Brandlogic Blog Archive
Brandlogic Blog Archive
There’s a popular term in the online world that makes writers cringe: TLDR. It means “too long – didn’t read.” It’s a curt dismissal that’s the equivalent of readers sticking fingers in their ears and chanting “LALALALALA.”
58% of CMOs are planning to increase their digital marketing budgets in FY 2014. Overall, these budgets will rise by 10%, following a double-digit increase in 2013. That’s a serious commitment that reflects how digital platforms and strategies are revolutionizing commerce.
You can't help wondering, won't there be too much information on one page? How will my customers know to scroll down to see what I need to show them? Here’s why a long scrolling page might work for the story that you want to tell.
Spanning across all cultures, religions, and communities, there is some variant of the one axiom I remember from my childhood above all others--the golden rule--“do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
In business, there are also barriers that can cause friction that can prevent a customer from completing a task—whether it’s a long wait on a phone call or a complicated purchase process. Removing resistance and conflict from your customer touch points can greatly enhance a positive experience.
The art of storytelling has been passed down through generations. Stories have the unique ability to teach us, to make us feel connected and to express an idea in a compelling, believable way.
The launch of the Citi Bike Share program, the largest in the US, is achieving undeniable business success in a very short time. With over 6,000 bikes, 300 stations, 55,000 annual members, and 840,000 trips since its May 27th debut, the concept is instantly become a part of the NYC landscape.
Recently, the Whitney Museum launched a bold new identity that I really want to like. It's dynamic, unique and clearly thoughtful work. The graceful "responsive W" morphs in and out of content in a creative way. The stark black, all caps, san serif typography has been done before, but somehow feels fresh in this context. Because of the white space and prominent use of black and gray, the Museum's colorful artwork is the shining star throughout all of the collateral. And yet, I'm just not sure that the overall visual expression has the stature the Museum requires to build its brand.
Recently, I was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art visiting the new Islamic Art wing. At the heart of this exhibit is a Moroccan courtyard, where you can sit and take in the meticulously-crafted designs in the architecture. I was immediately inspired by the lively patterns that surrounded me and began to think about the importance of patterns in branding.
Traditionally brand managers and CMOs have controlled their brand by controlling everything that represents the brand. As we know, this is done using strong visual and verbal guidelines and lots of brand training.
Twenty years ago, Nestlé, the company behind Nescafé, introduced the Nespresso brand.
Every day, each of us has experiences that shape our impressions of brands… and the best are investing more and more to make sure that experience is a great one. This was the focus of the Conference Board’s Customer Experience Leadership event in New York on March 21 and 22. With over 125 attendees and speakers ranging from American Express to Mercedes Benz and Ritz Carlton, the conference offered up lots of great ideas.
The Digital Strategy Innovation Summit held this past Thursday and Friday had stories from companies like ESPN, Hasbro, Sephora, and Bloomberg and how they are excelling in today‘s digital world by constantly investing and innovating. Overall, the trends are clear: if you don‘t have a mobile or social media strategy, you‘re late to the party and leaving potential revenue on the table.
Facebook just announced a redesign of their site. As the changes roll out we can be guaranteed many things—endless news articles about the change, online protests to ‘stop changing Facebook’, some people leaving Facebook in anger, and of course emails from experts telling us they can help us 'leverage the new Facebook'. Early reviews find the site more engaging. Why? They took a mobile first approach to the design, that's why.
In the last half-decade or so, the phrase “corporate citizenship” has found its way into the management lexicon. Management theorists and brand pundits alike have embraced the notion that every corporation needs to define its societal purpose. Entire corporate citizenship departments are being formed, many charged with the responsibility of managing and reporting on the firm’s environmental, social and governance commitments.
Having grown up during the Cold War, culture in the Workers’ Paradise has always held a kind of grim fascination for me. So much of it is like a frozen-in-time snapshot of America in the 1950s. Back then it seemed clunky, quaint and perhaps a bit creepy. Now it seems weirdly retro-cool, almost like its own brand.
After what seems like an endless stream of ho-hum brand launches (AIG, USA Today, Microsoft, etc.), I was thrilled to see the new American Airlines brand.
Recently I had the opportunity to spend a day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the exhibition Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop.
Last week HSBC announced it would pay a record $1.92 billion to settle charges of money laundering.
We’ve been tracking Walmart’s sustainability I.Q. for the past two years, and Walmart again earned a spot in the Laggards quadrant again this year.
Currently, Apple holds the enviable title of the world's most valuable company. But where does Apple stack up when it comes to its sustainability performance?
