brand insight

Dashing Brands

Brand Review : Barry’s Bootcamp Instructor

©James Woodley Photography

BRAND Immersion : Intrinsic Brand value’s analysis

Fitness classes have developed the need for society to get back in touch with our bodies not just at a physical level, but spiritual as well.

Their cult-like lifestyle is intoxicating for a reason. You walk out a new person, a person filled with the positive energy of men and women in every walk of life.

When you are in a room with people that have the same emotional goals as you, even if you don’t engage in conversation, you connect to them at a deep energy level.
At one specific moment we all become a collective energy for change.

To become someone better, to feel good within, to be proud of ourselves both physically and mentally.

Your body and mind go into a trace with like minded positivity.
This energy is so fulfilling, so strong, so empowering it becomes addictive.

©James Woodley Photography
©James Woodley Photography

 A healthy dependency to happiness by symbiosis.
History is full of examples both in ancient and modern civilizations of similar tandem rituals.

Humans are known to gather around a single object or symbol to move or dace within a certain rhythmic sound. It’s within these moments of trance, were a true connection to the gods was felt.

Ceremonial rituals to worship and devote all energy to a certain divinity.

If you’ve ever been at a Barry’s Bootcamp class, you clearly feel all energy in the room being focused on one idol. The trainer in the room becomes a symbol of our own need to change.

All our trust goes to one idol, all our devotion. One idol whom we aspire to be.

This wellness movement has come to idolize trainers and fitness models as such. We give value to the one person who can facilitate our physical and emotional goals, a spiritual guide who knows all the secrets we seek to posses.


Barry’s Bootcamp trainers not only create a string allure around them, becoming social media kings and queens, they become part of our lives. Their figures become an influence to to our daily choices.

We are in a moment where tuning into our spiritual beings is not only a trend, but a necessary part of our lives. We admire and praise people who are in sync with their wellbeing selves and seek to follow the path of a wellness change

We value wellness goals as much as professional ones and lookup to individuals who have turned this into a career. 

It’s when all the negative energy goes out of our bodies that we have the space to actually listen to our creative being.

It’s when we are truly connected with ourselves that we can hear the calling of inspiration.

It’s when we allow more room for our mind and body to fill with positive energy that positive ideas burst in, connections happen and the insights begin.


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Inspirational Branding

ode to the Insight


A visionary concept found hiding at plain sight.

an elusive ghost.
A myth, a spirit,
a morning fog that arrives as easily as it escapes.

A matter for the Gods,
a spiritual guide of the masterminds.
It is within the Insight that we make the intangible, tangible.

Easy to see it as a bygone gift reserved for the creative few, the lucky ones who’ve shouted through it, eureka!

We keep encountering tools that guarantee success if the process and steps are blindly followed.
We keep finding inspirational tools that over promise aiding our strategy with pointless exercises.

We keep loosing ourselves as we use this so called miracle methods, only to find ourselves back to square one and with no new Insight in mind.

Have we become eternal idea-daydreamers?
Have insights become a mere word with no relative meaning?

Getting this spark of inspiration is easier said than done.
It comes down to you, your knowledge, your ability to connect ideas, but most important… It comes down to the contrasting lifestyles you experience.

We constantly seek new inspiration,
new products,
new design,
new concepts.

Our never-ending look for Brand concepts that will awe our creative minds and ignite the spark we so desperately seek lies within the Anatomy of the insight.


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Follow the Rabbit

DBC’s new identity has me thinking: Where did the CONCEPT go?


Where has the value for market research and consumer insights go to?
How is it that clients and agencies alike are giving less thought to this first and (to my humble opinion) most important step for any Brand Strategy.

Crunched times, hard deadlines, small budgets…  All clearly affecting the “concept”. But NONE of these is an excuse to jump this key strategic process!

Ok Ok … I agree I have to think of the man/woman behind the Brand or Account.
Brand Owners, we shall call them, are the experts behind their strategy. Owners that of course (and rightly so) have revenue and ROI’s in their mind.

