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Marketing and Advertising

Inspirational Branding

29 going on 30 … cue the funfetti indulgences?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Inspirational Branding

Surviving Networking

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A mix of desperate power hungry skirts, suits. Networking, more than a business card should be considered an Art form.

I’ve been recently going to a couple of mixer events in order to expand my creative network, something every Brand Manager should start to do the earliest in their career.  Yet as fun as that sounds… its not …  its usually a never ending set of small talks, which (more than half) will never lead to anything; still is a necessary pain to endure.

So what is the 411 of networking you ask?

Here is the thing. Everyone attending is most likely, as terrified as you are and feels as awkward as you. It kinna feels like the first day of school, and just like that first day of school, you have to be as charming and interesting as you can possibly be.

There is a very thin-line between flirting and networking. The same “staring” move used for flirting, is used at this events. If someone has passed more than once in front of you and looks at you for more than a sec, say hi; he/she is there for business and that is what you want.

Last but not least; If the conversation you are in feels like its going nowhere, excuse yourself and leave, you have no time to loose and many more awkwardness to go through, and don’t take it personal if someone does it to you.

A lot of people swear by this type of events, who knows you might get lucky and get closer to THE CLIENT of your dreams.

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Inspirational Branding

BEWITCHING BRANDs

heineken-halloween

“I put a spell on you …and now you are mine”  This should be the quote of every Brand that has bewitch us with their Halloween charms and we can’t seam to get enough of.

 

It most be the Hocus-Pocus of the Nostalgia factor that keeps us hooked, and every halloween season we treat our selves with their halloween tricks. It interesting how consumers attach sentimentally to this seasonal brand mktg-actions. This attachment is the core to the nostalgic feeling, which is the seasonal communications main focus.

I believe its the need to break our everyday routine that drives us to celebrate and have something to expect and look forward to. I’ve heard its the preparation more than the actual event that drives the most happiness and our favorite Brands are right there with us to enjoy the ride; they even play an important role in our HALLOWEEN party.

Halloween now a worldwide celebration, has devoted Brand followers such as OREO and Heineken known for their creative ads. But now other Brands such as Pepsi, McDonald’s, M&M’s, Sharpie and Guinness are joining this seasons trend. We are hoping that every year they will delight us with their ghoulish and spooky social shares. We have much to learn from this sorcerer Brands that keep consumers waiting for their next halloween idea.

Happy Haunting Brand Managers!

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Inspirational Branding

HUNK Branding

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Finally designers aim to make MEN feel hot, looking good and sexy.

Couldn’t help to notice that this Spring/Summer 2015, is coming with a high dose of Abs and this time displayed in more handsome outfits than ever.

We are definitely seeing a big change in men’s fashion style and not just in the grooming department, but in displaying that Abdominal V.

Male models never looked sexier, we use to have only a couple selection, today we get newer more provocative Brands every year, all coming with a unique and new way to show the coveted obliques, who would say MEN would have this many choices.

MEN are rapidly becoming the new “Make me feel sexy” demographic, so… how about a Victoria Secret type Show with all this HUNKs in TRUNKS … Aussiebum take note!

Thanks to brands like Parke & Ronen who take the lead, this garment is more bold and daring. Branders we must stay alert on this HUNKish Trend, the next generation of Big Brands will most surely be MEN’s only, plus men can show those ABS we all love.

Im happy to report, this men’s (below the waist) style, will only get stronger. Lare 2014 pattern Trends are only getting stronger.

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Inspirational Branding

What is Brand Engagement’s next step?

Beyond Engagement

Consumers no longer see Engagement as meaningful! So what goes Beyond Engagement?

All Brands are in a constant, never-ending search for the next big thing; the next strategic trend that can allure new consumers and further attach faithfully ones. Yet, the truth is our consumers are getting used to most of this actions.

Brands seek an alignment between their Brand Idea and the consumers  lifestyle, they seek a meaningful Engagement. So the real question is, what new way should we create to make a better connection?

It is provably in the ever-growing Digital Revolution that we will find the answer. Consumer are always ON, and thanks to the organic relationship social networks are creating with followers, this media is creating a never before seen connection.

Meaningful engagement starts to exist as Brands interact directly with their followers on these networks. Followers are getting the same warm feelings by getting answers and messages from there Brand, just as when you get a real Greeting Card on your mail – something nice that went beyond the needed to make you feel special and loved.

The Next thing is to use this connections as Storytelling, as a two-way conversation of TRENDS between Brands and Consumers. What best way to find the latest craze than having a friendly chat with your Followers and Brand Devotees.

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Brand's Newest

Abercrombie & Ditch: A Brand that digs it´s own grave

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Once on top, Abercombie & Fitch was the IT brand among teenagers. It´s fresh style and cool look made the young segment to look at them as the preppy brand-to-wear by excellence.

