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The future of Creativity is DATA

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I couldn’t pass the opportunity of writing after this two articles hit the web this past week.
There is no hiding the fact that A.I within the marketing space is both scary and exiting.
A.I creativity can both damage and enhance our sector.
IBM’s A.I Watson computer has jumped from market to market, using extensive data to make accurate business-choices that once were only done by top strategists and data analysts.
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Within different subject lines, Adweek and GQ managed to pinpoint on a once semi-underground subjects.
The power of DATA.
The sign of a FAD becoming a TREND is when mainstream magazines like Adweek and GQ make it a subject line on a news piece.  Articles like this become code for every strategist to say “Should we be doing that too?”
It’s through this amplified media I predict we’ll get more examples of data used for creativity that we should keep our eyes on.
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I’m sure you were as impressed as I was by the news that Amazon acquired Whole Foods.
After all why does a digital giant want with a brick and mortar niche market?
If you read Hungry for your data GQ Article, it doesn’t address the distribution power behind Whole Foods, but it talks about the power behind the DATA that the company holds. 
Whole Foods holds precious data from the real world, that the digital giant seeks and needs. A new way to understand the way to enhance both digital and store shopping is by knowing how we shop in both worlds.
This acquisition is basically foreshadowing the future of retail strategy within the digital data space.
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As strategists we must  understand how to guide our clients into a data driven creative/strategic world.
To help them navigate new data analytics softwares or services in order for these to help us develop effective strategies from day one.
What I liked about the Creative data campaigns From Data to Tada AdWeek article, is that we’ve seen a few examples of data being used for creativity, but none as amplified as the once they list.
When you get a topic to become a compendium of thoughts within an article… That’s when it gets amplified!
This data creative examples are the future of case studies we must understand and replicate for the future of our clients.
Data is knowledge, and Knowledge is power after all.
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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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Brand Journey

5 Brands. 5hr Delay. AIRPORT Survival-kit.

John F. Kennedy International Airport, JFK, (Idlewild Airport); here the TWA Flight Center, terminal 5, designed by Eero Saarinen – 1969

Your flight is delayed,  your stuck at the airport, there is nothing to do, there is nothing to see.
Knowing what Brands to go-to, can save your sanity. (trust me)

Here are My TOP 5 Brands to keep you sane at the Airport.

We’ve all been there once.
You arrive at the airport early, of course, just to find out that your flight has a 5hr delay. Who would have  known your planning would slap you in the face.

5 Hours in a terminal is a long time to spend with yourself, so before a  Spiral of madness goes your way…  take advantage of the hidden treasure-Brands that exist at the airport.

There are few moments of frustration that compare to being stuck at the airport on a delay, and, I’ve had my fair share of them. Which is why I’ve learned to tap-on the power of 5 brands I usually find at any airport gate.

A Brand you love can trigger feelings of nostalgia and strong happy memories in the worst moments. Brands can become a self-medication in moments of stress.

Brands hold the power to change our airport mood. Here are my top 5 mood-changers at the Airport.

1. Cold Brew @ Starbucks Coffee 
My first move is to search for the mini-Starbucks corner, for two main reasons. I need a quick caffeine fix which flavor I can trust and as a Brand Strategist, I enjoy looking at the design differences in the You are here collection of mugs. A.k.a my version of Where is Waldo.

Brand Feeling: Supported

2. Magazines Section @ Hudson News
A usually locate a Hudson News store as soon as I walk into my Gate. The reason is simple, their vast selection of magazines and paperback books. I go in to browse for interesting trends of the moment , I can usually get at least one idea/insight for a strategy I’m working on…. and of course some gossip never hurts.

Brand Feeling: Inspired

3. CITY Treats @ Souvenirs Shops
Ok you are right, this in not a named Brand… But thing about it. Every souvenir shop has its version of whatnots and nicknacks related to the city your in and a city IS a Brand. Even if the are mostly made in china, looking at this ugly-cool souvenirs is a guilty pleasure of mine. Take a look at the city’s snow-globe font choices or the strange color-combos and laugh a little of this “Brands” – note the quotation marks.

