According to Bloomberg, Anish Kapoor has designed a public artwork that can be equated to the Eiffel Tower. It will erected in London in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Details of the statue included that it would be England's largest public artwork, and The tower will have a two-level space at the top with a restaurant and a viewing gallery, to which high-speed lifts will be able to take 700 visitors per hour.

What do you think of this Tower? It was mentioned in the article that many believe it's crazy to erect such a statue in the middle of a recession. Do you agree? The Guardian is also taking a poll of public opinion of the statue. You can see the results here.
Jad Limcaco of DesignInformer.com has recently unveiled his newest creation, a gallery of art directed blogs. The site, Heart Directed, showcases innovative and beautiful blogs from around the web. According to Limcaco, "...in order to have an art directed blog, then you must be committed to spending hours in the process of designing, writing, coding and testing. What is really great about this type of blogging is that these bloggers really only write about things that are in their heart because if it wasn’t, then they wouldn’t spend the time to go through the art directed process."

We encourage you to check out Heart Directed and share your thoughts with us.
Title: Applied Market Research - The Next Generation: Addressable Minds
Date: Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/566144840

About the web seminar:
The economic events of the past two years have shown that market research industry is about to undergo a dramatic transformation. No longer is it enough to provide research data in an abstract way of identifying segments. There is a need for actionable insight to be provided by the Market Researchers to those running the business who are responsible for increase revenue.

This session will describe Addressable Minds, the 2010 Chubb International Research Award winning tool and approach for rapid application of market research. A key focus will be on the practical use of the research to measurably grow the business through the practical application of the tools and techniques by data mining, web site use, brochure creation, and person intervention by sales and service staff either it in-person or on the phone.

What you will learn:
a. Rapid approach to segment based on people’s perception
b. Application of mind segmentation in business practices
c. Examples of practical use of Addressable Minds
d. Instant segmentation through personal intervention at the point of purchase
e. Application to New product development
f. Optimizing existing products and service and their messaging

Featured Speakers:
Dr. Howard Moskowitz
Steven Onufrey

Paging Don Draper! Get a kick out of the great vintage travel ads over at The Big Money. With ads from travel stalwarts like Hilton, Loews in addition to ads for hot tourist spots like Southern California and South Africa, the visual history provides a quick timeline for travel branding. Though we're much more politically correct, the ads are a great reminder of how subtlety can be as effective as flashy banner ads. Enjoy and let us know your favorite!



In order to accommodate the high demand for FUSE 2010, we've relocated the main conference dates of FUSE to the larger and nearby Marriott Magnificent Mile. This event is sure to sell out quickly – Register today to secure your spot.

Please note: The Marriott is nearby Trump International Hotel and is a short walk away. Guests at the Trump can remain in their guest rooms for the meeting dates.

The April 14 Symposium will take place at the Trump International Hotel & Tower.

The April 15/16 Main conference sessions including The Wednesday Evening Dieline Awards Ceremony will now take place at the Marriott Magnificent Mile.

Our new venue will allow for more good people, good conversations, good sharing, good times, good inspiration and good outcomes

Its time to get back to business. Fuse is ready.
FUSE 2010 is nearly sold out – only 10 seats are left. Register today to secure your spot. Once the event officially sells out, your name will be added to the waitlist. We will notify you once a spot opens. 2011 dates will be posted this week; we encourage early registration.

Don't miss out! Register today!

"consistent brand conversations = persistent brand dialogue"
Join us for a complimentary webinar on
Thursday, March 25
2-3PM EST

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/247241465
mention priority code: M2246W1BLOG

About the webinar:
the art and science of branding continues to evolve as the need to connect with the consumer becomes more intimate due to their choices and marketplace offerings. how your brand behaves in the messaging of its value proposition is directly proportional to how your consumer will experience your intended brand promise. with today’s information-rich, savvy consumer, they not only expect the best of your brand; they demand it. that said, how your brand aligns consistent messaging internally will or will not deliver engaging experiences with your consumers. this applied ability to behave consistently is most apparent when speaking to consumers across varied lifestages.

what you will learn:
• how creative-driven strategies will provide a platform for compelling brand messages
• how brand-alignment inside and across disciplines, is required for consistent
brand messaging outside.
• the potential of how a brand tagline is a rallying-cry across all age-demographics
• how to influence provocative internal conversations for alignment
• the requirement of synergy with creative and marketing teams

about riCardo crespo:

A celebrated creative director and respected branding thought-leader in the areas of strategy and creative, riCardo crespo brings to the advertising industry a keen eye for creative excellence and a valuable point of view as a CREATIVEronin. He consistently delivers a unique and valued perspective as a professional with applied experience from both the agency and client side. crespo is a frequent contributor on design methodologies and the strategic value of design + creative in the branding development process. riCardo's vast and varied experience includes leadership posts with such advertising giants as McCANN ERICKSON, Saatchi & Saatchi and Bozell Worldwide.

riCardo's passion for outstanding design and meticulous execution translate into a dedication to excellence in all aspects of his work.





