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Ricardo Ramos Lazcano

Brand Journey

5 ways to slay 2017 #together

The horrors and disappointments of 2016 are over!
A new year begins.
A year that will put every fiber of our moral code to the test.

2016 was emotionally exhausting & disturbing for many.
This new year will be a challenge; we all fear what’s to come and has already started. The neglect, the hate, the phobia … feelings we thought were on the verge of extinction.

Let’s make the best & SLAY 2017 together.

1.Out, Proud and FEARLESS  

Values of unity shared within our LGBT community and our allies must prevail and shine stronger than ever.
We need more Brands that stand for and share the lifestyle that this unity represent.

As Brand Strategists it is our duty to support Brands and insight new ones who will be a product/service refuge and support for the next years to come.

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2.Trust your inner QUEEN

We need more Brands run by openly gay men and women, we need more LGBT entrepreneurs launching their ideas into the word. More than ever we need gay-lifestyle Brands that showcase how our community is and forever will be present and relevant for the future success of all Americans and this country.

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3.GLITTER BOMB everything

The LGBT community most not shut down into a sequined rainbow bubble.
We must show the world we are creative, stylish, successful and most of all-inclusive with our products and services.

Being gay has allowed us to become a cool hunting, trend-seeking, fad shading machines. 
Abilities we learned during the years we stayed in the closet, having to be aware of everything we said and used. 

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4.Look for the DASHING touch

I don’t want to say the world is not a fabulous place, but it needs more of our community’s charm and never-ending search for STYLELet’s create new brands that are ALL elegant, ALL inclusive,  ALL loving brands.

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5.Get your heels on and SLAY!

I want to do my part and promise to give our community the tools to begin their Brand journey. THE DBC this year with become your go-to for simple Brand development tools.

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Follow the Rabbit

Follow the Rabbit: LINCOLN CENTER

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“I’m not crazy, my reality is just different than yours”

New York City becomes a stylish winter wonderland of urban and elegance. When the temperature has gone down, the street-runway of stylish coats and gorgeous boots begins.

And so does the METROPOLITAN OPERA Season.

The #SatinRabbit takes a visit at Midnight hour to the glimmer and shine of the epic space that will host one more opera season. A season of tuxedo jackets and sequence dresses that is sure to receive a new standing ovation.

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Brand Journey

A Branded Beauty spell: Mirror Mirror

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…will this gummy make me fairest than them all?”
2 pills of Beauty in the Morning, 2 bears of perfect hair in the afternoon.

2016 saw the market of Inner Beauty products and Super Food supplements grow, “Beauty From Within” market growth is projected to reach US$7.4 billion by 2020.

Society is known to change its type of currency throughout history. We have passed from valuing skills, to valuing intelligence. Today more than ever and with the reach power of Instagram;  We value Beauty above other factors. Beauty Currency has become so relevant, that not only this 2016 we (Agencies and Brands) have engaged in its exchange, we monitor it.

Of course, the leads if this new currency (you guessed it) are what we now call INFLUENCERS.
Influencers who style their life to perfection.  From the Beauty of their photos and looks, to the Beauty of their Skin.

2017 will be the definite year of Beauty Currency.
This type of Currency will increase for Brand’s that offer their Beauty lifestyle as well as their Beauty Promise.  Already strong Brands such as @SugarBearHair,  @ollynurtition  or @vitamix  are winning by creating a lifestyle journey to the beauty you desire. Many will say that this trend and  product benefit was started by  @thebeautychef . (I’ll leave that to your judgment).

There is no secret to the power of Influencers in Instagram and other social media platforms. Their extensive following values their opinion more than any Ad on any traditional media.

As users, we are bombarded by the perfection of this Influencer creators and wonder their secrets of beauty (or retouch apps).

Consumers (me include) are more than ever willing to invest in Brands and products to have their stunning Beauty, that’s where the new market of Beauty Supplements Brands realized early on.

Influencers are the key to these new product’s Brand Essence. Who better to showcase your Beauty Brand, than influencers  who take care of every beauty detail on each post they share on their profile.

Through these lifestyle shots, the very essence of a Beauty Brand is showcased.
Beauty Currency is something that you can’t see or touch. But you understand, feel and need. And that is what Influencers create within their social profile.

Let the age of Beauty Currency begin.

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Inspirational Branding

Make the Holidays INSTAGRAM-able

This Holiday Season;  consumers will not just share sweet treats,  delightful gifts and Christmas recipes…
Consumers will share their every Holiday Lifestyle moment on social media.

