A.I creativity can both damage and enhance our sector.
A.I creativity can both damage and enhance our sector.
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.
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.
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.
aka – THE BRAND CONCEPT
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 tool, Brand Strategists use to create.
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.
Is it ridiculous to say that I’m actually having an existential crisis at this age?
Is it too farfetched to think that at 29, I’m already getting feelings of doom?
How common are these feelings with our generation? Is it just me? Am I the only one?
Cue the funfetti indulgences!
My favorite creamy, soft and indulgent treats from Dashing Brands to get me through turning 29 and the reminder of how close the dreaded 3…0 is.
The first Brand I go to is Halo Top – Birthday Cake
The golden lid, rainbow polka-dot design, and quirky quote make all the creaminess with just 280 calories per pint that much better. All it needs is an attached golden spoon Halo Top take note.
1 pint after and the rambling continues…
All through my 20s, 30 just seemed far away. I kept picturing the-30-me as a complete adult, a grown man that figured out who he is and where he is going. A man that has it all together, Love, Life, and Work.
Well… The Universe is getting a great laugh for none of these are remotely close to being figured out, and yes, I do like to complain.
You guessed it, I’m part of the most educated, least paid and terribly unsatisfied generation, the millennials. The generation that collectively feels creative and has extra projects here and there.
A generation not defined by our profession, but by our passions.
A generation not defined by titles, but the willingness to create to become someone greater than who we are.
And what’s a better mix of two passions than KITH Treats – Fruity Pebbles vanilla swirl.
The coolness factor of KITH‘s footwear lifestyle brand and the sweet nostalgic flavors of our childhood favorite cereals, remind me of simple times when I could control my feelings.
With all these feelings of sweet creativity been awakened in me, you would think I would feel I’m on the right path.
I know that I might be blowing things out of proportions, yet articles like Forbes 30 under 30, designers like Adam J. Kurtz named on PRINT Magazine’s 15 Under 30 and of course, who can forget the new youngest Director to win an oscar Damien Chazelle for La La Land.
It’s this same strength of our generation that keeps me both motivated as well as in a constant panic mode.
I told you, this existential crisis was no joke.
Have I not been innovative enough in my career? Will all this hard work eventually pay off?
I keep having to remind myself that I must be on constant guard and self-evolution. Learning from every great story of our generation, both entrepreneurs and creative heroes alike. We most see them as inspiration and be proud of the fact that we are a collective creative generation.
I guess I’m telling you as well as myself that your Dashing Indulgences and Creative heroes can only help your path to great creative achievements. They will keep me awake at night for sure, but hopefully, I get to dream of funfetti ideas to pursue.
And to end my inner quarrel I leave you with the best of both worlds, ICE & VICE – Rainbow cake cookie.
A true new yorker Brand that mixes street style lifestyle, pop culture colors and uncommon flavors.
May we all be a little like ICE & VICE.
Visiting the newly opened New York City Whole Foods and walking every geometrically-perfect and structurally curated aisles had me over-thinking once more.
It might be this new location’s beautiful Bryant Park views that gave me a different set of strategy perceptions.
Couldn’t help to wonder, for all this wholesome, healthy, free-from brands and products; how many clients/buyers truly read and trust their labels?
After seeing healthy claim after healthy claim, in every style of copywriting… I can only ask…a
Are all this health conscious consumers around me, seduced and triggered to buy by each Brand’s claims of all natural, no preservatives, no-GMOs, bio, bio-friendly, gluten-free, no sugar… etc?
That said, I’ve even been noticing with some of my client packaging stating very liberally the All Natural claim.
DEAR WHOLESOME BRANDS,
I know the market growth for “natural” products is no close to slowing down, in fact, the last 2016 Natural Products Industry forecast predicts a worth of $2552 B by 2019 (64% growth from 2013).
Yet there is a growing concern within the Brand Strategy community regarding the claim All Natural.
So far the FDA has not engaged in any rulemaking or formal definition for the term “natural” but is do to review and make a decision on the multiple public comments they’ve received this year.
I strongly believe, that as Brand Strategist, we must advise you and your wholesome Brands.
We believe that to have all natural claim included in your packaging might be a risk (unless you can transparently prove it). This is not a cause for alarm, but with more consumers seeking the true meaning of this claims, it is safer to re-word or re-phrase the claim.
It is dangerous to believe that our consumer, (but more important, lawsuits groups) will never ask questions about your Brand’s packaging claims.
Consumer groups have already created education content on the matter, calling some of this claims “useless”.
If you agree, let’s open up a conversation with your and your Brands.
A re-wording branding project must be enacted soon. Each of this claims most be reformulated into words that work with both the FDA and the Brand’s needs.
This way your Brand’s reputation and statements stay intact and your consumer’s trust will stay long after the FDA finalizes their rulemaking on these claims.
– The FDA was pressured to open an investigation on the term due to continuing consumer concerns and lawsuits regarding All Natural. This happened after the controversial legal action against 5 personal-care products.
– FDA opened the investigation in April 2016.
– This investigation followed a review of “misleading claim” cases from 2015 with Kind Bar and sparked the biggest food-related lawsuit yet, against Quaker Oats in May 2016 for their “100% Natural”.