The Nike - Lance Armstrong relationship has come to a dead stop. After learning about the full extent of Armstrong's doping activities, Nike severed all ties on October 17, firmly stating that “Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner.”
In preparation for sharing the results of our 2012 Sustainability Leadership Report with members of the International Association of Business Communicators in Pittsburgh October the 15th, I sat down for an interview with Steve Lubetkin to discuss the uniqueness of our annual Sustainability Leadership Study and a number of the lessons learned from the Leaders that I believe all corporate communications teams can benefit from.
Are you struggling with the myriad of browsers and devices that your customers are using? With new smartphones out almost every day, It’s no secret that mobile browsing is on the rise. This has lead to many companies rushing to explore a range of solutions to make their website work across these devices. Responsive web design is the idea of looking at the size of the viewport and having the site design adjust according to the width.
I just got back from this year’s MX Conference, a gathering of user experience professionals put on by Adaptive Path. Overall it was a great conference, there was a variety of talks ranging from the truly inspirational – why user and customer experience is so important, how culture and sociology relates to how we perceive experiences – to more tactical advice like what values to look for when building your team and how to create customer journey maps to weave a narrative across your project's overall experience strategy.
Over two days this past week, I had the pleasure of attending the Corporate Image and Branding Conference, put on by the Conference Board. This is my 13th year attending this gathering of senior branding and communications professionals. As I look back, I’m struck by just how much its focus has changed.
Reimagining an American icon is never easy and this is one of the most exciting transformations I’ve ever seen. I can already hear people saying “Wanna go to jcp?”. Pretty interesting stuff.
Creating a sound user experience on your website involves much more than just the user interface. Equally important is the speed at which that interface is delivered to the user. This article details what Brandlogic did to improve our site, and what you can do to improve yours.
A recent New York Times Sunday business column profiled the efforts of a startup that has developed software purporting to take data and automatically turn it into natural language articles that appear to be written by a real person. As someone who makes his living as a writer, naturally I am disturbed by the long-term implications.
I had the privilege of chairing the inaugural Enhanced ESG Analysis Conference in London last week, where 75-80 speakers from organizations as diverse as Forum for the Future, The UN Principles for Responsible Investing, STOXX, Thomson Reuters, EIRIS, and HSBC shared their views on different aspects of the sustainability movement.
MTV launched itself on August 1, 1981 and yesterday celebrated its 30th birthday. In honor of their 30th I'd like to remark on the uniqueness of their 30-year brand.
Sustainability is one of the corporate world’s emerging priorities. Often it connotes “green” initiatives or environmentally friendly practices. But how should CMOs, brand managers and public affairs executives inside large corporations think about sustainability in the context of brand and reputation?
This year marks a milestone in the history of Brandlogic. We are kicking off the celebration of our 35th anniversary. To better reflect our heritage, reaffirm our commitment to clients and articulate our ambitions for the future, we are updating our brand.
A small yet important change is part of rebranding our firm – the presentation of our name. In print, it had been properly expressed as BrandLogic. Now, we’ve made it one contiguous word: Brandlogic. Why is that important? It has to do with what a name communicates to the marketplace and what it says about the organization.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending an executive briefing on the business environment in China held by The Conference Board. David Hoffman, a veteran in business issues within China, led the meeting with a compelling look into the economic, social and political dynamics that drive business in the country.
“Make it as simple as Google.” One of my former clients started off our meeting with this declarative request as we were getting ready to take him through a “simplification exercise” to fix his very convoluted database. Clearly, this gentleman had in his own mind an internal benchmark of what simple meant to him. Our team, on the other hand, was not able to articulate in such clear language what the output of our work would actually be. It occurred to me that as a purveyor of simplified communications, I was not making it totally clear what simplicity really meant.
Last night I participated in a panel discussion hosted by The Economist and Harvard Business School on the state of entrepreneurship. In attendance was a stellar crowd of business luminaries, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs running all kinds of businesses. On the panel were executives from dynamic organizations such as Zipcar, Aspen Aerogels and Care.com. After a quick case to get the juices flowing, the group had a fantastic discussion.
With Southwest’s pending acquisition of AirTran approved by shareholders, the bigger hurdle will be making it work. More than any of the recent airline mergers, simply repainting the planes is only a small step in successfully integrating the two organizations.
Aflac ran a half-page ad in the business section of The New York Times on Wednesday. It was not about Gilbert Gottfried, but rather being “recognized as one of Ethisphere.com’s World’s Most Ethical Companies.”
Barely awake, with my hot Venti in hand, I noticed that something was missing from my Starbucks cup. Like Nike, AT&T and Target (just to name a few), Starbucks has gone “nameless.”