Today over on The New York Times Well Blog, writer Roni Caryn Rabin reports that anti-smoking campaigns are angered at the branding of Camel cigarettes "Number 9" product, which used the tagline "Light & Luscious" and, what they believe to be, a youth-friendly color palette in its branding. Although the campaign ended in 2008, a new study says they had a big effect on teenage girls. The ads bore a striking resemblance to fashion spreads and ran in women’s magazines like Glamour and US Weekly, which are popular among teenagers. They offered promotional giveaway items like berry lip balm – and cellphone jewelry.

R.J. Reynolds issued a statement disputing many of the study’s findings and saying the company abides by restrictions outlined in the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement about not advertising to teenagers and “does not take any action to target youth.”

We encourage you to read Rabin's report and the study mentioned.

Getting Teenage Girls to Smoke?

What do you think?
That’s right, we’re offering a few exclusive all-access complimentary passes to FUSE 2010 – April 14-16 Chicago - and you could attend the conference – on us ($3,000+ value). We’re looking for experienced bloggers who are well-versed in design, brand identity and/or packaging to begin blogging now and also at this year’s event. In return for your posts, you’ll be able to attend educational sessions and training seminars delivered by industry thought-leaders and corporate practitioners on the content areas of creativity, innovation, leadership, sustainability and more. Network and engage with speakers from Starbucks, Saatchi & Saatchi X, Fast Company, Hasbro, JetBlue Airways, Kraft Foods (and more!) at this exciting opportunity to Reclaim the Future.

To apply to be a guest blogger, simply send your name, title, company and a few writing samples (a link to your blog is recommended) to our conference producer, Krista Vazquez at kvazquez@iirusa.com no later than March 24th. We will review the submissions and contact all winners directly with more details. This opportunity doesn’t come often and we encourage you to apply and join us next month in Chicago.

For more information about the event, please follow the links below:

For more on the FUSE 2010, visit the website

Download the Brochure


Cheers,

FUSE 2010
In my last post, we looked at the relationship between challenger brands and iconic brands and the fact that most challengers aspire to iconic status. But, once you’ve reached that iconic status, just how do you keep it? How do you successfully – and creatively – develop an iconic brand? And prompts the question, what role design?

Icons have a quality that permeates them, an aura that surrounds them and a charisma that no one else can match. But to remain iconic they need to constantly refresh their magic and allure. And the dilemma is not just how to stay focused on their brand truth but answer new moral and cultural needs.

Iconic brands need to use design to stay fresh on shelf and can evolve by taking bold creative steps but, the fact us, their future depends on where the connection is with its past. Before making any changes, brands should ask: What makes us iconic? What must remain the same and what can be reinterpreted? What is the most appropriate way to do this?

Kellogg’s, for example, may have made subtle changes to their marque, or the design of the brand name, to make it more modern and relevant but have never strayed from their brand and product heritage or overcomplicated their offer. The ‘Rise and Shine’ Cockerel icon is ownable to Kellogg’s Cornflakes and has made the brand synonymous with breakfast. The iconic design is reinvented/evolves, at key moments in time, but still captures the true spirit and authenticity of the original.

And this is the crux when it comes to icons. We need to always look back to define a brand’s core visual essence in order to preserve the value and heritage of the past but remain relevant and focused for the future. It’s about preserving and cherishing the right part of the visual brand equity. The part of the visual brand equity that taps into and expresses our deepest feelings and inspires the essential love and connection in the consumer that icons need to survive and grow.

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 http://www.iirusa.com/fuse/home.xml
To find out more about Jamie Oliver and Jme, check out http://www.jamieoliver.com/




I came across a really interesting blog post called ‘Dear American Airlines‘ that was created by Dustin Curtis who wanted to show American Airlines what an updated design could look like for their brand. He didn’t take the subtle route with comments like “If I was running a company with the distinction and history of American Airlines, I would be embarrassed–no ashamed–to have a Web site with a customer experience as terrible as the one you have now…Your Web site is abusive to your customers, it is limiting your revenue possibilities, and it is permanently destroying the brand and image of your company in the mind of every visitor.” Shortly after posting it Dustin received a response from a user experience architect who works on AA.com titled “ You’re right. You’re so very right. And yet…”. It goes into a long description of the reasoning behind why their corporate culture has blunted and paralyzed the design of the site to the point where the site and customer experience suffers greatly.

