analytical people I know, financial reporters, wave a similarly mystical flag: Past performance is no indication of future results. But what if the resistance to change carries a secret to how we can lock-in acceptance of something new? What if the “old way” was in fact the “new plan”? Could we then simplify the journey and accelerate buy-in?
This is the second wisdom in McLuhan’s observation. It is the solution in the form of a paradoxical reading of what only seems like a dilemma. Specifically, it suggests putting the new intent forward as part of something already underway. This will probably involve the use of rhetorical / negotiation techniques like anchoring, framing, scenario depiction, migration paths, or other approaches that effectively shift the perception of risk outside the change itself. By putting the new intent forward as part of something already underway, we rally an individual’s urge to resist and create “vivid images” as a way to lock-in what’s strategically important, and beneficial for their group. It’s admittedly the use of red herrings but these birds aren’t meant to deceive. For example, instead of speaking to the “newness” of a logo at a company unveiling and asking everyone what they think of it, you would talk of “refinements” or “further proof of our evolution” with emphasis on the markets changing demands. It’s a subtle shift of emphasis, but more productive. The red herring in this example (the marketplace) provides a more useful reference in assessing one’s ROI for a change, than the end goal can by itself. Karate instructors do this when they suggest aiming beyond the board before trying to split it with your fist. That’s the concept anyway. But using the concept involves a bit of forethought and staging. And this is where it helps to have partners who’ve travelled the terrain. Like a magician who leads the eye one place in order to lead the imagination elsewhere, we have to credibly shift the emphasis toward a greater change that sits beyond the one you’re campaigning for. This is like the sailor navigating toward a buoy or lighthouse or similar landmark outside of the intended path. Or another way to think of it is the skier plodding atop a mogul slope. If the skier moved slowly, celebrating each dip and ascent, the mogul would seem a disorienting and fatiguing challenge, but taken together these single bumps blur into a single, rapidly dissolving texture.
All metaphors aside, here are a few examples of how to shift the focal point of change away from short-term content and thereby enhance the chances of adoption in your next change initiative:
Show how the new direction, identity, value-set (etc.) delivers on a long-established promise to the audience. You asked for it, and now I present…
Point out how the content is a single solution for a mess of problems. With this one move, we’ve managed to reduce the negative impact of four areas of poor performance.
Introduce a new, less precious change initiative at the same time as a current (but strategically important) one is unveiled. Steve Jobs never ended a presentation without saying “And oh yeah, one other thing…”
De-emphasise the first step of change by placing it into a multi-stage plan. This is so that the riskier perception of change seems way down the line. This is just the beginning…
Place the key elements of a solution within a holistic package. The content needn’t be assessed in isolation. “The importance of this initiative demanded a thorough, systemic approach…” And always remember… If you want people to embrace something, just tell them it’s about to change!
HR Management. <applature.com>
â€œWaiting for opportunities to come to you is not a strategy. You must have a clearly defined plan to proactively pursue in order to drive real, long-term value.â€?
by C. Gunnar Jacobs
Partnership Branding: A growth strategy
Companies are always looking for ways to increase awareness and grow the value of their brand, but partnerships are often overlooked or underutilised as an effective approach for achieving these goals. There are many different types of partnerships (e.g. ingredient brands, sponsorships, co-marketing, joint ventures, etc.), and all can be used to drive tangible results.
Tactical benefits: • Increase marketing exposure and visibility • Create efficiencies and cost savings through shared resources • Reach new audiences and channels that were not previously accessible
Opportunities will come up for an organisation to enter into a partnership and that tends to be how they are managed as well – opportunistically. As a result, partnerships are looked at as a one-off occurrence to achieve more tactical, short-term objectives. There is no doubt that this approach can have a positive impact and provide a brief boost in awareness, but over the long-term this does little to truly grow your brand.
Strategic benefits: • Reinforce current positive associations that drive preference and loyalty • Expand perceptions beyond what audiences currently give the brand credit for • Improve the overall value of offerings and the company through expanded capabilities • Build stronger, emotional connections with audiences through associations with other brands they love
Instead, when managed more holistically and proactively, partnerships are a strategic tool that can help to strengthen and even re-define your brand in the long-term. When dividing the benefits into tactical vs. strategic, it is easy to see why partnerships can be a powerful method for building brand equity when thought about over the long-term.
While the benefits may be numerous, the number one rule to keep in mind is that you must protect your brand. Partnerships are inherently riskier since you are associating your brand with something you don’t have complete control over. With the risks involved, it is surprising that more companies don’t have a clearly defined partnership strategy.
Here are a few tips to help develop or strengthen your partnership strategy:
Use your brand strategy to guide your partnership strategy
The first step is to have a clear picture of what your brand stands for. In order to effectively grow your brand, audiences should be able to easily understand the connection between partners – there needs to be the right fit. Without proper alignment with the overall strategy, you are only able to achieve some tactical benefits, and you also increase the risk of the partnership in general.
Evaluate your partners
Most people wouldn’t marry someone they just met, and you also shouldn’t enter into a partnership without getting to know them better. You may not always have access to appropriate research to do a proper evaluation, but a simple Google and media search can go a long way in finding out more about a company’s reputation and any potential causes for concern.
Ensure partnerships are tied to business results (ROI)
You should be able to measure how any partnership is generating tangible results. Whether it is increased traffic to a microsite or a boost in market share, monitoring the success of partnerships will ensure that all efforts are truly adding value to your brand in the long-term.
Institute a partnership governance process
Just like your core branded-assets, all activities related to partnerships should be carefully managed and monitored. Tools such as decision trees and guidelines help to ensure consistency and effectiveness. Depending on the size and complexity of your company, you may also want to consider a Partnership Committee that reports to the Brand Council (if one exists). Regardless if the tools you decide are most appropriate for your company, given the visibility and potential risk involved, governance is a critical aspect of any partnership strategy.
Identify partnership opportunities and create an action plan
The key to becoming more strategic than tactical is to create a clear plan of action to proactively put your partnerships to work. The first step is to define the key areas that the organisation wants to be known for, that align with and support the overall strategy and positioning. Perhaps a company wants to become more known for sustainability efforts, or become better known in a certain market. Once these parameters are defined then it is easier to identify the partners that will help you achieve your goals. Waiting for opportunities to come to you is not a strategy. You must have a clearly defined plan to proactively pursue in order to drive real, long-term value.
â€œOnce the problem has been identified (and confirmed as being a real problem and not just one affecting you), thatâ€™s where the tech can come in to solve it, or at least reduce the pain involved in the process.â€?
by Adriano Galardi
When humans – not tech, are put at the centre of the experience, everyday problems get solved
Today’s space race is all about tech, with a global battle amongst start-ups all trying to be the next big thing. And for good reason too. Success stories emerge on an annual basis now highlighting the new American dream – from garage start-up to sell out in 2 years for seven to eight figure sums. However, whilst I mentioned in a previous post the merits of this new “system” for economies still struggling with youth unemployment, it is important to note that tech for the sake of tech doesn’t work, at least not in the long term. The only way to succeed in today’s tech world is to put the consumer at the heart of the experience, and use technology to enhance it. Another way of looking at it is by asking yourself “what problem am I really solving here”, and more importantly “is it really a problem?” This often happens when people start to challenge the status quo by questioning “why”. Why can’t we… Why do we have to… Why should we be constrained by… and so on. Once the problem has been identified (and confirmed as being a real problem and not just one affecting you), that’s where the tech can come in to solve it, or at least reduce the pain involved in the process.
A recent example of this is Tile, whose aim is to make sure you never lose your keys (or anything really), ever again. Their solution is a small Bluetooth enabled device that can be attached to almost anything. The guys behind Tile have clearly started by identifying a problem that affects us all, then turned to technology to find a simple solution. Interestingly enough, though they’d received an initial round of funding, they turned to a crowd-sourcing site to request funds to finance their production. With a goal of $20,000 and current funding level of just under $2 million, they have clearly identified a problem that affects us all. Tile aren’t the only ones solving basic problems with even more basic solutions, nor are they the only ones turning to the masses to prove and fund their concepts. A year ago an interesting project by the name of LIFX appeared on KickStarter with the aim of revolutionising one of the greatest inventions of all time – the light bulb. Phil Bosua decided it was time for a change after being frustrated with fuses blowing, the high amount of power being consumed, and most
of all, having to get up to turn on (and off) the lights despite the TV remote control having been invented for the exact same purpose over 60 years ago. His solution was a Wi-Fi enabled energy-efficient light bulb that can be screwed into any standard socket. The bulb comes with a free app allowing the user to control their lighting from their smartphones. So did he identify a nuisance felt by many? Having asked for $100,000 and receiving just under $1.5 million, it would appear so. The list continues with Nest who solved the problem of complicated and energywasting thermostats, Yves Behar’s August smart lock that manages who can and can’t enter your home, without any keys, and so on. This is what I mean by putting the human, or at the least the problem at the centre of the equation. Turning to KickStarter or any other crowd funding website seems to be a good way off assessing whether or not you’ve stumbled on a real problem, rather than just a personal one.