The Apple App Store just hit an historic mark of 10 billion downloaded apps. Add to this all the alternative app stores that have sprung up for everything from smart phones to TVs, and any software developer with a good idea can certainly see nothing but potential! But then the question arises, what about corporations? Should they be creating apps for their various stakeholders and constituents? As is often the case, there is no single answer.
Here is a piece I wrote about “Improving financial performance through brand portfolio optimization.”
One of the things that has always kept me a loyal Google user has been speed. Don’t get me wrong, their search results are pretty good, but the speed of the results allows a user to quickly try many different search queries. One big improvement to recently occur was suggested queries—where Google provides suggested search strings as you type.
The latest Pantone Universe venture takes a fascinating new approach. The Pantone Hotel – the next big tourist destination in Brussels – immerses guests in Pantone color and design.
In recent years, corporate brands in financial services businesses, both retail-facing and B2B, have become a major factor in the attraction and retention of clients, talent, partners and capital. In this industry it has not always been so, but in today’s crowded, highly competitive global marketplace, a strong brand can be a major source of advantage.
Garnering attention in the media recently is the logo created for the Nuclear Security Summit, hosted by President Obama in Washington, DC last week. A theory popularized by a FOX News segment, but also running rampant across various newspapers and blogs, claims that the logo echoes the Islamic crescent moon and star symbol.
We found it interesting that Harvard Business School published an article this week touting the benefits of integrating financial and non-financial (social responsibility and sustainability) information into one corporate report, a method referred to as One Report.
The days when the biggest rivalries among colleges and universities were fought on the gridiron and in the gymnasium are gone. Today, the main clashes take place within the admissions arena, where schools are locked in intense competition for the best and brightest students. Schools employ many strategies to win these battles, but none are more effective, especially over the long term, than projecting the right image, or brand identity, to prospective students and their families, as well as faculty, academic journals, high school counselors, donors, alumni, government officials and other important audiences.
Where are the leading-edge ideas in marketing? Over the last 12 months, we’ve gone on the road to find out. What we’re hearing: You can have a global brand, but you need to make sure you localize it. Many companies are able to take a brand campaign or tagline and run with it worldwide; however, they find that the same creative or messaging is not always effectual or appropriate in every country. A commercial that features young love in one country may be better suited as family values in another country.
Innovation is perhaps the most overused word in B2B marketing. Whether it’s information technology, medical devices, industrial equipment or professional services, we find brand-builders returning over and over again to innovation as the core promise that will set their company or product apart from the rest of the pack. But does being perceived as an innovator truly drive brand preference and ultimately purchase decisions?
A March 8 article in Advertising Age featured a quote from Denis Riney, EVP Marketing at BrandLogic, on Toyota’s tarnished brand following the automaker’s recent product recall due to faulty braking mechanisms. According to Riney, Toyota's “brand is damaged. It's in crisis.”
In our 3rd episode of BAMcast, host Larry Roth & special guest Anne-Marie Normandeau discuss tone of voice, how to best manage it and its importance to a seamless brand identity. Please post your questions, comments or ideas for future shows here or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where are the leading-edge ideas in marketing? Over the last 12 months, we've gone on the road to find out. What we’re hearing: Involving employees, through online communities, in the process of creating, managing and building brands is becoming standard practice among leading-edge marketers (and their compatriots in the human resources function).
Where are the leading-edge ideas in marketing? Over the last 12 months, we've gone on the road to find out. What we’re hearing: There are no silver bullets when it comes to measuring marketing ROI. Leading-edge marketers are still seeking new (and not so new) techniques for justifying their brand-building investments.
Where are the leading-edge ideas in marketing? Over the last 12 months, we've gone on the road to find out. What we’re hearing: Experimentation with social media is so 2009. Visionary marketers are investing heavily in social media and are realizing short- and long-term benefits, both in terms of reputation building and revenue generation.
By now we’ve all heard the jokes about the unfortunately named Apple iPad tablet computer. (We’ll leave it to you to fill in the punchline for the name of a hypothetical widescreen version.) It’s clear that the company was a bit tone-deaf when the name was chosen, exposing Apple to the kind of derisive humor usually reserved for Microsoft. The most common rhetorical question I’ve heard is “Were there any women in the room when they came up with this?”
We are proud to have recently won an AGDA Green/Sustainable Design award, alongside Pepsi Bottling Group, for the 2007 PBG Corporate Responsibility Report!