Safe to assume, the first thing that pops into their mind when you dare say the words concept are:

“How long will it take”
“How much will it cost me”
“We don’t need a concept for this part”my personal nightmare


While starting to redesign The Dashing Brand Club ’s new identity, I didn’t have to start from scratch, wonder what direction I was going to take or worst, just seeing if I can come up with something good out of nothing.

All I had to do was, check the Brand’s initial concept document where a clear defined personality and Brand values were established Proving that a well thought concept is an effective way to reshape a Brand’s new identity without the risk of loosing a Brand direction

Concepts are of the same value to strategies, as the Adobe Suite is to Graphic Design.

Is not a matter of time.. is the creative toolBrand Strategists use to create.

postersDBCOur Brand creative-thinking comes from the insights we develop during the concept making process.

What is best for the Brand, what is good for the Brand, what does this brand even look like?
Are questions answered only through a clear CONCEPT.

The only side I’m with, is the Brand’s side. I can’t help It… it’s even in my professional title Brand Strategist.
I believe I can even come up with a creed:

Thou shall create a strategy that expresses and fulfills the Brand’s Creative Concept as well as its Strategic Business needs.

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Dashing Brands


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

A very Branded: Cover Letter


A Branded Cover Letter must have: An original Concept + a new perspective + a new Idea.


Dear Reader, aka [Insert Agency/Company Name].

This is supposed to be my cover letter where I say a bunch of good things about myself; give many praises to you and your Brand and show how much I’m already onboard with the team and Brand.
Yeah, sorry… that is just not me.. I can do better, so bare with me as I write away on this page as one of my online Articles.

Chez Brand
I was just finishing a concept development project about Insights; (what are they, why are they important and how to get them) when through the research I stumbled upon the interesting idea of Intentional Serendipity; where one is aware of its own ability to force ideas and start the linking method of the Insight.

Thankfully NYC offers many places where we are surrounded by ideas from the past and present and force Serendipity. After two years living in the city I can truly say, Insights sneak-up on you, even if you are not seeking them; the key is to link this associations and develop an Idea.

What if there was an Insight-condensed place, specifically created for Brands? What if there was a place where Brand Strategist could go to get multiple Brand Insights at once?

For the sake of the argument, let’s call it The Brand House (Chez Brand- if we wanna get European); not a museum, but a house; where Brands become alive and interact; where you get to step into[Insert Agency/Company Name]’s bedroom and see, feel what the brand is about.

Don’t you think it’s about time someone created Chez Brand.
There is so much thought, passion and inspiration behind every Brand; it must be celebrated and we must be allowed to be immersed in it. Think about the awe and thrill you get by understanding a concept behind any historical Brand.

As Brand Strategist one of our jobs is to enhance the source of inspiration and create tools to manifest the Brand’s values and personality. We search for the best moment our consumer interact with our Brand, and if that is a made-up place which help shape our experience, then let’s manifest it! What better way to inspire our consumers and peers alike.

For me, Brand Strategy is not a gallery or a private club; it’s more like a cabaret, a Carnevale; an organized chaos. We create an ongoing experience with every element. Nothing is more vulnerable than letting our consumer encounter and be inspired by our true Brand Personality. I would be delighted to be considered and become part of your everyday Brand.


From me to you: Always aim for originality! Remember recruiters see hundreds of Cover Letters every day.


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Inspirational Branding

The Secret behind a perfectly warm, chewy and sugary BRAND!

How to bake a Brand

I’ve always wished there was a secret recipe to Brand Creation out there, I mean with so many cooking blogs and foodies out-there in the city, you would expect that one of them would have written about it …. right? Well, here is my try to MIX this two world and get the right recipe.

Just like everyone enjoys a freshly baked cookie, everyone can enjoy your Brand. It does’t matter what type of Brand you are or to what audience you sell, you need to be MOIST to be loved; and by “moist” I mean extra soft right in your CORE.

Call it the WHY, Purpose or Motif, all Brands need to hold a CORE meaning to their everyday.  We all love the homey smell, the memories it gives and that fuzzy feeling of being cared for and loved. The Brand we buy its a treat for us, its a moment of eHow to bake a Brandscape into that world, created by the Brand, and we feel like we belong.