The August Smart Lock. <1oflimited.com>
â€œHowever with all death comes rebirth and as always, extreme situations force positive change.â€?
by Adriano Galardi
The NINJA Generation and how they’re changing the world
When Gordon Gekko is released from prison in the 2010 sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, he sets about giving talks to peers about his rehabilitation and preaches the failing “greed is good” model he had once coined as his mantra. In one particular talk to a group of college graduates, Gekko refers to the group as the Ninja Generation, an acronym which stands for: No Income, No Jobs, no Assets. As amusing as it is, the phrase is actually quite accurate in describing the dire situation that awaited twentysomethings following the global economic meltdown of 2008.
Daniel Gatsby. <danielgatsby.com>
So, as hundreds of thousands of young adults were graduating from top universities across the world, promises of top jobs, high salaries and glory were replaced with no jobs, debt and definitely no glory. Some risk takers decided to weather the storm by entering Masters programs, hoping to emerge into a bright future with employers waiting with open arms. Sadly, this never happened, and graduates found themselves waiting after school for parents that had clearly forgotten to pick them up. Others, in desperate need of revenue to start paying back their student loans, took any work they could find â€“ often in low-end positions well beneath their level of education and expertise. However with all death comes rebirth and as always, extreme situations force positive change. The period
that followed saw a startup boom and the beginning of a new era. For many, launching a business is a dream come true but is also extremely high risk. The risk of failing and losing everything is strong enough to keep the world of entrepreneurs small and intimate. But this changed. Whilst the risk of failing is still as prominent (if not more so) today, the NINJAs have nothing to lose, literally, there is nothing better waiting for them. The rest just fell into place really, starting with a massive pool of (cheap) talent, all desperately willing (didnâ€™t have the choice really) to believe in the startup model hoping to build the next Facebook. And then there was the money. As the number of startups grew, so did the number of angel investors and VCs. Because just as every startup was hoping to be the next Facebook, every investor was hoping to be the one that got them there. By pumping money into
startups, investors allowed them to stay afloat whilst they were losing money, allowing them to concentrate on building the next big thing. So what was the next big thing? The innovation we’re seeing coming out of the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland and New York is rather disruptive, with common everyday problems caused by “the system” being solved with clean, efficient, user-friendly and intuitive solutions that are so simple, we could (and should) have come up with them ourselves. The ideas are often revolutionising the way big industries work, providing easy boutique alternatives for consumers demanding change.
These are just a few of the people out there who have understood that the world is changing but services are yet to catch up. What’s more, this trend is still growing with more and more startups launching every year. All of this innovation has made people wonder – will the next big thing come from a Fortune 500 company? Probably not, but before we go ahead and quit our day jobs, let’s not forget that for every successful startup that makes it to the big screen, thousands are failing. Many are questioning the sustainability of this model in the long run – people saying it’s just a matter of time before this bubble (yes, it probably is another bubble) bursts and we move onto the next big trend. Only time will tell.
Android Central. <androidcentral.com>
AirBnb is another gamechanger allowing users to rent out a spare room or their entire home to travellers seeking a hotel alternative. Simple is a bank for the modern user that doesn’t want a bank. Offering a sleek credit card and app, Simple is focusing on offering a few services that users really care about, and getting rid of the rest.
Square for example, has revolutionised the way payments are being made with a simple dongle that can be attached to any smartphone or tablet, allowing users to pay with credit cards without the hassles of the standard credit card reader. The device also comes with a polished app allowing users to track payments in a beautifully designed UI.
“It seems that working with visionaries – the type who see opportunities where most see barriers – can spark similar pioneering tendencies amongst others.”
by Adriano Galardi
Innovation sparks... innovation?
The knock-on effect of start-up philosophy. Starting your own company is a dream to many, and who can blame them? The chance to be your own boss, carry out your dream, define the vision, (fail), try again and eventually, maybe, with a bit of inspiration and a lot of perspiration (1 to 99 ratio to be precise), your baby is born. It definitely isn’t for everyone, which is why many prefer to simply join startups (that have received funding of course). Here, there is the chance to be part of something at an early stage, contribute ideas (flat hierarchy), work in a fun and young atmosphere, and be well-paid with good health benefits. You don’t need to be a visionary or a pioneer; just talented and “fun”. Obviously, this appeals to many. What’s interesting though, is the effect that working in a start-up has on its employees. It seems that working with visionaries – the type who see opportunities where most see barriers – can spark similar pioneering tendencies amongst others. However the bird doesn’t leave the nest straight away. This tends to happen when the excitement of working with a startup has worn off (often because the startup has grown and is being run by somebody else), or when the opportunities to advance or progress are diminishing. And that is when the bird decides to fly the coop. Often they leave with a fellow co-worker who is similarly searching for new adventures and has also been influenced and inspired by visionary leaders.
A perfect example of the bird This is the philosophy that many leaving the nest scenario is startups run by; Nest being one British duo Mike Stevens and Dan of them. Tony Fadell and Matt Shrimpton, who left the pioneering Rogers left Apple’s iPod and iPhone and beloved Innocent Smoothies division in 2010 after a realisation to found Peppersmith – a premium, that thermostats remained an all natural and locally sourced unexplored opportunity for chewing gum company. innovation in today’s world. They set out to revolutionise them Stevens and Shrimpton applied the by making them simple, more natural goodness philosophy that effective, and attractive (see the Innocent has commoditised to Apple philosophy?). This duo has an industry largely dominated by managed to make a thermostat synthetic, mainstream brands. desirable – a feat no one had accomplished before (I was sad Nest is another example of this to discover I do not have a trend, though this time the visionary thermostat in my home and leader was no small startup; it was therefore won’t be honoured Apple. I wanted to include Nest with a beautiful Nest on my wall). as an example because Apple, as big as it is, may as well have As working in a startup increasingly “innovation through good design” becomes common practice, we as their mantra. They build can expect to see a lot more of products that aim to make life this can-do attitude rubbing off easier and more efficient, whilst on employees; encouraging them looking great at the same time. to leave the nest, setting out on their own – a good thing no doubt.
â€œThe dream of dancing among the stars has enchanted us for millennia. But now, this year, space is truly within reach for everyone.â€?
by Alicia Fowler
Virgin Galatic. <virgingalatic.com>
By 2014, your postman could be an astronaut
Second, the infrastructure supporting consumer space travel has grown in size and sophistication, and will continue to do so. Private enterprises engaged in spaceflight are getting savvier; their vehicles are getting safer, and more predictable. Just this April, Virgin Galactic’s newest ship, SpaceShipTwo, broke the sound barrier. And, adjacent industries, from insurance to fashion to entertainment, are adapting their offerings to support both the travellers and companies alike. In the 41 years since man last set foot on the moon, a new generation has been preparing its own route to space. But this path will democratise, and likely commercialise, space travel in far reaching ways. In fact, your postman could count his name among the likes of Neil Armstrong and Yuri Gagarin. Three factors — policy, infrastructure, and culture — are aligning to make consumer space travel a reality before the end of 2014. First, public policy is not only favourable towards private space travel enterprises, it’s downright encouraging. Companies like SpaceX transport NASA cargo to the ISS for a fee, and states like New Mexico invest millions of dollars in commercial spaceports. All the while, legislatures are determining how to protect consumers and companies alike as we begin to navigate this brave new world.
Third, and perhaps most significantly, is that the culture is ripe for consumer space travel. Nerds have gone mainstream. Science fiction heroes, like Captain Kirk and Doctor Who, will enter their 50th years of popularity this decade, with more allure and fandom than before. And science, real space science, is more accessible than ever. We can watch experiments telecast from the ISS captain, via Twitter. We can discover — and comprehend — extraordinary theories with the help of world-renowned physicists like Brian Greene. Space is near. Space is here. The dream of dancing among the stars has enchanted us for millennia. But now, this year, space is truly within reach for everyone. And as we ascend into the great beyond, the culture, infrastructure and policy that enable our flight, will themselves forever change, leading to new products, new experiences, and new forms of commerce.