Your Brand needs that extra holiday-factor that can make it Instagram-worthy for their next lifestyle pic.

Users take care of every detail on their uploaded photos for Instagram.
This season is no different, it might even be the key season of sharing photos.  Every lifestyle holiday moment that could be shared with your Brand, will be shared, at home, street or holiday party.

With all the holiday shopping happening, consumers will be exposed to more products than usual. Pair that with users never ending scrolling within Instagram and you have the chance to double your online engagement and impression numbers.

Products that are winning the conversion game are helping users heighten their Social Status.
Writers Anette Asp and Steven Quartz in their  COOL book even go so far as saying this new quest for status has always shaped our modern culture and our global economy.

We know Instagram (any social media platform for that matter) is a game of status affirmation, and just as Status, Instagram lifestyle images are multidimensional.

INSTAGRAMABLE HOLIDAY Brands are dashing, unique, stylish and seductive.

Instagramable checklist:

  1. INSTA-unique
    As  Mr. Holmes Bake House’s deliciously unique pastry Cruffin and beautifully crafted floors. 
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  2.  INSTA-dashing
    As Sugarfina Luxury Candy Boutique’s handsome packaged Bento Boxes and stunning gummies to go with.
  3. INSTA-seductive
    As H.Rebel’s collaboration with @odernichtoderdoch ‘s cozy beautiful Let’s Stay At Home collection.

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  4. INSTA-stylish
    As NoHOW’s e-commerce site’s gallantly curated and attractive gift selection.


These are Brand best practices who are getting all the glory with Millennials and  the Generation Z  social profiles. After all 2015 TOP purchasing Factor for millennials are 
1# Price and 2# Packaging Design.

You still have a few days of the holidays left, make sure your Brand creates a strong photo worthy lifestyle-connection this season.

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Follow the Rabbit

Follow the rabbit: Central Park

“How long is forever? … Sometimes, just one second.”
One second of stylish-eternity is exactly how I felt in this all ZARA outfit.

You’ll know where to find the #SatinRabbit for his Holiday outfit.

ZARA MAN, once again has read my mind with its 2016 Fall-Winter collection.
It’s URBAN meets ELEGANT selections is giving me all sort of dirty mind feelings.

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Dashing Brands

STORY: A Dashing HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE

New York City’s unique Concept store STORY is my favorite place for a gallant holiday shopping.

Just as a stylish home out of a Restoration Hardware catalog. Products and Brands are displayed on divided areas based on moods and styles of an elegant home; the store is divided into different home spaces, which make the experience unique.

This concept-retail recreates itself every month with a different sponsor and idea. Founder Rachel Shechtman describes it as a live magazine. For this Christmas 2016 edition, STORY partnered with Microsoft Surface and recreated a charming “Home for the Holidays”.

The first part of your holiday scouting has been done for you. It’s as if a personal shopper has stylized each area to cater your personal Brand– and we all know we choose gifts based on what we like. Brands take advantage of this HOLIDAY spirit and shopping frenzy inside all of us.

Brands must represent the HOLIDAY spirit without falling into a cliché. For this very social-media year, I would say it’s important for Brands to create lifestyle experiences rather than the usual holiday-commercials.

No wonder why this 2016 Xmas, Microsoft Surface partner with STORY. Placing this new laptop amidst an Instagram-worthy scenario. The new Microsoft Surface feels right at -Home for the Holidays.

It’s the perfect stop for every stylish and unique Christmas gift you are looking for. It even has a feel of  The DASHING BRAND . A gentleman’s area, perfect for any essentials you needed for yourself or that special gent in your life. (Santa, take note)

During the Holidays Brands take extra time to create experiences that can capture the already overexposed consumer.
STORY store, makes you feel as if you just stepped inside your favorite Brand’s Instagram feed.

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Inspirational Branding

BRAND’S Breakfast Attack

Fortune magazine called it Breakfast Wars.
It started with All-Day breakfast menus from the biggest chain restaurants, now it’s a trend within every Brand and Food Co.

Don’t you wish you could have BRUNCH all day every day!

Common, you know you do…  I, for one, can’t get enough of sweet pancakes, delicious mimosa,  scrumptious eggs Benedict … and yes even a crunchy nostalgic cereal bowl  does it for me every time. 

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As our lifestyles shift, to a time-starved generation, our morning routines changed dramatically. Breakfast; has become an on-the-go meal as well as an important going out moment aka The Brunch.

With no spare-time and with the love for this flavors, no wonder why Breakfast taste seem to be getting into every food category. Even protein powders are into the trend of Breakfast deliciousness, like Performix newest flavor Fruity Charms.