This problem, this brand and this trend are all very near and and dear to my heart because I worked on American Airlines’s advertising for 4 years and I spent all of that time begging to get my hands on their site. Those attempts were greeted with the list of excuses that are chronicled in the letter Dustin received. It’s a problem that I have seen too many times over the years with my clients and even in my current client side position. So why does it keep happening? What goes wrong inside the creative process of a corporate structure that creates this dysfunction?

Short term memory loss in the ivory tower
I think the first part of the problem is a matter of perspective and being able to look at a project with fresh eyes. When a team starts working on a project they forget that when it is released the site the customer experiences is completely blind to the logic, compromises and excuses that have been built up on the by the internal team over the course of the project. The consumer doesn’t know or care about why something was de-scoped to awkward solution or that you will fix it when you get around to version 2.0. You have to have the ability to develop short term memory loss and be able to see the work with fresh eyes or else those problems will be glossed over by the meaningless internal reasoning for why they it wasn’t right. You have to look at it from the customers point of view because that is the only true reality and that will determine the success or failure of the site.

I think this happens the most inside of a corporate structure because you live with the brands, their problems, their work and their excuses so you become desensitized to them. The symptoms of this are usually expressed as eye rolling and under the breath jokes in meetings when you try to propose solutions to fix long standing problems that are en-snared with internal politics and problems. It is a hard place to be in when you have to be the person who needs to stand up against the apathy and frustration that lives around these issues and try to effect change. You constantly have to work to keep a fresh view of what the outside world is seeing. The only advice I would have would to try and start with small problems that can really be solved to get momentum and then try to work up to the larger ones building on the smaller successes.

Better design doesn’t just come from better designers
I wrote the previous paragraph knowing full well that even if you develop the ability to rise above the internal excuse blindness you still have to overcome a massive problem. Let’s look at the problem by creating a comparison between a web site that is produced by an agency and one produced by an internal creative team. What is the difference in the process and structure between the two where you generally see more cutting edge and powerful solutions out of the agency than what you see out of internal creative teams? The divergence isn’t in the process of how the work is created but in how it gets feedback, gets approved and the hierarchy is has to travel through. At an agency the creatives are in a structure that puts them at the center of the universe and empowers them to be leaders and the voice in guiding the vision with supporting teams to help delivery of their vision. In a typical corporate hierarchy creatives aren’t the center of the universe and they have they aren’t empowered to be able to influence the final deliverable because their work has to go up a decentralized corporate approval system. This breaks the idea in to multiple directions by multiple stakeholders who dilutes it in to smaller and safer ideas a large group can take credit for and will satisfy the internal approval audience. This is a crime because the internal creative teams have the best view into the problems that need to be solved for the company and can bring solutions to market faster than those created by an external agency who aren’t as familiar with all the nuances.

If you ask any company they will always say how they want to be like Apple or BMW and produce these breakthrough ideas and designs but they don’t understand that better designs and ideas aren’t going to come from hiring better designers. They come from a fundamental structural shift where the people with the best ideas are given the most power and best ability to execute on their ideas without having to put them through a mouse trap like system that robs them of their power. Hopefully more and more people will come to understand this problem so more good ideas see the light of day.
Topeka, Kansas is undergoing a temporary renaming of their famous Midwestern city to Google, Kansas because it wants to become one of the Internet behemoth's fiber-optic broadband test cities. Topeka has even gone so far as to change every reference to itself on its official Web site to a reproduction of the Google logo, reports TheAwl.

We encourage you to check out the official proclamation by Mayor William W. Bunten.

As of today there is no word on if this renaming of Topeka will influence the Google giant.

For this Kansas city, a renaming just may be the ticket for earning tourism dollars as Google lovers flock to state.

What do you think? Will this positively impact the city? As a branding professional, what tips would you pass on to the city?

Learn more:
Based on high demand and numerous requests, your opportunity to save $200 has been extended for one more week! You now have until this Friday, March 5th to register and Save for both FUSE: Design & Culture/Brand Identity & Packaging and PROOF: Market Research for Package Design.

Hundreds of your colleagues have already signed up to attend!

Find out more information about these two events:

Space is very limited - we are expecting a sell out!
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