In my other life, away from work, I’m a semi-pro musician, playing bass in a working band. My instruments are made by one of the music industry’s icons, Ernie Ball Music Man. Company CEO Sterling Ball (son of Ernie Ball, who invented electric guitar strings) has managed to build a vibrant, distinctly American brand, selling both premium and mass-market products manufactured in the United States while remaining profitable – and while maintaining industry-leading brand equity. No small feat in today’s economic environment. How?
In our 2nd episode of BAMcast , we discuss the benefits and/or challenges associated with building a community around your brand asset management site. Please post your questions, comments, or ideas for future shows here or via e-mail at email@example.com.
The partial unveiling of the new AOL identity earlier this week produced many smiles, snickers and rather nasty blog posts, but few moments of reflection in the brand community. How do we explain our rush to judgment for the new AOL logo, compliments of Wolff Olins?
This is the inaugural episode of BAMcast where we discuss the basics of brand asset management and how it can benefit your organization. Please post your questions, comments, or ideas for future shows here or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In my last blog entry I noted that some brands have taken on a certain leadership role in society. They have become today’s heroes – supplanting individual luminaries in that role – and as a society we’ve become very comfortable with the idea of turning to them for invention and innovation. What does this mean for businesses today? It’s both an opportunity and a potential trap.
Well-established companies with strong recognition face an interesting challenge when they seek to redirect or revitalize their brand. Change needs to be signaled and a new message is called for, yet there might be considerable value in preserving the existing brand mark. It’s a conundrum: how can a brand identity be redirected without also changing the company’s mark?
As a design professional, the recent flap over IKEA’s decision to change its typeface from Futura to Verdana really struck close to home for me. IKEA has long been held up as a prime example of good design that reflects and contributes to the brand.
Having had one of the big “oh” birthdays this year, I’ve reached an age at which I find myself reflecting on how the world has changed since I was a kid. One thing that has struck a chord with me is how much we follow and look to big companies for new ideas. Brands have become our heroes.
The Pantone Color Institute has released the top 10 colors chosen by New York fashion designers for their Spring 2010 Ready to Wear collections. Being a graphic designer, I was intrigued by the neutrality of the colors, even in the five “brights.” Why, for such a cheerful season of renewal, are consumers being given such neutral options, seeing that last spring brought vibrant pops of color?
I recently had the chance to contribute to Tony Spaeth’s Identity Forum, the leading on-line community for identity and branding professionals. I began thinking about whether there are identity solutions that are so well done, so brilliantly executed and so strategically precise that they should never be changed.
A review of “The Typography Manual” for iPhone and iPod Touch.
In a recent radio interview on KQTH 104.1, I had a spirited conversation with Dr. Zara Larsen, a leading change management consultant. Our discussion spanned a number of topics: the principles of effective branding in the corporate sector, the role of employees as brand ambassadors in a 24/7/365 web-enabled world and the concept of personal branding as a strategy for career advancement and individual fulfillment.
Faced with some last minute global changes? Having problems implementing a feature in one of the 12 browsers you are targeting? Do you want to ensure that your site has a consistent experience regardless of the browser your users have? These are some of the realities of Web development.
Too often, large Web projects are treated like traditional print or television ad campaigns. A large team will work tirelessly for months on end, honing and polishing the new site, and pushing to achieve elusive goals that were established long before. Arbitrary launch dates come and go.
A July 27 New York Times article covered the dismantling of part of a brand-new, architecturally powerful border crossing building on the Canadian border in Massena, New York. As a design professional, this caught my eye and raised my ire on a number of levels. The design for the building in question was unveiled four years ago, and work was completed less than two months ago.
Three months ago, the Sci Fi Channel surprised everyone, including their most dedicated fans, by announcing that the channel was rebranding itself to be called Syfy – pronounced “sigh-fie.” The idea of the rebranding was to expand the audience of the channel to people who might be put off by the science fiction genre.
Federal policy makers are talking once again about reforming the healthcare system in the U.S. – and this time, it looks like they mean business. This wave of change will force healthcare marketers – in big pharma, in HMOs and other provider organizations, and in medical device manufacturers of all kinds – to rethink their brands, their customer relationships and their media choices in fundamental ways.
Branding experts agree that your employees rank at the top of your most valuable brand assets. Where opinions may vary is how to communicate to them in order to foster brand understanding and compliance. I have spent the past 10 years helping many corporations, both large and small, with brand asset management.
Those of us in the brand design world marveled at the quality and strength of the brand created by the Obama campaign during the recent US elections. So, I suppose that it's only natural to try some “brand extensions.” According to Germany's Spiegel, “a German frozen food company hopes to raise sales with a new product, Obama fingers. The tender, fried chicken bits come with a tasty curry sauce. The company says it was unaware of the possible racist overtones of the product.”