â€œFar from being a sanitised experience, the hi-tech wedding will be ultra-connected and interactive. Couples will share their joy live on the internet. Once married, the happy couple can rely on technology to help them in their everyday married life.â€?
by Barbara Viana
Something Turquoise. <somethingturquoise.com>
The hi-tech weddings of the future
“Twitter and Tinder are delighted to announce the marriage of Lulu63 and Vinz22 on Saturday, August 18, 2018 at 16h00 GMT on the internet. The virtual wedding reception will take place afterwards on the Social Network.” Some of us have found love on the internet. In the future, we foresee we’ll be getting married on it!
Ogilvy PR Worldwide. <youtube.com/user/OgilvyPRWorldwide>
August, the wedding season, is probably a month studded with quaint country weddings with their never-ending receptions, long-winded speeches and improbable outfits. Enjoy it for now! Because tomorrow, weddings like these will be a thing of the past. Before we get married, we have to find our soul mate. There’s no lack of internet dating sites, but when you see that more than 5 million people a month logged on to dating sites like Meetic or AdopteUnMec, we understand the problem of too much choice. Tomorrow’s dating sites will be increasingly specialised, sophisticated and geo-localised. Take Tinder, the new dating app that matches you up with interesting people around you, that everyone is talking about in the US. Love stories will have different beginnings: “Mum, what app did you meet Dad on?” Tomorrow, it won’t be luck, but technology that will help us find our soul mate!
Asda Dating, the dating site of the eponymous online supermarket proposes that you “shop for your dream date”, comparing baskets as you shop. It’s smart and practical; normal. It’s English. Some take technology even further and propose donning a cat’s tail before the penguin tails! Intrigued? The idea is to attach a “neurowear” cat’s tail that connects to the wearer’s brain patterns. The tail responds to the wearer’s mood and indicates the degree of enthusiasm s/he’s feeling. So if your contact is wagging his tail, it means he likes you! It’s weird and scary; normal. It’s Japanese. Tomorrow, we won’t even have to talk before mating. And the actual wedding ceremony? Virtual, naturally. French United for Equality Association recently hit the headlines when it associated with Google+ Hangout to create France’s first social network wedding.
In the throes of the gay marriage debate, a Belgian mayor celebrated a same sex marriage by using live streaming. No more bad DJs who insist on imposing their personal taste on the dance floor. Tomorrow, we’ll entrust Spotify or Deezer to stage-manage the evening intelligently. Does everyone desert the dance floor on Magnolia? Time to shelve Claude François and move on to something else.
RunKeeper, the Personal Trainer in your Pocket, acknowledges your sport sessions, shares them on Facebook in order to encourage you to follow your fitness regime. Full of good intentions and good advice, these apps reward good deeds with a points system – version 2.0 of the famous English Brownie points. Three bunches of flowers per month – that’s worth at least 5 Brownie points! Symbolic objects are not forgotten. As everyday objects are becoming more intelligent, the engagement ring follows suit with a useful feature, a memory! The ring heats up to remind you of your anniversary! In the meantime, enjoy the wedding cake and best man’s speech with jokes in bad taste – they are an endangered species!
DC Rainmaker. <dcrainmaker.com>
Far from being a sanitised experience, the hi-tech wedding will be ultra-connected and interactive. Couples will share their joy live on the internet. Once married, the happy couple can rely on technology to help them in their everyday married life.
As for frozen snapshots by professional photographers? They will be put away too. With more and more sophisticated wedding photo apps, tomorrow the guests will be the official photographers. Wedding apps like Yapp keep guests informed of events during the day, provide directions to the venue, newsfeed and also let you upload photos in real time.
“Tomorrow’s 1.0 holidays will teach us about changing the rhythm. Slow food, slow life, slow beauty are already surfacing concepts. Welcome to Slowlidays – holidays based on time, not space.”
by Barbara Viana
Disconnect to reconnect – The 1.0 holidays of the FUTURE
Booking a guaranteed WiFi-free hotel, holidaying in your neighbour’s apartment, taking 15 hours to make Bordeaux to Paris – the holidays of the future will be all about taking it slow. So you cracked for the iPhone 5? You’re thrilled with the new fiber-optics in your apartment? Your Xperia tablet is your new baby? Great! But we foresee that tomorrow, you’ll be paying to be disconnected. With technology, like everything else, enough is enough! The principal motivation for taking a holiday is to relax and take it easy. But FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) ensures that Homo Connectus can’t keep away from reading his textos and his Facebook page – stress!
Romain Jerome. <romainejerome.ch>
JWT Amsterdam. <www.jwt-amsterdam.pressdoc.com>
But relax! Tomorrow, following Kit Kat’s lead with its “Have a break – Have a Free No WiFi Zone!” campaign, Homo Connectus can book a hotel room guaranteed without internet access. He can entrust his beloved iPhone 5 to a babysitter or to a safe to which he won’t have the code (otherwise, it would be too tempting). We’re always hearing about the bridge between real life and virtual life, but tomorrow we’ll pay to learn to separate them. In 1623, holidays were defined as “the period when freedom is restored to students.” Tomorrow’s holidays will restore idleness to us, eaten away by new technologies that devour whole minutes of our precious free time. Equipped only with a ballpoint pen and the Day & Night Romain Jerome watch that doesn’t tell the time, the future Homo Deconnectus write postcards from home! Holidays 1.0 will teach us how to appreciate a change of scenery from the exoticness of our own home.
Aviation fuel is a luxury, and while low cost flights will be with us for a while to come, he will have to save for longer to be able to go away. But he won’t want to wait forever to go travel. Tomorrow, he’ll go local. He’ll take a “staycation” spending his holidays at home. He’ll use room service every day in his own bedroom or if he feels the spirit of adventure coming on, he’ll rent his neighbour’s loft. Today, life is speeded up to the max. Tomorrow’s 1.0 holidays will teach us about changing the rhythm. Slow food, slow life, slow beauty are already surfacing concepts. Welcome to Slowlidays – holidays based on time, not space. The latest Airbus, the new A350, maximises the wellbeing of passengers by placing a bar in the front of the cabin. They’ve understood that personal comfort makes a luxury experience. Tomorrow, the foot is off the accelerator and on the brake! Paris-Bordeaux in 15 hours – a dream come true! London to Florence in 5 days – perfection! Tomorrow, we’ll be celebrating the Orient NonExpress. Jeep is on the right road with its “GPS to Get Lost”. Losing time is gaining freedom. All that remains is to brand the design of this new experience of suspended time.
Marcel Proust was already running round in search of lost time. The holidays of the future have found it! It was a close call…
“The home of the future – the reflection of our identity – is set to become the IT fashion accessory of the 21st Century. Today’s young interior designers will become tomorrow’s Home-Fashionistas, and our interiors, the musthave designs!”
by Barbara Viana
In the future, our home will be a Fashion accessory!
In fashion, there’s the art of dressing and the art of accessorising. Can you imagine yourself all dressed up in jeans, tee-shirt and a jacket – but barefoot? Unthinkable! The same rules apply to our “Home Sweet Home”. Once the bed and the fridge are in place, we turn to the fun part – decorating, selecting the furniture and fixtures that let the world know who we are.
And we won’t let austerity stand in our way! According to a recent IFOP poll, home decor is the primary source of household spending in France. In the current climate of technological, social and ecological change, our home is at the centre of our existence. Feeling good in our home is fundamental to our well-being. And tomorrow? The home of the future – the reflection of our identity – is set to become the IT fashion accessory of the 21st Century. Today’s young interior designers will become tomorrow’s Home-Fashionistas, and our interiors, the must-have designs! Like any self-respecting Home-Fashionista, the home must be well equipped. To be truly cutting-edge, the home of the future will also be interactive! Following Living Tomorrow’s “Carehome” project, the Home-Fashionista’s future home will be the last word on infotech (before anyone else’s!). After an exhausting day, she’ll start her housework on her trip home using the MyHOME app. She can turn on the heating, draw the blinds and start cooking dinner so that she returns to a warm, cosy nest. As soon as she steps over the threshold, PaRePO, her home robot, will ask her if she’s had a good day. In
her spare time, she can share her latest tips with the home networks and organise live Deco workshops from her living room. A SmartHome – of course! But that’s not all! Our Home-Fashionista will elevate her home into a temple of customisation. As a militant eco-warrior, the Home-Fashionista proudly wears DIY (Design-It-Yourself) fashion. Even more than flea markets or reusable packaging (produced by the Dutch Joolz brand, for instance), her ultimate eco-weapon in realising her flights of fantasy will be the 4D printer. The fourth dimension is transformability. The 4D printer will allow her to express her creativity by creating 3D objects in evolutionary materials that self-assemble or reshape themselves over time! Smart technology prevents our Home-Fashionista from making any expensive faux pas. Using IKEA’s increased reality app on her tablet or smartphone, and her Google Glasses, she can have a virtual sofa pop up in her living room and test her choice without having to take out her credit card! To keep her aesthetic sense honed, she’ll select some of the world’s most beautiful home designs through Spootnik.com.