A couple of bad institutional decisions, communicational faux pas and a huge arrogance later, places nowdays the company in jeopardy. Being part of one of the toughest industries there are (The Fashion Industry), Abercombie must strategize wisely or the future will never be as bright as it once was.

Colossal Competition– Yes A&F, there are other fashion brands out there, and huge ones. Forever 21, H&M and Zara are revolutionizing the fashion business. Their controversial strategy of copying designs right of the runways of the high fashion brands and selling them at a cheap price is working so well for them.  Trying to compete with them, but with high prices, makes no sense.

Brand Friendemy– Having a terrible CEO, Michael Jeffries, who seems more like an enemy to the brand than a friend. Making terrible declarations saying that their target are the “cool kids” and that they are “exclusionary”.  Seems that they are trying so hard to fit in.

Logo-less Brand– Removing the institutional Moose from the clothing in the US and not in the other countries sends a mixed message. Trying to follow the same strategy as Tommy Hilfigher and Ralph Lauren (in some of their fashion lines), without sophisticating the clothes it’s a big problem.

Abercrombie needs to go back to marketing basics. Get to know the consumer insight and innovate in what they offer. A brand can always keep the same concept essence, but they must evolve somehow. Looking at the brightside, they do have models actually wearing clothes in their new advertisement for Spring 2015.  

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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

2 tsp of  GRAPHIC VISION

Mix well with LIFESTYLE

4 cups of PERSONALITY

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

The Brand Wonderland

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Fashion Victims have 5th avenue,  Book Worms have Barnes & Noble, what do Brand Specialists have?

The Supermarket, the one-and-only place where we find Brands all lined up neatly in place and divided by market sectors. Just like falling into a rabbit hole, a wonderland of brands that interact with us on our daily-basis. The place where true marketing battles are won and lostBrandland

Think about the moment you walk into the store … you are immediately bombarded by thousands of Brand Messages all at once, but its the truly unique Brand that catches your attention: That one Brand will allure you with enough curiosity that you end up buying it (outside your list, of course).

The Supermarket is a branding paradise and every time we go in, we must be observant. There are three key elements that tend to catch my eye and in which I tend to base a new client’s research.

  1. Definitely keep the lookout for the NEW sticker on packages, this new products tell a lot about which Trends companies are basing their pack-design, color palette choices and personality.
  2. Pay attention to seasonal product, they usually hint on new costumer temporary-needs. The passing fad of the moment they just cant live without.
  3. Notice for the latest private label product, to see if the supermarket did a good job mimicking the Premium-Brand packaging  and design. Most importantly in whom they choose to copy their identity.

Next time you are in a Supermarket, take a moment to remember that every single Brand you are looking at, has had its own study, analysis, research and concept, developed specially for you.

 

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Inspirational Branding

Can a symbol become a Brand?

Mustache Brand

We give common symbols inner values, making them as important as the Brands that interact with us on daily basis, the love for your favorite [insert brand] sunglasses equals the love for your favorite mustache [insert accessory].

In the same way the Brand Manager determines a Brand’s Core Value, society gives this symbol a new importance, a new reason to be. We strip the symbol of its basic characteristics and we give it a true Brand Benefit, making it an Icon to cherish, admire and hold dear.

In the past we had the Peace Sign and the Flower, today we see this phenomena with the never-ending use of The Mustache or the Social Hashtag.

Mustache Symbol

This symbols represent something that we strongly believe at the moment, something that we want to endorse and wear or use proudly. Be it in a t-shirt or phone-cover, it becomes an accessory that represents who we are, and states our personality.

We must get in the title-wave fast and use the symbol to our Brand’s advantage. Beware thou, anything that becomes this popular or iconic so fast, is provably just a passing trend.

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Inspirational Branding

Personal Branding starts at the Internship

Hello I’m Intern

You should be thinking of creating a valuable reputation as early as your first Internship.

Personal Branding

If you just graduated, I can bet you anything, that you feel like you can take over the world; well … you need to overcome your first Personal Branding challenge: Your Internship.

It wont be a walk in the park, it will definitely push your limits of patience and self-control. Yet if you want to, it can shape you into the future you! The CEO that’s inside all of us pushes its way through all those photocopying moments.

Start shaping your professional-identity in every meting you are asked to participate in. Pay attention to details and how professionals behave in the meetings. I found it best to observe the Clients; they will probably come from different sectors of the marketing world. Try to identify:

–       The way they present themselves and their team.

–       With what type of phrase they choose to start the presentation

–       The moment they choose to give their business card

–       The way they interrupt for questions

–       What type of feedback do they give

By doing this you can start shaping yourself as the type of professional you want to become, in what way you want other to see you and with what type of impression you want to leave them.

It is a slow process, but don’t shatter your spirit yet; budget-cuts and deadlines will surely try to do that for you. Build a Personal Brand and good portfolio with every project you do as an Intern (who knows maybe you find your professional-guru along the way.)

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