There are tons of consultants (including myself) selling branding services around the world. Most tend to say (not including myself) that branding is complexed. A quick search on Google image search reveals tons of models. What if we look beyond those models and all those advices that often lead to heavy brand manuals that no one wants?
What is the core of great branding? Here’s my five cents:
What are you about? Make sure that is clear to your audience either straight up or over time.
Carl Lagerfeldt and Lady Gaga knows great branding!
I am at Bromma airport in Sweden on my way to speak in Gothenburg tomorrow. As I’m sitting in the lounge surfing the web I suddenly found myself reading the copy of what in my opinion is one of the most inspiring texts in the world. The think different campaign by Apple in 1997.
To some people it’s an ad. To me – it’s the stuff changes are made of.
Here’s to the crazy ones.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,
disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They invent. They imagine. They heal.
They explore. They create. They inspire.
They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some see them as the crazy ones,
we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world, are the ones who do.
Yesterday I wrote a blog post about SAAB. It obviously created some sort of attention since I almost had a new unique visitor record. Among the commenters were official SAAB representatives, positive even though I had quite a strong tone in my post. Another commenter, a bit surprising, was David Holecek, Interactive Marketing Manager at Volvo Cars. In his comment he wrote – “Sticking my neck out a bit, it would be interesting if you would do a similar exercise on our volvocars.com site (or rather volvocars.se, as we do not have all the shopping tools on our international site). We may be asking for a potentially harsh treatment , but feedback is always important.”
I was planning to do a video on the Volvo site as well, but due to kids at home I’ve not gotten the possibility to record something yet. It’s just to noisy! But, David, I decided to give you some feedback anyway.
I only walked through the XC60 part of the site since I’m more or less looking at buying exactly that kind of car right now. (Probably the new BWM X3, but I do like the XC60)
I am not applying for a new job as a CEO or Marketing Director, but if I did that would be my headline and I would run the brand I’d work for based on the insights that follow.
Steve! Bring it on!
Ok, so you’re s marketing director or even a CEO struggling to beat the he’ll out of your competition? Well, you are not alone. That’s more or less what all brands want, but why then are there so few that actually make a mark that can stand the tests of time?
Here are 14 pointers on how to get your brand charging into the future.
0.1. Before you read anything else. If your product or service doesn’t stand the competition. Get back to the drawing board and make sure it does. Then continue to Nr 1.
It’s really quite easy. Apple started their brand journey by making sure they had kick ass products.
1. Great branding is not about sticking to graphical guidelines, it’s about sticking to values and beliefs
I think I’ve written about it before. But years ago (1999) I found myself working with Nike after having called them to talk Framfab into a pitch. In one of the first meetings I attended I of course asked for Nike’s visual guidelines. One guy from Nike looked at me and said: “Just don’t touch the logo”. I repeated myself and clarified that I wondered about fonts and colorings. The guy again: “Don’t touch the logo, that’s all”.
How does Nike keep it together then? With great people of course. They act as gatekeepers of the brand. It’s in their spine like I’ve written about before.
Those are the words said by Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President World Wide Product Marketing over at Apple when speaking about the new Apple iPad. It pretty much sums up what I thing after having followed the keynote given by Steve Jobs today.
The new iPad is a game-changer and I need one now! (you too!)
This last year, 2009 has been a blast in many ways. Almost every day I’ve received interesting news from friends, other bloggers and my RSS feeds. Even thought we’ve seen one of the most severe economical downturns this year it seems advertising, communication and technology has been the business to be in.
Brands seem to have learned from the history and brand spend has rather gone up than down for a lot of brands. We’ve also seen Twitter and Facebook continue to grown faster than anything else on the planet and social media and open technologies has prospered due to that fact. The iPhone has continued to grow and Android is picking up it’s pace. Google has released lots of new cool products even though the Wave didn’t really become the clean double over head a lot of us expected.
Most brands have been looking for one-offs and as I look back at the 2009 Cannes Lions winners it strikes me that I can’t really remember one single campaign that stood out and changed the world of advertising. We’re slowly moving away from bought space to earned space, this is most certainly the reason why my brain plays these tricks with me.
I’m not gonna spend more of this post summing up 2009. Other people, papers, bloggers and personalities has done a great job doing this already. Instead let’s move on to 2010.
Click for a larger image
Here are the Brand and communication predictions for 2010 by Johan Ronnestam
This is more of a change in how we live, consume, work, advertise and communicate. We will of course use all technology available to become more real but we will strive to make things more realistic, true [click to continue…]
The Mobile Revolution. Have you heard that one before. Well, just when it’s about to happen thanks to the iPhone and the Android OS I’d like to launch a thought about the next revolution – ‘The Revolution of the Screens’.
A couple of hours ago the New York Times launched an update of the skimmer interface I wrote about earlier this year. It’s an alternative way to browser their online magazine. They call it The Times Skimmer. The new interface let’s you navigate between different sections of their paper by only using the arrows on your keyboard. The GUI also lets you switch fast between articles and once you’re done reading one you can easily move on to the next.
Times Skimmer features the following seven display options:
Stories displayed in a grid
Content displayed based on editorial ranked feeds
Headlines displayed in a list
Content presented in the classic typeface Helvetica
Content displayed against a black background
Headlines and brief summaries displayed in a wrap-around format
Headlines, bylines and brief summaries displayed in a design similar to word magnets for refrigerators
After I’ve been spending a couple of minutes with this updated interface I’m struck by what now seems obvious. Isn’t this interface perfectly adapted to be read of a 16:9 touch screen. Of course it resizes as you scale your browser, but that only means it will support a rotation.
Is The New York Times preparing for an Apple Tablet or maybe a reading device of their own?
Every time Apple has launched a new gadget they’ve made sure they gained some support by a selection of leading brands already tuned into their new shit. Well, in that case – could the Skimmer interface from The Times be exactly such a partner. If so…will we finally see an Apple Tablet in the near future?
Well. I’m sure about one thing. I’ll get my hands on one asap!
It seems more mags than The Times are preparing. I spotted this one this morning yesterday on YouTube. It’s Sports Illustrated’s version of a tablet prepared digital mag.
Last week I got hold of this presentation held by Mary Meeker, Managing Director Morgan Stanley at the Web 2.0 Summit San Francisco. It’s one of the more important time stamps I’ve seen the last couple of years. This one was created two days before Apple reported on their second quarter – beating the rest [...]
This morning I’m reading an article in Svenska Dagbladet about the mobile applications of tomorrow. It talks about the Swedish Mobile Life project supported by Sony Ericsson, Microsoft, Telia among others. About the same time I’m watching this video below where The Mentalists play a cover on the song Kids by MGMT on their iPhones [...]
The new Apple iMedia? (isn’t it strange that Apples iTunes interface is made for exactly a 10″ screen) All over the net people are buzzing about what will come from Apple the next WWDC event in June. Reports says Apple has ordered a bunch of 10” displays that might be used to build a Tablet [...]
This blog is written by Johan Ronnestam. He's widely regarded as one of Sweden’s leading speakers and authorities in the field of modern creative and conceptual thinking and skill of innovating brands and their communication. The readers of Microsoft Indikat has named Johan Swedens most influential authority within digital communication
This blog is written by Johan Ronnestam. He's widely regarded as one of Sweden’s leading speakers and authorities in the field of modern creative and conceptual thinking and skill of innovating brands and their communication. In 2010 the readers of Microsoft Indikat named Johan Swedens most influential authority within digital communication