Food emporiums are too mainstream.
Coffee shops are so passé.
The Retail is dead.
This 2017 the Fitness-hub is here to conquer and rule the wellness consumer.
No longer just a place to get a good sweet and booty workout at the end of the week.
Consumers have started to shift from the traditional all-inclusive gym membership and going to specifically design workout hubs.
The trend will not stop, indeed this 2017 will probably see new fitness tribes, new workouts, new offers for clients willing to spend money to get the body they seek.
Crossfit locations are known to be the trend starter of this fitness/wellness consumer. Crossfit creators where able to connect a needed sense of community with a need to boost some fitness and well diserve wellness into our lives .
Last year we saw the continued boom of lifestyle-CULT places like:
Barry’s Boot Camp,
Brooklyn Boulders &
2017 brings in a new kid on the block.
Rumble Boxing, the newest addition to this very front trend of fitness lifestyle by Barry’s Boot camp ex-trainer Noah Neiman.
If we analyze the need and the reason behind their growing success, we might find the key to the future of retail.
NO. Retail is not dead.
It’s merely just evolving, and reshaping into a true Lifestyle HUB.
A HUB where we see a convergence of all our newest needs, the needs of the biggest generation there has been. Apparel, Food, Entertainment and Fitness.
Yes (rest assured), consumers still want to shop and dine outside the comfort of their homes.
They just don’t want to find the same type of services and products they can find with a click of a button.
As Brand Strategist, we must learn to see the insights of this ever growing trend of Fitness HUBs in America.
In this hyper-personalized society, consumers seek to shop and enjoy the products they will display and be proud to share on their social media. There is no question on the reason behind the Supplement Bars, Branded Protein Shake and extended merchandising that defines set tribe. A tribe who seeks to belong to and show the world who and what they are all about.
Products and services carefully design to appeal both the direct consumer of the fitness camp and the social media user being showed the Brand online.
The calling: You must belong to this FitnessHub in order to display proudly our products.
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.
FOOD is not a COMMODITY … Food is a BRAND, Food is a STORY, Food is a LIFESTYLE.
In the past few years, Food has passed from being a commodity to becoming a Lifestyle and a part of the consumer’s personality. Consumers used to substitute one product from another disregarding its Brand altogether.
Today, FOOD is a LIFESTYLE choice. A choice that holds intrinsic values that make food the new POP accessory.
YEAH you know where I was going with this… Fergie new video M.I.L.F.$ with hunk male model Jon Kortajarena shows us that FOOD (Milk in this case) can be POP culture element touching on mischief lifestyle values.
Fergie‘s play on Milk, gives it new lifestyle values. Storytelling of this caliber can motivating consumers and drive them towards your product. This new identity, relates directly to the consumers way of life. Food Products must create a culture that embodies the interest, attitude, and opinion of a specific group of people.
food brands need to LOOK FOR A TRIBE
Lifestyle brands carry with them powerful universal values or stories that are instantly recognizable by a unique tribe of consumers. The key would be to shift the products values. Values the Brand holds at its core. Repurpose this values, into a new set of ideas and lifestyle that represent certain qualities or meanings to the tribe-consumer.
Consumers seek and consciously choose products on personality and self-values.
Instagram is now becoming the favorite connecting platform to Lifestyle Brands. In 2014 alone, three million interactions were created between Instagram users and more than 2,500 direct messages to Brand Accounts. That’s 111.6 million of lifestyle-seeking consumers.
Instagram is the best platform for brands that want to interact with their consumers and showcase a LIFESTYLE surrounding their Brand. No wonder Fergie’s finale on her M.I.L.F.$ video is the perfect screenshot of her Instagram profile.
If you look at my Spotify playlist and you are a Music fan then you might get a heart attack. Simply because most of my music is a big mix of movie soundtracks, movie albums and a lot of Commercial Brand jingles.
Why? Good Question …
Picture someone in the R train heading Downtown, super pumped with the music he’s hearing, casually dancing to the beat and the occasionally intense lip singing. That is me, only I’m not hearing “Work” from Rihanna. I’m probably listening to “OREO Wonderfilled” by Owl City.
A total guilty pleasure… you are right. I can’t help it, I always let the Brand Strategist inside me take over. I know I should be listening to the latest hit, but I can’t help to address my obsession with STORY and switch to a track like A Little Less Conversation by JXL/Elvis reminding me of that Iconic first iPod commercial.
STORY is what drives Productive-Daydreaming, and that’s what I really I’m addicted to.
Once I start playing on this Dashing Brand’s playlist, my mind starts to wonder and starts to connect ideas and great moments in marketing-storytelling. Connections that can help develop Insights easier.
The other day I was listening to the new “Candyman” by Zedd & Aloe Blacc created for M&M’S 75th Anniversary, and it got me thinking about the new ways Brands are connecting to our fast-paced lifestyles. Sensory experiences are no longer enough. Brands need to dig deeper and actually touch and inspire our psyche , that extra-sensory emotion that drives our behavior.
Thanks to this playlist my initial ideas of a Sensory Brand Tour evolved to a Anima Brand Tour.
So, here it is The Dashing Brand Club playlist:
(Add Your Guilty Brand Tracks!)
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.
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.