From challenger to icon- the design challenge

In my last post, I looked at the move from lifestyle to living brands and referenced chef Jamie Oliver’s new lifestyle brand: Jme. Jme has changed and challenged the way people interact with lifestyle brands by not offering a two-dimensional and defined aesthetic. Instead, it offers a constantly evolving and growing collection of useful and lovely things, innovated and designed both by Jamie himself and by different designers all over the world. Jme is at the forefront of a new generation of brands that are bravely challenging existing paradigms to create new thoughts and expressions for brands – and redefine categories – as they move into the future. And it’s a fair assumption to make that, as part of their vision for the future, every brand owner wants to create the next all-important iconic brand.
Most icons were once challengers and most challengers want to be icons. The tipping point? Today’s challengers can become tomorrow’s icons by putting brand identity at the core of their communication.

We believe that what makes brands powerful is a big idea that can be constantly reinforced, explored, magnified and evolved . In our opinion a truly iconic brand never stops challenging because the reason people love it is because of what it stands for. It doesn’t attach itself to fashionable ‘issues’, it doesn’t challenge to look edgy – it challenges because it believes something very strongly and strongly represents this through its brand identity. Think Apple, Coca-Cola and Chanel.

Challengers have a clear purpose to bring about change and with design being the living embodiment of change this is where the opportunity lies for brands to move away from the norms and conventions that have defined the mood and climate for a long time and match visionary brand propositions with truly creative identities to show that we are living in a new age which truly has a new influence. Think Innocent, Dyson and Method.

The challenger challenge – know what you are challenging and challenge it...By design.

Jonathan Ford, Creative Partner Pearlfisher, will be presenting at the IIR’s annual FUSE event – FUSE: Reclaim The Future – with the Jamie Oliver team on 15 April 2010, Chicago
To find out more about Jamie Oliver and Jme, check out



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