As she won’t have an unlimited budget, the HomeFashionista will be creative in acquiring the latest musthave for her home. Using the Revolushion e-shop, she’ll hire the sofa of her dreams for a fortnight, changing it again whenever the mood takes her… an effect guaranteed to impress her friends! And because her home will become as much an object of desire as the It-bag at its height, photos of her “personal touch” will be on display on TheSelby.com! As the ultimate accolade to her expertise, she will be invited to participate in TF1’s new TV program (on the French channel) “An Almost Perfect Deco” (the real name is still under wraps) and invited to redesign candidates’ homes like a professional interior designer! Customised, interactive and eco-friendly… let’s make a toast – to the fashion accessory house of the future that has more than one trick up its sleeve!
â€œGone are the heavy files, the dusty slates, the bulky books, and the bulging pencil cases filled to bursting with erasers, scissors and pencils.â€?
by Barbara Viana
Robert Doisneau. <robert-doisneau.com>
In the future, we’ll go back to school without schoolbags, but we’ll still be making pasta necklaces!
Torn between the return to the traditional and the arrival of the hi-tech in teaching methods, the school of the future will be hi-tech, but not too much… School ain’t what it used to be. That’s why a smart television programmer had the idea of creating a reality show based on the school of yesteryear – “Back to the Boarding School” that broadcasted in September 2013
This vintage reality show will end with awarding successful students with a diploma of the era. It goes without saying that the candidates will leave their smartphones and sneakers behind and don the inimitable blue blouse to pass their “certif’’. Gen Z will learn about “Our Ancestors the Gauls” and the imperfect subjunctive in this retro utopia. Viewer ratings assured! While the 50s style boarding school is a fascinating subject for TV, it’s a different story in real life. Far from the accepted traditional methods, making handwriting optional is the current subject of lively debate. Don’t worry; it’s in the US, where joined-up writing hasn’t been taught in school for the last two generations. The 45 states that are considering abolishing handwriting argue that learning to write on the keyboard is a priority, and manual handwriting is no longer of any practical use to students. Terrifying for some, inevitable for others, this prospect raises the question of the evolution of learning methods in schools, and more specifically at this time of year, the future of school supplies. Gone are the heavy files, the dusty slates, the bulky books, and the bulging pencil cases filled to bursting with erasers, scissors and pencils. School children’s little fingers now get busy on the Qwerty keyboard and ultra-sensitive track pad of this portable laptop. Tomorrow, the traditional heavy schoolbag may disappear for good! Still further away, it’s the touch screen tablet that will invade classrooms.
My TV Realite.TV. <mytvrealite.tv>
on M6 (a French TV channel). It proposes a ’50s style boarding school to 24 teenagers to let them discover how their grandparents were educated (just without the corporal punishment).
BiC Education. <bic-education.com>
BiC, already a well-known brand to primary school pupils for its pens (and to secondary school pupils for its lighters…) launches its digital slate. The chosen term is important: slate. No more authentic slate for the chalk purists, no more whiteboard for the more modern; the slate is about to be digitised.
Every action has a reaction, even more so in this paperless world that gains a little more ground every day. So when the students of tomorrow learn to read, write and count on a digital device, we can offer them in return a wide range of leisure activities, from arts and crafts, to cooking classes or DIY.
In the video presentation provided by the 01net site, a BiC Education Project Leader says: “This tablet is very technologically sophisticated and permits better teaching of handwriting through a stylus.”
And we can go back a long way. This is the case in Finland, where sewing and woodwork lessons are part of the primary school curriculum for girls and boys, giving an opportunity for putting tangible skills back into this digital world, and give voice to talent.
This should reassure the advocates of manual handwriting. The tablet is connected to the teacher’s computer. The teacher can submit exercises and monitor the students’ work from his or her post. But in a paperless/cloud classroom, might our children be missing out on something?
Because learning also involves handiwork and mothers of the future will always need a pasta necklace and a papier maché vase.
“Of course, mosquitoes don’t respect international boundaries, and it becomes more and more important to try to predict how the disease might move back in. One way of doing this is to look at the migrant human population...”
by Stephen Barber
Ebb & flow: How maps and big data can help us understand how diseases spread
Maps and mapping, way-finding and navigation have always fascinated mankind. Ever since we started to move around our planet, we’ve striven to document it in some way – to try to understand the relationship between where we were, where we are now, and where we’re going. Maps are an imperfect way of describing the layout of our environment. Anyone trying to reflect in two dimensions that which naturally needs to be in three will find themselves scratching their heads and making compromises in all sorts of ways. Our planet is spherical (actually much more like a rugby ball) and this makes for a hard translation onto a single piece of paper. To get to a reasonable semblance of what an atlas of our world looks like, we use projections to convert the sphere to the plane (in fact, we use a projection that was created in 1569 by Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator). Nowadays we almost all use maps on a daily basis to get us around – and they’re even more prevalent in our lives thanks to the omnipresent mobile devices we use. When was the last time you got lost going
somewhere? We carry sophisticated global positioning devices wherever we go, and it’s easy to forget that navigation used to be something that was much harder to do. And of course, because our phones are all connected to networks, there’s much data that exists about where we are at any particular moment. One person who is very interested in using maps to make sense of some of the issues facing some of the poorest areas on earth is Andy Tatem. Andy is a professor at Southampton University, and director of a number of organisations that are attempting to correlate any vectors between how people move from one location to another, and the spread of disease. We were fortunate enough to have Andy come talk to us about the work he’s been doing, and give us the lowdown on how maps have evolved over the ages. He started by talking about the history and uptake of mapping as we know it – from the oldest known map (created in the 6C BC) through a number of other iconic and interesting maps; including one that shows the number of heavy metal bands per capita across the world (hint: you might consider moving closer to the Nordic parts of this world if you’re a fan). Then we looked at how our sense of scale has changed over the generations. Not so long ago, our grandparents would have considered a trip to the next town or village a major outing – but nowadays we’re all very much comfortable with the idea of hopping from place to place; from continent to continent. This has been driven by the growth of our transport networks, and the availability of relatively cheap travel prices – and has led to the unforeseen consequence of the creation of comprehensive data on our movements. Every airline, for example, keeps a record of passenger data, including who has travelled, when and where. Speed of movement was a theme that came up again – this time in the context of the speed at which diseases have spread through populations over the ages. In the middle ages, it took 16 years for the bubonic plague to
move from China to the UK – in contrast to the recent outbreak of Swine Flu, which took just two weeks to circle the globe. It’s this pace of change, driven by human networks, that has both enabled viruses to navigate our planet, and also empowered us to use technology to try and understand how and where it happens. For example, malaria can be spread through our shipping networks by stowaway mosquitoes laying eggs in waterlogged tyres on container ships – which provide the perfect habitat for breeding mosquitoes. In many countries across the developing world, malaria is slowly being eradicated – thanks to the efforts of governments and organisations like Malaria No More – but often it can easily spread back in from adjacent territories. Of course, mosquitoes don’t respect international boundaries, and it becomes more and more important to try to predict how the disease might move back in. One way of doing this is to look at the migrant human population – specifically the infected human population – and extrapolate from that the risks based on the numbers of people likely to move at particular times of year. Using this knowledge, relief organisations can prioritise and organise their efforts to try to counter the most high-risk locations. To get an understanding of how people move across borders, from place-to-place and country-to-country, Andy and other researchers have had to get hold of lots of data – really, really big data – which, until relatively recently would have been derived from population censuses, and therefore would have been out-of-date very quickly. These days, each of us carry something with us pretty much all the time that knows where we are, and regularly communicates this without us having to think about it – our mobile phones. Our phones tell the nearest mobile phone mast where we are, and triangulates our position so they can more effectively help us to communicate with one another – but this information is stored and logged by mobile phone companies. By talking to the phone companies then, it’s been possible for
researchers to get hold of data that they can use to correlate the movement of individuals, and map this onto recent data of malarial outbreaks. Of course, this does open up all sorts of privacy questions – especially in light of the recent NSA revelations – but it’s the data at scale that’s useful, not the movements of single individuals, nor is any personal data ever shared. That said, it’s hard to persuade phone companies to part with this data – understandably – as they have valid concerns about the confidentiality of the information. And often, this is not something that the individual customer of the phone company can opt into. Andy’s talk gave us an interesting insight into how new technologies can be used to help the world. More and more of our daily lives are being recorded, plotted and mapped across social networks and physical locations – often without us even knowing. Frequently, it’s harder to opt out of these initiatives than to opt in, especially for those who’re not quite so comfortable with technology. The UN’s innovation initiative Global Pulse have started to talk about these issues and more – but especially the real value of the data that is locked away by commercial organisations, and the different ways in which it might be used. They’ve been building awareness around their term “data philanthropy” as the way in which large business can start to act almost as real-time sensors for early warnings into mass changes, be they job loss, disease, or natural disasters. At FutureBrand, we’re interested in how this field will develop – through our work with Malaria No More we’ve seen the need for society to use all the weapons at its disposal in fighting against the spread of disease. We’re interested in the role of data in predicting the future, and we wholeheartedly expect that people like Andy Tatem will be at the forefront of this new kind of behavioural insight, as we track more and more of our lives.