Brand Feeling: Charmed

4. Facial and Massage @ Xpress Spa
Aaaah, there is no better way to burn some hours than with some well deserved you-time at any Xpress Spa . I love treating myself and releasing the delay-stress at this mini-spa.  Its nice to know that I can find them at most gates in the US and if you get the full facial you can use the massage chair at no cost, they even let you stay longer than usual. Thats enough for me to become a Brand Loyal.

Brand Feeling: Calmed

5. Lunch & Drinks @ The Centurion Lounge
 If you are a frequent flyer I recommend applying for an American Express card. I know its an extra cost, but think of it as an investment. When you become a platinum member, REAL PERKS start pouring in. And there is no better perk than the Centurion Lounge you can find at most international airports. You walk in and immediately feel like a VIP at a 5 star New York Hotel.

Brand Feeling: Empowered

Think of Brands as happy pills.

I bet you have your favorite treat to go-to or favorite movie to watch, that lifts your spirit. Well, now start thinking about what Brand makes you feel better. When you are feeling down go to the ones you know you love!

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Inspirational Branding

GOLD in RIO

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City Branding
How do you make every feature of a city fit into one Brand? A Brand that must truly portray a city kaleidoscope of identities?

You must take what glimmers the strongest and truly evokes GOLD, and transform that into a Brand. Rio is known as the city of golden beaches,  golden tans and golden bodies … and now Golden Dreams.

Olympic days are here and with them comes a million messages. Messages from Brands,  advertisers, media and of course the new golden heroes.

As far as it goes, the message that will shine the brightest, would be that of RIO. All eyes, after all, are fixed in this city for 17 days. For 17 days, all strategists will fix their eyes on the city’s Branding. A Branding that promises its own type of golden-dream.

After all, branding a city for the Olympics might be the hardest project a Brand Strategist can get. How do you make every feature of a city fit into one Brand? A Brand that must truly portray a city kaleidoscope of messages?

A City’s Olympic Brand must represent both a unique message and the evergreen feel of the city. And the best representation of the Olympics brand you’ll find in its bronze, silver, and GOLDEN MEDAL design.

RIO’s Olympic’s got it right. A kaleidoscope of colors for the strap, ending with a simple design for the medal.
If I were to create a City’s Olympic Brand, I would travel to the City and live its Brand first hand.
Turns out, that when I visited Rio, in just one week I fell in love with it.  This is why I’m mesmerized of how its Olympic Medals truly portray every shade of the speedo-filled City, its colors, its people, but above all, It’s every shade of filling you experience there.
So next time you visit Rio, think of me. Explore it like you would analyze a Brand, think of its color palette, it’s tile layouts, it’s retro vibe and evergreen grand hotels.
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Inspirational Branding

Soundtracks & Jingles: A Guilty Pleasure

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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!)

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Inspirational Branding

Brand Manager: Creative or Strategic?

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We create concepts, but we are not designers, we make strategies, but we are not business men; so … are Brand Managers and Brand Strategist a professional sector on its own?

Where do we belong, what is our niche? This question always comes to me when ever I go to networking events in different sectors. We are people torn between two worlds, the strategic and the creative, not a lot of people can say that both their right and left brain work in sync with each other; ours do!

Brand Identity problems come easy to us and a creative-block is not something we have; we know all types of brainstorming processes to get ourselves unstuck and back into the strategy.

We deal with multiple personalty disorder; we admire/like/obsess over fashion, wines, comics, luxury, organic, etc. We love THE BRAND and not the sector, we are seduced by what that Brand has to offer and just as our minds are, we love different sector Brands.

If you are like me even that typical question, What type of music do you listen to?  feels uncomfortable … That’s because is a small fit! we can like them ALL, we adapt and enjoy almost every genera.

An eternal conflict that might never be solved; the good thing is that with every graduating generation I see more and more of US, we will conquer the COMM/MRKTG world, move over … ITS BRAND Management ERA.

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Inspirational Branding

Fashionable Workout!

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Girls want to feel sexy and stylish whilst they are working out. The top Ready-to-wear Brands know how to target this growing fashion style.

