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Follow the Rabbit

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

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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.
 DBC_mockupaka – 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

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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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Inspirational Branding

Branding tips from CANDY store BRANDS

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Admit it, we all get strangely excited when we walk into a candy store; even if you just pass by, we all get kid jitters looking at the beautifully colored packaging, neatly arranged sugar treats and vibrant typefaces.

Candy Store’s, may they be a boutique or not, are a delight for branding elements.
It’s not easy for a product to stand out, much less between a kaleidoscope of design and every branding element idea there is.

These guilty-pleasure Candy Brands, not just incite nostalgic feelings; they are evergreen Brands that are constantly evolving in styles and seem to get stronger in the fight of relevance within this new health conscious world.

Think about Brands like Dylan’s Candy Bar, Sockerbit, Baked by Melissa or Sugarfina. Think on how you feel when you walk inside the store… Oh Sweetland. A wonderland of  linking insights happening all around us. The key is to understand those links of style-concept ideas and link them to your Brand Objectives and Strategies.

Just the other day I gave myself a treat of Baked by Melissa’s signature mini-cupcake tie-dye. It’s a peculiar design for a cupcake in NY so I decided to research its story; turns out it’s inspired after a Rock Band “Grateful Dead” and the memorabilia around it. How cool is that!

It definitely is still, a sweet CANDYLAND of Brands, and it doesn’t seem to be getting slower anytime soon. We go to them when we need a pick me up, need to celebrate, need a little sweet push to get through the day; all to remind us of sweeter better times.

 

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Inspirational Branding

How-to steal your own meeting

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Don’t let your meeting get out of your hands. Picture This… 

MaskYou are in a meeting with a potential client. You are half-way through your presentation.

The client interrupts… mentioning an anecdote and problem they have that has nothing to do with the presentation you are giving….

What do you do? 

“Steal” the situation by applying in-the-moment Brand Strategy.

In just this past 6 months, I’ve met more Brand Managers and Sales Directors than in my whole career.  And I can definitely tell you that it will always be an exhausting task to have to sit in meetings with Managers that argue about the need for your services… and rest assured, they will question every inch of you work.

But WE ARE Strategists!  Brand Strategist who are no strangers to the notion of  branding. We know that even the words in which we choose to describe ourselves and past projects help shape the story we are telling about our agencies.

The challenge then, is to start one way and reshape the entire presentation based on branding principles … We help Brands get out from sticky situations. How about we do the same for ourselves with the same steps and concept strategies we use. This time applied in the moment.

And before you know it, the existing state of affairs HAS BEEN CHANGED.

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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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