“ ...it didn’t matter what was being displayed, the most compelling stalls were the ones which displayed a single minded brand experience – from the way the product was experienced, to the way the visitor was greeted by the stall owner, to the giveaways that we took home with us.”
by Stephen Barber
Tent London. <boox.me>
FutureBrand at Tent London 2013
The end of September saw the London design community wake up after the summer holiday season, and step up a rather well-considered gear. The London Design Festival, a nine day event showcasing the best that design has to offer in the capital and beyond, is an eclectic and wide-ranging view over many different design disciplines â€“ typography, interiors, furniture design, product, digital and many more. It really is possible to lose oneself in the breadth and depth of events that take place â€“ one look at the Festival web site will show you an overwhelming array of opportunities to learn about, to play with and to buy design from a mix of individual designers, and new and established businesses.
FutureBrand was proud to play a part in the Festival by hosting one of the Super Brand London talks which was at Tent London in Brick Lane. In the midst of the many talented designers and companies who were exhibiting, we spent some time talking about how brands help us make choices and decisions every day, and how the responsibility of those brands is increasingly to help us make positive change in our lives. One thing struck us as we walked around the different floors at Tent: it didn’t matter what was being displayed, the most compelling stalls were the ones which displayed a single minded brand experience – from the way the product was experienced, to the way the visitor was greeted by the stall owner, to the giveaways that we took home with us. And Tobias Gutmann, with his Face-O-Mat, seemed to get it more than most! If we had a slight criticism, it was that we didn’t see too many examples of designers using new tech to connect product to service to experience – but we also know that we’re in the early wave of adoption to this kind of innovation. We expect to see more of this in the future, as future brands connect the dots between their products, new services, and the people who engage with them. Our talk was divided into two parts: the first explained how our belief is that brands can help us make day-today choices as we go through life, and therefore they increasingly need to contribute to a future which is better for us, better for the planet, and better for their business. We talked about the context that brands operate within, and how new technologies can create new value and intimacy between brands and “brand users”. And finally – speaking to an audience who understand the concept of “product” more than most – we talked about the need to think about product and service ecosystems as we go forward, and not to think about products in isolation. This was our segue into our favourite part of the session – the bit where we encouraged our audience to get together and create a bunch of new product and service ideas based on their own experience.
Our thought before the event was that we’d be able to tap into the energy and creativity of designers, design industry specialists and other interesting people during the second part of our talk, and we were fortunately proven right. Just to make sure – we provided beer. And the workshop that we hosted did manage to get out some genuinely interesting concepts despite the short time we had together. My highlights:
The Harley Davidson connected helmet that streams music directly to me, but adapts the playlist depending on which classic road I’m driving along.
The Pampers map of changing facilities in London, showing parents which restaurants and buildings offer private space for baby changing (and give Pampers the opportunity to sell more diapers).
The high energy tea, served in a Nike teapot for athletes to enjoy and improve their performance with.
All told, the group that took part enjoyed themselves, and hopefully learned something of brand, and the power of branding to help us make better choices in our lives.
Volume 1 113
â€œ...Clients have the power today and not the Agency world of yesterday, which represented the early years from which Cannes Lions first was born.â€?
by Chris Nurko
Cannes 2013 – A post-modern approach to creativity after 60 years
Yes, it’s the 60th year of the Cannes Lions awards for the best of Global Creativity. 2013 was busier and more crowded than ever before with events, content and presentations covering the full spectrum of marketing. This year there was more evidence of client presence as attendees, sponsors and speakers. Google, Twitter, GM, Coke, Unilever and Heineken were very visible and the themes of social media connectivity, creativity and measurement were hot topics. So too was the discussion around “big data” and the need for a balance of creative “emotion” with commercial “rationale”. Contemporary marketing requires consumers to “engage” and work harder than ever to contribute, share, comment and “buy” into brands, products, content and services more than ever before; which means brands now have to work very hard! Not just to get their message across but to involve consumers and sustain their involvement. So, as “consumers call the shots” for brand communications – who is “calling the shots” on strategy? There is no doubt that the era of crowdsourcing and web-enabled creativity has arrived, which begs the question; do clients need agencies any more?
After all, clients can now go direct to creators of content film, scripts, design and executional ideas through either a competition initiative or a loosely brokered “open source” call for entries. Combine this with the new powerbrokers of media and distribution (Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc) and you can see a pattern emerging. Clients are calling the shots! And against a backdrop of Agency networks trying to stay as relevant as possible. The fact emerges; Clients have the power today and not the agency world of yesterday, which represented the early years from which Cannes Lions first was born. The buzzword titled exhibition “Game Changers” at the side entrance of the Palais was an almost historical homage and “Origin of Species” display of how Mad Men have become Creative Commercialists. An interesting reflection of how Advertising changed the world (yes, really!). While we are talking “buzz words”, the North American terms in vogue at the moment are “pivot” and “transform”, which reflects the nature of creative commercial strategy in marketing.
Surprisingly there were very few international brands present with a definite bias towards North American brands. One would be forgiven for thinking it was a Northern European/North American brand roster with primarily Brazilian and Latin agencies attending – such is the power and fame of The Lions in the Americas! The Asian presence was more subdued this year except for the “China party” on the beach that certainly won plaudits for the theme and popularity! And a special mention must go to Scarfe’s illustration of the Lion which adorned the festival “branding” and passed the “t-shirt” test for most participants who could be seen sporting the design from the Gutter bar to Le Suquet! My personal take on this year versus previous years’ content is that Storytelling, Emotive Engagement, Purpose and Brand Effectiveness are the topical points we will be seeing the 2014 Cannes agenda being built around. There was a more visible acknowledgement of the importance of social issues and conscious capitalism, and certainly a shift towards how nontraditional media has triumphed. Apart from the obvious celebrity quotient being represented in creativity (Jack Black, Vivienne Westwood, Sean ‘Diddy’ Coombs, and legend – Lou Reed) the best session I attended was that of Conan and Anderson Cooper who, in a post-modern and surreal conversation, admitted to “having no idea what Cannes was about nor why they were there!” Cannes is about understanding the zeitgeist of global marketing and branding, and as clients become more involved and powerful in direct to and through consumer marketing, Brand Strategists must pay attention! Interestingly, this year many of the entries crossed categories and were submitted in multiple categories. As always, a particular complaint of mine is the submission in the design category of “work” that is really just internal and “self serving” pieces of print or “ideation”. But hey, that is Cannes… not based on commercial challenges nor results but rather creative inspiration and execution. Note to self – must submit more work like that next year! Looking forward to Cannes 2014!
Heineken – Legendary Journey
Dove – Real Beauty Sketches
Oreo – SuperBowl Blackout Tweet
The “Legendary Journey”, part of the “Open Your World” campaign, encapsulates Heineken’s approach to asking its drinkers to live beyond their boundaries, inspiring men across the world to seek new experiences. The campaign was developed in partnership with Wieden + Kennedy, Amsterdam.
Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” initiative employs a forensic sketch artist to illustrate to women the differences between their perceived and real beauty. The campaign, led by Ogilvy Brazil São Paulo, is part of the brand’s Real Beauty campaign launched nine years ago with the goal of changing the way people perceive beauty.
The “Oreo Blackout Tweet” is an off-the-cuff response to the 30-minute blackout at the Superdome, from 360i and Oreo. By focusing on relevancy and realtime content within its active social communities, the brand stood out during the day that was most saturated with advertising.
Oreo – Wonderfilled
London 2012 Paralympics ad for Channel 4 – Meet the Superhumans
Southern Comfort – Whatever’s Comfortable, Beach
“Wonderfilled”, by The Martin Agency, is a commercial that explores whimsical possibilities! It focuses on the positive change that the simple act of sharing an Oreo can create, tapping into the universal human feeling of wonder. “Wonderfilled” captures the feeling that kids are naturally so good at, yet adults need to be reminded of: a sense of wonder in the world.
An inspiring and powerful film, “Meet the Superhumans” is from the team at 4Creative. It features a multitude of Paralympians each with their own life story and highlights the herculean efforts that have gone into their preparation for the Games.
The “Whatever’s Comfortable” campaign celebrates and inspires the awesome attitude of people who are completely comfortable with themselves. The film “Beach”, created by Wieden + Kennedy New York, features a man walking casually down the beach, totally owning his self-comfortableness.
Channel 4 Paralympics. <youtube.com/C4Paralympics>
Southern Comfort. <youtube.com/user/southerncomfort>
Coca-Cola – Small World Machines
Water is Life – Hashtag Killer
Metro Melbourne – Dumb Ways to Die
The “Small World Machines” is an uplifting Coca-Cola film that shows what unites us is stronger than what sets us apart. Linking strangers in two nations divided by more than just borders, the film features Indians and Pakistanis interacting with each other, via the machine – waving, touching hands, drawing a peace sign or dancing – before sharing a Coca-Cola.
Launched by DDB New York and Water is Life, the “Hashtag Killer” campaign was created by gathering various “first world problem” tweets and having people in Haiti to recite them in an anthem video – and, in the process, raise awareness about serious developing world issues.
“Dumb Ways to Die”, created by McCann Melbourne, is a morbid but memorable campaign to promote train safety by featuring colourful cartoon blobs that die in crazy ways, such as swimming with piranhas, to highlight that, indeed, the stupidest way to die is to be unsafe around trains.
DDB New York. <youtube.com/user/DDBSocialCreativity>
â€œ...the goal in creating a clear brand foundation with new verbal, visual, environments and cultural toolkits was to help serve as a guide and inspiration for the continued changes that lay ahead.â€?
by Jack Arrowsmith
FutureBrand wins prestigious CLIO award for American Airlines
It’s always gratifying to be recognised for doing work you believe in. This year, FutureBrand was honored to receive a CLIO award for the new American Airlines identity, marking the first time an airline has won in this category. While the CLIOs recognise agencies and organisations working across a wide range of creative disciplines, from advertising to innovative media, there is something especially unique about a win in the design category. Design CLIOs highlight “creative work that conveys brand and product messages in a way that not only functions for the client, but also compels and inspires the consumer.” For corporate identity to be included in this segment is a testament to the ability of world-class creative thinking and expression to serve the practical needs of businesses and influence the decisions that consumers make each day in a way that is visceral, compelling and, of course, memorable.
Just as importantly, the win also supports our belief in the inherent power of creative strategy and expression to transform brands — and peoples’ relationships to brands — in incredibly positive ways. Our work with American Airlines has been built on this premise. The transformation of such an iconic brand — the first since 1967 — can only be approached with the intention of driving substantive and positive change. Our goal was not simply to update the look of the brand — our goal was to reflect the very real progress the company and its people are making throughout the company. Further, the goal in creating a clear brand foundation with new verbal, visual, environments and cultural toolkits was to help serve as a guide and inspiration for the continued changes that lay ahead. From the design of airplanes and airports, to mobile apps, menus and uniforms, to policies and procedures, well-formed brands can help guide the myriad decisions that can make the difference between a great customer or employee experience and one that is simply acceptable. We are incredibly proud of this recognition. It’s the result of our 2-year collaboration with American Airlines and entirely representative of the great efforts that the company has made to modernise just about every aspect of the airline.
“Numerous corporations today are making the shift towards creating a ‘purpose beyond profit’ and ‘the triple bottom line’ – people, planet and profit.”
by Chris Nurko
Wallpaper Name. <wallpapername.com>
Corporate Philanthropy: Now more than part of the agenda
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein by way of Marc Mathieu Each year on the fourth Monday in February, the corporate community celebrates International Corporate Philanthropy Day (ICPD) and comes together to build awareness and inspire ideas of how big business can move the world forward. This is facilitated by FutureBrand partner, CECP.
Today, more than ever, companies must look to “give back” and add something to the world beyond what is often their core business. Many buzz-words and acronyms are thrown around – such as CSR, CRM, Corporate Science, Social Performance, Responsible Business and so on – but the truth is, what unites all of these terms and what they all stand for (giving something back) has never been more important than it is today. Companies large and small – if they are to succeed today and have a future tomorrow – need a “purpose beyond profit” today. Businesses should find a reason(s) to exist beyond bottom line profit and shareholder value; of course, these are key and core aspects of any successful and functioning business and have been and will continue to be metrics and measurements for success, but the world is changing and business too, must change along with it. At the core of everything we do at FutureBrand is the resounding principle of “Future Positive”.
This emanates through who we are, how we act (with one another and with our clients) and how we approach our work and the future. We believe that tomorrow will be better than today and we believe this because we feel that brands (formed and developed correctly) have the opportunity to create a more positive future. We work with brands every day and that’s why our purpose is to create a more positive future. Many organisations are now changing their thinking to solve today’s problems, and in turn are changing the mindsets of others. These businesses don’t make Corporate Philanthropy part of their business; they make social change their business. Take Method for example, a California-based company creating cleaning products for the home (and for personal hygiene), that clean as well as any traditional bleach-based product, but are made from all natural ingredients and do not harm the environment or its people. They are using new thinking to solve old problems and help create a more positive future.
I salute them! This highlights the fact that brands must make positive change part of their overall brand and business strategy (for it to be taken seriously and acted upon by those within and doing business with the organisation). Here are some of the greatest innovators, leaders and organisations of our time who are seriously taking on this challenge and making it a core part of their businesses and business agenda: • • • • • • • •
Cannes Chimera Gates Foundation Clinton Foundation D&AD White Pencil Unilever Plan for Sustainable living Unilever Waterworks Oxitec SeeChange Health
Numerous corporations today are making the shift towards creating a “purpose beyond profit” and “the triple bottom line” – people, planet and profit. It is being increasingly regarded as the only direction for companies to head in, large and small. It affects everything from the way they are perceived in the press, to who wants to do business with them, who wants to be employed by them and so on. Look at Unilever, for example, and their Plan for Sustainable Living. This “ten year journey towards sustainable growth” is applied right across Unilever’s value chain. An audacious and highly admirable goal, that “aims to double the size of the business while reducing our environmental impact”. This is the next level of Corporate Philanthropy, set to inspire the next wave of businesses, entrepreneurs and social advocates. Unilever are setting a fantastic example, and
It is imperative for me to stress the importance of Corporate Philanthropy (and all of the above) in helping move us all towards a more positive future; more positive, more sustainable, and in turn, more profitable (as a by-product of doing everything else right). These types of programmes must be embedded into the heart of future organisational business strategies; they must be intertwined into the fabric of an organisation and its people (by being adopted from both the top down and bottom up), so that both the organisation and its people can become vessels and advocates for social change… and thus, a more positive future. So let’s change our thinking. Let’s reaffirm the agenda. Let’s heighten the importance of this new facet of business and let’s move forward to make a positive change and positive future for all.
“A Future Positive attitude to WANT to change, and to leverage corporate brands and their resources is a good place to start – and the world is tweeting about it!”
by Chris Nurko
Davos 2013: How companies can create a better future
KPMG Tweet Cloud. <kpmg.com>
As this year’s World Economic Forum ends, it is interesting to note what is on the mind of the world’s leaders, movers, shakers and opinion formers, and compare that to what the world’s public-at-large are thinking! One quick look at the KPMG “tweet cloud” (see below) shows you one interesting and fundamental overlap – VALUES and BUSINESS.