 

A few years ago you would walk into the gym and girls would be wearing their XL slouchy t-shirt (stolen from their dads, older brothers or boyfriends), a pair of black leggings or loose pants and a messy ponytail.

Now… it’s all about looking fashionable at the gym. Now a days you walk into the gym and you are surrounded by bold patterns, bright colours and all kind of different sports outfits, sports accessories and fashionable braids and sporty hair styles.

Recent studies have shown that women prefer to spend more money on their sportswear rather than their everyday clothes. We see how more and more brands are starting to experiment in the Sportswear sector, expanding the offer women have.

For example, during 2014 brands like H&M, Bershka and Oysho have wowed us with their Fitness lines, sportswear and gym line, all packed with neon sports bras, animal prints patterns, diversity of hoodie, jackets, sporty cropped top and an interesting mishmash of colours and shapes. All of them offer a great variety of options, to make your workout fun, confortable but most of all to make you feel beautiful whilst taking care of yourself!

It’s all about making women feel STYLISH even if they are dripping with sweat!

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Inspirational Branding

BEWITCHING BRANDs

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“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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Uncategorized

Deconstructed Luxury: Eco-chic for the Soul

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The essence of luxury lays in quality, exclusivity and attention to detail and Tulum, is deconstructed-luxury all the way around.

Pack your Birkenstocks , your bamboo sunglasses and don´t forget to upload a bohemian road trip playlist into your iphone. Ready yourself for a dose of the new traveling experience trend: Deconstructed Luxury.

As I enter Tulum´s main Street , I cant help to smile right away. Palm trees everywhere, Bohemian restaurants and shops lit by torches and vintage chandeliers, small spas and eco-boutique hotels, perfectly coexisting with the tropical landscape. This is it, Eco-chic-yogui paradise.

Nothing new, you might think, just a hippie vacation destination. Oh my friend, on contraire, this is a top destination for trendy tourists with refined tastes and deep pockets. Tulum offers exactly what the new experience traveller is searching for: A complete eco-spiritual experience reconnecting with nature, stripping everything down to basics. Here you´ll find hotels with no TV, no Wi-Fi, no room service and far away from the annoying crowds of mainstream vacationers.

But don’t be fooled by the organic architecture of the jungle-immersed restaurants, Tulum offers some of the greatest gourmet experiences you can find. Yes, the chef is a hippie, but an Italian experimental hippie chef. Believe me, taking the time exploring this gastronomical paradise is worth it. Hotels offer the complete mayan spa experience with Temazcal (sauna with a spiritual twist) followed by amazing Yoga classes on the beach with some of the best teachers in the world. All of this is not cheap, not at all, but it´s a magical experience.

After a few dream-like days spent here, I find myself embracing a new, wider definition of a luxurious experience.

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Inspirational Branding

FIT is the NEW SEXY !

Kayla Itsines

I want you to meet the new top fitness blogger Kayla Itsines, this 23 year old Australian personal trainer is the new sensation on Social Media. 

There is finally someone out there fighting against the conviction that being sexy means being skinny, that to be pretty you have to starve yourself and spend long hours at the gym.

She is revolutionising the world of dieting and fitness. She has published three guides; Bikini Body Nutrition Guide, Workout Guide and Workout 2.0 Guide, that help women become the best version of themselves. This guides are a huge success all over the world! Do you want to know why? Because they work and Kayla knows how to engage with her followers, she wins her followers trust therefore they buy her guides. 

Now a days having a great product isn’t enough for it to sell and be popular, you have to know how to use Social Media the right way and Kayla knows exactly how to do that, she is the perfect example of a Personal Brand using Social Medias the right way. 

Girls all over the world admire her and follow her because they believe in her.  She gives them tips on new exercises or foods, she posts about herself too, her life goals and her everyday life, to establish a more intimate relationship with her followers.

Kayla’s success is thanks to her approachability, she comes across as a simple girl, who’s life goal is help other women to be confident and comfortable in their own skin. Girls all over the world admire her, she is the new fitness and health icon everyone wants to be like! 

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