On that Note, Here is my BRAND Recipe:

1/2 ml of  FEELING

1 dash of EXPERIENCE


Mix well with LIFESTYLE


And finally … Sprinkle heavily with HEART

Im sure every type of recipe has been explored by baker-bloggers… Yet you can’t say no to the smell of fresh baked goodness of a Heavy Hearted BRAND.

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Inspirational Branding

Color Branding

Color Branding

It seams that this year is the year of COLOR, we see Branding exploring deep color insights to express and differentiate their Brand Identity.

I personally blame (or thank) the, lets call it, “Instagram Revolution”. Its filters, brightness, saturation, and the rest of its many tools; have lead to a color conscious customer. This tools where known and used primarily by designers, granted they are a very rudimentary versions of the real thing, but still none can deny that now, this words are in our everyday language.

Consumers are putting extra value on color-design, they care and link color with sentiments towards their favorite Brand.  Lets Brand-Spin and use the color wheel, the color theory, the color coding, and even (why not) the color psychology.

We are not far from seeing such trends in food like “Eat the Rainbow” migrating slowly to Branding Strategies, that will provably be the main concept behind an entire Brand Creating project.

We are becoming more color smart, its up to Brand Managers to learn and require more concept ideas based on color-theory.

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Inspirational Branding

Brand Essentials


Essential’s Pics, once used only by Instagrammers, are now being used by Brands and Retailers on Social Media. Their carefully and curated layouts show snippets of the Brand’s Daily Life. 

Featured by @Gap
Featured by @Gap

As Brand Managers, we are known for using almost anything as a support to our Main Concept. Using this “Essentials” method as a Branding tool can surly become an interesting Brand Concept support.

Here is where you get creative and Imagine what would your Brand’s Essentials be.  Imagine the objects your Brand would take to work, on a trip or at a shopping spree; picture how they would be layout and create a symmetrical mood board. You can tell a lot from the type of objects, color palette and distribution of the items you choose.

This could also be applied as a Team Building exercise. We all know that a Brand’s true Personality is hard to describe. Choose from Essential cut-outs objects that represent your brand, give them to your team and ask them to reverse-engineer a story; where is your Brand using this items? Why did your Brand choose them, etc. This way the Brand’s Insight gets clearer.

Essential Pics popularity keeps growing on Social Networks,  yet I think we have not seen their true communication potential.


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Inspirational Branding

Top 5 Social Networks for Brand Concept Inspiration

Inspirational Social

Inspire Social

The best Social Networks to use as inpirational-tools are the ones built to inspire the user to share their lifestyle.

Just accepted a new Brand Project and have no clue where to start, right?  Finding that key concept and client-pleasing idea is provably the hardest step to overcome on Strategic Branding.

We all wished we had a crystal-ball showing us the in-the-moment Trend and perfect Lifestyle we should base our Concept on.  The good news is that we don’t have to keep doing the well known, ineffective and tedious brainstorming meeting.

The universe of social media has given us brand insights at our beg and call. Users publish everyday their wants and needs, which is why the right social network can give you the basis for your next Brand Concept.  

5. Stumble Upon – Fast screening of the web, web-browsing meets social. Its easy enough to find something interesting and new, you can search by subject and save bookmark-style the website you are interest in. Great starting tool.

4. Tumblr – The Blog platform of the Creative. You can get inspiration from photo-archives  made by users. Trending Tags  and Blogs lets you understand the current popular subjects. Theme blogs are great to find your look and feel.

3. Instagram – Even thou its a mobile-only social. Its a good way to understand what the users are most proud of sharing. The creative ways users take pictures and show every day objects, shows the way they feel about certain Brands.

2. Pinterest – A melting pot of creativity and visual expression. The advantage of using  this social is that when do a topic search, you find everything concerning that keyword; from Do-it-yourself projects to concept-app designs.

1.We Heart it – Its places, people, colors, objects, patters, everything its users love. The users  express their lifestyle, sharing in the mood images and deeply though photos. It can give you a new perspective on any concept and ideas

Definitely the best way of being inspired by this Networks is to use them wisely, depending on your objectives and concept-style you are looking for. Try using more than one each time you are looking for that bullseye Brand Concept Idea.

Do you use other  social networks to help you with inspiration?

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