World Economic Forum. <weforum.org>
It is not surprising, after all – following on from a global economic recession and collapse of trust in all of the institutions of capitalism; a global movement of anti-corporate capitalism (e.g. Occupy!) and the increasingly ineffectiveness of governments to create jobs and forward economic momentum – is there any reason to doubt that there is a gap between “values” and “business” in the world? And what we mean specifically, is that the social contract and role of business in playing a “force for good” between the public and communities, governments and shareholder seems to be broken. Essentially, people of the world distrust how and by whom decisions get made, and the motivation and impact of those decisions on everything from the economy (i.e. jobs/employment) to the environment. If we add to this the relentless march of “people power” not only to force governmental change, but also corporate governance, product pricing and profitability – we see a fundamental shift in the world. Consumers and citizens now expect companies (yes – business organisations) to have a new role in society. A role based on ethics and morality, and which harnesses the “good” of capitalism for the benefit of all NOT just the perks and payouts of the few. VALUES based leadership and capitalism has now arrived on the C-suite agenda.
Future Positive Social Impact People – as consumers, investors, employees and citizens now want a force for change and for good. The license to operate for companies and their brands now comes under scrutiny 24/7/365 in a digitally connected and transparent world. Companies no longer can just placate the masses and their “audiences” with messages and PR initiatives. Corporate brands must now link their purpose and profitability to value creation that is more than just profits. Happiness, meaning and quality of life are words that are being discussed and espoused by corporate boards all over the world, and being included into the business strategies of the world’s most successful companies. The public is demanding new levels and actions that demonstrate transparency, collaboration and capitalism. Issues the world is interested in include Equitable Opportunity and Distribution of Wealth, Anti-corruption in business and government, Sustainability and Low/ No impact on health and the environment as well as Ethical/Values-based leadership in working cultures and business practices. In short, business has to “catch up” to a maturing world-view that basically says… ATTENTION BIG BUSINESSES and LEADERS… “Hey, big businesses and brand-owners – start behaving like a good company! Don’t be corrupt, don’t pollute, hire and pay employees fairly, pay your taxes and don’t just BS us with PR or marketing. Yes, YOU heard us! We mean it – be good or we won’t let you succeed!” A few stats below help support this view… In a national USA survey conducted for 18-24 yearolds, 63% identified one of the biggest problems in the country has to be the fact that not everyone has an equal chance in life. In 134 out of 183 countries in a 2011 survey, people expressed the belief that they lived in a country that was significantly corrupt; 72 of them were ranked as very corrupt.
According to the 2011 National Business Ethics Survey, the share of companies with weak ethical cultures also climbed to near record levels of 42%, up from 35% in 2009. So, what does all this mean? I have to reference here two great books that were recently published, which go a long way to helping frame this discussion and provide insights for leaders (and concerned citizens/ consumers!). One is “GOOD WORKS!” By Philip Kotler, David Hessekiel and Nancy Lee. A cracking read on how Corporate Initiatives and Philanthropy is changing the dynamic for companies that want to commit to “Causes”; and the other is “Conscious Capitalism”, by John Mackey and Raj Sisodia. A brilliant summary of how Conscious Capitalism is now driving the success of many of America’s most successful, innovative and admired companies. What both books highlight, and which answer the topics/ tweets/attention of Davos leaders and the public-atlarge is that corporate brands and organisations are now accountable to doing more than just being a good company, being profitable, hiring employees, and not polluting. On every level, and based on ethical standards and values-based leadership, the future will belong to organisations that not only aim to have a future positive impact, but more importantly – want to! Yes, they WANT TO! They may need to (in order to have a license to operate, in order to avoid consumer boycotts and employee labour disputes), but more importantly, they are motivated by their purpose that is at the heart of their organisation and their reason for being in the world. They WANT to and so do their employees, and their investors. The communities and consumer public WANT them to succeed, and value their role in the world. And, guess what – the company’s products and services, and brands are more popular and successful for it! So, back to the World Economic Forum – and, what does this all have to do with the topics covered? Well – if you put aside the discussions on economic growth (austerity versus government aided stimulus); the debate on the UK and if it is “in” or “out” of the
EU (a referendum of confidence or collaboration?); the search for energy (Fracking) or innovation (digital technology) – what you end up with is the overarching theme of our world’s FUTURE. Do we want a FUTURE that is better than today, or yesterday? And, if we do – what role does business, government and science/technology play in making the future better? How can corporate organisations drive future growth, and a better social contract? The challenges touched upon beyond just Corporate Values and Governance can be found in some of the quotes from the sessions and leaders – “Companies need to wake up and smell the coffee – customers have had enough” – David Cameron “Forty global companies have more fortune than all the governments” – Shimon Peres “Water is the new Oil” – V Nasr, SAIS School at Johns Hopkins “In the worst climate scenario, my kids will live in a world without coral reefs, with acid oceans and with wars fought over the water.” – Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank All of these issues are inter-related, and the future needs to be determined by what and how businesses, governments, the public and social interest groups respond to the world’s challenges. A Future Positive attitude to WANT to change, and to leverage corporate brands and their resources, is a good place to start – and the world is tweeting about it! See you in Davos in 2014!
â€œ... it is important for international businesses to continue managing a balance between global standardisation and local relevance.â€?
by Tom Adams
The 22nd century will be the African century (and other predictions)
Tidjane Thiam made a bold prediction at the IOD Annual Convention held in London on 18 September 2013. If the 21st century is now officially the “Asian” century, the CEO of Prudential PLC argued, the 22nd century will be the African century. All because, as he puts it, “demographics are destiny”. The numbers supporting the Asian century would now seem to be inarguable. Not only does Asia constitute 40% of global economic output, but for the first time ever, emerging economies combined are now bigger than their developed counterparts. The middle class in Asia alone, now estimated to be 525 million people, is larger than the whole population of Europe and is set to treble by 2030. By contrast, the largest growing demographic in the west are people over 85 years old, and by 2030 there will only be 2.5 people of working age for every pensioner in Europe. The current median age of Europeans is 41, compared to 27 in Asia and 18 in Africa. And the rate of growth in China dictates that it will create what is equivalent to four to six “Germany’s” over the next twenty years to surpass America as the world’s largest economy. In this context, he argued, it is important for international businesses to continue managing a balance between global standardisation and local relevance. For example, Prudential has 13 million customers in Asia across 30
markets, each with its own unique set of products – like those attending to the Islamic faith in places like Indonesia. “The man from the Pru”, he joked, is now a woman on a motorbike meeting customers in a Vietnamese café with her iPad. Critically, though, he also talked about the need for consistent values in the organisation – that shape its growth, culture and ways of doing business. Insurers are in the business of accurately predicting the future, and Mr Thiam’s thoughts emerged in the context of some other predictions from a thoughtprovoking line up of leaders at the convention. Simon Walker, Director General of the IOD, talked about the need for a future European Union that allowed for greater liberalisation of trade that would allow SMEs (who represent over 80% of the European economy) to deliver more cross-border business – particularly in the service sector.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, cautiously predicted an “economic renaissance” in the UK, powered by its most successful brand “London” and building on the success of London 2012, technology and infrastructure investment, the finance sector and growing exports to countries like China. One particular case in point: the success of Jaguar – a British brand whose cars now sell in their tens of thousands in India and China because of the quality of its products, not their price or nostalgia for a bygone age of Britishness. Ana Botin, CEO of Santander UK, talked about creating the future of business success today by providing more capital investment for entrepreneurs and capturing the UK’s spirit of enterprise, innovation and ambition, and that banks can make a positive difference to society – a powerful and encouraging statement from a leader who can make that possible in the banking sector.
George Osborne, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, was cautious about the UK economic recovery, saying it had “turned a corner” (although no green shoots of recovery yet…), and predicted that China as a market for our exports and source of tourism would be a powerful force in this recovery. Not least because Chinese investment in the UK has increased by over 90% since 2011. Joanna Shields, CEO of Tech City and former Silicon Valley entrepreneur predicted an 8% growth in the Internet economy in the UK in the next five years. But she also talked about the power of technology to positively disrupt businesses, sectors and markets – something we have talked about at length here – and that every business can create its future by “thinking like a start up”. And closed by saying that entrepreneurship is now recognised as a legitimate career path by young people in the UK.