This market shows no sign of stopping, Breakfast market is keen to grow to $5B by 2017. Mix this projection with the latest growth of the SNACK category and you have a huge opportunity to tap into.

With the popularity of Breakfast food detachment from the morning time. All day times of snacking are quickly becoming a moment of consumption opportunity for Breakfast Brands.  Kellogg Company even created a successful Cafe in mid-NYC,  Kellogg’s NYC repurposes cereal as an all day consumption food.

What would be the next breakfast food product idea be?

You must address your breakfast Brand as part of a weekend Brunch routine.

  1. A charming location – Make sure your product stands out from the crowd by choosing a unique design. 2015 top 2 purchasing factor for Millenials are price and packaging design!
  2. A Stylish Setting –  Make sure your product is Instagram worthy. Check what other Brands do to have a high engagement within the social network.
  3. A unique routine – Make sure your product plays a part on the new consumer’s lifestyle. Millenials are, around the clock eaters, make it convenient.

A shift in design for on-the-go is focusing on this type of “convenient packs”, packs that you can grab throw in a bag and enjoy easily after. Millennials are choosing on-the-go and snack size food as meal-replacement in different times of the day.

Make your Brand interesting enough for you consumer to be proud of both sharing and talking about it.
So don’t be stingy with your design.

How about a Dashing Concept Video to get your creative inspiration flowing.

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Brand Journey

THE AMERICAN HOPE #stillwithher

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The first Monday after the unthinkable result of the 2016 presidential campaign.

At first glance, it seemed to all of us,  American born and American at heart, that our people turned its back on all the reasons why we love this beautiful Country.

AND IT HURT.
It felt like someone and something so dear to us passed away.

We all mourned for days and feared the uncertainty of the imminent future.
Thinking of what will come next… fearing what the politics of TRUMP HATE will created.

YES. THE FEAR IS REAL.
But nothing has compared to the power of LOVE & UNITY that has awaken inside the hearts of millions of Americans and communities.

The American Dream has become THE AMERICAN HOPE.

And nothing puts our hearts at rest than the power of the Media, Artists and Brands we love. All whom keep joining this NEW campaign of unity.

  • SNL emotional “Hallelujah” powerful message: “I’m not giving up, and neither should you.”
  • Airbnb Community Commitment Brand Video
  • Fergie’s new single “Life Goes On”
  • Emma Watson’s promise to “Fight even harder for all the things I believe in.”
  • ACLU promise to take action against TRUMP

 

America still believes in the opportunity to LIVE unlike any other country.

To LIVE as we truly are.
To LIVE as newcomers.
To LIVE at our passions.
To LIVE for others.

I am STILL with HER. Hillary Clinton  has awaken a movement of LOVE.
We will fight for the rights that she defended in her campaign and we will stand together.

 

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Inspirational Branding

When a BRAND becomes political

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GOOD TO KNOW
Starbucks mid-holiday season cup design created a stand with a strong political message.
UNITY…. or Hillary Clinton‘s Stronger Together?
In a not so subtle way, Starbucks appears to stand  for the democrat candidate. 

As a Starbucks loyal… I’m glad they launched a message of Community.

Starbucks green community cups, a right or wrong Brand move?
I say … Extremely RIGHT! Brand position towards political issues,  special in this 2016 presidential campaign, is extremely relevant.

Long gone are the days when a brand needed to stay neutral and silent on any political views and/or social issues. Brands these days are staying true to the core values of both the external brand and the internal brand.

We saw the first true statements when the Supreme Court made history for gay marriage rights this past 2015. #lovewins appeared in almost every Brand’s social media. And consumers LOVED it! A moment worth celebrating with the Brand or Brands you are loyal to.

We are living in times where our favorite Brand’s opinion is extremely relevant to our daily lives. Once upon a time, our favorite Brand could stay silent and the better choice was to play it neutral.
NOT ANYMORE!

Today consumers no longer follow a product, they follow a Brand. A Brand that has to stand with  values they believe in. We’ve seen it again and again, consumers seek Brands they can relate to, at extremely deep feeling levels.

This Election Day I bet we will see more Brands taking a political stand.

GOOD TO DO

Don’t play it safe,  don’t stay in the sidelines.
Take a stand as your brand would! Give the Brand, the voice it deserves and the stand it would do.

You’ll be surprised  how many consumers are looking for actual meaningful messages to be loyal to.
COMMUNITY is a stronger value and message than the usual NATURAL INGREDIENTS one.

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