And Dan Cobley, MD of Google UK and Ireland, stressed the need for business to move from “10%” thinking to “x10” thinking – shifting from incremental improvements to groundbreaking ideas that change everything – and how this continues to power Google’s extraordinary growth and innovation in everything from driverless cars to Google Glass. Above all, he reminded us of a favourite FutureBrand saying that the best way to predict the future is to create it. The IOD event hinted that business, technology and political leaders in the UK and beyond are united around the need to create a more positive future around ideas, technology and brands. There seems to be a spirit of cautious optimism in the air, and a sense that collaboration, openness and adapting to change are the secret to that future. We couldn’t agree more.
â€œConscious capitalism is a key mindset that nations and commercial organisations must adopt in order to maximise shared value for stakeholders, citizens and the consumer at large.â€?
by Chris Nurko
Future Brilliance! New brands for Afghanistan and the world
As London Fashion Week opens for 2013, we are proud to say we have contributed some of our â€œfuture positiveâ€? thinking and creativity to help create a brand and strategy to succeed something that truly deserves recognition! Future Brilliance is a not-for-profit organisation founded by the inspiring Sofia Swire. Its purpose is threefold and inter-related:
To help the artisan women of Afghanistan (and other post-conflict nations) to be educated and engaged in commercial activity, thus creating a more stable home and economic basis for activity.
To do so via training, education and support that can help achieve positive change in their lives and those of their communities.
To ensure that the cultural and commercial craft of jewellery and other hand-made goods survives and returns economic benefits to those closest to the origin of the goods and economic chain.
Why this is so vital is that in a country such as Afghanistan, the economic stability and survival of the nation depends upon the women and craft economy to flourish in the face of political and economic challenges to self-sufficiency in 2014. It is a model that could potentially be extended to any post-conflict nation or group of citizens who need support in training, education and commercial knowledge. For Afghanistan, a country rich in gemstones and with a heritage of craftsmanship in jewellery and hand-made goods – this is seen as a first line of defence against those who seek to undermine the legitimate economy and stability of the nation, and the rights and freedoms of women in particular. Future Brilliance has created a jewellery brand, “Aayenda“ (which means “Future” in Dari, the lingua franca of Afghanistan), and through partnerships with experts and multi-national organisations, hopes to create a commercially viable supply-to-retail chain that delivers profit and value to those involved in
training, education and creation. The key stakeholders to be benefited being the women of Afghanistan, who are creating beautiful jewellery and designed handicrafts using the gems of the land and the cultural tradition of the craft. Famous designers are lending their expertise, as well as academic institutions so that students in Afghanistan under Future Brilliance’s auspices and tuition can learn, engage, create and sell their skills and work via Aayenda. By launching at New York Fashion week and London Fashion week, Aayenda aims to bring more awareness and quality crafted jewellery to an international audience. In concert with the brand “Afghan Made“, which applies to the wider crafts of carpets and cashmere products, Aayenda is a prime example of how commercial and community minded initiatives can work in harmony to great effect and results. One of the key ingredients is to enable the connection between expertise and those who are in need of the knowledge. Future Brilliance has pioneered the
use of Solar Powered laptops to bring 21st century technology in an affordable and practical manner as the vehicle for content dissemination. To start, it will be focused on the craft and artisan skills but rapidly can be expanded to include any form of knowledge, data or training. The opportunities and the benefits are enormous, and are a prime example of “future positive” in action. That is why FutureBrand has done all work related to Future Brilliance as a pro-bono initiative and will continue to support its success and promotion in the years ahead. Conscious capitalism is a key mindset that nations and commercial organisations must adopt in order to maximise shared value for stakeholders, citizens and the consumer at large. The new brand launched at London Fashion Week hopefully will be a “brilliant” example for the category, the women of Afghanistan and the nation of Afghanistan in the future!
â€œThis truly is Future Positive in action and is why we are proud to be a part of this movement and are 100% committed to helping make the event a success.â€?
ONE way to change the world
ONE Future T-shirt
FutureBrand has been working with Nokia and ONE to help form an effective partnership for global, social advocacy. ONE – the grassroots advocacy and campaigning organisation focused on eradicating poverty and preventable disease – wanted to utilise its power and influence ahead of the up-coming G8 conference in Northern Ireland to help drive awareness around major global issues and social change. In order to do this, they corralled a group of the world’s biggest musicians (including Bruce Springsteen, Ed Sheeran, Jessie J, Tinie Tempah and Allison Moyet to name a few) to support their “agit8” event by singing their favorite protest songs from history.
FutureBrand client, Nokia, was brought in as the campaign’s image partner, to help raise awareness and advocacy for the movement (in real time). The partnership was a great fit as Nokia has always been focused on “connecting people” and ONE’s drive for this event was not about money or financial investment but about using community manpower as a method to empower people to influence government decisions. FutureBrand is a supporter and partner of the ONE organisation and the agit8 event, held at the Tate Modern in London, in June 2013. As a precursor to the G8 event-taking place in Northern Ireland – the agit8 event seeks to amplify the power of protest songs to have an effect on mobilising public support and opinion to change the world for the better. Specifically, to end Poverty in our lifetime in Africa and to create a more open, free and humanitarian world. This truly is Future Positive in action, and it is why we are proud to be a part of this movement, and are 100% committed to helping make the event a success. With Bono behind the idea – many of the world’s leading recording artists and singers either sang live or recorded a video singing a famous protest song that helped to change the world. Accompanied by a film shot by Richard Curtis and with the support of leading actors, chefs and politicians – the ONE organisation has put a stake in the ground to change the world!
Congratulations to all those involved in helping move the world forward through this powerful movement. It doesnâ€™t end here though, please check out the event online and show your support via the channels below: Website: www.one.org
Facebook: facebook.com/ONE JOIN. WATCH. LISTEN. ONE. http://www.one.org/protestsongs/
“We are true advocates and supporters of Solar Impulse and what they, as a movement, stand for – creating a more sustainable future through renewable energy and technology.”
by Jack Arrowsmith
Congratulations Solar Impulse They say “the main thing is to make history, not to write it”. The team at Solar Impulse has truly made history and others (including myself) will be writing about it.
Solar Impulse. <solarimpulse.com>
On 7th July 2013, the Solar Impulse plane completed the final leg of its “Across America” mission, flying day and night soley with the power of the sun. Originally starting in San Francisco in May 2013 (where the plane was reassembled, after being taken apart at the team’s HQ in Switzerland in order to transport it to the USA) the team and pilots (Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Picard) flew from city-to-city making stopovers in Phoenix, Arizona, Dallas, Texas, and St Louis, Missouri, including others, culminating in the final leg of the journey – the flight from Washington D.C. to New York’s JFK airport. The plane set off at 04:56 (08:56 GMT) on Saturday from Washington DC for the final leg of its journey, and landed at about 23:15 (03:45 GMT Sunday) in New York. A Statue of Liberty fly-pass had to be cancelled, due to a 2.5metre (8ft) tear in the fabric of the left wing.
Thankfully, the pilot managed to complete the journey without incident. FutureBrand has been working with Solar Impulse since 2012 to help form its future brand strategy and partnership offering, ahead of the “Flight Across America” and eventual “Flight Around the World” initiatives. We are helping to take the company to the next level as a brand and as a movement. We are true advocates and supporters of Solar Impulse and what they, as a movement, stand for – creating a more sustainable future through renewable energy and technology. The team and all they have achieved so far are a true personification of “future positive”. We are excited to continue to work with Solar Impulse, to help them to achieve their goals of flying around the world and ultimately using their achievements in the plane to be a catalyst for change and a proof-point for how we as society can create a better future. Borschberg and Picard and the whole Solar Impulse team have practised the FutureBrand principle of “Foresight”, by imagining the believable future they want to see and taking steps to create it. “We want our solar airplane to be an example of how new ways of thinking can inspire people to reach goals many consider unachievable”. I think this successful flight is a huge step towards achieving this future positive ambition. Congratulations Solar Impulse and good luck for 2015!
FutureBrand is the creative future company. With a future-focused methodology, combined with incisive strategic thinking and creative visualisation techniques, FutureBrand co-creates and delivers to clients a believable future for their brands to achieve desired strategic goals.
In the highly competitive and complex cultural landscape of Asia, we work with various organisations, private and public, to strengthen their brand for competitiveness, helping them to grow, extend, and defend their market position. www.futurebrand.com